CENTERED ON CUSTOM
Jupiter Marine Offers Impressive Options & Quality
Many production boat builders restrain customers to a set of options and possibilities when building a new boat. Then there are dozens of custom boat builders who would happily build a 19’ skiff or a 90’ sportfish to the exact specifications and desires of the customer, given they can accept the time and expense. But where’s the middle ground? For those who aren’t interested in a custom cold molded boat, but don’t want to settle for a cookie cutter production model, there are some great options.
A Rich History
Jupiter Marine was born in 1989 and bought by boating industry legend Carl Herndon in 1998. Herndon is the founder of Blackfin Yachts which were revered for their amazing sea worthiness and big boat amenities. He also served as the president of Bertram Yachts. Herndon and his team of craftsmen applied what they had learned with Blackfin and Bertram to the Jupiter Marine brand. Their breakthrough model was a 31 footer, which was pretty big for a center console back in the early nineties. It included an enclosed head, twin Yamaha 250 power and many other features. Like all Jupiters to follow, this center console was a true head turner.
From the start, Jupiter has always been incredibly customer focused. “We’re always willing to talk to the customer, change up the designs and help them build the boat they really want,” says Craig Herndon, Carl’s son and Vice President of Jupiter Marine. The brand offers a reprieve from the standard options sheets of their competitors and takes pride in tailoring their boats’ features, appearance, layout and amenities to the customer’s specific desires.
Ready, Set, Customize
When a customer is ready to build their new boat from Jupiter Marine, they don’t just sit down with a salesman and a brochure. Typically they have an engaging conversation with Carl and his team about how they plan to use their boat and what options and customizations matter most to them. Before the hull is ever laid up in the mold, all options and customizations are finalized with the customer, CAD drawings are produced, and the engineering team designs a scope of work and timeline for the build. Scheduling of new builds, regardless of the level of customization, is a rather intensive process as the Jupiter team must keep their 5 production stations flowing smoothly to maintain their eight week build windows.
Jupiter’s custom options go way beyond a sheet of paper with check boxes on it. No matter the customer request, they will do their best to accommodate it, and chances are they have done it before. Powder coated tubing, custom hull colors, real teak decks, dive doors and even Seakeeper gyro stabilizers are just a few of the common add-ons. And most of that’s just on the surface. Below deck on the 38 Cuddy and 41 Express, the interiors are fully customizable with different woods for the flooring and cabinets, solid surface options and colors for the counter tops, different appliance configurations in the galley, and even customized berth layouts and sizes. National Sales Manager Mike Adams says, “Everything down to the towel rod in the enclosed head can be optioned specifically by the customer.”
From the Ground Up
While the hull form on each Jupiter is identical, the similarities usually stop there. For example, when a customer options a Seakeeper, high density foam support beds are laminated and reinforced with aluminum to provide a mounting surface for the gyro. From here, additional wiring harnesses and load banks are incorporated and certain items may need to be relocated to counter the weight of the Seakeeper. Customers can customize the tankage on their Jupiter, opting for additional fuel capacity, or in some cases, request a generator which requires a separate tank for diesel fuel. All these customizations are implemented in the earliest stages of laying up the hull, and continue through the process until the day the boat is ready to roll out of the plant.
Once the hull is removed from the mold, it looks rather plain and featureless because Jupiter does not use gelcoat. On-site is a large paint booth and a massive supply of polyurethane topcoat, which Jupiter’s spray technician has been applying with great results for over twenty years. This extra step in the process allows Jupiter to offer a massive color collection to their customers, including custom metallics. It also allows them to custom match the paint color of superyachts that many of the boats they build are intended to serve.
Tender Loving Care
Jupiter Marine gained a reputation for building top quality yacht tenders from the very beginning. Herndon recalls the third hull they built was a highly customized tender for a megayacht, and literally hundreds have been built since then. Matching paint colors on the hull of a Jupiter with the paint on her mothership is only the beginning. “We built a Jupiter 34 for an owner who had 4 other Jupiters in his fleet, but he needed this one to fit inside the tender garage on his yacht. We worked closely with the ship builder and incorporated a folding T-Top and lifting points in the hull for a gantry crane.” That was in addition to a beautiful full teak cockpit. “When that tender was loaded into the garage there were 9 inches of clearance overhead and only 4 inches of space between the front and back of the boat,” Herndon tells us.
One of Our Own
It’s not just end-users who are having fun spec’ing out their dream boat with Jupiter, lucky dealers get to dabble it in too. When Bluewater’s management team first laid their eyes on a customer’s new 38 Cuddy, they were excited to sit down with Herndon and his team to build a jaw-dropping boat for Bluewater’s next inventory boat. By the way, that 38’ Cuddy was customized for the customer with a teak deck, T-Top, tower, hydraulic outriggers and diesel genset.
Bluewater has ordered a Jupiter 34, and an abbreviated list of her customizations will include a white powder coated T-top frame, hand rails and rod holders, metallic hull paint, dive door, flush-mounted electronics and white triple Yamaha F300s. It will also feature one of Jupiter’s newest offerings—diamond pattern stitched upholstery.
To say this boat will be a head turner is a major understatement, and the companies look forward to wowing prospective buyers with it. The mission is to ply the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic ICW stealing the gazes and hearts of boat lovers along the way.
“Working with Bluewater Yacht Sales is an absolute treat,” Adams exclaims. “They are pure professionals and very big-picture oriented. Their sales team is incredibly experienced and led by Jan Boone, who’s career has been built on customer relationships and building boats that fulfill their desires and dreams.” Bluewater’s relationship with Jupiter Marine may still be in the early stages, but both companies anxiously look forward to a long-lasting partnership and friendship. Both Jupiter and Bluewater greatly enjoy offering their customers a truly unique and top quality experience from the moment they first shake a customer’s hand.