If you walk into the Grant’s Signature Racing shop in Bradenton, Fla., you’ll spy a slew of outboard and sterndrive engine replacement jobs in progress, as well as a few empty transoms and engine compartments awaiting new power. That’s because the majority of what’s currently happening in the famed rigging, service and powerboat renovation outfit involves new power.
Repowering a 38-foot Skater Powerboat catamaran with Mercury Racing 1100 engines is one of several ongoing projects at Grant’s Signature Racing.
“As Mercury Racing keeps moving forward with great new engines, there’s no reason not to repower when you’re ready,” said Grant Bruggemann, who is a certified Mercury Racing dealer. “Repowering boats is a very good side of our business.”
Such projects have been coming in from near and far. On the far side there is a canopied 43-foot Doug Wright catamaran dubbed Purgatory, which currently is kept by its owner in the Cayman Islands, that Bruggemann and his team first rigged in 2010 and hasn’t had in his shop since. Now the cat is back in Bradenton with refreshed Kasse Racing engines ready to go back under the hatches once its engine compartment is re-rigged.
There’s no shortage of work—large and small—for the team at Grant’s Signature Racing.
On the much-closer-to-home projects side, Bruggemann and his crew are repowering the 32-foot Doug Wright Powerboats CELSIUS catamaran, which is stored at throttleman Ryan Beckley’s Kinetic Animation graphics business just a few clicks down from Grant’s Signature Racing. Team owner/driver Chris Hopgood tasked Bruggemann to replace the 32-footer’s Mercury Racing two-stroke 300XS outboards with four-stroke 300R models as well as take care of some carbon-fiber body work for the cat.
The Super Stock-class CELSIUS team is swapping its 300XS outboards for a pair of 300Rs, and Grant’s Signature Racing is handling the job.
Another recent project involved 1,100-hp, quad-cam-four-valve turbocharged sterndrive engines from the Fond du Lac, Wis., company.
“We just finished repowering Joey Castellana’s Skater 388 catamaran with 1100s,” Bruggemann said. “We also replaced the dash and added new carbon-fiber panels that can hold big GPS screens. We should be testing that boat later this week.”
Though Bruggemann refreshed the Mercury Racing 700SCi engines in the 36-foot Skater owned by longtime New Jersey-based clients Chris and Quinn LaMorte last summer, the boat is still in his shop while the crew finishes installing its new windshields.
“We had Shields make a new pair of F-15-style windshields for Chris,” Bruggemann said. “Once we finish, he won’t have to look through those old yellow, distorted windshields anymore. We’re finishing up fitting them to the deck now.
“We are always doing ‘smaller stuff’ to stay busy between bigger projects or while we’re waiting for parts,” he added.
Said Bruggemann, “We are always doing smaller stuff to stay busy between bigger projects.”
Last but never least because Bruggemann’s work for every upcoming offshore powerboat racing season begins when the prior season ends, he’s been prepping and dialing in the Super Cat-class Pro Floors Racing catamaran he throttles and maintains for owner/driver Wayne Valder of New Zealand. For the 2022 Race World Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., CELSIUS energy drink backed the Pro Floors Racing team with an eye toward support for the entire 2023 season.
“We’re constantly working on the Pro Floors raceboat and we’ve made many, many upgrades to it,” Bruggemann said. “As for CELSIUS sponsoring us this season, we don’t have a signed contract yet but it should be this month.”
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