In terms of maiden voyages for a new boat, it doesn’t get much better than participating in the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run. Just ask performance boaters Jason and Melissa Hill of Platte City, Mo., who took delivery of their first center console, a 35-foot Statement Marine beauty that also happens to be the St. Petersburg, Fla., company’s first boat with Mercury Racing 450R engines.
Missouri’s Jason and Melissa Hill took delivery of their 35-foot Statement Marine center console powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines during the Key West Poker Run last month. Photo courtesy Florida Powerboat Club
The Hills purchased the twin-engine Statement from Big Thunder Marine in Lake Ozark, Mo., this summer and the first-time Key West Poker Run participants were completely thrilled with the boat and its performance from Miami to Key West and back. That seems pretty apparent by the smile on Melissa Hill’s face in the image of the week above.
Jason Hill, who also owns a Fountain Powerboats 42 Lightning with twin turbocharged Carson Brummett engines and two-speed outdrives, said he was pleased with the boat’s performance and its overall fit and finish.
“We’re tickled to death the with Statement,” said Hill, who decided to leave the boat at the Statement facility for the winter so they can enjoy the Gulf Coast side of Florida and possibly do a couple of events in the area before bringing it back to Lake of the Ozarks. “It’s such a nice ride and the new Mercury 450R engines are so sweet. We were in some 3-footers with an occasional 5-footer on the way to Key West and on the return trip, and the boat felt like it was a day at the lake.
“The boat is crazy quick—the 450s have some serious acceleration,” he continued. “It didn’t burn a lot of fuel either, which was great. I was pretty impressed with the fuel consumption. We took it easy and cruised at 55 to 60 mph the whole way. The boat should run close to 70 mph, but that wasn’t the time to see how fast it can go.”
Hill explained that he and Melissa chose the red and gray paint scheme because it matches the Fountain and the colors of their construction company. He also gave credit to Big Thunder Marine’s Ed Champion and Tony Battiato for assisting them with the custom order.
“We’ve bought several boats from Ed, he’s awesome—and so is Tony, he did all the work on our Fountain,” Hill said. “They both helped us design the interior and graphics with the guys at Statement, who were work great to work with, too. It’s going to be fun spending some time running up the Gulf side. We can’t wait to get the boat back to the lake though.”
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