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How to Restore a Boat:

Ben Johnson's 20ft Bertram

Meet Ben Johnson, the visionary behind Johnson Bros and Enterprise Marine who revitalized a classic 20ft Bertram. Renowned for his impeccable boat rebuilds in the marine industry, Ben's latest endeavor showcases his passion and skills for boating and craftsmanship.

Start with the Right Foundation

Ben emphasizes the importance of commencing a successful project with a sturdy base. Securing a reputable vessel with robust fundamentals was paramount for this restoration. Despite the Bertram's vintage, Ben was impressed by its durable fiberglass structure and well-maintained stringers, solidifying its status as a coveted gem in the boating realm.

Go-Fast Fishing

Tailored for exhilarating fishing escapades, Ben recognized the necessity of upgrading the outdated inboard engine. Through meticulous planning, he replaced it with a potent 350HP Suzuki, flawlessly mounted to a Dometic SeaStar Xtreme Jackplate. This strategic upgrade ensured peak performance and maneuverability on the open waters.

Power of Precision

The installation of the Dometic SeaStar Xtreme Jackplate demanded precision and finesse. Ben chose to Affix stainless plates to the transom, priming it for the substantial outboard engine. Not only did the jackplate provide versatile trimming capabilities, but it also facilitated seamless navigation in shallow waters, enhancing the vessel's adaptability to diverse conditions.

Navigate with Ease: Seamless Control

To complement the powerful engine, Ben opted for The Dometic SeaStar Power Assist steering system, offering effortless control even in demanding scenarios. Seamlessly integrated with an autopilot, this system facilitated fluid maneuvering and minimized torque steer, elevating the overall boating experience to new heights.

Ben's Restoration Tips

Ben knows a thing or two about boat restoration. Here he shares his non-negotiables if you’re looking to complete a boat restoration of your own.

  • Begin with a renowned hull to justify the investment.
  • Seek guidance from industry experts and hone your skills before embarking on the restoration journey.
  • Prepare for the time commitment and be considerate of your surroundings.
  • Ensure convenient access to essential components and meticulously test all systems.
  • Allocate a generous budget and anticipate unforeseen expenses.
  • Enlist professional assistance if required to ensure a successful restoration project.

Ben Johnson's revitalization of the 20ft Bertram is a great example of how to rebuild a boat. From meticulous planning to precise execution, every part of the project shows Ben's dedication to the craft. Follow his expert advice on how to restore a boat and you’ll be well on your way to completing your own boat rebuild.

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