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Bringing A Cross-Border 300R-Powered 32 Doug Wright To Life During The Pandemic

Good things come to those who wait. And, in the case of this story on the lengthy process that Canadian performance boaters Brian and Erica Modde endured to get their new Doug Wright Designs 32-foot catamaran despite pandemic-implemented border closures and travel restrictions, that’s especially true because it also took way longer than it should have for me to showcase the Modde family’s twin Mercury Racing 300R-powered beauty here on the site. So let me apologize for making the Moddes, who took delivery of the cat in June 2021 and ran it for more than 30 hours prior to reaching out with the story idea in early November, and all of the speedonthewater.com readers wait so long to read about the build. Hopefully it’s worth the wait.

Canadian performance boater Brian Modde is thankful for his 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 300R engines, not to mention everyone who helped throughout the build process. Photos courtesy Brian Modde

First, jump back a few years to 2019 when the Moddes entered a poker run on their home waters of Lake St. Clair, which sits on the border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the state of Michigan, and quickly realized that their Eliminator Boats 25 Daytona catamaran powered by a 540-cubic-inch Whipple-supercharged Eddie Young engine making approximately 950 hp was no match for the lake’s four-foot, wind-whipped chop.

“As we finished the poker run with clenched fists and a few bruises, we decided it was time for a bigger boat,” Brian Modde said. “As a long-time catamaran enthusiast, I always admired the Doug Wright brand, but due to three small children and other personal commitments, convincing my wife that it was a ‘family friendly boat’ was easier said than done. So, after the run, I started my research and sought out opinions from like-minded individuals I knew from around here and several Facebook ‘friends’ I’d never met in person. Through those conversations, I not only made several lifelong friends, but made the decision to purchase a six-seat 32-foot Doug Wright with the 300R engines.”

Modde said he ordered the boat with help from Florida performance boater—and Facebook friend—Paul Chandler, who had purchased boats from the Melbourne, Fla., builder in the past. He added that Scott Porta of Porta Products assisted throughout the build process, even picking up the boat after the beautiful Doug Harrell Designs paintjob was completed and shrink-wrapping it before it shipped it to Illinois where another one of Modde’s Facebook friends, Illinois’ Kirk Jurinek, was going to rig the boat, which also was being outfitted with a gorgeous interior from Steve Mousa and the team at Mousa’s Auto & Marine Interiors in Jacksonville, Fla.

Fortunately for Modde, Jurinek had recently completed rigging his own 32 Doug Wright with the same power in 2020 and was on board to tackle another one.

“If it weren’t for the pandemic, things would have been wide open and the whole process would have been much easier—and I would have been way more hands on,” Modde said. “I could have gone to Doug Wright, gone to the interior shop to pick out colors and fabrics, and gone to Illinois to work with Kirk on the boat. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and the process was kind of stressful. Fortunately, I had a lot of people step up to help, going above and beyond expectations. It helped that we had FaceTime and text and email communications to pick stuff out, make sure measurements were correct, order parts and all that. In the end, it was worth it. I know that ordering a boat from a dealership would have been a lot easier—the story just wouldn’t be as good.”

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Check out the slideshow above for more images of the Modde family’s 32-footer.

Modde can smile about the process now, especially that he’s been able to spend some time in the boat with his family and begin to see what its capabilities are from a performance standpoint, but he still remembers how nervous he was before he got the boat.

“After a year and a half, a global pandemic, hundreds of phone calls, video chats and text messages, and a lot of assistance from my new USA friends, my boat arrived,” he said. “I had chosen every aspect of this project sight unseen and was fearful of the outcome. My choices were made based on images, color swatches, paint design renderings, fabric samples and internet images. When delivery day arrived and my shipper pulled in, I was speechless. The boat was more beautiful than anything I could have ever imagined; I could not believe it was ours.

“Over the past several months, I have taken the opportunity to speak to other Doug Wright owners and several world champion drivers to seek their assistance to ensure maximum efficiency within its setup,” he added. “I can’t wait to get back in it this season and start testing some different props. I’m not bragging, but I have been told this boat is one of the fastest stock pleasure 32 Doug Wrights with 300Rs. Although this process was tedious and stressful at times, I would not change one aspect of this boat. And I’d highly recommend anyone who is looking for quality, speed and comfort to purchase a Doug Wright.”

Modde said the boat’s Mercury Racing 300R engines are mounted on hydraulic Porta brackets equipped with Marine Design Corporation TrimSync functionality. He added that out of the box, the 32-footer went 110-plus mph and that he’s since had it up to 117 mph but expects to get even more out of it with further testing.

Beyond dialing in the boat and enjoying it with his family, Modde, who has owned five other Eliminator Daytona models with sterndrive and outboard power throughout the years as well as boats from Baja Marine, Four Winns, Sea Ray and more, is also looking forward to physically meeting everyone who helped on the project this year—maybe on his home lake or possibly on a trip to Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks.

“I’d like to meet everyone who had a hand in this project to shake their hands and share my gratitude,” Modde said. “The boat is so cool; I don’t even know how else to describe it. It rolls right up on plane, it cruises at speed extremely well and the fuel efficiency is pretty amazing.”

In conclusion, Modde shared a special thanks to those who helped with the project, no matter how big the task—Doug Wright Sr., Doug Wright Jr., Doug Harrell, Kirk Jurinek, Paul Chandler, Joe Perog, Scott Porta, Denis Goraczniak, Steve Mousa, Mike Eggleston, Christy Wright, Billy Moore, Dave Roy, Shawn King and Jason Ritter. Without all of them, his dream boat might still be a dream.

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