When Mike Fiore died on Tuesday, August 29, after surgery to repair injuries sustained in a high-speed crash during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri, anguish slammed the entire high-performance powerboating community. In the weeks preceding the East and West Coast Celebration of Life services for the 44-year-old custom go-fast boat builder in September, time stood still for Fiore’s family and friends. Left behind were his 10-year-old daughter, Sophia, from a previous marriage, his 18-month-old son, Jet, his three-month-old daughter, Moxie, and his wife, Shonda. In building more than 400 boats, he created an army of loyal friends, admirers and customers—many of whom were one in the same—such as Joe Sgro, Pete Mazzo, Frank Dagostino, Bob Russell, Buddy Thomas, Dave Scotto and Joel Begin.
With the future uncertain for the company he founded more than 20 years ago, the legacy of Mike Fiore continues to unfold. Like all performance boat builders, he struggled through the recession that began in late 2007. Like precious few of them, he emerged with a stronger, albeit far more streamlined and bottom-line conscious, company that was building some of the most exciting products on the market. That an Outerlimits SV 43 claimed the title of “World’s Fastest V-Bottom” with a kilometer run speed record of more than 180 mph only served to accentuate what most go-fast enthusiasts already knew: When it came to V-bottom performance and quality, Outerlimits was on top of the world.
But those are our words. What follows are more from others knew him well, as well as a few words Fiore himself, all of which—unless otherwise indicated—appeared in a feature celebrating the 20th anniversary of Outerlimits in the July/August 2013 issue of this magazine—Matt Trulio and Jason Johnson