Growing up in Louisiana, Vic Canella, who owns Performance Auto Body Collision Center in Gonzales, has always been into center console fishing boats. It wasn’t until more recently though that he started thinking about getting a pleasure boat. Well that day arrived earlier this month when Canella, and his good friend, Nate Michel (pictured below with his wife, Robin, during a recent scooter ride with Canella), took delivery of a 2022 Statement Marine 35 Open performance center console powered by a trio of Mercury Racing 300R engines.
The new Statement Marine 35 Open center console powered by triple Mercury Racing 300R engines looked right at home in Louisiana. Photos courtesy FB Marine Group and Vic Canella
The friends of more than 15 years purchased the boat from FB Marine Group’s Randy Sweers, whom Michel has become friends with during the past few years after having Sweers throttle his radical 40-foot MTI dubbed Cloud IX at many poker runs and taking several snowmobile trips together to Wyoming. Sweers, a longtime Statement dealer, personally delivered the boat to Canella and Michel, and the friends are excited to do some “stress-free” boating in the 35-footer this season, starting with next month’s Kort 200—otherwise known as the unofficial Tickfaw 200 Poker Run, which hasn’t happened since 2019 due to pandemic restrictions and other reasons surrounding the host location, Blood River Landing.
“The more I was doing the poker runs with my friend, Nate Michel, the more I started to really want a pleasure boat,” said Canella, who is looking forward to enjoying the 35-footer with his wife, Dachelle, and 14-year-old daughter, Victoria. “I’ve had my eye on a few different boats, but the timing just hasn’t been right. So when Nate and I went to the Miami International Boat Show and saw one of the Statements that Randy had in stock, I thought that could be the one. I loved the colors and the triple 300Rs seemed like a perfect fit for that boat.
“A couple of days before the show, Nate and I were sitting in my office and I told him that I kind of wished this was the year to get a new boat and Nate asked me ‘Why isn’t this the year?’ ” he added. “Then Nate said he’s been thinking about it and that if we went in on the boat together there’s no reason this can’t be the year. So we went into Miami with that mindset and found the one. I have to thank Nate for providing the motivation to make it happen.”
Check out the slideshow for a few more images of the 35-foot center console.
Canella said he plans to take the boat, which they’ve named NV, to several events, including the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in August, the Key West Poker Run in November and, most likely, the Emerald Coast Poker Run in September. The latter two events are organized by the Florida Powerboat Club. Canela joked that the Statement will be the Cloud IX support boat or, better yet, the boat for those who prefer not to go screaming across the water with Michel in the MTI.
“I’m thoroughly impressed by the Statement—I never rode in one before the sea trial in Miami,” Canella said. “Randy took us out in it with nine people and he had it running faster than 70 mph. When he delivered it to us, we ran it on our local lake (Lake Maurepas) and it was a sporty day on the water for out here, and the boat handled it all really well. I like the way it runs, the attention to detail on the interior and the quality of the sound system. We took it out with 15 people when Randy was here and I was wondering how it would do with that many people—but it did just fine.”
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