Skip Braver, the owner and CEO of Cigarette Racing Team and a guy I consider a friend, probably won’t love me for saying this, but I think the 50’ Marauder that was redone and repowered for the Miami International Boat Show and the Miami Boat Show Poker Run the following weekend rivals the AMG 46 Rider introduced the year before.
Don’t get me wrong—I appreciated the AMG boat. But what I appreciated most was that it represented luxury item cross-branding. Whether or not such branding will yield big results remains to be seen. Cigarette’s goal is putting custom high-performance boats in front of new audiences because, let’s face it, the current go-fast boat audience isn’t getting any larger. At least Cigarette is trying to do something about it.
So I applaud Cigarette’s collaboration with Mercedes AMG, just as I applaud its more recent collaboration on a 42-footer with Ducati motorcycles.
But the 50’ Marauder in full Lip-Ship dress with a pair of Mercury Racing 1350s? Oh baby. For me at least, it was a show stealer—at least in the V-bottom class—during the Miami Boat Show Poker Run. (Not sure why, but the boat went back to Miami after the Friday run.) Watching it in action reminded me of why Cigarette remains—all hype aside—an iconic brand.