After three years of covering the development of the first pair of 1,700-hp engines from Sterling Performance on speednthewater.com, when the moment of truth came—the moment I sat next to John Tomlinson in a 36-foot Skater catamaran that became the test bed for the turbocharged monsters on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks—I wasn’t sure that I wanted any part of it. Sure, Tomlinson is one of two men on the planet I trust in the driver’s seat of such a boat, and Tomlinson had a lot of seat time in this one. Back when it had a canopy and was called Bacardi Silver, he raced it offshore and even ran it to more than 200 mph with its driver and owner David Scott.
But 36 feet is not much boat for 3,400 hp. So I was anxious. The damn thing had run 195 mph the day before.
(Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.)