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Malich Buys RPM Powerboats, Shows Off 26-Foot Cat in L.A.

With genuine enthusiasm and a lights-out 26-foot orange catamaran sitting on the floor of the Fairplex in Pomona for the 61st annual Los Angeles Boat Show, which premiered at its new location last weekend, Joe Malich proudly displayed a “new” Revolution Performance Marine 26 Redline in his debut as the new owner of the company.


Under new ownership, RPM Powerboats had a 26 Redline on display at last week’s Los Angeles Boat Show. Photo courtesy Joe Malich

Nearly three years after RPM Powerboats founder Steve Tripp died while testing the company’s fastest and most powerful boat, Malich, the owner of Boat Shop Northwest in Gig Harbor, Wash., recently agreed to purchase the molds, equipment and other RPM assets, including the Mercury Racing 700SCi-powered 26-foot cat that was completed in November 2014, from the Tripp family.

“I’m honored to take over a company like RPM—the boats are incredible just like the owners who bought each one Steve took so much pride in building,” explained Malich, who said his team went to Alabama two weeks ago, loaded up two semis and hooked the boat up to his pickup, and drove straight to Southern California to get ready for the L.A. Boat Show. “I’m excited for the opportunity to bring the respected 26 Redline back into production. It is a perfect boat for the market at the moment. The used-boat market is drying up and I think this boat hits the sweet spot in terms of price where it makes more sense to buy a new boat over a used one.

“I already have several customers interested in boats with inboard base power and beyond as well as various outboard configurations,” he added. “They are bad-ass boats; just ask anyone who owns one. Customers are the best sales people and I’ve yet to meet an unsatisfied RPM owner.”


The 26-foot cat powered by a Mercury Racing 700SCi engines drew a lot of attention at the L.A. Boat Show.

Malich said the reaction to the orange 26 Redline—the final boat completed by the Harpersville, Ala., company following Tripp’s accident—at the L.A. Boat Show was incredible.

“Everyone was blown away by the boat, especially with the rigging and how nice and unnoticeable it is,” said Malich, an industry veteran with years of experience around a variety of boat brands from his days with Powerboats Northwest. “If nothing else, the show provided a great barometer for the interest in this boat.”

At this point, Malich is weighing his manufacturing options and working to build initial sales as well as a dealer network. He’s also excited that his daughter, Gracen, who is set to graduate with a business degree from Pacific Lutheran University in May, will be joining the team this summer. He said she was a huge help at the L.A. Boat Show.

Editor’s note: Speedonthewater.com will continue to report on Malich’s progress with RPM Powerboats.

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