What a difference 36 years make. In 1984, David Branton of Covington, La., purchased his first Cigarette Racing Team sportboat, which at 28 feet was one of the smallest V-bottoms Cigarette ever offered. Just in time for this year’s Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run in early November, he bought the Cigarette-AMG 59 Tirranna, the largest model the famed Opa-locka, Fla., company has ever built, as well as the AMG G-Wagon that shares styling cues with the mostly black beauty powered by six Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines.
The flagship of Cigarette’s HyperLux series that includes the 515 sportboat and 42 Auroris and 41 Nighthawk center consoles, the 59-footer was introduced at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show. It is Cigarette model No. 15 for the close-knit Branton family.
David Branton and company ran the 59-footer in a portion of the 2020 Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“We were sitting around one night, eating pizza with Rusty Williams of (Cigarette dealer) Performance Boat Center and my wife, Leeann, was talking about how much she liked that boat—she’s always loved Cigarettes,” said Branton, who does most of his boating with his son, Jim, a well-known Skater Powerboats catamaran owner. “And I said, ‘Yeah, but where do you keep it?’”
That set Williams in motion. Not only did he make Branton a “great deal” on the boat-and-automobile combo, he set him up to keep the boat at Grove Harbour Marina in Coconut Grove, Fla., where the vessel will be kept and maintained year-round. The owner and his family and friends will use for the 59-footer, which tops out at 80-plus mph, for trips to the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.
A boat owner of eclectic tastes beyond the high-performance realm with everything from sportfishers and vintage creations in his considerable fleet, Branton views the Cigarette-AMG 59 Tirranna as the perfect family boat.
“Family is a big priority for us, and with all the husbands and wives and kids there are 12 people whenever we go anywhere,” he said, then laughed. “This boat will get the job done—it’s going to be perfect.”
Cigarette Racing Team introduced the flagship of its new HyperLux series at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show. Photo courtesy/copyright Cigarette Racing Team.
And in his son, Jim, Branton has the perfect co-captain for the family’s upcoming adventures as, though predominantly a catamaran fan, the younger Branton has plenty of V-bottom experience.
“Jim was running our Cigarette 35 Mistress when he was four years old,” Branton said, then laughed again.
Editor’s note: Look for comprehensive feature on the Branton family’s remarkable history of high-performance powerboat ownership in the next issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine.
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