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Commentary: Record Effort In Miami

From the world’s largest hamburger—55 pounds—to the most rubber bands in one ball—700,000—the Guinness Book of World Records is full of bizarre “accomplishments.” That Brad Schoenwald and the rest of team at Powerboatnation.com, a popular online community and content site dedicated to the powerboat community, managed to get a Cigarette Racing 38′ Top Gun V-bottom on the roof of the Clevelander Hotel’s outdoor bar for their party during last month’s Miami International Boat Show probably won’t get them into that venerable record bible. But in terms of effort expended not just to show 700-plus party guests a good time but to send a bigger message that the performance-boat community is alive, well and poised to grow, Powerboatnation.com’s effort was one for the books.

pbncomment1In the space of six days, this Cigarette 38′ Top Gun went from the top of the Clevelander Hotel bar roof to the Miami Boat Show Poker Run. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

Why put a 38-foot-long go-fast boat built in 2001 on the roof of a popular South Beach Miami hangout? Same reason you make a hamburger that can feed 200 people—because you can. A little more than a year ago, Schoenwald and company were spit-balling ideas on what to do for their second Miami Boat Show party. Next thing they knew, they were working with an even larger team of people—building engineers, crane operators and such—to figure out if the roof could handle the load and, if it could, how to get a boat up there.

But here’s what they didn’t count on. At the least minute, they discovered that the boat was too heavy for the “load point.” So with help from his friends at Brand X Hi-Performance Marine, Schoenwald pulled its twin Mercury Racing 500 EFI engines. Problem solved. The boat hit the roof and the partygoers raised it that Saturday night. End of story, right?

Not quite—because as the official Powerboatnation.com vessel, the 38-footer had to be ready for the Florida Powerboat Club‘s Miami Boat Show Poker run five days later. So the engines had to go back in the boat, which Schoenwald handled again with a little help from his friends at Brand X. Come Thursday morning, the boat was on the water for the poker run and full to gunwales with the Powerboatnation.com crew.

pbncomment3Out, in and in again—that’s the story of these Mercury Racing 500 EFI during the Miami Boat Show and Poker Run.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Six days is plenty of time to pull and reinstall a pair of engines in a go-fast boat. Fair enough. But when you include the small details of getting the engine-less boat on and off the roof of one the busiest bars in South Beach and managing a small army of models dressed in skin-tight powerboatnation outfits (OK, so that’s not rough duty) and a booth at the Miami show, the effort was—at least to my thinking—herculean. And all to send the message that that the performance-boat community is alive and well, and poised to grow.

pbncomment2And it all started because someone wanted to put a go-fast boat on a roof—and prove the go-fast world is alive and well, and ready to grow.

“All in all, it was simple—the engine removal and reinstall part, that is,” said Schoenwald, who at present is enjoying 30 seconds of downtime before he starts his next project. “The tricky parts were the logistics of the poker run, the timing of other obligations, and the lack of my most precious commodity, time. Finding bolts and parts was easy. Finding the time to put my hands on them was the hard part. To me, all of this is just a part of performance powerboating, and having a wrench in my hand is a wonderful piece of the whole experience. If only I had more time.”

Someone call Guinness and tell them to get ready. I have no idea what these guys will do next, but from what I’ve seen so far it could be record setting.

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