Florida Powerboat Club members saw a lot of the Project 1080 Cigarette sportboat in 2019. That’s because the 38-footer, which was built in 2000, completely restored inside and out and repowered with twin Mercury Racing 540 engines in 2018, belongs to Stu Jones, the head of the Pompano Beach, Fla., event-producing outfit. With Jones at the helm, the 38-footer served as the paceboat at most FPC events last year, and will again this year.
Restored and repowered, a vintage Cigarette sportboat transported poker-run impresario Stu Jones and his family on a coast-to-coast New Year’s week adventure (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But Project 1080 served its highest purpose—as the Jones family fun boat—during New Year’s week as Jones, his wife, Jackie, and Tyler and Max, their 16- and 14-year-old sons, used it to cross the state for an eight-day vacation. Two days after Christmas, they kicked off a family boating adventure that took them north from Pompano Beach to Stuart, where they turned west and headed across the Sunshine State to Fort Myers. Along the way, they negotiated several locks and crossed Lake Okeechobee, albeit with a stop at the famed Roland Martin Marina and Resort for lunch. From there, they followed Caloosahatchee River into Fort Myers.
They reached the Gulf of Mexico at 4:30 p.m. that day and still had to get to Marco Island, where Jones had arranged lodging in advance of the Fort Myers Offshore New Year’s Fun Run the following morning.
“Jackie and I have crossed the state in a boat before, but the boys had never done it,” said Jones. “They made it quite clear that they would be happy to do it as long as they go to do a lot of driving. And they did. They’re both very competent boaters—the both took the U.S. Coast Guard Power Squadron course in addition to all the seat time they get with me and Jackie on Project 1080.”
Editor’s Note: A complete feature on the Jones family adventure will appear in the upcoming November/December 2019 Speed On The Water digital magazine.
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