Barron Libasci pretty much grew up on the waters off Miami Beach, fishing, water-skiing, cruising and just having fun out there. “I started out with a 13-footer,” the 48-year-old business owner says. “Boating was part of life.”
He’s happy to have passed that love of boating on to his family — his wife, Tammy, daughter Daniella and son Andrew. Accompanied by their golden retriever, Radar, the Libasci clan spends as much time on the water as they can. And all they have to do is hop on their Dusky 33 Open Fisherman — conveniently kept behind their Miami house — to let the adventures begin.
“I love to fish with friends and family,” Libasci says. “I’ve even entered and won a tournament or two. We entertain friends from out of town by showing them Miami. Going out to dinner by boat is great. Water-skiing is also fun.”
Libasci has found the Dusky a good multipurpose boat with which to do it all. It’s a 2005 model from the family-owned Dania Beach, Fla., builder that he bought for $65,000. He found the boat using Boat Trader, took a test drive and was ready to make a deal until the seller changed his mind. When the twin-outboard center console came back onto the market soon afterward, Libasci jumped on it.
“We already knew it was what we wanted,” he says. “Coincidentally, I had a buyer for my boat that day. Done deal!”
The boat was in good condition, needing only some TLC and new electronics. “I was looking for smooth, comfortable trips to the Bahamas and lots of local fishing,” Libasci says. “They were No. 1 on my list.”
Dusky offers a variety of twin-outboard options, and Libasci’s boat is powered by a pair of 300-hp Suzuki 4-strokes, giving a cruising speed of about 25 to 30 mph and a top end in the 50s. More important in a family boat is comfort. “In rough seas the ride is smooth, very forgiving,” Libasci says, “just what I expected.”
This is the second Dusky he has owned; the previous one was a 1994 25-footer. “I loved my last Dusky,” he says. “And I love being part of the Dusky family.”
But there’s something particular about this latest boat, the owner says. “Ever since we bought this boat, the fishing has been great,” he says. “We consider her a good-luck charm.”
The boat showed her stuff during a five-hour odyssey off Miami Beach last Father’s Day. “After catching our limit on mahi and boating a couple of wahoo, we were about 16 miles offshore,” Libasci says. “It was about 11:30 a.m., so we decided to troll home. I put out a nice lure spread, including a large marlin teaser and a big soft-head chugger.”
Sometime later, the line started “screaming” off the reel. “We were about 12 miles off the Miami Beach shore in 800 to 900 feet of water,” Libasci says. “My 12-year-old son is in charge of catching whatever is on the line as I drive the boat. We see a big marlin trailing behind the boat, jumping several times. He was 8 or 9 feet long and about 3 feet wide — a beauty.”
Libasci handled the Dusky as his son fought the marlin. “Even though Andrew had just caught his first blue marlin one week ago in the Keys with friends, he knew he had to catch this one,” Libasci says. “It was much bigger.”
It became a memorable afternoon. “It was amazing,” Libasci says. “By this time, we had run all the way up off Fort Lauderdale and all cellphone batteries are dead from my wife trying to film the capture.”
When the leader finally came to the rod tip, within grabbing distance, Libasci left the helm to bring the big fish in. It dove one last time, went under the boat and broke the line. “Still, my 12-year-old son fights a 350-pound marlin,” he says. “What a Father’s Day — what a lucky boat.”
There’s bound to be more of that excitement on the horizon. “We have had lots of good memories and great catches, several smooth trips to the Bahamas already and many, many more to come,” Libasci says.
The Dusky 33 Open Fisherman is a multitasking boat suitable for casual and serious fishing, diving or just spending time on the water. It rides a hand-laid, no-wood composite hull with molded-in ventilated steps with 35, 25 and 20 degrees of deadrise. Power options include twin outboards from Suzuki, Mercury, Evinrude and Honda — 225s are recommended. Diesel power from Cummins, MerCruiser, Volvo and Yanmar also is offered. The proprietary Dusky Drive outboard bracket with integral swim platform brings more room to the cockpit for fishing and entertaining.
The oversized console has a step-down well for storage. A molded fiberglass instrument panel with rocker switches and an electronics storage compartment are placed behind the custom windshield, with its sturdy grab rail. The bench seat at the helm includes tackle storage, and other standard features include gunwale rod holders, T-top rocket launchers and a 40-gallon transom live well.
Dusky Marine was founded by Pat and Ralph Brown in 1967. The newly married couple started out by offering a 17-foot bay and coastal fishing boat and focusing on small, sturdy, no-nonsense craft. More than 40 years later, the Dusky fleet has expanded to include open, cabin, and flats and bay models from 17 to 33 feet. The time-tested Dusky 33 has been a steady seller, available as both an open center console and a cuddy with a V-berth. Still family-owned, Dusky Marine sells direct from the Dania Beach factory. The Dusky 33 is easily found on the used-boat market, at prices ranging from $50,000 and up for early-2000 models to slightly more than $100,000 for late-model boats in top condition.
LOA: 33 feet
BEAM: 10 feet, 10 inches
HULL DRAFT: 1 foot, 6 inches
WEIGHT: 6,700 pounds
HULL TYPE: triple-stepped deep-vee
POWER: twin outboards to 300-hp each/ inboard diesel
FUEL CAPACITY: 260 gallons
BUILDER: Dusky Marine, Dania Beach, Fla., (305) 922-8890. www.dusky.com
March 2014 issue