Powerboat racing champion Jerry Gilbreath made a career out of designing, building, and racing speedboats that were faster than some supercars. But when it came to Jefe, said Gilbreath, “I wanted to build a boat with today’s technology married to a mahogany, old-school look.” The result was a 34-foot gentleman’s-runabout speedster that redefines its genre. Jefe has a 15-degree-deadrise hull with a stepped transom and lifting strakes, as well as twin 400 hp MerCruiser engines and fuel tank positioned to achieve supreme balance. These features enhance fuel efficiency and nearly eliminate bow rise as the boat comes onto plane (which the boat achieves at just 10 mph). Instead of the straight shafts found on most true classics, Jefe uses trimmable MerCruiser Bravo One sterndrives. The hull, which was constructed by laying thin strips of wood on the bias and impregnating each layer with epoxy resin, has a base of western red cedar and three layers of African mahogany, and is much lighter and stronger than a standard wood hull. Thirty coats of clear finish cover Jefe, whose interior is based loosely on that of a Bentley automobile. This custom craft has spurred its builder, the Resort Boat Shop of the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho–based Hagadone Marine Group, to offer a line of similar boats.

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