As the founder of CK Motorsports in Nunica, Mich., and owner of the Cat Can Do Racing team, Keith Holmes understands that properly maintaining a boat’s sterndrives is a must. The 2014 APBA Extreme Division Offshore Powerboat Association National and World Champion also knows that maintenance alone can’t eliminate the threat of failure, especially when running a pair of 1,550-hp engines.
The Cat Can Do crew is excited to see how the DriveGuardian impacts its upcoming offshore race season.
“We pay special attention to the Mercury Racing SSM V1 drives on our 40-foot Skater Powerboats raceboat or we find ourselves quickly out of races,” said Holmes, who recently announced a sponsorship deal with Marine Design Corporation‘s Mike Clesceri to use the company’s DriveGuardian during the upcoming race season. “That’s why when Marine Design Corporation contacted us with the DriveGuardian solution, I was quick to jump, especially as we revamped our Sterling Performance engines to 1,700 hp with more than 1,400 foot-pounds of torque for the 2015 season.”
Clesceri, an avid powerboater who turned his frustration into a patented torque-limiting clutch that replaces the stock drive coupler or damper plate to reduce the torque spikes that occur when a propeller catches air and then re-enters the water, is excited to work with Holmes and his team.
“We want to see Cat Can Do take home another championship and we are excited to work with such a top-notch team,” said Clesceri, who is from the Chicago area. “Chicago has a very short boating season so when a drive breaks, our boating time is really impacted. Plus, the cost of repairs can add up quickly and be very frustrating.
“We installed the very first DriveGuardian on our boat in 2013,” added Clesceri, who in the process of creating the DriveGuardian launched MDC, which now includes DriveSync and other products in the works. “We were finally able to run the boat in just about any water and experienced our first season ever without a drive repair bill. Of course, the fuel bill was definitely higher, but that’s OK. We also had several race teams running them last season with great results.”
Clesceri said testing shows that the torque spikes can be two to four times the peak torque of the engine so eliminating these torque spikes obviously can increase sterndrive reliability. (For more on the product, download the November/December issue of Speed On The Water magazine for free.)
“We are excited to experience the DriveGuardian protection,” Holmes said. “Not too many products live up to the hype. We expect this one to exceed our expectations. We use products that increase time on the water, improve safety and keep our repair cost down. We look forward to our CK Motorsports mechanics installing DriveGuardian on boats we service as well.”
The Cat Can Do team kicks off its season in early June at the Lake Race (read the story) in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., and after a local event in Muskegon, Mich.—Chase Charity Powerboat Event (June 12-14)—the team will compete in five other OPA races including the OPA World Championships in Englewood, Fla. (Nov. 18-22). Most of the stops will include the team’s Cat Can Do Racing4Paws program (read the story).