Boat enthusiasts who own classic models like the Fiberform Bermuda Series or the Uniflite 36 Double Cabin know the unique joy these vessels bring. However, maintaining such beauties can often feel like a race against time. Parts for older boats, including those for Apollo 32 Sportfisher or Sun Runner 310 Classic, are not always readily available, making repairs and upkeep a significant challenge. 

This is where custom machining steps in as a savior. By allowing boat owners to order tailor-made parts, even for discontinued models like the Prowler 45 or Tollycraft 26, custom machining offers a lifeline, preserving the legacy and functionality of these cherished vessels. This blog post explores how custom machining revitalizes classic boats by providing essential parts that are otherwise hard to find.

The Challenge of Discontinued Boat Parts

Owning a classic boat, like the Sun Runner 310 Classic or the Uniflite Salty Dog, is akin to possessing a piece of maritime history. But with such ownership comes a significant challenge – sourcing parts for maintenance and repair. As these models age, manufacturers often discontinue parts, turning simple repairs into complex quests. 

This scarcity is not just about the rarity of models like the Apollo 32 Sportfisher or the Tollycraft 26 but also about the compatibility and quality of available parts. Mass-produced alternatives may exist, yet they often fall short in terms of fit, functionality, and aesthetics, leading to subpar repairs that don’t do justice to these classic beauties. Thus, boat owners are left in a bind, needing parts that simply aren’t available off the shelf.

oceanfront boat part

Custom Machining: The Solution

What exactly is custom machining, and how does it offer a lifeline for boat enthusiasts? Simply put, custom machining is a process where parts are crafted based on specific designs and dimensions, tailored precisely to the customer’s needs. This method stands as a game-changer for owners of models like the Prowler 45 or the Fiberform Bermuda Series.

Benefits of Custom Machining:

  • Precision and Fit: Unlike off-the-shelf parts, custom machined components are designed to fit perfectly, mirroring the original specifications of boats like the Uniflite 36 Double Cabin or Sun Runner 310 Classic.
  • Quality and Durability: Custom parts are often of higher quality, made with superior materials and craftsmanship, ensuring a longer lifespan for the repairs.
  • Restoring Original Functionality: For boats such as the Apollo 32 Sportfisher and Tollycraft 26, maintaining original functionality is crucial. Custom parts help preserve these features, keeping the boats as close to their original state as possible.

By turning to custom machining, boat owners can bypass the frustrations of searching for discontinued parts, ensuring their cherished vessels continue to sail with pride and reliability.

retro boat parts

Case Studies

The real-world impact of custom machining becomes evident through specific examples. Let’s dive into a few case studies that showcase how this innovative solution has revitalized classic boats.

  • Uniflite Salty Dog: A Uniflite Salty Dog owner faced the challenge of a damaged propeller shaft. With no replacements available, custom machining crafted a new shaft, perfectly matching the original dimensions and material, restoring the boat to its former glory.
  • Prowler 45: The owner of a Prowler 45 needed a unique rudder design that was no longer in production. A custom machined part not only replaced the old rudder but also improved on the original design, enhancing the boat’s steering capabilities.
  • Tollycraft 26: This classic required specialized deck fittings that were nowhere to be found. Custom machining produced exact replicas, maintaining the boat’s aesthetic and functional integrity.
  • Fiberform Bermuda Series: An owner struggled to find a replacement for a complex engine component. Custom machining stepped in, replicating the part with precision, ensuring the boat’s engine ran smoothly once again.
  • Sun Runner 310 Classic: Here, the challenge was replacing outdated cabin fixtures. Custom machined parts not only matched the original specifications but also offered upgraded materials for better durability.

These cases illustrate the versatility and effectiveness of custom machining in addressing diverse and specific needs, proving invaluable for maintaining the integrity and functionality of classic boats.

up close boat parts

The Process of Ordering Custom Machined Parts

Navigating the world of custom machining may seem daunting at first, but the process is straightforward, especially with online machine shops offering easy-to-use platforms. Here’s a step-by-step guide for boat owners looking to order custom parts for their beloved vessels:

  • Identify the Need: Whether it’s a part for a Uniflite 36 Double Cabin or a component for a Tollycraft 26, clearly identify what you need.
  • Design and Specifications: Provide detailed drawings or specifications of the part. If you’re not able to create these yourself, many machine shops offer design services to help.
  • Choosing the Right Material: Depending on the part – be it for a Sun Runner 310 Classic or Apollo 32 Sportfisher – select the appropriate material that offers durability and suitability for marine environments.
    • 304 Stainless Steel: Common in marine fittings, it’s less corrosion-resistant than 316 but more cost-effective.
    • 316 Stainless Steel: Known for superior corrosion resistance, ideal for chain plates, cleats, and hull fittings.
    • Marine Grade Aluminum: Offers good corrosion resistance and is lightweight, used in some hulls and deck structures.
    • Carbon Steel: Less common due to rust issues, but sometimes used in structural components when properly coated.
  • Request a Quote: Submit your design and specifications to the machine shop. They will provide a quote based on the complexity and material requirements.
  • Review and Approve: Once you receive the quote, review it carefully. Ensure all your requirements are met before approving.
  • Manufacturing Process: After approval, the machine shop will begin the custom machining process, crafting your part with precision.
  • Delivery and Installation: Upon completion, the part will be delivered to you. You can then proceed with installation, either by yourself or with professional help.

This streamlined process makes it easier than ever for boat owners to get the parts they need, tailored exactly to their requirements, thus overcoming one of the biggest hurdles in classic boat maintenance.

Advantages of Custom Machined Parts for Boat Enthusiasts

Investing in custom machined parts offers several long-term benefits for boat enthusiasts, especially for those with classic models like the Uniflite Salty Dog or the Fiberform Bermuda Series. Here are some key advantages:

  • Enhanced Durability: Custom parts are typically made with high-quality materials and precise manufacturing processes. This means they often outlast mass-produced alternatives, providing a more sustainable solution for boats like the Prowler 45 or Tollycraft 26.
  • Perfect Fit and Functionality: Since these parts are made to the exact specifications of your boat, such as the Apollo 32 Sportfisher or Sun Runner 310 Classic, they guarantee a perfect fit. This not only improves the boat’s functionality but also preserves its integrity and value.
  • Personalization and Aesthetic Appeal: Custom machining allows for a level of personalization that mass-produced parts can’t match. Whether it’s matching the original aesthetics of the Uniflite 36 Double Cabin or adding a personal touch to the Sun Runner 310 Classic, custom parts can enhance the overall look and feel of your boat.
  • Cost-Effectiveness in the Long Run: While the initial investment might be higher than off-the-shelf parts, the longevity and quality of custom machined parts can make them more cost-effective over time. This is especially true for boats where replacing parts frequently is neither feasible nor economical.
  • Preservation of Boating Heritage: For classic boat enthusiasts, preserving the originality and heritage of their vessels is paramount. Custom machined parts play a crucial role in this, ensuring that boats like the Fiberform Bermuda Series and Uniflite Salty Dog continue to sail with their historical essence intact.

cnc machined boat parts

Retrofitting is in Style

The journey of maintaining a classic boat, be it a stately Uniflite 36 Double Cabin or a sleek Sun Runner 310 Classic, is filled with challenges, particularly when it comes to finding the right parts. Custom machining emerges as a beacon of hope in this journey, offering a practical, efficient, and quality-driven solution to a problem faced by many boat enthusiasts. It extends beyond mere replacement of parts; it’s about preserving a piece of history, maintaining the legacy of models like the Tollycraft 26 or the Prowler 45, and ensuring these magnificent vessels continue to navigate the waters with their original spirit and charm.

As we’ve explored, the benefits of custom machined parts – from their perfect fit and enhanced durability to the personalization they offer – are invaluable. For those grappling with the dilemma of maintaining their classic boats, custom machining is not just an option; it’s a pathway to keeping their nautical dreams alive and sailing.

So, whether you’re a proud owner of an Apollo 32 Sportfisher or cherishing the timeless elegance of a Fiberform Bermuda Series, remember that custom machining is your ally in preserving these treasured vessels for years to come.

Visit to craft or submit your design or send us a part and explore all the options you have at your fingertips, at both starboard and port.


Share this post in Social Media