When I met Mike Bolin at the Shootout on the Strip during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout at the end of August in Central Missouri, he was on his way to get his first in-person glimpse of the restored 2006 Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats 39 GTX he purchased at the beginning of the year from Maryland Offshore Marine Center in Rockville, Md.
Mike Bolin's 2006 Outerlimits 39 GTX received an extensive makeover this year. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Upon purchasing the boat from Maryland Offshore’s Andy Imhof with assistance from Randy Hartmann, Bolin, who lives in Southern California, gave Imhof the green light to start updating the 39-foot V-bottom powered by twin 850-hp Mercury Racing engines, which was campaigned at a few events by the late Mike Fiore, who founded Outerlimits.
“I’d been looking for an Outerlimits and this 39 kind of fell in my lap,” said Bolin, who was going back and forth with his girlfriend, Lindsey Buff, on a name for the boat at Lake of the Ozarks and finally settled on Next Level last month before attending the Lake Powell Challenge in Page, Ariz. “I went to look at the boat and fell in love with its lines. I feel like Outerlimits has always been ahead of its time with its designs. We decided to keep it at Andy’s shop and let him clean it up.”
Check out the slideshow above for more running shots taken by Pete Boden at Lake of the Ozarks.
Imhof and company went to work on restoring the boat’s paint job—Bolin wanted to keep its original The Art of Design graphics, he just wanted the 39 GTX to look new again. Bolin also wanted the cockpit redone to a more modern style with current electronics and gauges, so Imhof handled the refit of the cockpit and enlisted the team at Waves and Wheels in Missouri to tackle the new upholstery, the rear seat reconfiguration and the cabin upgrade.
“Not only did we repaint the deck of the boat, we took care of a lot of touch-ups, painted the seatbacks and handled some additional paint work in the engine compartment,” Imhof said. “In the cockpit, we created new dash panels, which were challenging with all of the different curves and radiuses. We rewired everything and changed the layout of the gauges by eliminating many of them and adding a Garmin display in each dash. We also installed the engines, which were rebuilt by Tyler Crocket, and updated some of the rigging.
“We’re really happy with how it looks overall,” he continued. “Mike is too, and that’s what matters. If you look at the boat in a picture or from far away it looks pretty much the same, but when you look at it up close you can see we sharpened some things up on the paint and upped the pearl content so it really shines.”
The slideshow above includes some before and work-in-progress photos courtesy of Maryland Offshore.
Imhof and his crew also installed the boat’s new sound system powered by Bluave Marine Audio speakers and subwoofers with guidance from Justin Wagner, who owns Waves and Wheels as well as Bluave Marine Audio in Osage Beach, Mo.
“I’ve done several projects with Andy and his team—we work really well together,” Wagner said. “Although this was a detailed transformation, it was a lot of fun and a great project to be involved with. Mike had some specific ideas and we followed through with them. He’s a hands-on owner, but he paid Andy and I a big compliment when he said he’s never allowed anyone else to have as much creative control on a project as we did on this one.
“I think the boat came out really nice,” he continued. “We ended up upgrading a few things with the sound system after the Shootout. Now it has one of the baddest stereos I’ve ever heard. Overall the GTX is a great example of what we’re capable of doing.”
Not only did Bolin get to enjoy the boat during the Shootout festivities (including a photo shoot with speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden), he’s since ran it at the Lake Powell Challenge and is taking it to Lake Havasu City, Ariz., for this weekend’s Monster Storm Poker Run and the Rock the Docks event a week later.
The detail images of the Outerlimits 39 GTX included in the slideshow above are courtesy of Brad Glidewell Photography.
“It’s been fun seeing people’s reaction to the boat,” said Bolin, who owned a 36-foot Spectre catamaran and a 32-foot Commander V-bottom prior to moving to the Outerlimits. “Most people are blown away. From the material—I wanted a perforated vinyl to give it a European sportscar look—to the stitching pattern, I had a lot of input on the interior. I drew inspiration from Carlos Lafarga of Premier Marine Interiors and DCB—I love his work. I tried to be as hands-on as I could be between texts and Facetime. Overall, for me not being anywhere close to Maryland or Missouri, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I actually made some friendships for life from this project.”
Imhof, who is very proud of the boat and can’t wait to get back in it this week when he joins Bolin at the Monster Storm event for his first visit to the Colorado River-fed Lake Havasu, praised the V-bottom’s performance.
“The GTX runs really well with 850s; it’s a 120-plus-mph boat easily,” Imhof said. “It’s one of the only V-bottoms that once you get it up over 80, 90 or 100 mph doesn’t slow down right away when you pull back the throttle. It acts more like a cat and keeps gliding because it’s running so efficiently.”
After talking with Bolin again recently, it appears that there will be more work to come on the boat in the offseason, including a new windshield, new power and a new trailer. As is the case with most great projects, they’re never really done. One thing’s for sure, speedonthewater.com will provide a follow-up story once complete.
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