With owner Randy Scism on board, I got an exclusive test drive of the 42-foot center console, the hull of which Scism and company have been testing and validating for the past few months, at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri last Sunday. Much to my surprise, MTI “finished” its Performance Validation: V-001 vessel just in time for the Shootout and had the boat at the docks on Friday at Dog Days and on Saturday and Sunday at Captain Ron’s—the host location for the 24th annual Shootout.
An obvious work in progress, the model was there for customer (and potential customer) demo rides, not to wow the crowd with its impressive features. Still, for a prototype, I was impressed at how much effort the company put into it. Below the covering, which Scism said weighs three times as much as the CNC-designed hardtop will, were two rows of three electric dropout bolsters for sitting or standing as well as a complete set of helm electronics, including a pair of 15-inch Garmin GPSMAP 7215 displays, twin Mercury SmartCraft VesselView systems, a row of accessory switches and a remote for the stereo.
Ahead of the console, MTI designed side-by-side lounges that were large and comfortable. Within the console, the cabin provided almost 6½ feet of headroom and featured a freshwater sink, a refrigerator and a large bench seat, which actually folded down to create a queen-size bed with the usable space behind the backrest. Assuming most people won’t sleep down below, that area behind the bench provides additional storage space.
As expected from MTI, the V-bottom interior configurations can be customized. Scism, who will be bringing the Performance Validation model to Key West, Fla., for the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run in November, said he’s got four on order and what appears to be quite a few more. And surely, the more demo rides he gives, the more boats he’ll sell. Because, when it comes to performance, MTI has nailed it.
The patented hull design clearly works—as any turns we took in the boat were effortless and agile. And while the boat has an 11-foot beam and weighs in the neighborhood of 13,000 pounds, it felt the opposite of large and heavy. In fact, it was quite nimble and efficient. We were averaging a little more than 3 mpg during our brief outing. And that’s on the hull plug.
Since the Shootout was taking place while I was driving the bright-orange wrapped boat not far from the water patrol-enforced no-wake zone, we didn’t really come across any rough water. We did find a few boat wakes and the hull ate them up from any angle.
The 42-footer was powered by four Mercury Verado 300 engines, and it easily topped 70 mph. It’s acceleration was respectable, too, especially considering how quick the boat reached plane with hardly any bow rise. With triple 300s, Scism said the boat runs close to 70 mph.
“I think that’s fast enough,” said Scism, adding that the top speeds have exceeded his initial projections. “We figured we’d be in the 50s with two engines, the 60s with three and the 70s with four. We’re at 70-plus mph with four and we’re in the high 60s with three. I haven’t tested the hull with two engines, but I did shut the center one off and trim it out, and the boat runs 58 mph on two, so it’s definitely in the 50s.”
Scism said they had at least 12 to 13 people on the boat at one time or another over the weekend, and they were still topping 70 mph consistently.
“The boat was really well received,” he said. “It’s a big change from the conventional center console fish-style boats. I think it’s going to give people a place to go who are truly performance oriented but are ready to get into the center console market. Some of my customers will do both. They still want their all-out hot rod, but for their family and friends the SV42 is perfect.”
While taking the boat out for a demo ride was a treat, now all I can think about is how extraordinary the finished product is going to turn out. Oh yeah, and how I’m going to get a ride in it.
Click photos to enlarge