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I’m a big fan of the boats designed and built by Winter Custom Yachts in Hubert, North Carolina. Tim Winter, the company’s owner and namesake, studied boatbuilding with a handful of Carolina sportfish builders, and that heritage shows in the larger boats he’s launched.

But Winter is the face of a new generation, and many of his creations step well outside the traditional Carolina sportfish box. Case in point is Ricochet, a custom, 38-foot high-performance center console that is sleek, modern and built to meet the particular needs of its owner.

From the onset, the boat was designed as both a yacht tender for VivieRae, and a luxurious platform for diving and fishing. Winter equipped the boat with a towing package that includes a reinforced bow with tow ring, twin solar panels to maintain the charge on Ricochet’s lithium-ion batteries, and CZone digital switching capabilities that can be monitored and changed remotely from the mothership while the boat is under tow. The bilge pumps are redundant and oversized, and there is a warning strobe to alert VivieRae when one of the automatic pumps is triggered. Oversized deck drains in the transom quickly remove any water that finds its way into the boat, preventing swamping in rough conditions.

Upon arrival at a new destination, Ricochet will spend most of her time whisking owners and guests to dive spots or to sample the area’s fishing grounds. Triple Release teak helm chairs provide comfortable seating while running. A “loveseat” in the bow is a unique solution that provides a cozy forward lounge area that also has stowage beneath it. There is a starboard cockpit dive door and a Garelick swim ladder that stows in the transom. The compartment inside the spacious console is adorned with satin-finished teak, a stainless-steel sink, stowage cabinetry and a Dometic freshwater head.

In the fishing department, a transom door makes bringing bigger catches aboard easy. The outriggers and center rigger and ample rod holders make setting a trolling spread a breeze. Inside the transom are a 50-gallon live well and three tuna tubes for larger live baits. The leaning post houses a slide-out Frigid Rigid cooler to chill fresh and rigged baits, as well as a tackle center with teak drawers, bait-prep areas and an integrated trash can. There is stowage for 5-gallon buckets in the cockpit. At the helm is a suite of Simrad electronics.

Rocking and rolling are kept to a minimum by a Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer located in the mechanical bilge with the battery bank. Triple 400-hp Mercury Verado 4-strokes provide power, and a set of Livorsi 1150 trim tabs keep the boat on an even keel. The Winter 38 comfortably cruises at around 40 knots, burning 0.9 gallons per hour, and has a top end of more than 50 knots. The boat holds 800 gallons of fuel in two tanks.

Ricochet is cold-molded, as are most custom Carolina boats. The wood framing and planking is faired and glassed into a rigid yet light hull form, and the fit and finish is spectacular. Ricochet is trimmed with a teak toerail and complimented by teak decking. Its gunwales swoop around the interior with toe kicks, and soft curves are everywhere you look. The gentle sheer accents the curves of the hull, while the flare assures you of the boat’s Carolina heritage.

The Winter 38 is a one-of-a-kind center console purpose-built for a demanding owner and a tribute to the art of custom boatbuilding by a master builder.

Go to for more information about this and other custom builds Winter has completed. They include center console, express, walkaround and convertible models from 24 to 65 feet.

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