Asked if she prefers an open-cockpit MTI 440X catamaran with Mercury Racing 500R outboard engines, which she ran yesterday with her fiancé, Shaun Peters, in the fourth annual Performance Boat Center/Mercury Racing Outboard Fun Run, over her canopied MTI 390X raceboat with 450R outboards, Taylor Scism laughed. Not so shockingly, TS Motorsports, the 39-footer she drives in the 450R Factory Stock class with throttleman John Tomlinson, got the nod.
Chad and Nicole Faller’s fiery MTI-V 42 turned heads all day. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
“I’m a little biased there,” she said, then laughed again.
But that doesn’t mean Scism didn’t appreciate the hull and heft of the 44-footer in yesterday’s Lake of the Ozarks slop, some of which was created by the 70 outboard-powered catamarans and center consoles in the event on the Central Missouri waterway.
“We were a little late joining the group and the 440X ate up the water,” she said. “It was a great day.”
A fixture of Performance Boat Center events, The Cave Bar and Grill was the first stop of the day.
Supported by Mercury Racing, the Outboard Fun Run was the third event of the season produced by Performance Boat Center—the Spring Fun Run led off and was followed by the Rendezvous for Cigarette Owners. But it was the first Friday happening of the year for the Osage Beach, Mo.-headquartered MTI, Performance Powerboats and Sunsation Powerboats dealership.
Participants departed Performance Boat Center yesterday and headed to The Cave Bar and Grill for lunch, where they spent much of the early afternoon before moving to the Coconuts Caribbean Bar and Grill and returning later to the dealership for an awards dinner and celebration.
Brad Ekstam’s FASS Diesel Systems cat was a winner on and off the water.
Unofficially among them were Burton and Yvette Kirsten in Jet, an SC 46 Outerlimits catamaran that could never be mistaken for an outboard boat as Mercury Racing 1350/1100 sterndrive engines power the canopied 46-footer.
The Kirstens, who are based in Michigan but have a second home at the lake, had planned to run their outboard-powered MTI 390XR cat called Turbo yesterday. In fact, the 39-footer was slated to have its 450R outboards replaced with 500Rs this weekend at Performance Boat Center.
Several Sunsation CCX center consoles were in the mix.
But an unmarked submerged hazard in Lake Michigan during the 20th annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run earlier this month ended those plans—at least this time around.
With Turbo currently being repaired at the MTI facility in Wentzville, Mo., Jet was their sole option. So they ran on the fringes of the fleet and enjoyed the day with their extended Lake of the Ozarks family.
“Performance always puts on a first-class show,” Burton Kirsten said. “They welcome us no matter what.”
Yesterday’s event attracted a beautiful 70-boat mix of striking high-performance center consoles and catamarans.
Several Mercury Racing representatives including national sales manager Kevin Skiba also joined in the fun. Performance Boat Center co-owner Brett Marine hosted the Mercury Racing crew in a Sunsation 40 CCX center console for the day.
“I was really happy the Mercury Racing crew was able to make it,” he said. “What a great group of people.
“The fourth annual Mercury Racing/Performance Outboard Fun Run was a hit,” he continued. “The awards party had everyone laughing and smiling, and though we don’t have the final total yet MTI, PBC and the participants raised a good amount of money for Make-A-Wish.”
CTS Custom Trailers owner Jason Curry enjoyed the day in his colorful MTI 390X catamaran.
Charlie Roll earned the Best Outboard Center Console award for his MTI-V 50, while Brad Eskstam’s FASS Diesel Systems cat took the Best Outboard Catamaran honor. But perhaps the coolest award of the evening went to Johnny Bauer, who spearheaded the development of the Performance Powerboats brand. Powered by a Mercury Racing 450R outboard, his 1987 model-year Eliminator Boats 23 Daytona took the Best Classic Outboard Catamaran award.
“This was my fourth time out in it this year,” he said. “The engine has less than five hours on it.”
Though the 2023 Performance Boat Center/Mercury Racing Outboard Fun Run is in the books, this weekend’s work is far from complete for the dealership. Performance Boat Center events don’t simply exist as means to thank existing clients for their support. They spur sales of new and used boats.
“The event made for some deals already,” Manire said. “So we are hard at it today and tomorrow following up with demos and closing those deals.”
With the fourth annual Outboard Fun Run complete, the Performance Boat Center team’s focus now shifts to the upcoming Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
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