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Bob Fuller, Master Craftsman  +  Halifax, Massachusetts  +  781-248-6446

Renovation: 45' MV TWIST

Converting a 45' commercial lobsterboat into a European lobsteryacht.

MV Twist lobster yacht in Mediterranean, Italy Loading image. Please wait
MV Twist lobster yacht in Italy, Mediterranean MV Twist lobster yacht MV Twist lobster yacht MV Twist lobster yacht MV Twist lobster yacht sea trials MV Twist lobster yacht Twist being loaded on freighter for Europe MV Twist lobster yacht 45' lobster yacht in the water prior to renovation wooden fishing boat Hazel W III wooden fishing boat Hazel W III wooden fishing boat construction 1973 Hazel W III wooden fishing boat construction 1973 Hazel W III lobster yacht nameplate lobster yacht helm lobster yacht helm lobster yacht galley lobster yacht table hydraulic tailgate transom / swim platform hand pump for hydraulic transom boat hydraulic transom tailgate 45' lobster yacht transom MV Twist lobster yacht MV Twist lobster yacht MV Twist Downeast boat MV Twist helm MV Twist lobster boat deck MV Twist building lobster yacht cabin MV Twist building new lobster yacht cabin 45' lobster yacht renovation 45' lobster yacht renovation 45' lobster yacht windshield 45' lobster yacht renovation 45' lobster yacht engine stringers 45' lobster yacht engine stringers 45' lobster yacht engine stringers MV Twist boat profile drawing
Twist on the Mediterranean
Twist at dock on sea trial day
Flying her Swiss flag
Loading onto freighter at Newport, RI, bound for Genoa, Italy
Hazel W III before start of renovation
Hazel W III loaded with mussels for Fulton fish market in New York, 1981 (photo courtesy of the Wilcox family)
Hazel W III mussel dragging, 1990 (photo courtesy of the Wilcox family)
Hazel W III construction by Donald Wilcox with son Albert, 1973 (photo courtesy of the Wilcox family)
Hazel W III construction, 1973: strip-planked Philippine mahogany over white oak (photo courtesy of the Wilcox family)
Twist nameplate
Helm, with original 1973 compass (rebuilt & rechromed)
Galley with European appliances
Dining area, converts to berth
Full-width hydraulic opening tailgate transom/swim platform
Safety manual hand pump for tailgate transom
Hydraulically operated opening transom
Preparing the transom rabbet for the hydraulically operated folding transom tailgate
Teak detail
Teak detail
(photo courtesy of the Wilcox family)
Sheathing the hull sides with fiberglass cloth and epoxy
Windshield layout for the new composite pilothouse and trunkcabin
Constructing composite cabin
Constructing composite cabin
Installing engine stringers for new Caterpillar C-9 500 hp diesel
Hull after removing pilot house, trunk cabin, wash rails, and cockpit floor
Drawings & CE standards documentation by Bob Turcotte Yacht Design



See also the Downeast Boat Forum, "Grand Lady Reborn" for more photos and details about this unusual rebuild project.

LOA: 45’
Beam: 14’-7”
Draft: 4’-6”
Displacement: 27,000 lb
Hail port: Basilea, Switzerland
Hull: mahogany edge nailed over oak frames. Sheathed with West System and Awlgrip
Trunk cabin/pilot house/ top: Composite construction and Awlgrip

Twist, originally Hazel W III, was designed and built in 1973 by Rhode Island boatbuilder Donald Wilcox and his sons. Her strip-planked Philippine mahogany over white oak hull was still in excellent condition after 38 years of mussel dragging, research, and lobstering with the Wilcox family in Narragansett Bay. “The condition of the hull was like new, it was a testament to the Wilcoxes and their attention to detail and construction techniques,” said Bob Fuller of South Shore Boatworks.

The Wilcoxes put the boat up for sale in 2011. Dr. Megevand, a sixth-generation Swiss surgeon, saw the boat online and fell in love with the lines. He asked Fuller to look it over and bought it sight unseen when Fuller reported the boat's excellent condition. Dr. Megevand named the boat Twist as a nod to the twist of destiny turning a hard-working New England fisheries dragger into a day-yacht cruising the Mediterranean and the canals of Europe.

Twist was gutted and beautifully rebuilt, highlighted by gorgeous custom teak deck, foredeck, and interior. The hull was sheathed in West system fiberglass and Awlgripped for a svelte and shiny finish. Modifications were made to meet CE standards under the direction of naval architect Bob Turcotte of Bob Turcotte Yacht Design. The European regulations required quite a bit of complex paperwork and it took 6 months to acquire the boat's Swiss registration. Lines drawings and stability testing were documented, and other requirements included a fixed fire extinguisher system, lifeboat with hydrostatic release, EPIRB, and a second dinghy (inflatable). Marine electrician John Crobar of Kingman Yacht Center wired the boat with a European 230 V 50 hz system and installed the Raytheon electronics. Nate Tynan of Windward Power Systems repowered the boat with a 500-hp Caterpillar C-9 engine modified to CE standards. Talented builders on the project team include John Karbott, Michael Bryant, and Richard Wilmore.

Other special features include a full-width hydraulic tailgate transom/swim platform; a desalination unit that produces 40 gph of freshwater; original 1973 compass, rebuilt & rechromed; and a large graywater tank since discharge is not allowed in the Mediteranean. Jeff Kent of Composite Solutions, Inc., provided custom carbon-fiber components, including a folding mast which accommodates bridges in Europe's canal system and allows the mast electronics to be serviced from the cockpit. Accommodations include a V-berth, double berth down to port, dining table that converts to berth, 2 day beds on deck with overhead bimini, galley up with a Techempex Italian-made electric galley stove and 13-cubic-ft. capacity icebox, and head with shower. All materials and equipment are incorporated to be easily serviceable in Europe.

When Twist was completed, Al and Ernie Wilcox piloted her from Massachusetts back to Wickford Harbor, RI, where she had fished for so many years. She attracted a lot of attention, especially when she started flying the Swiss flag after receiving her registration. She was freighted out of Newport, RI, to Geneo, Italy. Fuller and Tynan travelled to Italy to commission the boat and cruised with Dr. Megevand part of the way to his family's vacation home in Croatia.

Engine: Caterpillar C-9 500 hp
Gear: Twin Disk 506
Reduction : 2.05/ 1
Shaft: Aquamet 22 1 Ύ” dia
Prop: Michigan 26x26 4 blade
Cruise speed: 10. 5 kts
Top speed: 15.5 kts
Fuel consumption: 9.3 gph

Fuel tanks: Aluminum, 236 gal capacity in 2 tanks
Generator: Northern Lights 5 kw. 230v 50 cycle
Steering: Hydroslave hydraulic with custom teak steering wheel
Rudder: Manganese Bronze
Bow Thruster: Side power 24 volt
Windlass: Lofrans 24 volt
Windows: Bomon Aluminum framed