Against all odds, a team of anglers on a 39-foot Cigarette center console took home almost $23,000 in a billfish tournament.
Within 15 minutes of my June 15 story going live about Liquid Apple, a Cigarette 39’ GTS built in the 2015 and powered by triple Mercury Racing Verado 350 outboard engines entering the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic June 21-25 at Sandestin, Fla., a text from a smart-ass marine industry friend appeared on my iPhone.
“Must be a slow news day if you’re writing about that,” the text read. “They’re gonna get killed out there in that boat.”
Of course, he was taking more of a good-natured jab at me than the Cigarette. (For the record, I have a lot of friends like him.) But I understood where he was coming from. Hardcore sportfishing machines in the 45- to 105-foot range—not 39-foot performance oriented center consoles—comprise the vast majority of the fleet in the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic in the Gulf of Mexico. The boats often run more than 100 miles offshore, where rough water is almost always par for the course. Size matters out there.