Yesterday afternoon, Greg Harris watched Mad Props, his 32-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran built in 2009 and powered by Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines, depart its former home in South Florida for its new digs in Louisiana with James Branton. Harris, now boat-less in the Sunshine State—but not for long—needed the 32-footer to find a good home, and in the sale to Branton he did just that.
Since Harris purchased Mad Props in 2016, the 32-foot Skater catamaran has been a fixture on the go-fast boating event circuit. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
Which leaves me, thanks to my former (I am kidding, of course) dear friends, in a quandary. What am I going to do for a safe and sane ride with operators I trust in the upcoming Chattanooga River Run in Tennessee? Because it’s all about me, right?
A real estate agent in South Florida, Harris bought the boat in August 2016 from Michigan Skater man Ron Szolack, the organizer of the annual Skaterfest event in Harrison Township. Harris wisely pulled its 1,150-hp supercharged engines from an independent builder and replaced them with more-manageable and reliable Mercury Racing mills. (Brand X Hi-Performance Marine of Pompano Beach, Fla., deftly handled the repower project.) Not only did mellower power tone down the cat for overall use, it made the boat far more saleable.
From day one, Harris planned to throttle Mad Props with Yvonne Aleman, his longtime girlfriend, behind the wheel. For the past four years, Harris and Aleman have been fixtures on the poker-run circuit. They ran the boat in events from the second 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in Clayton, N.Y., to their own Jacksonville River Rally and Poker Run. Best of all, wherever they went, they represented themselves and the entire poker-run community in a positive light.
As noted above, the couple won’t be boat-less for long (though as it happens they picked a good season to go without a boat thanks to COVID-19). Harris is a former offshore racer of the outboard-engine-power kind, and he’s been exploring several new sport catamaran offerings.
Though he’s not ready to spill it, let’s just say he’s close to finishing his search for a new outboard-powered ride.