And the plot—as the saying goes—thickens.
Two weeks ago, Jeff Stevenson, the owner and driver of the JBS Racing 42-foot MTI catamaran currently competing in the Class 1 World Championship Series produced by P1 Offshore, ordered a 46-foot raceboat from Skater Powerboats. Lamination of the canopied catamaran began this week.
Lamination is underway for the JBS Racing Skater catamaran and is slated for completion in six to nine months.
The build will be complete in six to nine months, according to Stevenson and Skater national sales manager Tony Cutsuries. Then rigging will begin.
“We’re excited to build this boat for Jeff, really excited,” Cutsuries said.
Stevenson’s cat is the second recent order for a 40-plus-foot, canopied rudder-steered raceboat from the Douglas, Mich., company. Skater currently is building a 438 catamaran for Super Cat-class M CON team owner/driver Tyler Miller, who will have it rigged at Performance Boat Center with Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines and campaign it in Class 1 next season.
But the big question is this: What engines will be installed under the hatches of Stevenson’s 46-footer?
Stevenson has a lot to consider engine-wise when it comes to powering his new 46-footer. Photo by Brian Radtke copyright MediaOne7.
Neither Stevenson’s current JBS Racing ride nor the 50-foot df Young Mystic catamaran—debuting this weekend in the St. Petersburg Grand Prix and owned by driver Rich Wyatt—are equipped with Mercury Racing 1100 Comp engines, which originally were established as spec power for the Class 1 revival that began with the 2019 season. JBS Racing is powered by naturally aspirated 1,100-hp V-16 mills from Sixteen Power, while df Young has turbocharged Stotler engines detuned to 1,100 hp.
Both were allowed in the Class 1 ranks this season by P1 Offshore—with guarded approval from series backer Mercury Racing—to help build the once-international offshore racing category.
A stakeholder in Sixteen Power, Stevenson has not decided which engines he’ll use. If allowed, he’ll run the 46-footer next season—assuming it is completed and rigged in time—in Class 1 with the same 1,100-hp V-16 engines in his current MTI raceboat. If not, he’ll opt for a pair of twin supercharged V-16s producing 2,000-plus hp and run the boat in the American Power Boat Association’s Extreme class or the Offshore Powerboat Association’s Unlimited class, though competition in those classes these days is scarce to nonexistent.
Competing in Class 1 and currently third in the points standings, JBS Racing is powered by 1,100-hp V-16 engines from Sixteen Power.
In that case, the 46-footer would become an offshore racing showcase/marketing vehicle for Sixteen Power.
“Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” Stevenson said. “We still have the current Class 1 season to focus on with my MTI.”
At present, JBS Racing is holding third place in the eight-race Class 1 World Championship Series.
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