The Highs and Lows From 2012: Mike Fiore

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Changes were substantial at Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, R.I., in 2012. Early this year, the custom V-bottom and catamaran builder introduced the SV29, the company’s first single-engine V-bottom and its smallest model to date. Near the end of the year, Outerlimits not only opened a West Coast repowering and service operation in Fresno, Calif., but relocated to a new 80,000-square-foot facility just three miles from its existing plant in Bristol. Here’s what Mike Fiore, the owner and founder of the company, offered as his high and low for 2012.

High: For Outerlimits, the high had to be the new SV29 winning the Super V Light World championships. To come out with a brand-new boat and go undefeated to win that championship is pretty cool, especially with such authoritative victories.

Low The low is that the economy has not recovered enough for everybody in the marine industry to stay in business. We lost a few boat brands this year, and that’s sad.

mikereggieMike Fiore (left) with his former arch rival Reggie Fountain.

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The Highs and Lows From 2012: Fred Kiekhaefer

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What better person to kick off The Highs and Lows of 2012 series on speedonthewater.com than Fred Kiekhaefer, the outgoing president of Mercury Racing? By the time this series is finished in January, Kiekhaefer, who has held the reins of the companyfor 23 years, will be working as a consultant for the high-performance marine engine-building giant in Fond Du Lac, Wis. That’s a big change for a strong and innovative leader. Here’s what he gave as his high and low for 2012.

High: “I guess the high was that Brunswick picked Erik Christiansen to be my successor at Mercury Racing.”

Low: “I was disappointed that Gasse broke a water hose in one race and a steering fitting in another and could not finish all three races at the (Key West) Worlds. It would have been nice to see them win the Worlds. But that’s racing.

“On a larger scale, I am disappointed that our business and the economy has not recovered to the point where I could bring back some of the people we let go. I am still very disappointed that the confidence in the economy has not come back, for very understandable reasons.”

fredk2Fred Kiekhaefer

Editor’s Note: Look for a complete feature on Fred Kiekhaefer on the home page of offshoreonly.com tomorrow.

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Dave Hemmingson's high for 2012 was completing the M41 Widebody.

For round two of The Highs and Lows of 2012 series on speedonthewater.com, the founder of Dave's Custom Boats (DCB), Dave Hemmingson, took a moment to reflect at the end of a busy year. Not only is DCB in the midst of expanding its popular M Series catamarans with the new M41 Widebody and the M29 Widebody, which will be finished in early 2013, the El Cajon, Calif., company has been charging ahead by attending more events annually and focusing on its redesigned website. In fact, the crew at DCB recently introduced a new feature called InsideOut, which follows the happenings in and out of the DCB shop. Here's what Hemmingson had to say about the year 2012.

Read more: The Highs and Lows From 2012: Dave Hemmingson

Preview: The Highs and Lows of 2012

Bob Teague, who races the Team AMSOIL Skater and owns Teague Custom Marine, will be one of 15 individuals participating in speedonthewater.com's 2012 Highs and Lows. Photo by Paul Kemiel

As it happens at the end of every year, journalists take the time to reflect on the year’s biggest stories (that story is coming, trust us). But, to put a different spin on it, we thought we’d ask some of the most-respected individuals in the go-fast boating business what they thought were the highs and lows of this year.

So, over the next three weeks, we’ll be running a new high and low from a different industry insider. First up on Monday—the legendary Fred Kiekhaefer of Mercury Racing.

Other participants include Skip Braver of Cigarette Racing, Dave Hemmingson of Dave’s Custom Boats, Scott Sjogren of Pier 57, Mike Fiore of Outerlimits Powerboats, Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine and many others. Check back Monday and each day through Jan. 4.