When Sunsation Boats released its first “Diamond Edition” 34 CCX center console in late July 2016, it captured significant attention in the go-fast boating community, especially during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout that year when the triple Mercury Racing 400R outboard-engine-powered center console ran 88 mph on the then-mile-long course. But the real attention-getter for the 34-footer was its appearance created by a wild custom interior from Waves and Wheels in Osage Beach, Mo., which was color-matched to its paintjob handled by Kustom Kolors of Marion, Ohio.
Melanie Martin wanted the Sunsation Diamond Edition 34 CCX, so she and her husband bought it. Now that its interior has been completely renovated, everyone involved loves it.
The boat eventually ended up in the hands of Alan Wise, a performance-boating enthusiast who lives in Nashville. Wise, in turn, sold it Terry and Melanie Martin, who live in Henderson, Ky. But Terry Martin needed convincing to make the purchase.
“It was an ‘MWI’ situation, meaning ‘Melanie Wants It,’” Terry Martin said, then laughed hard. “The blue matches her eyes.
“But I didn’t like the interior,” he said. “The boat had been fished from and was well-used, and the upholstery material—some kind of suede I was told—hadn’t worn well.”
Before they had its interior changed, the Martins ran the boat with friends in the 2021 and 2022 Kuttawa Cannonball Runs. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Smart and well-trained husband that he is, Martin sold the couple’s 42-foot Fountain and bought the 34 CCX in September 2020. Because his wife, who helps him organize the annual Kuttawa Cannonball Run in Kentucky with his friends, Jeff Hoefling and Stephen Miles, wanted it.
What Terry Martin wanted, however, was to update the center console’s interior as soon as humanly possible. So in September 2022, he reached out to Scott Bullock at Hytech Auto Trim, a booming custom upholstery business with locations in Illinois and Missouri. Bullock, in turn, found a slot for the interior update at his Illinois operation, but there was a catch.
The Martins needed to remove the boat’s entire interior, from its coaming pads to the lounge cushions ahead of the center console, and deliver it to Hytech Auto in one week. There simply wasn’t space in the Hytech shop for the entire boat.
“It wasn’t bad—Sunsation does a lot of good engineering in places most people will never see,” said Terry Martin, who as an engineering manager for Toyota automobiles, knows of what he speaks. “Everything unbolted pretty easily.
Enjoy images of the finished product in the slideshow above.
“Dealing with the bolsters is where Melanie came in,” he added, then chuckled. “We added a generator under the bolsters, so there wasn’t a lot of room to move down there. Melanie is a lot smaller than I am.”
Bullock finished the upholstery work before Christmas last year. Reinstalling the boat’s interior, Martin said, was easier than removing it as the couple knew how everything went back in place.
“And Melanie is the real bad-ass,” Martin said. “She jumped right in, installing panels, tightening bolts and ensuring the fitment was reinstalled perfectly.
“Scott did a phenomenal job,” he continued. “I told him I was going to use a local place to replace the SeaDek (flooring), and he told me wanted to do it.”
But there was another catch. The work had to be done at Hytech’s Missouri location. So in late December, Martin made the six-hour haul and dropped off the 34-footer.
Martin picked up the boat with its new MarineMat flooring on the cockpit sole in early February 2023. Though they haven’t had a chance to use it yet, he said he’s delighted with the center console’s now completely renovated interior.
“I am very happy with the work Scott did,” he said. “My mind has changed. It’s like a new boat.”
And now it’s also one that both Martins want.
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