OFFICE ADDRESS: 5280 95th Street North, Suite 1, St. Petersburg, Florida 33708  |  TELEPHONE  Office: 727-391-7639  |  Email Captain Dave

Boat Repair Boat Restoration

Fiberglass Boat Restoration

Fiberglass Boat RestorationIf you're interested is in the restoration of a classic fiberglass boat, Captain Levi's is the home of seasoned professionals who not only excel in the area of fiberglass boat restoration, but also deeply care about preserving fiberglass boat history for future generations.

There are few things that can compare to the sense of pride and joy that comes from restoring and operating a Classic Fiberglass Power Boat. A restored classic fiberglass power boat that looks and runs as good, if not better, than the day she was built. There is something that is just mystifying about capturing the beauty and integrity of these classical well proven performance historical designed fiberglass power boats.

- Captain Dave

Captain Levi’s provides shop and Boat Yard Quarters for your Fiberglass Boat Restoration Project. Our base of operations is located in Pinellas county Florida where we service the 24 incorporated municipalities, including Belleair, Bellair Beach, Bellair Shore, Clearwater, Dunedin, Gulfport, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Kenneth City, Largo, Maderia Beach, North Redington Beach, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Safety Harbor, Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Beach, Seminole, South Pasadena, Tarpon Springs and Treasure Island. Our Mobile Fiberglass Boat Repair Service is not limited to the above area we have repaired Yacht's in Michigan, Ohio and New York. Now if your a do-it-yourself type or professional fiberglass boat builder or fiberglass boat repair shop, our fiberglass materials and supplies division stock's and ship nation wide all the fiberglass materials and fiberglass supplies that you will need for any fiberglass boat repair or fiberglass boat building project. At Captain Levi’s, we know that our staff must go the extra mile it takes in order for our customers to rate Captain Levi’s as Tampa Bay's Premier Fiberglass Boat Repair Service Center.

Captain Levi's recognizes the style and creativity of the original fiberglass boat designs from the 50's, 60's and 70's plus capturing the spirit of a time that has since past. These boats honor the pioneering minds that conceived and created these beautiful, never to be made again, classic fiberglass power boats.The world famous builders and their savvy designers still stand the test of time. If your a do-it-yourself type, Captain Levi's ships nation wide all the composite materials and supplies you will need for any fiberglass boat restoration project.

Regardless of the scope of the project, Captain Levi's has the resources at your disposal to fulfill your every need. At Captain Levi's, we believe product knowledge and hands on experience is two of our greatest assets, and our fiberglass boat restoration customers believe it too. Knowledge and experience that can work for you. Fiberglass boat repair and restoration have come a long way over the last 44 years and we have been there every step of the way. Again product knowledge of composite not only do we sell fiberglass materials and supplies we use them every day. Were are also in contact with the manufactures recognized around the globe for products designed by composite industry experts who are committed to uncompromising excellence.

Bertram, Cigarette Chris Craft, Donzi, Hatteras, Formula, to just mention a few, have built some classic fiberglass boats that are the top names for restoration.

Please browse through the pages of this site, read about our history and the boats we love, view our store and make us part of your crew.

The Bertram 31, built by Richard Bertram, launched Bertram Yacht, Inc. when it was introduced at the 1961 New York National Boat Show, essentially as a day boat for Florida sport fishermen. The 31 was in production for 25 years. More than three decades later, it is a collectible classic, sought-after, even coveted. According to Soundings aficionados refer to it as "Bertram Art." The Bertram 31 has aged well a tribute to its impeccable blood lines and robust construction. Few, if any, other boats have had such a profound influence on the design of power boats as has the Bertram 31. The first boat design to use a Deep-V hull, it is arguably the most famous modern boat design ever built, the 31 Bertram has achieved a near cult status, infecting boaters around the world. Designed by Ray Hunt.

This process is elegantly illustrated by Ray's development and perfection of the high-deadrise hull, the deep-V Instinctively, he knew the angle for the deep-V should be 24 degrees in race-boats and 22 degrees for less speedy hulls. And he knew that a rounded, bell-shaped V-point would ride softer than a sharp one. He understood the purpose for lift strips to promote planing and reduce spray. He got it all right. And the rest is, of course, history. Ray Hunt was a powerful, creative force in the lives of the hundreds of people his enterprises and inventions touched. He died in the summer of 1978, but the enterprises and inventions are still with us, and it is likely that they will be influential, indeed, a powerful creative force in themselves for generations to come.

Before the molds were finally retired, the company built 1,860 Bertram 31's over 16 years, including 23 special-edition models. The 31 came in four configurations. The original open Sport fisherman had a lower steering station and no aft bulkhead. The Fly Bridge Cruiser added a rear bulkhead. Bertram also offered the 31 as a hardtop and as an express cruiser, the Bahia Mar.

Bertram 28 was designed by David Napier 1n 1971. David added another degree of deadrise to the tramson than Ray Hunts 31 to 23 degrees deadrise added some more flare to her bow which made her a dryer ride than her big sister along with a little more rake to the bow.David Napier's design worked some 2800 of the 28 were produced until 1994 when Bertram stopped building the 28.

Bertram 20 Mopie was introduced in 1964 and Bertram produced over 1,300 20' Mopies in the first ten years.

Boston Whaler In production for over 50 years, the unique Boston Whaler boat has attracted an intensely loyal group of owners and fans. The "classic" Boston Whaler boat is any of the many boats descended from the original Boston Whaler style hulls offered from 1958 to present The Boston Whaler 13 (1960) was a stable utility boat, much loved by families for its stability (adults as well as kids could dive off the gunwhales without upsetting the boat) and unsinkability. This boat not only launched that builder as a major brand but created a whole new genre of desirable outboard tenders and coastal utility boats. Interestingly, Dick Fisher, the President of what would become Boston Whaler, had approached Ray Hunt to design a sailboat but Ray convinced him to use a newly developed foam construction to build an outboard boat instead. That 13-footer was a commercial success for several decades, followed similarly by the 16-foot Boston Whaler Montauk.

ChrisCraft  In 1955, Chris-Craft manufactured its first fiberglass boat The Chris Craft Cobra represented Chris Craft's first venture into fiberglass construction--the tail fin is made of fiberglass.  Only a little more than 100 Cobras were built, about 60 or so of the 21s, and even fewer of the 18s, and they sold for only one model year, 1955

The Scorpian line of boats, having started production in 1979, continued to be offered for the 1980 and 1981 model years. At this time Dick Genth started to look around to expand the line of sport boats.

Around 1973, Jean-Claude Simon, a former Ferrari racer, sold his home in France and moved to Miami where he bought the Cary Boat Company. Jean-Claude began to build boats based on deep-v fiberglass hulls and race them. The Cary Boat Company had a 26', 27', 29' and 31' deep-v hulls. The 31' hull had an increased freeboard for better handling in rough seas. Sometime around the late 70s or early 80s, Jean-Claude was approached by Bill Farmer of Excalibur boats. Bill wanted to use Jean-Claude's 31' hull, so he struck a deal to pay a royalty to Jean-Claude for each hull "popped" from the 31' mold.

Dick Genth, in his quest to expand Chris Craft's line of sport boats approached Bill Farmer. Bill was having money problems with Excalibur boats, so he and Dick approached Jean-Claude and offered to pay him a lump sum to buy the 31' mold. Jean-Claude agreed to sell the mold to Chris Craft with the caveat that he be listed as hull designer on each Chris Craft boat based on the 31' hull.

With this deal, Chris Craft began building the Stinger 312 and Stinger 390X models off of the newly acquired mold. The Stinger 260, on the other hand, was built off of the existing Scorpion 260 mold. The Stinger line of boats were a step above the Scorpians in terms of performance, and were the top-of-the line speed boats produced by Murray Chris-Craft.

Many people in the boating industry had a hand in designing and building the Stingers. According to an ex-Murray Chris Craft employee, Don Westermann was the original engineer that retooled the molds.  In 1983, Jim Douglas was brought in to design/style the entire sport boat line. Some of the original hulls were designed by Jean Claude Simon.

During the 1980's, Murray Chris-Craft began its racing program, entering various boats in races. Experience gained from these races went back into the production of the sport boat lines, including the Stingers. In 1984, a Stinger 312 piloted by Dick Genth and Ernie Smith (Chris Craft vice president at the time) won the 115 mile Golden Gate to Spruce Goose Race in California. Interestingly enough, Fountain also entered a boat in this race, built off of the same Excalibur molds as the Stingers.By 1986, 22 different Murray Chris-Craft boats were racing, including 31' and 39' Stingers.

The Stingers were a popular line of boats for Murray Chris-Craft. Entire model-year production would sometimes be sold out on announcement for a particular model. The Stinger began showing up in popular culture as well. A 312 Stinger Fittipaldi version was featured in the movie Tequila Sunrise, where it sadly gets blown up in the end. The television show Miami Vice featured a 1983 390X in the pilot episode, and 1984 390X in the first season. As many as 4 Stingers were used in the filming of Miami Vice.

The Stinger line of boats were produced from 1982-1989. There were many models built over the years, ranging in lengths from 20' to 41', with cuddy cabins or center consoles. The last Stingers were built in 1989 under OMC ownership.

Although the Stingers have been out of production since 1989, they still show up in unexpected places. Between 2006-2007, the now defunct website sponsored eBay auctions for what it claimed was one of the original Stingers used in Miami Vice. The listing price was $75,000. The boat was supposedly 100% restored. There is no information on what happened to the boat.

Donzi In 1964 Aronow debuted his first Donzi “Sweet 16” a boat with distinctive low-profile styling and a race-proven bottom. This boat would serve as the blueprint for Donzi models for years to come. Early Aronow designs included the Ski Sporter and the St. Tropez, and by the time Aronow sold the company to marine-accessories conglomerate Teleflex, the Donzi reputation as a fast boat with great lines was clearly established out of production since the 1990s, this historic model makes a return to the Donzi lineup in 2007

Danzi 18 2+3 is the longest model in production in Donzi line up 1965 to present and as such it has also seen the most incarnations.

233 Formula one of the most copied fiberglass boat designs.There owners claim the 233 FORMULA are the best riding 23 ft cruising/fishing fiberglass boat ever built! Designed by Jim Wynne back in 1962.This was Don Arnow's first race boat and in collaboration with Jim Wynne and Walt Walters they founded the FORMULA BOAT COMPANY. Don Aronow won the Miami Nassau in the 233 FORMULA back in 1962. The 233 FORMULA went on to win a number of Offshore races.

Hatteras Yachts, the legendary American yacht manufacturer based on the shores of North Carolina, was the early vision of Willis Slane. His foresight turned into reality when his first sport fishing yacht was introduced in  on March 22, 1960, in the town of High Point, North Carolina. Christened the Knit Wits, she was a 41-foot twin cabin sport fisherman with a 14-foot beam and a pair of 275-hp Lincoln V-8s. The response was enthusiastic and the Hatteras legend was born. In a testament to the ruggedness that has become synonymous with Hatteras Yachts, the Knit Wits is still in service today after a fishing career that includes service in the Gulf of Mexico and Piñas Bay, Panama.

All Hatteras yachts have solid fiberglass hull bottoms. The hulls are designed in modified-V shapes that result in a soft, stable ride – the renowned “Hatteras ride.” Most Hatteras hulls feature a double chine with hull side “step-outs” to help reduce spray while increasing interior space above the waterline.
Hatteras yachts exhibit quality in performance, construction integrity, mechanical engineering, interior design and exterior finish. Hatteras Yachts have received many awards for top tournament finishes.

Don Aronow built the Magnum 27’ and Magnum 35’ —then sold Magnum Marine, only two years later, to Apeco in 1968 who, continued Aronow’s racing tradition and developed the Magnum 28’,25’ and 38’, now called the Classics.

Magnum Marine in Miami, Florida, was founded in 1966, when Don Aronow built two hulls specifically for the offshore powerboat racing circuit. These two designs, with which he launched Magnum Marine, were the Magnum 27’ and the Magnum 35’; both went on to become World Offshore Champions in Open Class racing. To these two models, he added a 16’ ski boat, the Marauder and a 16’ Catamaran, the Missile. Aronow sold Magnum Marine to Apeco in 1968. Apeco soon dropped the Missile and Marauder boats and launched the Magnum 25’, 28’ and 38’. All the above models are now called the Magnum Classics.

Mako Marine

In the world of sport-fishing boats, one name has always stood above all others. The name is Mako. The reason is quality. This reputation began in the late 60's when Mako introduced a new breed of fishing boats…. the ''Center Console.'' The philosophy and vision with the first Mako boats right up to today was to build the finest boats possible for the serious angler. The early 17's, 19's and 22's came off the production line and gained immediate success. The company quickly realized that the popularity of the center console made it possible for the small boat angler to compete on equal terms with the large sport-fishing boats. What we see today is the direct result of the Mako marketing strategy of the 60's. The Mako 21 was put on the scene in 1978 it had a deeper V (19 degrees) than the Mako 22 and the 23 of the 1970's. This hull was made through 1983.

So how does a boat owner select a fiberglass boat restoration shop to entrust there classic fiberglass boat project too, who can you trust with your hopes and dreams? Who can you trust to transform your dream your vision into reality?

1.) They most have love for there craft and a proven customer satisfaction record.

2.) Next, is the company easy to deal with? Will this company make the transaction smooth and enjoyable? Will the company understand and support them throughout the purchase process, or will they be a big hassle to deal with?

3.) Cost Many boat restoration shops don't understand this hierarchy of buyers' values. They begin pricing their craft so low to gain sales that they can't afford to make it the best it could be then change the deal In the end, everyone loses.

For over 40 years Dave Holley & the crew of Captain Levi's have been building and restore the beauty and integrity of these wonderful historical crafts. We provide a full line of restoration services – from basic maintenance to full scale, show quality restorations. Our Criteria: 4 decades of experience in wood boat construction/restoration and the end result being award winning success!!

Captain Levi's fiberglass boat restoration project is a 1977 233 FORMULA one of the most copied fiberglass boat designs.There owners claim the 233 FORMULA are the best riding 23 ft cruising/fishing fiberglass boat ever built ! Designed by Jim Wynne back in 1962.This was Don Arnow's frist race boat and in collaboration with Jim Wynne and Walt Walters they founded the FORMULA BOAT COMPANY. Don Aronow won the Miami Nassau in the 233 FORMULA back in 1962. The 233 FORMULA went on to win a number of Offshore races. Captain say's this 233 Formula is worthy of probably 500 man hours of the fiberglass shops time $37,500 labor.Fiberglass Boat Buildings Materials, Engine and Outdrive, Electrical, etc., another $35,000.Budget $72,500.

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