Although his one-of-a-kind 43-foot Checkmate dubbed Punisher is in storage for the winter, Bill Reiffer of Grand Rapids, Mich., believes the stepped V-bottom, which was purchased for him by his wife, Monica a little more than a year ago, will top 100 mph in 2015. Based on 43-foot Chief stepped-hull tooling, the twin Mercury Racing 700 SCi, engine-powered boat produced a lackluster 85-mph top end when it hit the water for the first time in August 2012. A little more than a year later in October 2013, the boat’s then-new owners reportedly were able to get it to 94 mph.
According to Reiffer, the 43-footer saw additional top speed gains this season. The progress has him optimistic the boat can reach and even exceed the century mark next year.
“Ben Wiersum at Precision Power Offshore did some testing for us after we were finished with our last poker run this year,” said Reiffer. “He had the boat over 97 mph, but the cold and snow came early so we didn’t finish testing. We are very confident of finding a few more miles per hour, which will put us over 100 mph.”
According to Reiffer, the speed gains have been realized through modifying Punisher’s ventilated hull. The hull’s aeration system includes induction vents in the gunwales that feed a ventilation channel in the hull. Reiffer explained that the crew working on the boat has actually drilled additional holes in the “step faces” to increase ventilation.
“Our whole goal has been to loosen up the hull,” said Reiffer. “We’ve added extra vent holes. We’re being careful with the size and number of holes we’ve added because we think there might be a point of diminishing returns—we don’t want to loose the suction that comes through the gunwales and feeds the steps. We’re thinking of installing a gauge to monitor that pressure.
“We haven’t even played with props or X-dimension yet,” he continued. “But I’ve spoken to Brett (Anderson) at BBlades and I know we can find some improvements there, too. I am confident we can over 100 mph next season.”