When Kansas performance boater Tyler Miller got his first taste of running the offshore catamaran he and his cousin, Brett Miller, purchased—the 40-foot Skater Powerboats cat Recovery—he was hooked. The self-proclaimed “V-bottom guy” said it was over from there.
Tyler and Lindsey Miller celebrate the delivery of their new 40-foot Skater raceboat (click to enlarge). All photos courtesy Brett Miller
Then after a few years of keeping a watchful eye on the Lake Race on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks—the lake he and Brett most often frequent in Recovery or Brett’s outboard-powered 28-foot Skater Lil’ Recovery—Tyler thought offshore racing looked fun. One thing led to another and after about a year of looking at various boats, Tyler is the proud new owner of the former WMH Motorsports 40-foot Skater owned by longtime offshore racer Billy Mauff.
Tyler, who was on hand for the boat’s delivery to Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo., yesterday, said he’s super excited about the upcoming opportunity to race with his cousin or whoever else ends up joining him in the boat, which is going to be rigged by the talented team at Performance Boat Center.
“We’re hoping to debut the boat, which will be named M CON after my underground utilities company, M CON, LLC, at the first race of the 2017 Super Boat International season in Cocoa Beach, Fla.,” said Tyler, a former motocross racer. “Depending on everyone’s schedule, we’re probably going to do three or four SBI races along with the Lake Race. Before that though we’re going to spend some time with the WHM and Performance Boat Center teams at the Key West World Championships in a few weeks to learn as much as we can.”
Tyler said he and Brett are planning to run Recovery from Miami to Key West on Wednesday, the first day of the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run, which also happens to be the first of SBI’s three days of races in Key West.
“The first time Brett and I did Key West with Recovery we went through the race pits on Saturday,” Tyler said. “It was a fun experience but this year will be much different as we’ll be paying a lot more attention to what’s taking place, and we’ll be there for several days.”
According to Tyler, working with Mauff to purchase the boat was a great experience.
“Billy has been a rock star—he’s helped me through the whole process,” Tyler continued. “We’ve talked for many hours on the phone. He told me he’ll help with setup sheets and he offered to let me join his team in the pits in Key West. He wants the competition, and he wants to see his old boat out there.”
Check out the slideshow above for more delivery pictures of the former WHM Motorsports Skater.
Tyler also is happy to have the initial support, guidance and assistance from Performance Boat Center, which also campaigns a Skater in the Superboat class. He said the boat came with three engines from Sterling Performance—the two that are in it now were used in a couple of races before Billy built his new boat and debuted it at the 2014 Key West World Championships and the other one is at Sterling being rebuilt.
“We have a set of Sterling’s generation 1 Superboat engines, not the generation 2 engines like Billy and some of the other teams are running,” Tyler explained. “Our ultimate goal would be to get a set of gen 2 engines, but that is going to come down to budget.”
According to Tyler and Brett, a lot of the team’s decisions might come down to budget, unless of course it can round up some sponsorship dollars.
“We know how much it costs to keep a pleasure boat going and we know the math to go racing isn’t going to be any better,” Brett said. “Here’s the thing—whatever Tyler does, he does it first class. He’s planning to paint the boat, make it his own, refresh the motors and add new oxygen and new seats. We’ll have to do some things in phases, but we’re going to have fun and the boat should be pretty competitive.”
Tyler made sure not to leave out his biggest supporter.
“I have to say none of this would be possible without the blessing and push from my wife, Lindsey,” Tyler said. “She’s been a boater girl forever. She enjoys going fast so I’m sure she’ll be out testing with me from time to time.”