If all goes to plan, New Jersey’s Ron Roman will pilot his converted Skater Powerboats 368 catamaran raceboat dubbed Motley Crew in this year’s early November Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run. But if things don’t go as planned—such conversions have been known to take more time than expected—the former offshore racer will still have something special to run in the form of a famed 2008 model-year Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats 47 GTX V-bottom called Pure Evil.
Owned by Ron Roman, Pure Evil is among the most memorable builds from Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Of course, that assumes he’ll still own the 47-footer powered by aggressively staggered 1,200-hp supercharged Keith Eickert engines as it’s for sale. “It is available to the highest bidder,” Roman said, then chuckled.
For now at least, Pure Evil is his. Roman purchased the boat in 2018.
“In 2008, that 47 GTX was built solely as a kilo boat to break Fountain’s V-bottom kilo record,” he said. “No expense was spared in building the lightest strongest layup possible, with the boat coming in at a dry weight of 8,000 pounds, which was unimaginable for a 47.”
Though the boat didn’t break the kilo record, it reached 174 mph at one point in its early life.
Former All-Pro NFL defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth first owned the 47-footer originally painted by Dean Loucks of The Art of Design, followed by a couple of other owners. The boat ended up in storage at Outerlimits company headquarters in Bristol, R.I., for several years before Roman bought it and began bringing it out of dormancy.
His first order of business was testing.
For more images of Pure Evil, check out the slideshow above.
“After five minutes in the boat, I knew others had changed the entire setup of an Outerlimits that had once run 174 mph,” Roman said. “So I began to unwind history and try to solve the puzzle.”
That process began with a thorough inspection of “what was going on under the deck,” he said. To get that done, he tasked his then 10-year-old daughter to crawl through the 12-x-12-inch access entry, which he believed was too small for him to pass through.
“If I got through, I wasn’t sure I’d get out,” he said, then laughed. “I had so many near-death experiences on the racecourse. Getting trapped in a raceboat with a skull on the deck wasn’t the way I wanted to go out.
“Shortly after entering the hull, my daughter informed me there was more than 1,000 pounds of sand bags scattered all over up here,” he continued. “I was surprised but not shocked and began to understand that the puzzle ran deeper than expected.”
The sandbags had to go, that much Roman knew immediately. “They had been added out of fear to offset how light the boat was,” he said.
After making those changes, Roman spent “countless hours” testing and making adjustments. He tested for six months and eventually raised the X-dimensions for the drives and changed their gear ratios and rotation. He also replaced the boat’s too-tall propellers with smaller-pitch models.
By 2019, Roman said, he had corrected “70 percent” of the boat’s issues. That year he ran to Key West, Fla., alongside another Outerlimits V-bottom piloted by the company’s Dan Kleitz.
“Dan told me he’d never seen Pure Evil run so well,” Roman said.
But the work continued, and now all that remains are cosmetic touches. Roman plans to have a bit of paint touch-up work done before the 2022 boating season begins “to make it perfect.”
“Now it carries perfectly at neutral trim, flies dead-level and when rolling into the throttle feels like you are shot out of a cannon,” he said. “I’ve owned many catamarans and V-bottoms and this is the first V-bottom I’ve ever been in that once you’re clipping at 100 mph you can close your eyes and would swear you are in a catamaran.
“It’s truly a testament on how efficient these Outerlimits hulls run,” he added.
Roman said he may run the Pure Evil Outerlimits in the Spartan Powerboat Club Memorial Day Fun event. He also plans to run the Motley Crew Skater, as previously noted, in the Florida Powerboat Club’s signature event in Key West. But if his wild catamaran isn’t finished, he could run his equally outrageous V-bottom.
At least if he still owns it.