Powerboat enthusiasts who braved yestereday’s blustery conditions on Florida’s Tampa Bay got a chance to see something unique as Victory Team representative Ricky Maldonado ran the first Victory VTX-34 pleasure catamaran imported into the United States on the famed waterway. The six-seat open-cockpit boat, which was built at the Dubai-based Victory facility, was shipped to Savannah, Ga., where it arrived a couple of weeks ago alongside a new canopied 32-foot Victory raceboat built for the Jackhammer offshore racing team of owner/driver Reese Langheim and throttleman Brad Wade. (As previously reported, that boat was rigged at the Victory shop in Edgewater, Fla., and delivered to the team for the Lake Race in Central Missouri.)
The first Victory VTX-34 sport catamaran imported into the United States hit the water yesterday in Southwest Florida (click image to enlarge).
Powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines, the 34-footer, which has a 10-foot, 7-inch beam, topped out at 120 mph, according to Maldonado in two- to three-foot wind chop.
“The boat was built for rough water—it’s perfect for rough water, in my opinion,” said Maldonado. “It’s basically the same design as Victory 32-foot X-Cat raceboat, but wider and longer. What really impressed me was how even when we hit rougher water the boat just kept on accelerating. The only thing I can compare it to is my dad’s old 40-foot Skater raceboat. It was a little lumpy out there as we headed toward Egmont Key and the VTX-34 was just eating it up. That’s where it really shines.
“It’s a little slower to plane than the 32, but it accelerates faster—it really takes off once it’s on plane,” he continued. “With the engines at 4,500 rpm, we were running 82, 83 mph so it’s also very efficient.”
The 5-foot, 4-inch Maldonado praised his forward and side-to-side visibility in the cockpit. That’s good news for John Pugh of Marine Hardware in Redmond, Wash., who is now the proud owner of the first 34-foot Victory model imported into the U.S., as he reportedly is an inch or two taller than Maldonado. Once its custom-built tilt MYCO trailer is complete in two weeks, the boat will be hauled to its home in the Pacific Northwest.
“Your visibility is much better in the 34 than the 32,” said Maldonado. “It’s just as quiet in the cockpit when you’re running as the 32, but it has much more interior space and you could can walk all around.
Check out the slideshow above for images of the new 34-foot pleasure boat from the famed Victory Team.
“Now that we have two Victory boats, a 32 raceboat and a 34 pleasure cat, in this country I really expect things to start taking off,” he added.
The second 34-VTX bound for a U.S. buyer—Dale Dondel, the owner of the renowned Racer Engineering custom off-road vehicle company in Southern California—will ship from Dubai in the next few days.
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