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100-mph Chaparral Project Update: Interior Progress

Although Chris Uzzolina, a longtime powerboat owner and BMW technician in Charlotte, N.C., admits with a chuckle that he may have been “a little off” in his estimated completion date of May 2013 for the restoration of his 23-foot 1986 Chaparral Villain III sportboat—he expected the project to take three months and his boat to be ready for the summer—the project is still moving forward. And while he long ago abandoned his initial plan for the boat to actually reach 100 mph (the early name for the project raised enough eyebrows to stick), he’s still excited about the project.

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Uzzolina is going with a poker-run-style interior for his 23-footer. (Click image to enlarge.)

“The boat is having its interior and complete rigging done by Boat Repairs Plus in Denver N.C.,” he says. “It’s a family operation, which is great. Chad Shutter does all the graphic design and interior structure work, Bonnie Shutter does the vinyl work and Bob Shutter is the rigging master. It has been a fun and long road with this project, and if it weren’t for the crew at BRP I truly don’t know if I would have made it through.

“Not only have these guys been working their butts off during boating season, they have taken the time to show me and let me participate in this build, which means many late nights and weekends have been going into this,” he adds. “The engine is installed and plumbed. The wiring is being done now and the interior is being finalized. The boat will have more of a ‘poker-run-theme’ interior than a standard, ‘plane-Jane-style’ interior.”

Realizing that his vintage Chaparral would not be finished in time for the 2014 boating season, Uzzolina purchased a 1993 Formula 303 sportboat powered by twin MerCruiser 454 Magnum engines. He says he is hoping to have his fully restored and upgraded 23-footer ready to go for the 2015 season.

“I’ve been wrong about my dates before, but I’ll commit to that,” he says, then laughs. “It’s been an evolving project. It went from simply restoring and fixing the boat and making it go faster to a complete and total renovation project. Every new thing costs more money, so I have to pace myself. But I would rather have it take longer and get it the way I want it than be in a rush.”

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