There was an obvious sense of excitement amongst Randy Scism, the owner of founder of MTI in Wentzville, Mo., and Tim Gallagher, the company’s sales and marketing manager, earlier today at the docks of one MTI’s best customers when we were standing next to the very first 340X catamaran. And for good reason.
MTI’s Tim Gallagher runs the company’s new 340X catamaran on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
The new 34-foot cat—the smallest boat ever produced by the company that specializes in high-performance catamarans and luxury performance center consoles—was two years in the making, and was about as fine-tuned as any debut model I’ve ever seen. From the fit and finish throughout to the handling characteristics, the 340X, which is powered by a pair of Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines and 15 1/4″ x 33″-pitch Mercury CNC propellers, was darn impressive.
In fact, the red, white and black six-seat catamaran featuring a wraparound windshield and in-house paint job from the talented crew at MTI was worth the wait.
“This is such a fun boat, and like our larger ones, it’s so easy to drive,” Gallagher said. “We’ve been able to do a little testing on the boat and it’s pretty much right where we expected it to be. We started with jack plates to get our drive heights where we wanted to, and now we have fixed brackets at the height we think is best. Obviously that can change depending on where someone boats, but this boat was designed to go over the bumps not to be a glassy lake boat.
“It’s been hard to keep this boat bottled up—something this cool is hard to keep a secret,” he continued with a smile. “This boat was modeled after our 48-foot cat. A lot of the features in the 48 model are shared with this boat, to scale obviously. We feel like the 340X can help us get another group of clientele into our brand even earlier. It’s the type of boat for someone who wants the performance and the looks and the fun of a performance boat but doesn’t want to deal with a big-power boat.”
I’m not going to say the 34-footer rides like MTI’s 48-footer, but it does handle bumpy water real well and the 800 horsepower worth of outboards hanging on the transom was more than adequate in the power department. The sporty boat got on plane without hesitation and its acceleration was forceful. With Gallagher on the controls, we ran the boat, which has reached a top speed of 116 mph, faster than 100 mph with ease. The turns at speeds of 40, 50 and 60 mph were flawless and the boat ate up any boat wakes we came across on the lake.
Everyone at MTI was excited to debut its 340X at tonight’s Shootout on the Strip, the kick-off party of sorts for this weekend’s 28th annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. The boat will be part of the company’s fun run tomorrow, participate in the Poly Lift Poker Run on Friday and be on display Saturday and Sunday at the docks at Captain Ron’s in Sunrise Beach.
The 340X, which is powered by Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, will be featured in the next Speed On The Water digital magazine.
“The ride in the new boat is a little better than I expected—it runs so nice, I couldn’t be happier honestly,” Scism said. “It handles the water at Lake of the Ozarks extremely well for its size. It’s designed and built like our other boats so the handling characteristics are very predictable. I think it’s going to be a huge success for the guys who don’t want all the upkeep that comes with bigger power.”
Scism, who said he has several demo rides lined up for the boat, added that the 34-footer has been well received by the few people who have seen it and ridden in it.
“Everyone loves it—it looks like an MTI and it runs like an MTI, it’s just a baby MTI,” he said, adding that the second 340X will be finished in a few weeks. “I’m excited that it’s finally here so we can start building some.”