Boats have been a part of Ken Antis’ life for as long as he can remember. He got his first taste of the water as a boy growing up on Fishers Island, N.Y., a boating-rich enclave off Connecticut.
“I remember watching my father build a boat — a 30-foot Bartender — out there on the tennis court,” says Antis, 42, whose Land or Sea Fabrications does marine metalwork, including T-tops, radar arches and rails. Along the way, he and his family fished Race Rock, the Dumplings and other local hot spots. When they moved to western Pennsylvania in later years, they took the Bartender up the Hudson to Lake Erie.
As an adult, Antis, who resides in Mashpee, Mass., has gone through quite a fleet of small and midsize fishing boats. He started with a 20-foot center console he bought coming out of the Navy in 1994. Next was a Boston Whaler 25 Revenge, followed by a 25-foot Bertram and, after that, a 29-foot Hawk — a local classic built on Martha’s Vineyard.
He also ran a 31 JC, a New Hampshire-built boat with a Down East hull that he set up for serious fishing. “I would fix them up, use them and then sell them and buy another,” he says. “It was a three-year life span with me.”
With a growing family, Antis and his wife, Kristen, decided that the next boat would be more family-friendly than the JC but still good for fishing, with long range and good fuel capacity. It also had to be lightweight. “Our marina uses forklifts to haul and launch, so that was a consideration,” he says. It didn’t take long to find what he was looking for — a 1989 Black Watch 30 with a pair of Cummins diesels, vintage 2005.
“I started out thinking I wanted an express,” Antis says, “but when I looked at this flybridge layout, I found I preferred it. For my wife and [four] kids and me, this boat is like a small camper. It’s a very well-thought-out boat.”
As for fishability, he knew all about the Black Watch 30’s reputation. “I’d fished on them in tournaments in some extremely rough conditions, and they did really well,” he says. “You can run on moderate power compared to some others, too.”
Antis was sold on the boat during the test ride. “I was a little concerned about the ride, it being a fiberglass flybridge boat,” he says. “It was a good, choppy day, so we got to bang around a little bit and see how it would take it. I found the ride to be superior to all the other flybridge boats I’d been on.”
And the flybridge has proven to be the kids’ favorite place to ride with their mom, looking for fish, boats and birds while dad drives.
Antis paid $37,000 for the boat and took delivery last July. No one in the family was happier than 8-year-old daughter Hadley. “She cried when I sold the old boat,” Antis says. “When she saw the picture of this one, she said, ‘OK!’ ”
With six people on board, amenities are a must. The Black Watch 30 has a full-size stand-up head compartment with an electric marine head and a shower. Galley gear includes a microwave oven with an electric/alcohol stove built on slides and an under-counter refrigerator. “There’s plenty of storage with cabinets and drawers,” Antis says. The boat has hot and cold water and AC/heat.
One feature sets Antis’ boat apart from other Black Watch 30s: a glassed-over windshield. “The previous owner enclosed the whole superstructure in fiberglass and put in custom-shaped, tinted-glass side windows, so she looks like one of the new-style sportfishermen,” Antis says. “And he did a very good job of it.”
She cruises at about 22 to 24 mph with the 250-hp Cummins diesels, with a burn of 14 to 15 gph. Top speed is 27 to 30 mph.
The Massachusetts boater keeps the boat at the Little River Boat Yard on Seconsett Island, with access to Waquoit Bay and Vineyard Sound. The boat brings new horizons and more distant destinations closer, Antis says. “I’ve been around the sound a million times. I want to spend more time going east, out to Chatham and Monomoy [Island], do a little more tuna fishing,” he says. “Go out that way, and you never know what you’re going to see — great whites, turtles, dolphin.”
Just the combination of family and fishing he was looking for.
The Powerboat Guide touts the Black Watch 30’s “solid construction [and] good seakeeping abilities.” Built in Rhode Island, the flybridge model was in production from 1989 through 1996, proving popular with sport anglers. She rides a cored deep-vee hull and was powered by standard 250-hp gas engines or larger diesels. The speed range is around 25 to 31 mph. The interior layout is simple, with surprising room.
There’s a V-berth forward with a hanging locker and storage. The galley is amidships, outfitted with a sink, a two-burner stove and an under-counter refrigerator. The C-shaped dinette to port seats four and converts to a double berth. There’s a compact head compartment with a marine head, sink and shower. There’s storage throughout.
The large cockpit has convenient roll-away engine boxes, and the flybridge is large enough to accommodate fishing friends or family.
The Black Watch 30 was designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates and built in Portsmouth, R.I., by Ted Hood. The Baltec-cored hull made the boats light and fuel-efficient, ideal for coastal fishing, and the accommodations offered cruising comforts and convenience. Although no longer built in the United States, the Black Watch 30 is under production in Australia. Used boats are available throughout the United States and Europe. Prices run from about $40,000 to $60,000 for most boats, and to as much as $80,000 for select models.
LOA: 30 feet, 1 inch
BEAM: 10 feet, 11 inches
DRAFT: 3 feet
WEIGHT: 12,000 pounds
POWER: twin gas or diesels to 300 hp
TANKAGE: 270 gallons fuel, 40 gallons water
DESIGNER: C. Raymond Hunt Associates
BUILDER: Ted HoodDRAFT: 3 feet
WEIGHT: 12,000 pounds
July 2013 issue