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Broadco Aces First Sea-Trial, More Tomorrow

Driver/owner Chuck Broaddus and throttleman/rigger Grant Bruggemann ended today’s first tests of their completely renovated (read the story) 40-foot Broadco Category 5 Offshore Racing team catamaran delighted with the Superboat-class raceboat’s performance. Bruggemann, who was joined by Broaddus in the Marine Technology, Inc., cat roughly midway through the 40-minute test session on Florida’s Sarasota Bay, said everything went flawlessly and without incident.

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Back in action—the renovated Broadco catamaran tested flawlessly for the first time on Sarasota Bay today. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“That’s the way it’s supposed to go, isn’t it?” said Bruggemann. “MTI did a great job. Now the boat is back at the shop (Grant’s Signature Rigging) and the guys are adding spacers to the drives for testing tomorrow. Chuck doesn’t fly out until tomorrow evening, so we should get going sometime between noon and 2 p.m.”

Perhaps the biggest question of the day for Broaddus and Bruggemann, who in less than two weeks will head to Key West, Fla., for the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships, was how they would adjust to their repositioning in the cat’s new cockpit. The driver and throttleman have switched sides with Broaddus now driving from the port side and Bruggemann throttling to starboard. (The throttles and shifters for the boat’s twin 750-hp Ilmor Racing engines are in a flat podium area adjacent to the starboard gunwale).

“We have so much more room now in the cockpit,” said Bruggemann. “And with the new flat deck and the rolled-down nose, our visibility forward is ten times better than it was.”

Bruggemann described today’s sea trial as methodical. It included everything from making sure the onboard and ship-to-shore communication systems were working properly to checking fluids between runs on the bay. With a successful test session under their belt, the team members opted to head back to the shop and make a few adjustments in advance of tomorrow’s sea trial.

“Chuck and I have done this before so it’s not as if we need to spend our time doing a lot of unnecessary speed runs,” said Bruggemann. “I don’t believe in burning up engine time for testing.

“The boat is fast,” he added. “We’ll be ready for Key West.”

Editor’s note: Look for an update from tomorrow’s test session on speedonwater.com late Saturday afternoon.

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