As easy going and soft-spoken as he is, Bob Barnhart is downright intense and adventurous when it comes to powerboating. Just for fun in June 2008, for example, the Ontario, Canada, native broke Reggie Fountain, Jr.’s 2002 Key West-to Cancun speed record by 29 minutes in a 50-foot Nor-Tech he had built earlier that year for exactly that purpose. Called Predator and powered by triple 488-hp Yanmar diesel engines, the 50-footer became the platform for Barnhart’s many adventures throughout the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands.
By his own estimation, Barnhart, who owns a winter home in Marco Island, Fla., has logged more than 8,000 hours running open cockpit V-bottom sportboats—1,200 of which were in Predator. At least in part, his move earlier this year to a new Mystic Powerboats M4200 center console had a lot to do with simply getting out of the sun.
“With all those hours in an open-cockpit boat, I ended up with a bit of skin cancer,” he said, then chuckled. “With the Mystic, I’m always in the shade. The added bonus is I can still wear a cap if I want while I’m running. Of all the high-end center console boats, I believe the Mystic 42 does the best job of mitigating wind in the cockpit. It makes the ride that much more pleasant.”
Of course, Barnhart went with the 42-footer, which he ordered after the 2018 Miami International Boat Show with quad Mercury Marine Verado 350 engines and dubbed Predator 2.0, for more than its ability to provide shade. Barnhart likes long trips and doesn’t let pesky details such as rough water and bad weather get in his way.