Grant Bruggemann isn’t a fan of what he calls “grumpy” boats.” By that the founder and namesake of Grant’s Signature Racing simply means any recreational go-fast catamaran and V-bottom that is a hassle to operate or mechanically temperamental. And in a flat-deck Skater Powerboats 328 catamaran with triple Mercury Marine 300X outboard engines that arrived at his Bradenton, Fla., shop several months ago, Bruggemann found exactly that. Built in 2009, the 32-footer owned by former offshore powerboat racer Matt Rice had, well, issues.
“A third engine means extra fuel pumps and an extra fuel catch/return tank,” Bruggemann explained. “It was a chore to start it up and go for a ride. Of course, with triple engines the dash was littered with gauges. Without a center pod in the hull, the third engine was getting slammed by the water at anything but low or high speed. Its manners around the docks were a little jumpy. Even though it wasn’t built as raceboat, its overall manners were very race oriented. That doesn’t make for a good pleasure boat.
“Matt has a second home on Siesta Key,” he continued. “When he comes into town he wants to enjoy himself—he doesn’t want to mess around with a grumpy boat that doesn’t start or shift. He wanted something simple, and it wasn’t going to happen with a triple-engine boat. So we decided to go with a twin-engine application and make it a lot more user friendly. He wanted to keep it simple, jump in and turn the keys and go. And that’s what we did for him.”