The first time Massachusetts performance boater Fred Bennett met Dan Kleitz, the well-known sales manager for Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats, Kleitz was working a high school summer gig at Ocean Performance in Old Saybrook, Conn., in the mid- to late-2000s. Neither remembered each other when they crossed paths a couple of years ago at the Miami International Boat Show until Bennett, who hasn’t owned a go-fast boat for close to 15 years because life—mainly work and his two kids—kept him too busy, mentioned some of the boats he used to own.
The Bennett family’s new Outerlimits SL 41 is currently under construction at Rhode Island company’s facility.
“I knew of several of Fred’s boats—he had some really nice Cigarettes—but I did not know him well,” said Kleitz, who grew up hanging out at Ocean Performance as his parents kept their boats and ended up working there for a few summers before he went to college and landed the job at Outerlimits while enrolled at Roger Williams University. “I was at Ocean Performance all the time as a kid so it was cool to have that connection. He told me more about his boating history and also that he might be interested in getting another boat.”
Fast forward two years and Bennett now talks to Kleitz via phone or text several times a week, if not more. That’s because his family, which includes his wife, Meredith, son, Alex, and daughter, Jacqueline, has a new Outerlimits SL 41 V-bottom in the works at the Bristol, R.I., custom boat manufacturer’s factory.
The father-and-son part of the family (pictured below with Kleitz) was at the shop last Friday to see the carbon-fiber/epoxy hull “come out of the oven,” which is the two-day heating and cooling process that Outerlimits utilizes to facilitate the maximum strength of the epoxy and protect the boat from adverse reaction to environmental elements. They also checked out the core of the deck being fitted to the mold. Needless to say the two were extremely enthusiastic—as they have been with every visit so far to Bristol.
Outerlimits sales manager Dan Kleitz, left, was happy to have Fred (right) and Alex Bennett visit the factory last week to check in on the progress of their 41-footer.
“The Outerlimits’ build process is just incredible—to be able to watch it go from raw materials to a boat is pretty amazing,” said Bennett, who lives in Newton, just outside of Boston, but plans to keep the Outerlimits, which he is powering with twin Mercury Racing 700SCi engines and No. 6 drives, at his home in Boca Raton, Fla. “Working with Dan has been great, too. He keeps us posted with everything they’re doing. I’ve never experienced anything like the customer service Dan and his team have provided. They’ve even made it a fun family experience as we’re all involved in the process.
“When I met Dan at the Miami show in 2019 he was so nice and personable,” he added. “He stayed in touch and invited me to come check out the Outerlimits Factory Fun Run they did at the factory that year. There were so many people there and it was like one giant family. Everyone was so friendly. I knew then I wanted an Outerlimits. About a year later we bought the place in Florida so I called Dan and said, ‘I think I have to buy an Outerlimits.’ Between the technology, the design and the construction, I knew it was the right decision. We decided on the SL 41 because we love the overall look of it, the five steps and the interior layout.”
Check out the slideshow above for images of the boat being built. Photos courtesy Dan Kleitz/Fred Bennett
Bennett, who in the ’90s and early 2000s owned a few 38-foot V-bottoms from Cigarette Racing Team along with a 20-foot Cigarette, a 21-foot Scarab, a 27-foot Formula and a 34-foot Scarab, is excited about the power he chose for the 41-footer, which doesn’t have a name as of yet. He said he was considering the 565-hp engines from Mercury Racing, but determined that the 80-plus-mph cruising speeds, not to mention a 100-plus-mph top speed that was not guaranteed with twin 565s, with a pair of 700-hp Mercury engines was well worth the additional propulsion package costs associated with the robust drives, propeller options and rigging differences.
“I’ve been out of the boating scene for a while so we’re getting excited to be back in it again,” Bennett said. “We can’t wait to meet some new people on the water and of course get to know some other Outerlimits owners. I am so fortunate to be able to do this and have a family, including my son’s fiancé, Dinah, that wants to do it with me. I love fast boats—fast cars, too—and can’t wait to get out on the water in the Outerlimits.”
Editor’s note: Speedonthewater.com plans to follow the build of the Bennett family’s SL 41, which is going to be painted in-house with the deep-red Stephen Miles Design graphics pictured above.
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