With the Key West craziness behind all of us at speedonthewater.com—at the moment we’re in the thick of Year In Review magazine production (order yours today here)—I finally got some time to catch up with Midwest Boating Center’s Randy Kent. The same Lake of the Ozarks local behind the reputable company that specializes in high-end marine travel covers, Marine Concepts in Kaiser, Mo., and the veteran performance boater who has his hands all over the all-new Pilini Marine 37 SCX catamaran, which he and Midwest Boating Center service manager Jonathan Gill took for its maiden voyage during last month’s Key West Poker Run.
The stunning Pilini Marine 37 SCX catamaran that made its debut at the Key West Poker Run is for sale through Midwest Boating Center. Aerial photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix and detail images in slideshow below courtesy Randy Kent.
Powered by a pair of Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, the new 37-footer is currently for sale, according to Kent, who has the second 37 SCX at his facility now. Like the first one, it is going to be painted by Visual Imagination and feature a Waves and Wheels interior and Bluave Marine Audio sound system. The biggest difference on the demo model that will be for sale following the 2020 season is the 5,500-pound catamaran has twin Mercury Racing 450R engines.
“You don’t really need 450s, but we can’t wait to see what it will do with the power,” said Kent, who is the exclusive dealer for the catamarans, which are being built and delivered as bare hulls by Kent’s longtime friend and respected boat builder Jay Pilini. “We hit a homerun with this boat. The acceleration is so snappy with the 400s and the top speed is a solid 118 mph all day. We hit 125 mph one morning in Key West, but there were two of us in the boat with nothing else in it besides enough fuel for the photo shoot.
“Top speed is not what it’s all about with our new 37 though,” Kent continued. “The boat handles incredibly well, which is great for the ocean poker runs or back on our home lake. I’ve ridden in a lot of boats, pretty much every outboard cat, and to me the Pilini handles better and has a better ride than any outboard boat I’ve been in before. I knew Jay had an incredible bottom with his new 34. So we took the notch out of the 34 and made it a full 34-foot running surface. But the biggest difference is that our tunnel is six inches deeper than any competitor’s model. It’s a little narrower, too—it’s 60 inches wide.”
Kent said the hull design helps keep the boat flat and prevent it from porpoising. He added that the bottom also has a steeper deadrise, roughly four degrees than its competitors, which helps it cut through larger wakes and choppy water.
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the first Pilini Marine 37 SCX.
“The boat is just on rails,” Kent expressed. “It leans into turns and corners like a V-bottom. And it doesn’t porpoise at any speed. The boat just wants to fly level. For us, it’s really all about providing the best-handling boat featuring the best of the best—a MYCO trailer, a Marine Concepts cover, Visual Imagination paint, Waves and Wheels interior, a 22-inch Garmin display, you name it—at a great price. Our 37 SCX with everything I mentioned and twin 400s, is $349,000. You can’t touch that price anywhere else.”
Fortunately for me, I got an up-close opportunity to see the boat in action during last month’s Florida Powerboat Club poker run from Miami to Key West as I was in a Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats 390 Sport center console with triple 450R engines and Kent, a Nor-Tech dealer for many years, did the run in the 37 SCX with the Nor-Tech fleet. I also checked it out at the docks during the Nor-Tech lunch at Sundowners in Key Largo. And, of course, we also shot photos of the boat for the Year In Review magazine, which you can see above and in the accompanying slideshow.
There’s no doubt it’s a cool boat with some neat features. I noticed right away an improved windshield design and ergonomic setup than the 34 XCS we tested during the 2018 Sport Catamaran Roundup on Lake of the Ozarks (download the feature here). The dash was completely different and the boat was loaded with storage, more than I’ve seen on other sport cats and well done with the SeaDek throughout that matched the cockpit floor.
From the dash design and the integrated sunpad to the tunnel extension that goes down to the water and the way the boat has flat edges making it easier to walk around on it, Kent said he was very involved in the overall design of the boat with Pilini. It was clear they put a lot of thought into the comfort and functionality in the boat. They even built cool integrated storage/charging slots for two phones ahead of the center-console-mounted controls and a charging station with two USB ports by the two cupholders behind the controls.
“The charging station is our own deal we came up with,” Kent said. “The whole ideas was to keep everything nice and clean.”
Kent emphasized that the first boat is available now and that Midwest Boating Center is currently taking orders so if you’re interested in getting one started, do so sooner than later as he already has the third boat sold and several potential orders in the works.