on Local Knowledge
Long before he built his first boat, Epic Marine
owner/designer/builder Edward Pic spent every spare minute he had somewhere on
the Gulf of Mexico or Tampa Bay with a fishing rod in his hand. And while his
objective was ultimately the catch, he spent a lot of time coming up with ways
to make his boat a better fishing platform.
“I caught some fish but I spent a lot of time trying to
turn my boat into the ultimate fishing machine,” said Pic, who has more than 25
years of experience in metal and fiberglass fabrication and engineering. “I
think now, with the EPIC 23, I’ve got the perfect hull for building the boat
that will do it all.”
Pic started Epic Marine in 2007, a logical evolution to a
growing side-business that spawned from his ability to build, fix or improve
anything and everything boat-related. What started with the occasional
fiberglass repair for a friend eventually became custom hardtops, fuel tanks,
engine brackets and in 2012, his first hull build, the EPIC 17. The EPIC 17 is
reflective of Pic’s building ethos of space age-strong, light and simple. With
an eight-foot beam and a 90 horse power outboard, the boat can fish three guys
and their gear all day in 10-inches of water. . .and still cruise at 45 miles
per hour. It is these same ideals of efficiency and fishability that dictate the
design and construction of the EPIC 23.
“We’re taking a hull that is capable of doing anything and
everything a local fisherman wants to do and building it with the latest and
greatest space-age materials and technologies,” said the St. Petersburg native.
That means no wood. That means ultra-light, ultra-strong
composite construction throughout. That means vacuum bag technology in all
Pic is a blur as he commands production at his 10,000
square foot shop in central Pinellas County. He has his hands in every part of
the build, from mold prep to chop-gunning to glass grinding, working at least
six and often seven days, a week.
“I love what I do and look forward to building boats for a
long time,” said Pic. “But like everyone else in the fishing community, I really
love the days I get to shut it down and go fishing. Which is where my motivation
to build a better boat originally came from.”
To get a glimpse into Edward Pic the boat builder, one must
only take a look at the three decades of work he has done as a designer and
builder of custom wheelchair lifts for pick-up trucks. He’s set new benchmarks
in truck lift technology and put handicapped sportsmen behind the wheels of
vehicles that they were once told they would never drive. His innovation and
drive to constantly improve upon the industry standard is directly reflected in
his vision for the EPIC 23.
The result is a spacious giant of a center console. . .a
23-foot hull that is nine-feet, six-inches wide yet floats in 10 to 12 inches of
water and can be run efficiently with as little as 115 horses or as many as 200.
This is a hull that is just as functional creeping up on a school of flats-bound
redfish as it is pursuing Gulf-side kingfish and grouper. And even more
important than its inshore-offshore duality is the thoughtful yet simplistic
design details that reflect Pic’s ingrained desire to build a better mousetrap.
“We’re taking all those little things that every fisherman
loves about their boat as well as all the little things every fisherman hates
about their boat and simplifying the wheel, so to speak,” said Pic, whose
network of consulting minds runs the gamut of local guides and hardcore
fishermen. “I’ve spent a lot of years picking the brains of guys I consider to
be both great fishermen and thinkers. . . which ultimately helps me build a boat
that is easy to maintain and a joy to use. I want people to love their boats for
a long time, not be a slave to them.”
Hatches for livewell and bilge pumps are spacious and easy
to access. Electrical systems are designed for flawless operation in the worst
of conditions while making things like changing a fuse or a pump as simple and
straight-forward as possible. Plenty of below-deck storage allow you to haul all
the gear it takes to catch fish both inshore and offshore yet keep it out of
sight and out of the way.
“It ultimately comes down to the fact that we’re a bunch of
lifetime local fisherman building what we consider to be the perfect boat for
doing everything the bay and gulf have to offer – By Fishermen, For Fishermen.
It’s as simple as that.”
For more information, email us at:
Also please visit: www.epic23.com for
more pictures and information about our custom 17ft and 23ft Flats/Bay boats we
hand build. Thank you.