Mercury Makes A New Connection

A couple of years ago while covering the Miami International Boat Show, I encountered a member of the FELL Marine team, which had a small display alongside the Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats docks to showcase its new WiMEA Wireless Kill Switch. An acronym for Wireless Marine Electronics Algorithm, the WiMEA Wireless Kill Switch caught my eye and I ended up featuring the product in an issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine because the ingenuity of the system, which featured a Boat unit and a Man Over Board (MOB) unit that could be worn on your wrist, attached to your life vest or put it in your pocket, was undeniable.

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Mercury Marine is proud to be partnering with FELL Marine in an effort to bring its customers the same level of connectivity and performance that they experience with their automobiles. Photo by FELL Marine

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BoatUS Promoting Spring Aboard Week, No-Cost Safety Classes

You probably didn't know this—I didn't—but according to a press release from the BoatUS Foundation, "Spring Aboard" week starts Sunday. And that means next week, March 18-24, is a perfect time to take a boating safety course before the start of the boating season.


Ready for the boating season—why not take a free boating safety course to get you even more ready? Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

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Honoring the Lifesavers

If there’s one thing I don’t write enough of, it’s articles related to safety. Whether it’s safety advice, equipment, skills, reminders, etc., I’m going to make a concerted effort to produce some more safety-oriented articles this year starting with a positive one about life-saving rescues.

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BoatUS Chairman and CEO Kirk La (left to right) poses with one of the four Woody Pollack Award winners, Capt. Kyle Potts of TowBoatUS Charlotte Harbor, Fla., and Capt. Christina M. Davidson of the US Coast Guard Office of Search and Rescue. Photo courtesy BoatUS

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From V-Bottom To Catamaran

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Transitioning from a big offshore V-bottom to a big offshore catamaran, seasoned performance-boat owner Mark DiMichele (pictured here with his wife, Joanie) made all the right moves.

Before he bought a 2017 Mystic Powerboats C4400 catamaran from well-known go-fast boating community member Ron Szolack about a month ago, Mark DiMichele was a devout V-bottom man. The Canton, Mich., contractor who does most of his boating on nearby Lake St. Clair, started out with a 27-foot Donzi sportboat and followed it up with three more Donzi V-bottoms—a 33-footer and two 38-footers—before stepping up to an Outerlimits SV 40 powered by twin Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines a few years ago.

DiMichele and his wife, Joanie, loved their burgundy-hued, open-cockpit 40-footer—they ran it in the Boyne Thunder Poker Run and several other events this summer—but were ready for a change. “It was a great boat,” he said. “And a really beautiful boat.”

For a closer look at DiMichele's Mystic C4400 catamaran, which he insures through Wozencraft Insurance Agency, check out the slideshow above.

That change came in the form of the Mystic C4400 cat with Mercury Racing 1100 engines owned by Szolack, who took DiMichele’s Outerlimits SV 40 on trade to make the deal happen. Suddenly, DiMichele found himself in possession of his first catamaran, and one capable of running close to 160 mph.

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Straight-A Student Driver


On the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe, one motorsports expert taught another how to handle a high-performance catamaran.

Chris Miller loves high-performance machines. When he isn’t driving his Cantina Racing Trophy Truck with an 870-hp engine and 32 inches of travel in SCORE International Off Road Racing competition, the 43-year-old Southern California-based businessman is piloting either his Beechcraft King Air or Learjet aircraft. A longtime V-bottom owner, Miller easily could have been overconfident in his ability to teach himself to handle the Skater 388 catamaran—powered by Mercury Racing 1350 engines—he purchased a couple of weeks ago from Karl Koster in Discovery Bay, Calif.

But then, Miller, and his wife, Jennifer, have five little girls from two to 11 years old at their home near San Diego. And even if he didn’t have a family to cherish and protect, overconfidence simply isn’t in the man’s vocabulary. But responsibility and humility are.

“These boats are very cool, but there is massive responsibility that comes with them,” said Miller, who is spending the summer—per family tradition—with his wife and children on Lake Tahoe’s north in Nevada. “You have to be humble when you approach it. You have to listen. You have to learn from the best people.”

In Grant Bruggemann of Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla., Miller found one of those people.

While spending summers at Lake Tahoe is a Miller family tradition, the clan has added a new wrinkle with a 38-footer Skater catamaran.

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