A little more than a month ago, Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman said farewell to Mad Props, a 32-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 700SCi engines. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based couple ran their beloved and colorful, 2009 model-year cat for a little less than four years at events around the country. They agreed that their next boat would be a new or late-model pre-owned Mercury Racing 450R outboard engine-powered catamaran.
Beyond that they were wide open, and to that end they looked at new outboard-powered sport cats from DCB Performance Boats and Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats, which both are in the process of completing their first 37-footer outboard-powered cats. They explored existing offerings from Fountain Powerboats, MTI, Statement Marine, Victory and Wright Performance. All of the models they considered, as well as the builders behind them, had something that appealed to them—save for one thing.
Harris and Aleman will take delivery of their 340X—piloted by Taylor and Randy Scism during the 2019 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—at the Camden On The Lake Resort during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in August. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
Time. Across the board, new-build deliveries were booked out through next summer and fall. Inventory was nonexistent. And after not having a performance boat of their own for many years and finally landing what they wanted in Mad Props, they simply couldn’t wait that long.
Which, at least in part, explains why they just purchased a 2019 MTI powered by a pair of 450Rs. The 34-footer was the Wentzville, Mo., custom boat company’s immaculately cared-for demo boat.
“There’s almost no inventory out there,” Aleman said. “We have a phenomenal relationship with all of the builders. Running the 34-foot Fountain with Billy Moore, for example, was awesome and it sold us on the Mercury 450R outboards.
“This was a timing decision,” she continued. “We have phenomenal relationships with all of the builders.”
“We are used to having a boat on the water, so delivery time was critical for us,” he said. “Randy Scism at MTI has always treated us like family, even though we didn’t own an MTI. The fact the 340X we bought was a demo model and kept by them made the decision easier.”
In their search for the right outboard-powered catamaran, Aleman shared cockpit duties in the MTI 340X catamaran—the one they would end up buying—with MTI principal and legendary throttleman Randy Scism. Photo by Greg Harris copyright speedonthewater.com.
Scism learned via Facebook that Harris and Aleman were looking for a new outboard cat and reached out to them. As it happened, the couple was looking to escape their COVID-19 confines of Fort Lauderdale and they visited Scism at his Wentzville facility in early July. They quickly learned that a new MTI 390X or 340X catamaran was out of their timeframe.
During their Missouri visit, they headed to the Lake of the Ozarks to drive a Mercury Racing 450R-powered 390X demo boat, as well as the 340X demo model.Scism had both cats waiting at his dock when Harris and Aleman arrived. He took them out personally in both boats with Aleman at the wheel and Harris riding in one of the rear seats. Those positions never changed.
“We told him to run the boat hard—to the full extent of his capabilities on the rough Lake of the Ozarks water—and he did,” Harris said.
The experience of having a couple come to demo a boat and having the woman involved take the wheel for the entire time was a first Scism.
“Greg was fine with it,” he said. “It was his idea.”
“Randy kept asking me, ‘Are you sure you don’t to switch seats with me and throttle?’” Harris said. “I told him was I was fine right where I was.
“We ran both boats on the same day in the same water conditions,” he added. “Both were very impressive.”
Aleman was particularly proud to run the boat in the footsteps of Taylor Scism, the daughter of Randy and Cherell Scism, who works for the company in client relations, marketing and event organization. Taylor Scism actually piloted the boat with her father during the 2019 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
“I had a personal connection to that,” Aleman said. “I believe women in boating should be active participants. That’s really important to me. I was pretty impressed that a boat run by a woman was going to another woman driver.”
“We left and talked it over,” Harris said. “Randy wasn’t going to let the 390X demo boat go, so we asked him about the 340X. We ironed out some details and wired him the money.”
The 34-footer currently is being “personalized” in Mad Props fashion at MTI. Harris and Aleman will take delivery of the cat during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout at the Camden On The Lake Resort in late August. They still plan to order a new outboard-powered catamaran, but the pressure of getting the right sport cat to finish out this season and carry them through the next is off.
“It was the right boat for us, just like the Skater was the right one for us at the time,” said Aleman. “And it was the right opportunity and it all worked out, so we did it.”
Though their beloved Mad Props has a new home, Harris and Aleman will bring styling touches of their beloved 32-foot Skater into their new MTI. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthwater.com.