Earlier this year speedonthewater.com reported on the new catamaran Arizona performance boaters Mark and Jennifer Schouten had ordered from Marine Technology Inc., in Wentzville, Mo. Fortunately I was on hand in Boyne City, Mich., when the Schoutens got to take the boat out for the first time with MTI owner Randy Scism by their side on Saturday during the 15th annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run.
Mark and Jennifer Schouten head out in their new 43-foot MTI with Randy Scism during Saturday’s 15th annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Michigan. On-water images by Jason Johnson and inset aerial images (click to enlarge) by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Technically Scism took them out on Friday afternoon when the couple arrived in town, but it was for a brief run up and down Lake Charlevoix to make sure everything was working properly since Scism, his good friend Bob Bull, who was in town with his 48-foot MTI, and a couple of other MTI crewmembers were installing new tailpipes from Custom Marine Inc. on site Friday morning because the first set of pipes didn’t fit exactly right.
And no, I didn’t get to ride in the sweet 43-foot cat powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350/1100 engines, but I did get the chance to look over the boat and see it running in the poker run on Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan. I also got to interview the Schoutens, who have owned five different DCB catamarans over the past 15 years, during the awards party—and it’s clear that they are looking forward to testing the waters at different events across the country in the near future.
“We probably never would have come all the way up here to Michigan for an event because it’s so far from home, but when the opportunity presented itself because of the timing of when the boat would be finished, the team at MTI made it happen and we showed up,” said Mark, who named the boat El Gato Patrón, the same name that graced his gorgeous red DCB M41 Widebody powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines that was on the cover of the Speed On The Water 2016 Year In Review magazine. “We’re glad we came—this event is pretty incredible. It’s been another experience that boating has given us to see a different part of the country. The best part is they have big trees, not saguaro cactus.”
Mark paused then laughed, and then Jennifer chimed right in.
“For Mark and I, we decided to take on this new adventure with the goal of traveling a little more with the boat and doing some different poker runs to experience new towns and meet new people,” Jennifer said. “Our kids are getting a little older so we’re hoping we’ll have some more free time.”
It was clear by their wide smiles that they were very happy with the MTI after a day of boating in the catamaran that featured an MTI paintjob that was designed by Stephen Miles Design in Owensboro, Ky.
“The boat exceeded our expectations,” Mark said. “The overall design and workmanship that went into it and how much effort Randy and his team put into making everything happen by taking creative ideas and turning them into something real and cool, is amazing.”
Mark added that he knew he wanted the dual fuel option engines when he first saw the Mercury motors at MTI in a 43-footer the company was preparing for the 2018 Miami International Boat Show.
“The 1350/1100 engines are perfect, especially for ocean boating when you can’t guarantee what fuel will be available,” Mark said. “Here at Boyne getting fuel wasn’t an issue but we could have gotten gas wherever and not had to worry about it, which is a nice feeling.”
The new El Gato Patrón MTI looked pretty sitting at the docks in Boyne City, Mich.
Mark said the boat is headed from Michigan to their home lake—Arizona’s Lake Powell—for a few weeks before returning to Missouri for the annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and Super Cat Fest. Then it’s back to Arizona for the 10th anniversary of the Lake Powell Challenge with—most likely—a trip to Florida in November for the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run after that.
Between Lake of the Ozarks and Lake Powell, I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to ride in El Gato Patrón with the Schoutens (hint, hint).