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First Person: Inside The Team Provocative Paint Project

Not long after I purchased my slightly used Outerlimits SL 44 V-bottom, now called Team Provocative, from the Outerlimits factory in Bristol, R.I., I began to notice some problems with the paint on its deck. From what I could see, the paint was failing to adhere in a few areas. The trouble spots were small and easy to repair and limited to deck, but as time went by they got worse—the areas became larger and quite expensive to repair, especially when the repair area was in the middle of a graphic. In reality, the entire paint job on the deck was failing

As many people inside and outside the Outerlimits circle know, I have close ties with the Outerlimits factory. In fact my relationship with Mike Fiore, who founded the company, went further than the typical supplier-customer relationship. We were good friends.

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Thomas Kulesia of No Coast Design created the stunning design for Tuck’s 44-footer (click image to enlarge).

Mike and I explored many options for resolving the paint issue and had agreed on one of two scenarios: One being that Outerlimits would repaint the deck of the boat or the other being that they would give me a credit toward paint on a new boat

Then came the horrible tragedy at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout a year ago this month. We lost Mike and for some time my “paint issues” became irrelevant to me.

By winter, I was ready to address the problem again. I began to search for a painter. My first point of contact was Thomas Kulesia at No Coast Design in Elkhart, Ind. When I first approached Thomas, I believe I could just have the deck painted on the boat to match the existing paint job. Thomas was fantastic to work with and he quickly came up with a design that I liked that was simpler than the original, but blended perfectly with the existing paint on the hull sides.

The first paint outfit I reached out to didn’t work out and, in the meantime, I’d learned that the problem was bigger than the deck. The hull sides also needed to be repainted. So I went back to Thomas at No Coast Design and created a completely new graphic design.

Ready to roll with a design in hand, I still needed someone to completely execute it. So I contacted my friend Joey Griffin of Griffin Marine Automotive, and he told me about Art and Brit Lilly, the owners of Lilly Sportboats in Arnold, Md. I met with them and was confident that I had found the right company for the job.

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Lilly Sport Boats handled the paint application to perfection (click image to enlarge).

As soon as Art and Brit got the boat to their facility, they were on it like white on rice. They were diligent about keeping me updated on the progress and went above and beyond my expectations. They may not have the name recognition of some the other painters in the industry, but as you can see from the photos above they should be on top of the short list of quality shops

Now the boat is off to the best V-bottom rigger in the country—Brian Forehand at Marker 17 Mariine in Wilmington, N.C.—to have the engines and drives reinstalled, as well as for some and for propeller testing.

Through sheer luck, I put together the “Dream Team” of Thomas Kulesia and Britt and Art Lilly and Team Provocative is a stunner. Of course, having missed this season with it I’m eager to get my Outerlimits back on the water. But I’ve come this far and I know that Brian will nail set up. Not only does my boat look better than it ever has, I am confident it will run better.

Editor’s Note: A lumber company owner who lives in Smithfield, Va., Mark Tuck (far left above in the photo above) and his wife, Nancy, were instrumental in organizing the Outerlimits V-bottom Kilo Record event in April 2014.

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