Members of the Florida Powerboat Club saw a lot of the Project 1080 Cigarette sportboat in 2019. That’s because the 38-footer, which was built in 2000 and completely restored inside and out and repowered with twin Mercury Racing 540 engines, belongs to Stu Jones, the head of the Pompano Beach, Fla., event-producing outfit. With Jones at the helm, the 38 Top Gun served as the paceboat at most FPC events last year, and will again this year.
Restored and repowered, a vintage Cigarette sportboat transported poker-run impresario Stu Jones and his family on a coast-to-coast New Year’s week adventure. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But Project 1080 served its highest function— as the Jones family fun boat—during New Year’s week as Jones, his wife, Jackie, and Tyler and Max, their 16- and 14-year-old sons, used it to cross the state for an eight-day vacation. Two days after Christmas, they kicked off the boating adventure that took them north from Pompano Beach to Stuart. From there, they turned west and headed across the Sunshine State to Fort Myers. Along the way, they negotiated several locks and crossed Lake Okeechobee, albeit with a stop at the famed Roland Martin Fishing Camp and Resort for a bite to eat.
“Jackie and the boys did a great job in the locks,” Jones said. “The lock-masters, as I call them, were very pleasant, but if you don’t do it right they don’t want you in their lock. Rain was coming, so we shot across the lake to Roland Martin’s place, which was something I’d wanted to show the boys, to hang out in the tiki bar and have some gator bites.”
Jones paused to laugh. “And somehow I found the world’s slowest gas pump,” he said, then laughed again. “It took me an hour to put in 160 gallons of fuel.”To enjoy the complete feature, click the download link for the PDF of the November/December 2019 Speed On The Water magazine, and please share any feedback with us below, via email or on social media.