No group of sportboat owners is more brand-loyal than the Cigarette Racing Team faithful. So strong is their attachment that when it comes time to sell they often have as much concern about how well the new owner will care for their former pride and joy as they do about the final sale price. Cigarette owners are not, by and large, horse-traders. They are collectors.
Captured here during the 2020 Fort Myers Offshore Turkey Run, this 2010 Cigarette 42X Lip-Ship Edition is going to a loving home in Southern California. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Just ask Southern California’s Dan Ellis and Delaware’s Bill Forenski. Six years ago, Ellis had to sell his immaculately restored 2008 Cigarette 38 Top Gun. Once out of his hands, the 38-footer did not fare well and the next time he saw it Ellis was shocked.
“I couldn’t even look at it,” he said. “It was in tremendously bad shape.”
A little less than a year ago, Forenski, who like Ellis is a longtime Cigarette owner, found a 2010 Cigarette 42X Lip-Ship Edition in mint condition—at a good price—and grabbed it. A marine industry veteran who owns WMH Watercraft and Marine, Forenski loved the 42-footer powered by Mercury Racing 700SCi engines with Stage 1 supercharger kits. But like so many once-devout stern-drive V-bottom fans, he wanted to simplify his boating life. A ride in an MTI 390X with his friend Shaun Torrente—both have homes in Southwest Florida—convinced him that an outboard engine-powered sport catamaran was the right way to go.
By April, Forenski, had an MTI cat of his own, a 340X powered by twin Mercury 450R outboards. He put the Cigarette up for sale.
Ellis knew he wanted the 42-footer as soon as he learned it was for sale. That was six months and all kinds of financial complications ago. But now the deal is done and the boat will be transported from Florida to Kentucky next month for the Lake Cumberland Poker Run, which is where Ellis will take delivery of his new prize.
“Bill was a freaking saint,” said Ellis as he recalled the purchase process. “He had offers on the boat when I flew out to meet him but he could see how much I appreciated it. He said, ‘I know you’re going to take care of it—I know you’re not going to trash it.’ I put down a large deposit, but still he went over and above to make it happen, even when I could see his patience was worn thin. He was amazing.
“There were a few times during the process when I thought, ‘It’s not happening,’” he continued. “But Devin Wozencraft came through for me with financing and now it’s mine.”
New owner Dan Ellis will run the 42-footer, dubbed Light ‘Em Up, at the Lake Cumberland Poker Run next month before bring the boat back to his home in Saugus, Calif.
After the Lake Cumberland event, Ellis will have the boat hauled to Lake Havasu City in Arizona, and he’ll use it there for a weekend or three before bringing it back to Southern California and running it in the Pacific Ocean. Come late October, he’ll have it towed back to the Sunshine State for the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run in early November.
“I may actually do the Monster Storm event in Havasu before I bring it back to Florida,” said Ellis. “After that, I may leave it there or I may bring it home. I’m just not certain yet.”
But here’s what is certain beyond any doubt: Bill Forenski’s Cigarette 42X has found a good home with Dan Ellis, and the circle of devoted Cigarette owners remains unbroken.
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