WMO Boat Spotlight: Ultimate Weapon

Name of owner: Steve Niewoonder, from Kalamazoo 

Name of boat: Ultimate weapon II 
 
Make, model, year: 1996 fountain lightning twin step staggered
 
Length: 42'
 
Power: Twin Mercury 1000 sc #6s

How long have you owned it?
Bought the hull in oct 2012.

Ultimate Weapon before T&D Custom Painting!

Ultimate Weapon before T&D Custom Painting!

Is this your first boat?
No, I Have owned: 28' checkmate single 454
                               28' formula twin blown 383's
                               35 lightning twin 1000sc's #6s

At what port would we find you on a nice summer day?  
South Haven

Would you rather hammer down and crush waves, take a leisurely cruise up the coast, or raft up in a cove?  
To be honest we do both.

What’s the top speed?
It makes 112 now but the longer you let it eat the more you get :)

Any recent projects?
Other than the complete rebuild I have just been tuining in drive height,added Air /Fuel gauges, etc.

Before and after pictures of the trailer

Before and after pictures of the trailer

What’s interesting or unique about it?  
I purchased the hull as an extremely stripped bank repo in oct of 2012. No motors, drives, transom assembly, dashboard, steering, or electrical. It was even sitting on the wrong trailer. Then I removed all the power, transom assemblies, drives, and steering from my 35’ lightning (which was extremely overpowered by the way, but that's another story) and began completely stripping the 42 and replugging the transom for #6s and relocating the motormounts. Then began the bodywork and paint project. Myself and Dave Schaefer of T+D Custom painting did all the paint at my house in my hanger. He would work all day and I would take over at night and do the night shift. Together we had the hull painted in 7 weeks. That's everything - hull, dash, fairing, transom, even underside of swim platform. 1000 man hours, 18 gallons of material, 5000' stripe tape, 3000' of paper, 95 rolls of tape, all in 7 weeks. After paint was rebuilding the correct trailer. I purchased a rotten saltwater Myco trailer from Lake Cumberland Marina. Started with a blow torch, removed all the rotten parts, and made new. New bunks, wiring, brakes and sandblast/paint. After that came the motor refresh. That went fairly easily. Just a refresh. Then the task of motor installation and rigging. Every single bolt, hose, mount etc, was new. The scoop installation was a rather difficult project as the hatches already had domes but in the incorrect location. To fit them, motors need to be installed and removed at least 6 times before it all worked. Then it’s transom installation and driveshaft fabrication for port motor. I even had to build a custom driveshaft cover. Then steering system construction and complete custom dash build. I purchased a used dashboard and ordered all new autometer gauges in the ultra size and configuration I wanted then built it from scratch. Install the throttle/shifter controls that were removed from my 35. New throttle and shifter cables along with indicator cables and built custom dash indicators. I had the Stelling headers from my 35 but they would only work for the starboard motor so the search for a nice set for the port side was another challenge. After I found them it took 3 weeks of fabrication to build the tail pipes. O my god that was a project. Pipe fabrication and drilling the exhaust holes in the newly plugged and painted transom !!!!! Not fun. I removed the existing rotten cockpit interior and wood and had all new built to match the hull stripes that ended at the dash and began again at the swim platform. New cockpit and cuddy carpet and a 12 speaker 2800 watt JL audio stereo that will literaly make foam in the water at the back seat. In the cabin I rebuilt the head and plumbing and had all the leather restained as it was moldy and filthy. As far as I was told the boat spent approximately 4 years sitting outside uncovered after the bank repossessed it and it showed. I had it in the water by June of 2013 and since then I can honestly say its been an enjoyable experience of tweaking and tuning.  Something you’re never really finished with but that's also the part I enjoy.