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Impressive Donzi 38 ZX Project Boat Headed To Lake Cumberland Poker Run

For Illinois performance boater Brendan Egan, this week’s Lake Cumberland Poker Run held at State Dock Marina in Jamestown, Ky., is sure to be a fun-filled weekend as he and his fiancé are taking their significantly revamped 2006 Donzi Marine 38 ZX to the annual event for the first time. Let’s be honest, the event is enjoyable no matter what boat you’re in, but when your ride is a practically brand new 38-footer that is the definition of a “head turner,” you can expect to have an incredible time catching up with friends and making new ones at the poker run.


This 2006 model year 38-foot Donzi Marine V-bottom was recently given new life by the team at Boat Repairs Plus & BRP Marine Custom in Denver, N.C. All photos courtesy Brendan Egan and Chad Shutter

brpdonzi38sidebysideEgan, who lives in Northrbook and has owned three smaller Donzi models between 22 and 28 feet, plans to join Chad Shutter and the team at Boat Repairs Plus & BRP Marine Custom in Denver, N.C., at the poker run in Kentucky, with the purpose of showcasing the nearly two-year project that he and the team at BRP are extremely proud of—and rightly so.

“I got the 38 in the spring of 2017 mainly because I got the itch to go faster,” said Egan, who spends most of his time boating in the Chicago area. “I knew I wanted to make it my own, but then I saw what Chad and the guys at BRP did with his Donzi and another customer’s Formula that was pretty cool so I gave them a call. And now that the boat is done, I’m glad I did.”

In terms of projects, the 38-foot Donzi, which was powered by twin 525-hp supercharged Mercury Racing engines that have since been refreshed with a full top-end rebuild (a Whipple Superchargers ECU tune is coming this winter), is a pretty impressive one. It’s definitely one of the more extensive projects BRP has tackled to date. The custom contemporary paint job on the sides, deck and fairing is the most obvious upgrade when you see the before-and-after picture Egan put together (above, click to enlarge), but the interior features are absolutely magnificent.

Shutter and company installed MarineMat flooring with Donzi emblems in the cockpit and on the swim platform and constructed custom bolster seats with in-house-designed pedestal mounts as well as a new custom split four-person rear bench, all of which were covered by gray and blue upholstery with diamond stitching in the backrests and the Donzi logo in the headrests. The engine hatch sun pad was outfitted with upholstery to match.

Included in the interior transformation were new side panels, custom bow steps, cell phone storage with chargers, 11 cupholders and accent LED throughout, including cabin, dash and trim lighting to complement the blue underwater lighting that was added. A new JL Audio stereo system featuring three amps, two subwoofers, 12 speakers and removable rear deck speaker pods was included.

Check out the slideshow above for a combination of images from before, during and after the 38-foot V-bottom project.

Of course BRP redid the entire dash, which included new custom-painted panels at the helm and above the cabin entryway. Livorsi Marine instrumentation was grouped above the cabin door and on each side of the Simrad Go12 GPS display mounted ahead of the steering wheel. A Mercury Marine VesselView 403 display was installed ahead of the throttles and shifters, and new push-button accessory switches were included to operate everything in the boat. Everything was wired for SmartCraft compatibility as well.

Mechanically speaking, BRP re-rigged the entire engine compartment, added five new marine batteries and installed custom bilge lighting and engine lighting. The crew also removed both Bravo One XR drives, inspected them and replaced the gears.

“The reaction to this boat before and after the updates has been night and day,” Egan said. “People flag us down just to ask us questions about the boat. I boat pretty regularly with a group of guys and the boat was definitely the talk of the group this summer. And not just because it looks good, but because we made the boat more functional by adding a proper anchor holder, extra storage lockers, cell phone chargers and more. Chad also polished up the windshield and powder coated all of the metal hardware. I’m very happy with how everything turned out. So is my fiancé and that’s the important part.”

Egan added that working with BRP was easy and enjoyable—and that he’d work with them again—just not anytime soon as he plans to enjoy the Donzi for some time.

For those of you headed to or already at for the Lake Cumberland Poker Run, Egan’s gorgeous Donzi 38 ZX definitely deserves a closer look.

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