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Eliminator 36 Daytona Transformed To Head-Turner

Two years ago, Tony Eyrich, a general contactor who lives in Phoenix, Ariz., with his wife, Suzie, bought a 2002 Eliminator Boats 36 Daytona catamaran. It was a boat that, Eyrich, a self-described perfectionist who previously owned a 32-foot Sleekcraft, a 28-foot Sleekcraft and a 25-foot Nordic, had always wanted. But it needed some updating.

And so began a yearlong renovation/repower odyssey for the good-natured 32-year-old.

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Captured during the 2016 Monster Bash event in October on Lake Havasu, Eyrich’s Eliminator 36 Daytona is at last a finished project. Photo courtesy Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images.

“For the money I have into my 2002 Daytona I could have bought a brand-new one or a DCB,” he said then laughed. “It’s the most expensive 36 Daytona in the world, I can tell you that.

“I would say I consider it done at this point,” he added then chuckled again. “But it’s kind of my nature that I’m never really done with anything. I like everything to be perfect.”

Eyrich’s renovation journey started simply enough: He didn’t like his 36-footers yellow-and-white color scheme so he decided to have a boat builder in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., re-gelcoat the cat blue, a color he thought he’d like based on a well-known and mostly solid-blue DCB Performance Boats M35 catamaran. Eyrich was, to put it kindly, less than pleased with the results.

“DCBs and Eliminator’s have different lines,” he said. “It looked horrible on my Eliminator. It looked like a big blue box.”

The 36-footer’s new blue hue was just its latest problem. According to Eyrich, neither of boat’s 500-hp engines—built locally in Lake Havasu City—never ran properly. They mysteriously shut themselves down and frequently “skipped.” Eyrich spent $30,000 trying to resolve their issues but never succeeded.

For a before and after look at the 36-footer check out the slideshow above.

When one of the engines finally detonated, Eyrich decided he’d had enough and bought a pair of 900-hp supercharged Paul Pfaff engines from the boat’s original owner “at a great price.” Phoenix-based Octane Marine, owned by Eyrich’s friend and fellow 36 Daytona man Charlie Brown, handled the repower installation.

But Eyrich still had the problem of a solid new gelcoat color he despised. Two painters, one local to Phoenix and another from the Pacific Northwest, provided the solution with painted “carbon fiber” panels and other accents that broke up the solid blue hull and deck in a way that pleased the owner. New color-matched upholstery from Main Stitch Upholstery in Lake Havasu City completed the package.

During the renovation project, Eyrich sought advice from and became friends with Bob Leach and Gary Schueller of Eliminator Boats in Mira Loma, Calif., and they advised him throughout the process. (The company will handle a few minor upholstery updates for the cat in the near future.)

“Honestly, I would have had them do most of the work at Eliminator if it weren’t so far away,” he said. “They were very helpful throughout the project.”

With his residential and commercial contracting business booming, Eyrich, whose AJE Construction firm sponsors the annual Monster Bash event as well as the Swoop Motorsports team, only has had enough time to run his 36-footer twice this year. But just because the now immaculate 36-footer is finished doesn’t mean Eyrich is done. In fact, he’s far from it.

“I’m building a house this year, which is a good thing because my big problem right now is storage,” he said. “I have seven cars, a coach and the Eliminator—and a three-car garage. So I have a lot of stuff in storage.

“When I get done with my house and have enough room, I’m probably going to look at a Skater,” he added. “But I won’t get rid of the Eliminator. It’s a great family boat, and it has a big following in Phoenix.”

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