Between his roles as the man in charge of Lilly Sport Boats shop in Arnold, Md., and the doting father of Stella Rogue, his almost-two-year-old daughter, Brit Lilly is busy and only getting busier as the 2022 offshore powerboat racing season approaches. And as he preps to defend the 2021 American Power Boat Association/Union Internationale Motonautique Stock V-class World Championship he earned with teammate Kevin Smith in their home-built LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness raceboat, he knows it’s going to get even busier between now and the APBA Offshore National Championship series-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla. (May 19-22).
Despite running the Stock V post-season table in his LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness raceboat last year, Lilly is working to make the 29-footer even more competitive this season. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But as it is for most owners of successful small-businesses, eight-hour work days don’t apply for Lilly. Truth be told, they haven’t applied for a very long time.
Example? After he and his wife, Amanda, took Stella Rogue to her pediatrician yesterday morning, Lilly went straight to the shop—and was there by 8:30 a.m. Within five minutes, he was checking the previous day’s work he did on a new Stock V raceboat he’s building for Speed Marine team owner Kyle Miller.
“The hull and deck are finished and all the bulkheads fit perfectly,” he said. “Now we have to glass in the fuel and ballast tanks, and then we can fit the deck.
The new Speed Marine raceboat is getting closer to completion at Lilly Sport Boats.
“We have another new Stock V raceboat in lamination now for a racer who doesn’t want his name used,” he continued. “And I’m helping out Obed Sanchez, our in-house painter with the build of a new Bullet 130 with carbon-fiber panels. I am supposed to be ‘supervising’ but I’m having trouble keeping my hands off it.”
Lilly paused to laugh. “If people don’t stop buying raceboats, I don’t know how long it will take to build a pleasure boat,” he said.
The veteran offshore racer also has begun to prep his own 29-foot raceboat for the season. Lilly and Smith went five-for-five with 2021 post-season victories in back-to-back events in Key West and Englewood Beach, Fla. Still, Lilly explained, there is room for improvement.
“You know, it wasn’t the same in all five races at the end of the year,” he said. “Some were easier than others. But everything is coming together. We’re dialing in the CG (center of gravity) and changing a few things on the transom. We’re adding longer stand-off boxes, switching up some steering components and we’ll be experimenting with props. I have three propellers of every pitch with different diameters and rake angles.”
Lilly’s former raceboat will be piloted by Travis Pastrana and Jim York this season.
Despite losing his Miss GEICO ride in the middle of the 2021 season when the team shut its doors, Lilly’s childhood friend Travis Pastrana—arguably one of the best-known extreme motorsports competitors on the planet—will be back in the sport this season in Stock V class. He’ll be joined in Lilly’s former raceboat, now dubbed Twisted Tea/Pit Viper, by Jim York.
Earlier this week, Pastrana stopped by the LSB shop to visit his friend.
“He was here the other day and told me how he can’t wait to beat me,” Lilly said, then chuckled. “I told him that was pretty much impossible—I think my exact words were, ‘Yeah, that’s not going to happen.’
“I’ll take him out before I let him beat me,” he added, then laughed again.
Said Lilly, “If people don’t stop buying raceboats, I don’t know how long it will take to build a pleasure boat.” Photo by Coleman McGowan