Jim Schultz, the owner and driver of the spectacular 51-foot Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats V-bottom dubbed Factory Billet, stays away from top-speed predictions in advance of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, set this year for August 28-29. But last year, he and his cockpit-mate/throttleman/engine builder Mike Faucher piloted the canopied rocket to a class-record-setting 164 mph on the three-quarter-mile course.
Factory Billet’s Jim Schultz and Mike Faucher would like to break the Lake of Ozarks class-record they set in 2020. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
“We’d like to exceed the previous number,” he said, then chuckled. “I never like to set a number because if you do that and you don’t make it, people are like, ‘What happened?’ Beating last year’s number would be just fine.”
To that end, Faucher has been hard at work on the 51-footer’s technologically sophisticated—think MoTec electronics, three-speed, automatic transmissions and more—automatic-dual-calibration engines. After the 2020 event they returned to Factory Billet’s Lake Zurich, Ill., home, and Faucher completely tore down rebuilt the boat’s dual-calibration engines. Schultz, who was on hand, described the valve-trains as “gorgeous.”
Yet as they have after every shootout, Schultz and Faucher found room for improvement.
“More internal components have been refined and we definitely made some horsepower gains,” said Schultz. “We’re sitting at about 2,350 hp a side right now.”
Added Faucher, “If the conditions are right we can sweeten them up to 2,500 hp.”
On Monday, Schultz and Faucher will run the boat on Lake Michigan to ensure everything is working properly. Then the boat will be hauled to the Lake of the Ozarks for what they’re hoping will be another winning and entertaining performance for the shootout fans.
“We won’t do any speed runs out there on Lake Michigan—I don’t think we’ll even get to 100 mph,” said Schultz. “All I want do is feel the acceleration. When we get to the Lake of the Ozarks, we’ll do a couple of early morning speed runs before the event.”
Mike Faucher: “If the conditions are right we can sweeten them up to 2,500 hp.” Photo from Key West, Fla., 2017, by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.