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The beachable Calypso skiff

Steve Parks recently rebooted his Palm Harbor, Fla., business after a five-year hiatus, and his Calypso Classic 23 made its first public appearance at the Suncoast Boat Show this past spring.

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Parks shut down his boatbuilding operation during the recession, but he’s back and has already sold his demo boat. “Our owners appreciate the throwback look, especially the upswept bow,” he says. “Every boat is a one-off, truly custom. We sit down with each customer and find out exactly what they want.”

I drove a prerecession customer’s boat, powered with a 75-hp Yamaha. It tops out at 35 mph and cruises at about 28 mph. Mileage is good: about 6 mpg at 25 mph. That demo boat is powered with a 70-hp Yamaha and gets about the same performance numbers.

A long and narrow hull makes for a smooth ride in a chop; you drive from a center console. Parks builds the boat using cored composite construction. She’s 22 feet, 10 inches overall, has a beam of 6 feet, 7 inches, and weighs 1,150 pounds.

The boat I drove has a transom bench seat, a two-person helm seat and cushioned wraparound seating in the bow. At the owner’s request, Parks built the backrests for the helm and transom seats of teak, and he rimmed the coamings with teak, too. A stainless steel bow rail tops the sweeping sheer line. It all makes for a classic look, so the Calypso Classic 23 is aptly named.

The base boat with a 70-hp Yamaha 4-stroke is $29,000.

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August 2013 issue