Next week, the city of Muskegon, Mich., is going to host the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend for the fifth time, and according to Roger Zuidema, a founding member of the event, there are close to 80 boats registered for the June 16 run that has grown quicker than he imagined it would.
The Muskegon Powerboat Weekend in Michigan attracts boats of all shapes and sizes. Photos courtesy West Michigan Offshore
“I’m involved in quite a few different water-related organizations in Muskegon, and it’s been awesome to see the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend take off,” said Zuidema, adding that the last day to register for the run is Monday, June 11. “The first year we did this event was 2013, and it was a tiny poker run route with a small-scale venue for our fleet of 30 or 40 local boats. It’s just such a great event for the community and for everybody involved.”
Chris Dekker, who is president of West Michigan Offshore, which has organized the event the past three years, said the list of boats registered includes everything from 24-foot Baja Marine sportboats to 38-foot Cigarette Racing Team and 40-foot Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats offshore V-bottoms. Of course there are a handful of exotic high-performance catamarans in the mix.
The offshore street party on Friday evening is one of the highlights of the Muskegon Powerboat Festival.
“This run draws a really cool, eclectic mix of boats because it is purposefully set up so that people who don’t want to run too far can do as much or as little of the run as they’d like,” Dekker said. “The whole thing is a respectable 75 miles so the big boys can stretch their legs, too. We’re thankful that Bluefin Marine Consultants, CK Performance Marine, Jay Enn Corporation and Precision Power Offshore/Chief Engines have sponsored the event for 2018.
“Like last year, the event is going to kick off with an offshore street party in downtown Muskegon,” he continued. “We’ll have about 15 boats lining the streets as part of the Taste of Muskegon Festival. Lots of WMO sponsors will have their work on display, including Boat Customs, Mitcher T Custom Painting, Wesco Racing Engines, American Custom Marine, Bio-Kleen, Appearance Products, and others. With nearly 10,000 people attending each of the last two years, the event provides great exposure for offshore powerboating in West Michigan.”
Dekker added that this year’s run has a few stops on historic boats. One is on the USS Silversides, a WWII submarine that’s docked in the Muskegon channel, and another is at the LST 393, one of the last two WWII ships of its kind in the world. He said the run is going there because it should be fun, but mainly to honor those that have served in this country’s armed services.
According to Dekker, WMO raised a little more than $10,000 at a fundraising event last month and is hoping to raise another $7,000 through the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend.
Additional information on the event can be found here.