Though yesterday’s Fort Myers Offshore fun run to Burnt Store Marina attracted a record-setting 35 registered boats, high winds and an extremely low tide combined to keep several boats on their lifts, according to Tim Hill, the president of the Southwest Florida nonprofit scholarship fundraising outfit. Hill and his wife, Cyndee, a fellow FMO board member, experienced that firsthand during this year’s Burnt Store happening—the seventh event of the club’s 2019/2020 season—and actually had to catch a ride to the Cass Bay restaurant lunch venue with club member Bill Buchanon on his Sea Fox center console.
Yesterday’s Fort Myers Offshore event boasted a variety of high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms. Photos courtesy/copyright Duane C. Adams.
Still, led by FMO members Amanda and Don Gardner in the their 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran, the event saw 29 boats make the run, which took a course up the Intracoastal Waterway on the backside of Sanibel and Captiva islands into Charlotte Harbor where the boats were met head-on by 20-mph winds and two- to three-foot seas.
“The Burnt Store Marina community always advertises our run within the surrounding community, and many of the residents line the docks and seawalls to watch the arrival of all the boats,” Hill said. “As has been the case all season with FMO, we had a great mixture of stern-drive V-bottoms and catamarans, outboard catamarans and high-performance center consoles.
“I think this is what makes our club so unique and inviting to new members,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter if you have a 60-mph center console or a 150-mph cat. We all enjoy boating for a great cause, which is what FMO is all about and how and why it was founded. In a true testament to this, we had a new club member, David Russel, join Saturday. David admitted he wanted to ‘try the run’ before joining as he didn’t know if he or his 36 Glasstream Powerboats center console would fit in or be welcomed. Before lunch was over, he was our newest member.”
Brand-new boats are not uncommon in FMO events, and on that note club member Guy Poirier debuted his Wright Performance 360 powered by Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines, which was just delivered by Performance Boat Center of Osage Beach, Mo. On the not-so-new but always crowd-pleasing side, Raymond Roberts of Double R Performance, Nor-Tech’s dealer in the Toronto, Canada, area brought his quad Mercury Racing 400R outboard-powered 36-foot Nor-Tech cat. Roberts also hosted an after-party on the dock of his waterfront home.
Yesterday’s Fort Myers Offshore event boasted a variety of high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms (click image for full frame).
Next up for FMO is its Nor-Tech-, Double R Performance- and Southern Marine and RV-backed Sarasota Weekend event March 27-29. The event is returning to the Sarasota Hyatt after a three-year break, Hill said.