By the time we finished our first speedonthewater.com center console roundup last Thursday on the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri, Jason Johnson, my fellow OffshoreOnly.com columnist and speedonthewater.com co-publisher, and I were ready for something a little more exhilarating. Don’t get me wrong—with professional test drivers Bob Teague, Grant Bruggemann and Shaun Torrente we tested some dazzling center consoles that day. But none of them delivered a pure go-fast boat experience.
A world champion tunnel-boat racer gave a couple of journalists the ride of their lives in his 30-foot Skater catamaran featuring twin Mercury Racing 450R engines. Photo and video copyright Jason Johnson/Speedonthewater.com.
For that, we turned to Torrente, who brought his vintage 30-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran repowered just a few days before with a pair of Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines mounted on his own STR X-Act transom brackets. Currently in the thick of defending his 2018 title with the Abu Dhabi team, the 41-year-old reigning F1 H2O tunnel-boat world champion was more than happy to take us for a late-afternoon blast in his 30-footer.
Johnson rode in the copilot’s bucket next to Torrente. I grabbed a seat in the back. Then the fun started. (Check out the video Johnson edited at right).
Johnson and I have gone a lot faster on the water than the 114 mph we hit with Torrente in his boat. (For the record, Torrente said he’s already had the repowered cat to 124 mph.) Johnson saw 185 mph in a canopied, turbine engine-powered Mystic Powerboats catamaran several years back. A few years later, Johnson and I were treated to a 171-mph ride in an open-cockpit M35 catamaran from DCB Performance Boats.