Highs and Lows from 2013: Rik Wimp

While Arneson Industries Surface Drives do find their way on the transoms of new high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms, repower projects continue to drive the San Rafael, Calif., company's high-performance powerboat business in the United States. Rik Wimp, president of Arneson, says that consumers are "getting the message that the Arneson Surface Drives deliver more performance, require far less maintenance and offer greater value than a typical I/O." Without a doubt, Wimp and company played a big role in some of the most spectacular projects this year. And there are even more to come next year.

With Arneson Surface Drives putting the power to the water, Louis Marchese’s Skater catamaran ran 154 mph at the 2013 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Photo courtesy/copyright JHelmkamp-Photos.com/Boatfreaks.org.With Arneson Surface Drives putting the power to the water, Louie Marchese’s Skater catamaran ran 163 mph at the 2013 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Photo courtesy/copyright JHelmkamp-Photos.com/Boatfreaks.org.

Highs: With 2013 ending, for better or worse, overall things have been good at Arneson with strong sales throughout the year, and that's a good thing businesswise. The highlight for performance boating has to be Louie Marchese with his 163-mph run at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in his Skater 338 Fat Boy. That was an amazing feat given that it was his first run in the boat on a one- mile straight-line course. Louie told me that he boats on the twisty Kankakee River, which made simulating the run at LOTO difficult. It really shows the talents of Louie and the boat combination.

Lows: Well, it goes without saying that the loss of Jeff Asbell and Brad Smith is the low of this year and many recent years that I can think of. Two great men were lost in one tragic accident and they are and will be missed in the boating community, as well as by their families. Let's hope that 2014 doesn't bring any such tragedies.

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The Complete Highs and Lows from 2013

Highs and Lows from 2013: Randy Scism

mti 52 overallThe debut of Black Diamond, a 52-foot canopied catamaran from Marine Technology Inc., in Miami was an obvious high point for MTI founder Randy Scism.

Between debuting the out-of-this-world Black Diamond 52-foot canopied catamaran at the 2013 Miami International Boat Show in February (read the story), delivering five of the company's new 42-foot center console models (read the story) and being inducted into the inaugural Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Hall of Fame in August (read the story), Marine Technology Inc. owner Randy Scism has had quite an unforgettable year. Very positive about the resurgence in business over the past 12 months, especially with the 48- and 52-foot catamarans, Scism can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for the Wentzville, Mo., company.

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Highs and Lows from 2013: Dave Hemmingson

As the founder of Dave's Custom Boats (DCB) in El Cajon, Calif., Dave Hemmingson has seen his company grow to new heights practically every year for the past two decades. This year was one he will never forget, that's for sure. Between getting the first two M41 Widebody catamarans on the water and the introduction of the M29, the 29-foot sibling of the M31, M35 and M41 models, Hemmingson had a lot to smile about when reflecting on the 2013 boating season.

A highlight of 2013 for Dave Hemmingson, the founder of Dave's Custom Boats, was finishing the company's second M41 Widebody model and showcasing it at the Big Cat Poker Run in Northern California.A highlight of 2013 for Dave Hemmingson, the founder of Dave's Custom Boats, was finishing the company's second M41 Widebody model and showcasing it at the Big Cat Poker Run in Northern California.

High: Easily the high for me was building the second M41, the red one. From start to finish, it was amazing to see that boat come to life. And then to be able to run it at some poker runs and at the DCB Regatta was incredible. There's nothing like it on the water.

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Highs and Lows from 2013: Marc Granet

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While driver Marc Granet is without question the public face of the Miss GEICO offshore racing team, he also is the first person to emphasize that regardless of what happens on the racecourse it is the result of a "top-to-bottom, all-around team effort." And with world championships on the Super Boat International and Offshore Powerboat Association circuits, the Miss GEICO team's efforts were rewarded handsomely this season. But the team's journey to those titles, according to Granet, was the best part of all—even sweeter than the victories themselves.

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Highs and Lows From 2013: Alexi Sahagian

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For high-performance marine engine builder Alexi Sahagian, the owner and founder of Boostpower USA in Newbury Park, Calif., business in 2013 was every bit as strong as it has been for the past several years. That's because the company has a solid international customer base including clients in Australia, Dubai, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and more. So when the United States economy hit the skids in 2008, Boostpower's business, according to Sahagian, was unaffected. In fact, Sahagain said his business increased "something like 12 percent during the bad times."

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