A couple of days after Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats president and co-owner Joe Sgro died from injuries sustained during a poker run to Key West, Fla., in November 2017, a group of loyal Outerlimits clients gathered at the Beach House Resort. Dan Kleitz, the longtime public face of the Bristol, R.I., company, addressed the group. His message was simple.
With longtime backer Brian McLaughlin officially its sole owner, the future looks bright for one of the world’s premiere custom high-performance powerboat builders. Photo courtesy/copyright Halsey Fulton/Speedonthewater.com.
“We’re going to go on and keep building boats,” he said through tears, his voice choked with emotion. “Outerlimits isn’t going anywhere.”
That Kleitz had to deliver a similar message to clients just three years earlier following the death of Mike Fiore, the founder of Outerlimits, from injuries sustained during the 2014 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri, made the moment particularly poignant and heartbreaking. Just 27 years old when Sgro died, Kleitz had faced not one but two unimaginable losses.
Anyone could have forgiven Kleitz for what easily could have been seen as purely wishful thinking. With Sgro gone, the future of the company, which had seen plenty of financial ups and downs since Fiore founded it in the early 1990s, did not look bright.