Well known in performance-boating circles for his endurance-run adventures in the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Offshore founder Bob Barnhart currently has a 20-foot Sea Ray at his lakefront cottage in the countryside outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Purchased 15 years ago by the warm and gracious Canadian, it is the most-recent single-engine V-bottom he has owned.
“It’s been quite a while since I bought one of those,” he said, then chuckled, during a telephone interview this morning.
Bob Barnhart has an Outerlimits hot rod coming this summer to his lake house in Canada. Rendering by Stephen Miles Design.
“I figured it was time,” he said, then laughed again. “I’m going to keep it at the lake house and run it there all summer. I’m also planning to use it on Georgian Bay. I have a new trailer coming from MYCO so I’ll be able to move it around.
“My past boats have been poker-run boats,” he continued. “I don’t plan on doing poker runs in this boat. I have the Mystic (M4200 center console) for that. This boat is for keeping at the cottage and running on local lakes.”
Barnhart ordered the sporty sit-down model, which will be painted at Outerlimits with a color scheme created by Stephen Miles Design, in late 2020. He initially considered powering it with a Mercury Racing 520 engine, but based on feedback from the company’s Dan Kleitz and a Mercury Racing representative, he opted for the more-powerful 565 offering from the Fond du Lac, Wis., company.
Early in his decision-making process, Barnhart briefly considered outboard power for the 29-footer, which is offered in an outboard version as well as more-standard sterndrive form. But it was a fleeting notion.
“I used to have a Formula Boats 292 at the cottage with a pair of (MerCruiser) 496s,” he said. “I miss the sound of a big-throated inboard.”
Though his current 42-foot Mystic is called Predatorr 2.0 and his earlier 50-foot Nor-Tech V-bottom was dubbed Predator, Barnhart hasn’t chosen a name for the SV 29.
“I haven’t given that any thought just yet,” he said.