Back in 2005, Howard Newman tested a boat at the Palm Beach International Boat Show.
It was an express fisherman built by Jersey Cape, a small, family-owned firm in southern New Jersey. He met the company owners, Wayne and Genine Puglise, to learn more about their operation.
“I was impressed,” Newman says. “I became interested in the boat.”
But he wasn’t really looking for a boat at the time, so he simply filed away the experience in the back of his mind.
“A few years later, I got serious about finding another boat and was looking online,” says Newman, 49, owner of the Bateman, Gordon & Sands insurance agency in Lighthouse Point, Florida. “Much to my surprise, I found that the boat we rode in 2005 was for sale in Long Island. I flew up to see it and subsequently made the purchase.”
LOA: 36 feet, 7 inches Beam: 14 feet, 7 inches Draft: 3 feet, 5 inches Weight: approx. 22,500 pounds Hull type: modified-vee Propulsion: twin Cummins diesels, 480 to 600 hp Fuel: 450 gallons Water: 80 gallons Builder: Jersey Cape Yachts, Inc., Lower Bank, New Jersey. jerseycapeyachts.com
It was a Jersey Cape 36 built in Lower Bank, New Jersey. The vessel was in good shape, with a few cosmetics to take care of, and the price was $350,000.
“What impressed me was the Carolina look as well as the functionality of the vessel,” Newman says. “It is set up for fishing with a large cockpit that gives you plenty of room for fishing, simple systems which include two freezers, and a helm that allows the operator to be in the middle of the action. There’s easy access to the engine room, and the cabin that has enough room for a weekend trip.”
Newman, who grew up in Stuart, Florida, wanted to continue his lifelong affair with boats and boating. “I’ve been around boats all my life,” he says. “My family had a boat that we used for offshore fishing and family time. We water-skied, fished and had an all-around great time.”
Newman has owned a variety of craft along the way: a 13-foot Boston Whaler, 20- and 25-foot Makos, a 31 Contender and a Cabo sportfisherman.
“Our vision was to use the Jersey Cape for spending time with family and friends, fishing, cruising, taking trips to the Bahamas,” Newman says. “As our kids were getting older it was a great venue to spend time with them and their friends.”
Whether it’s a cruise to the inlet or a long weekend in the Bahamas, Newman has made many good memories on Liki Tiki, the Jersey Cape. (The name comes from a Jimmy Buffett song and was “determined by a family vote,” he says.) “We’ve spent many days in Chub Cay blue marlin fishing, as well as making trips to Harbour Island and the other Bahamas islands,” he says. “Many of our days are spent in South Florida anchored out or chasing sailfish in the winter.”
Power comes from a pair of 540-hp Cummins diesels, giving the boat a top end around 40 mph. “A comfortable cruise is 28 to 32 knots based on sea conditions,” Newman says. Fuel burn at 28 knots is about 35 gallons. “The beauty of the boat is at trolling speed. You burn approximately 3 gallons an hour on a very stable platform.”
Newman keeps the boat in Pompano Beach and, like most Florida boaters, runs into a variety of coastal and offshore sea conditions. Handling the Jersey Cape is not a problem. “You have to keep in mind that it is only a 36-foot boat with a wide beam, so sometimes you have to pull the throttles back and be patient,” Newman says. “But it’s a comfortable boat.”
Newman’s made a few changes to the vessel over the years. “I wanted to add some features to make it my own and went to the Jersey Cape yard for the upgrades,” he says. “We added a teak deck as well as some other basics.”
The electronics were upgraded with a Simrad NSS evo3 multifunction display. Newman has two screens set up at the main helm station, along with radar and autopilot. “When we’re tuna fishing, radar is the number one tool, and you can say the same for the sounder when we’re bottom fishing.”
This season, Newman and his family plan to make some weekend trips to the islands and get “plenty of R&R,” as Newman puts it. The Jersey Cape continues to live up to expectations, he says. “Definitely.”
The Jersey Cape 36, also known as the Devil 36, is an all-out, unabashed express fishing machine that was born and bred along the south shore of New Jersey. The look is Carolina, with a noticeable bow flare and a distinctive broken sheer. Freeboard is high at the bow and low around the cockpit. The bridge deck is a step up, and the pod-style helm station is on the centerline. There’s a wraparound windscreen, and most boats are equipped with a hardtop and/or a tuna tower. Standard fishing gear includes in-deck fish boxes with macerators and custom drain systems, a molded sink/boat prep area and a cockpit deck plate for mounting a fighting chair. Tournament packages add a hardtop, tuna tower, standing platform, outriggers, a bait freezer and helm-chair air conditioning. Cabin conveniences include a dinette with a hi-lo table that converts to a berth. In the galley are a ceramic cooktop and a refrigerator/freezer, along with a sink, stowage and room for appliances. A settee on the starboard side converts to upper-lower berths. The head includes a vanity, sink and a shower.
Wayne and Genine Puglise founded and own Jersey Cape. Located in Lower Bank, New Jersey, the builder specializes in semi-custom center console, express and convertible sportfishing boats and sport yachts. The fishing-oriented line includes models 31 to 66 feet in length overall. Jersey Cape’s largest boat is the 66-foot Sport Yacht.
This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue.