Eight weeks after reporting on veteran offshore racer Gary Ballough’s new pleasure boat—a 32-foot Victory Team-built catamaran based off the Dubai-based company’s outboard-powered raceboat—speedonthewater.com caught up with the Florida boating enthusiast to find out how the boat, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing 300R engines, did during its shakedown test last week.
Offshore racer Gary Ballough recently started testing his 32-foot pleasure boat from Victory Team. Photos courtesy Gary Ballough
“The boat ran 112 mph at 6,000 rpm on our first pass,” said Ballough, who tested the 32-footer with TNT Custom Marine’s John Tomlinson near the TNT facility in North Miami. “I am sure it will run a few mph better with the motors adjusted and a bit smaller-pitch 34” propellers. The props we had were a bit thick, but for the shakedown run they were fine. Honestly, I don’t really care about a big number—it’s a charter boat so, for me, 100 mph is perfect.”
Ballough enlisted—as he normally does for his boats—the dependable team at TNT Custom Marine to handle the rigging for the twin 300-hp engines as well as the Latham Marine steering and Garmin display monitors. And, as usual, he was pleased with the results.
“The guys at TNT did a great job—as they always do—rigging the new boat,” Ballough said. “They had it for five days and when it was ready to be splashed, there were no hiccups; just off it went.
“The ride of this boat is something special,” he continued. “If you ever get a chance to ride in one, you’ll know right away that Victory got it right. It’s smooth, fast and safe. I took it 120 miles down to Stiltsville from Boca Raton last weekend via the ocean and ran it 80 to 100 mph the whole way back. It was nice enough on the outside to let it run, and it just puts a smile on your face. Victory Team was kind enough to build me this one-off of its 32-foot raceboat hull, which is the same as the FJ Propeller boat I campaign, with the team’s 27 cockpit. My thanks to all at Victory for a wonderful boat.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the 32-foot Victory-built cat.
Besides the ride, Ballough, who shared several photos of the understated black-and-white catamaran, pointed out one of his favorite parts of the boat as he described the small custom V-shaped accessories panel. Below the six push-button switches and above the two key switches, the ignition switches were labeled with “Yallah,” which means “Go” in Arabic.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience,” Ballough said. “Sue and Brian from SeaDek were on time and very professional, just as they were on the last boat they did for me. Ron (Muller) from Electronics Unlimited supplied the Garmin and the tunes—he’s one of the full-time sponsors of my raceboat as well. Mike (Mears) from Fineline Marine Interiors did the seats and his team’s work was amazing as usual.”
Ballough added that he’s eager to continue testing the boat soon, which in turn may even help him in terms of setting up his Super Stock-class raceboat.
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