Brit Lilly, the talented, hardworking driver and owner of the multi-time world-championship-winner LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness 29-foot Extreme raceboat, is something of a young Renaissance man in the high-performance boating world. The 32-year-old can drive the lights out of a raceboat—he and LSB’s excellent throttleman Kevin Smith have proven to be the most cockpit duo in the Pro Stock V-class ranks. He can paint—his airbrush work on the Superboat Vee-class Tug It Fountain raceboat is nothing short of spectacular. And he knows his way around lamination processes and materials, something he’s proven time and time again at the Arnold, Md.-based Lilly Sport Boats shop.
Now, with his recent acquisition of the second- and-first-generation 29-foot Extreme Powerboats V-bottom molds, Lilly is about to add “boatbuilder” to his formidable resume.
The first 29 Extreme built by Lilly with be a single-outboard-powered pleasure boat (click image to enlarge).
Extreme founder Mark Spates died in August after and an excruciating battle with cancer. A longtime friend of the innovative designer, offshore racing veteran Steve Miklos, who also competes in the single-engine V-bottom ranks and has been a mentor to Lilly, purchased the molds from the Spates family and gave them to the aspiring boat-builder. Lilly will begin his first build of a “second-generation” 29-footer this weekend. The open-cockpit pleasure boat will be powered by a single Mercury Racing 450R outboard engine,
“It’s a dream come true to have this privilege,” said Lilly, who is the son of offshore racing great Art Lilly. “I have my family, friends and the entire LSB shop backing me. It’s truly awesome.
“I’m lucky Steve Miklos took a chance me,” he continued, then laughed. “I’m guess I’m going to owe him a raceboat.”
Miklos’ build, however, will have to wait. After Lilly finishes the pleasure version of the 29-footer, he’ll be building a new canopied raceboat for him and Smith. He may even build one for extreme-sports superstar Travis Pastrana, who dipped his toes in the waters offshore racing at the American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series season-opener in Cocoa Beach, Fla., last May.
Lilly’s airbrush talents were on full display last season in the Super Vee-class Tug It raceboat.
“There are lot of people rooting for Brit, and I’m one of them,” said Miklos. “Brit can do it all. He’s a world champion. He’s a great painter, He can build and rig. It’s going to be cool as shit.
“Brit is the guy to have these molds,” he continued. “Mark was a dear friend to me and he even talked to me about selling the molds to Brit—he wanted him to have them. Most people don’t understand how talented Brit is. He will continue Mark’s legacy. He is the guy to do it. And I’ll get a new raceboat out of it someday.”
Miklos paused to laugh. “I’m not the guy to do it,” he said. “That much I know. Brit is.”
The raceboats will be laid up with epoxy, carbon fiber and Kevlar. Epoxy and S-glass will used in the construction of their pleasure-boat siblings.
No one is happier about the acquisition than Smith.
“I’m super-excited about it,” said Smith, who owns the tooling for a 41-foot Platinum V-bottom. “I think Brit and I share the same taste in the way we want things to look and perform. I am just super-pumped for him to go to the next step. With all the stuff he has in mind for it, it’s going to be a really bad sucker.
“Once we get our new raceboat done, we’ll compete in it, get all the bugs out of it and then sell them,” he continued. “I’m just looking forward to being part of whole deal. I’ll do whatever Brit wants me to, crash-test dummy, whatever.”
Lilly’s second 29-foot Extreme build will replace his current LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness raceboat.
At some point, the 41-footer could make it into production under the Extreme umbrella. But that’s substantially down the road, most likely a matter of years rather than months. Right now, the Lilly and company have their hands full with their first pleasure version of the 29 Extreme.
“Mark Spates was a guy I looked to for fiberglass wisdom—someone I went to for reassurance on a build,” said Lilly. “He is greatly missed, I had to carry on as bad-ass as he was with his boats.”