Call him John, Johnny or simply “J.T.”—by any name, John Tomlinson of TNT Custom Marine in Miami arguably is the most talented throttlemen in offshore racing history and one of the most knowledgeable setup guys in the high-performance powerboat word. Kind and soft-spoken, Tomlinson, who founded TNT Custom Marine with partner Mike Thomas in 1984, has a work ethic and resume that just won’t quit.
What does a legendary throttleman and setup expert most often have as his personal boat? The answer might surprise you. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
From his multiple offshore racing world championships—most recently with the Performance Boat Center team—to his courageous Lake of the Ozarks Shootout performances during the years, Tomlinson has become legendary in the high-performance powerboating community. He’s forgotten more about setting up and driving go-fast boats from the likes of Skater and MTI than most people will ever know.
And yet he’s never owned a model from either of those two venerable catamaran builders.
“I can’t afford them,” he said, then chuckled. “So I’ve never had one of my own.”