The first time Skip Braver, the chief executive officer and owner of Cigarette Racing Team asked me what I thought of the 41′ Stern Drive 1040 luxury center console, I had to muster polite enthusiasm. In fairness to Braver and the rest of the crew at the Opa-locka, Fla., company, I was staring at scale model in his office. And no matter how well a scale model is done—and this one was done really well—it’s still a model, which to me at least is a toy boat.
And even if they’re inside bottles, I find it hard to get excited about toy boats.
The second time Braver asked me what I thought of his company’s latest creation I didn’t have to dig deep to find an answer. After spending the morning crawling all over the 41-footer, I’d just driven the first model on Biscayne Bay. And before hitting those protected environs of the Intracoastal Waterway, Cigarette’s Bud Lorow, Braver and I had taken the boat offshore in 2- to 4-foot wind-jumbled ocean slop.
“It reminds of driving a BMW, a Lexus or Mercedes,” I said. “Easy as hell to drive, but fun as hell to drive, too.”