Story by Bryan Stange
Photography by Keith Ketchum
The Outer Banks is a unique feature of the state of North Carolina, and many incredible events have occurred on those islands. As romantic and history-rich as the Outer Banks are, they are equally treacherous. Powerful currents and sharp shoals have sunk countless ships both in the sounds and ocean along the Outer Banks.
The craftsmen of the Outer Banks developed boat hull designs specifically engineered to handle the area’s unforgiving seas. The bow of the boats flex outward from the keel, creating what has come to be known as “Carolina flare.” The Outer Banks boat-building history spans back decades, with skills passed from craftsman to craftsman.
So it may surprise you to know that one of the most exciting and intricately crafted Carolina-style boats was designed and built in Ocean Isle Beach.
Scott Quaintance has a passion for fishing of all types, but he especially loves offshore fishing. He has fished on all types of boats, and he paid close attention to all of them. He took the aspects of all the boats that he most liked, and, with the help of Donald Blount & Associates (a naval architecture and engineering firm), combined them into what is now the Island Style 42 express.
Quaintance’s family is rooted in Ocean Isle. He grew up there, and his entire family has been there since the 1970s after moving from Salisbury. With his father being a contractor, building was part of growing up for Quaintance. He continues the momentum that his father built, operating Carolina Bluewater Construction. The Quaintance family has built many of the homes on the southern Brunswick Islands as well as on the mainland, especially the homes within the area golf course communities. The attention to detail and craftsmanship that created a name for the Quaintance family in home building translates right over to Scott’s boat-building company, Island Style Yachts.
The shearline of the boat is a combination of Carolina and Florida style, and the flare is more moderated than traditional Carolina-style boats. The result is that the boat handles the chop that we so frequently see in North Carolina, but it has more speed than a boat that is made specifically to plow through big waves. “I’ve always been a speed freak … this boat cruises in the mid thirties,” says Quaintance. Quaintance expects that his boats will find their way into the market of would-be big yacht owners.
“With the economy and gas prices like they are, there are going to be guys that are going to want to downsize from a 65-footer, but they are going to want all the amenities of a 65-footer,” he says.
That’s where Island Style comes in, packing in the amenities. The hull is cold molded, but all the topsides are vacuum bagged (this is a boat-building process where the excess epoxy is sucked away, which results in a lighter boat). Everything is sanded and sanded and sanded again for smooth surfaces. Even the walls of the engine room (told you —everything) are sanded smooth before painting. “You can tell the quality of a boat by how much sandpaper was used,” Quaintance says.
The bells and whistles are impressive. In the cockpit there are two molded refrigerator/freezer boxes with independent compressors (made of fiberglass, not stainless steel, for lower maintenance) located under the mezzanine seating. There is a third refrigerator/freezer box up on the bridge so that the captain doesn’t even have to climb down to cool down his drink. The large transom fish box is fed by an Eskimo ice machine, providing shaved ice for the catch. On the port side is a 45-gallon live well and even tuna tubes for keeping large bait fresh and kicking. The bridge is equipped with powerful heating and cooling systems, for ultimate comfort at all times of year. Teak flooring runs throughout, and the 32-inch flat screen is ready to deliver the news or the football game via satellite during the ride to the Gulf Stream.
One very unique feature is that the prep sink also has a recessed shower head so that, if desired, the crew can shower off with hot water right on the cockpit.
The electronic features of the boat are controlled via 10-inch touch screens in the salon and a second 7-inch touch screen in the helm. Nearly all the lights in the entire boat, including the ones below the waterline, are LED.
The boat is designed so that it can be handled by one person. The helm is placed on the centerline of the boat and then pushed back toward the cockpit, allowing for quick access to all sides of the boat and placing the captain right in the action. The captain is also assisted by the cameras — one pointed backward for visibility when reversing or watching the spread of baits, and one in the engine room.
Due to the fact that the boat was designed to run in the shallow waters of North Carolina, such as the south Brunswick inlets, the boat was designed to be able to turn big propellers in shallow water. Prop pockets are recessed into the hull of the boat, which lifts them up and away from the bottom. With twin Caterpillar C-15s (that’s a total of 1,730 horsepower) spinning the screws in those prop pockets, Quaintance even thought to line the insides of the prop pockets with vibration tiles, which absorb the vibration to prevent the anglers from feeling the power that is being unleashed beneath them while they ride in the cockpit.
Quaintance hopes that the world of offshore fishermen will welcome his nautical work of art the same way that South Brunswick County has. Everything about the boat, right down to the name (Island Style was derived from a naming contest in which a charter fisherman came up with the name), was inspired by the area in which Quaintance lives. The boat first hit the water on June 30, 2009, and is ready to take on the high seas, the billfish and the competition.
Island Style Custom Yachts
6934-9 Beach Dr. SW
Ocean Isle Beach , NC28469