Earlier this week Eliminator Boats pulled its latest 27 Speedster catamaran from the mold. The 27-footer, one of dozens built by the Mira Loma, Calif., company, is newsworthy because it’s the first one powered by a turbocharged 1,100-hp Mercury Racing engine.
Also of note, the 27 Speedster, which will be wrapped up and on the water this summer, is being built for Shane Gray, a recognizable name to anyone who follows the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Pro Stock driver for the Denver, N.C.-based Gray Motorsports team with Dave Connolly, Gray ordered his second 27-foot catamaran from Eliminator earlier this year after the company sold his previous 27 Speedster, which ran 105 mph with a supercharged 700-hp engine from Mercury, to a family from Canada.
Gray, who was preparing for week two—the New England Nationals in New Hampshire—of four straight weeks of competition in his Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro, told speedonthewater.com this week that he can’t wait to get his new boat. Gray lives in Mooresville, N.C. on the beautiful Lake Norman, and tries to get on the water whenever he isn’t on the road or in the shop.
“I loved my Speedster—it’s a perfect boat for Lake Norman—I just wanted more power,” said Gray, who has owned other recreational boats over the years, including some fast fishing boats. “So I talked to (Eliminator owner) Bob Leach and told him I’d buy a new boat if he could sell mine. I thought about putting a 1350 in it, but I decided to go with the 1100 because it runs on 89-octane fuel.
“I think Mercury builds a cool product—the twin turbocharged, quad-cam deal is a cool piece,” he continued. “The boat should run plenty fast—maybe 130 mph. Could we put more power in the boat? Absolutely, but do we need to? Not at all. I don’t care how fast the top-end is. Of course, I want it to run well, but I really want it to fly from 40 to 120 mph.”
Obviously the comparisons between his boat, which features striking gray, black and orange gelcoat graphics, and his racecar are nonexistent beyond the fact that both can go fast and use some substantial power to do so. Gray, who races alongside his younger brother, Jonathan, and followed in the footsteps of their father, veteran NHRA racer Johnny Gray, said he’d rather be in his boat any day of the week though.
“I really love boats—boats are a hobby and cars are what we do,” added Gray, who expressed interest in attending a poker run with his boat in the future, but it all comes down to his team’s busy racing schedule. Either way, Gray will surely find time this summer to get on his 27 Speedster. Speedonthewater.com—the newest Fan of Shane Gray on Facebook—plans to follow up and report back on Gray’s newest hot rod.