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Horse And Horsepower Trading With Boyne Thunder-Bound Ron Szolack

Despite that Ron Szolack has participated in the Boyne Thunder Poker Run since its humble beginnings, he never wearies of the Northern Michigan happening. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend, the annual three-day, charity fundraising affair is the Michigander’s favorite go-fast boating event. Nothing else even comes for him.

Szolack will enjoy his new 42 Auroris center console from Cigarette Racing Team this weekend at the 20th annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run.

In fact, he’s on his way right now from his home in the St. Clair, Mich., area to Boyne City, Mich., with his girlfriend, Kahley, behind the wheel of his slightly plush Rolls Royce. And he’s more eager than ever to be there as his new Cigarette 42 Auroris center console powered by quad Mercury Racing 500R outboard engines is waiting for him.

The 42-footer was showcased during Mercury Racing’s release of the new supercharged V-8 outboard earlier this month in Charleston, S.C. That meant Szolack couldn’t run it in the Performance Boat Center Rendezvous for Cigarette owners at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri the following weekend.

As anyone who knows him can attest, Szolack isn’t a big fan of delayed gratification. So he’s ready to get behind the wheel of his new prize.

Because Szolack is rarely off the phone for long, his girlfriend, Kahley, is handling today’s driving duties to Boyne City, Mich.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “I flew to Miami last week to see it in person for the first time and it exceeded my expectations. The fit and finish are unbelievable.”

Taking delivery of a new 42-footer from the Opa-locka, Fla., would be enough to totally consume most performance-boat owners, but then Szolack isn’t most performance-boat owners. He’s a go-fast powerboat “horse-trader” of note.

And the trading never stops.

“Not long ago, I acquired a Skater 410 catamaran I’ve always liked for my own upcoming event (Weekend At Ronnie’s) in August,” he explained. “It has new Mercury Racing 1100 engines rigged by Billy Moore. Then a Skater 388 with 1650s became available. That sounded like something more my speed, but when it arrived three of the cylinders were low on compression.

“So now I’m in a pickle,” he continued. “I sure wasn’t going to take the 1100s out of the 410—that boat is turnkey perfect. So I decided to take my Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines out of my canopied 40-foot MTI and put them in the 388.”

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Horse- and horsepower-trading, Ron Szolack style.

But that left Szolack, who is selling his Cigarette 42 GTO center console through Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo., with an unpowered MTI catamaran.

“Seeing as it’s a full-carbon 40, I’ve decided to go with (Mercury Racing) 450R outboards,” he said. “I called Shaun Torrente at Shaun Torrente Racing and he’s excited about the project.”

Szolack promised to provide updates on the MTI power conversion as they become available. In the meantime, he has a new boat to run in his all-time favorite poker run this weekend.

Szolack’s Cigarette 42 GTO currently is for sale at Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo.

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