Since Mercury Racing introduced the 860—the least powerful and only naturally aspirated engine in its quad-cam four-valve power lineup—in 2017, longtime Cigarette Racing Team dealer Phil Lipschutz has sold six 42X V-bottoms powered by the potent powerplants. His most recent delivery of a new 42-footer with twin 860s happened earlier this summer, and the boat reached owner Jerry Bennish of Grand Haven, Mich., just in time for the West Michigan Offshore Rock The Coast Poker Run in late July.
The 42-footer soared through its Rock the Coast Poker Run debut on Lake Michigan. Photo by Brian Caswell copyright SpeedShot Photography.
“I was thinking about the 1100s until Phil suggested the 860s and I went with them,” Bernish said. “I was going for reliability and lower maintenance.”
The owner of Lip-Ship Performance in Miami—Cigarette’s longest-standing and best-known dealer—Lipschutz is a big fan of powering 42X models with twin 860s from the Fond du Lac, Wis., high-performance marine engine and accessories company. Of the three 42-footer’s he handled this year, two have been equipped with the relatively docile mills.
“With a pair of 860s, the 42X runs just a tick over 100 mph,” he explained. “It is the ideal engine package for this boat. It has plenty of power, is low-maintenance and reliable. I have a customer I sold one to a couple of years ago and he has 300 hours on it with no issues. The only thing he’s done is change the oil.”
The 42-footer has been a strong seller this year for the Opa-locka, Fla., high-performance sportboat and console builder. The company reportedly has orders for a half-dozen 42X offerings and they are in various stages of production.
“We’ve definitely noticed a resurgence in demand for the 42X,” said Cristina Ruiz, Cigarette’s director of marketing and in-house counsel. “The 42X checks all boxes for different uses—It’s the perfect performance boat because it performs in lakes and ocean, in calm and rough seas.”
Bennish is delighted with his power choice of twin Mercury Racing 860 engines.
Though Bennish has owned three 39 Top Gun V-bottoms, the 42X is his first new Cigarette build. He ordered the boat during the company’s ownership change two years ago, and said he enjoyed the process of working through Lipschutz, Cigarette president Erik Christiansen and the rest of the Cigarette crew.
“Working with Phil was spectacular,” Bernish said.
To find color inspiration for the substantial V-bottom, Bennish looked no further than his garage as he owns a couple of Mercedes-AMG automobiles.
“The red is from an AMG G-Wagon,” he said. “The charcoal is an AMG GT.”
The 42-footer is the owner’s Michigan boat. For his second home in Key Largo, Fla., he has two center consoles—a 39-foot Nor-Tech and a 20-foot Concept. But the 42X is ideal for Lake Michigan, his summer home-water.
And it had no trouble handling the lumpy conditions during Rock The Coast, the boat’s first official event outing.
“Lake Michigan is rough a lot of the time,” he said. “The 42X is a little less nimble than my 39s, but it is unbelievable in rough water.”
A looker at the docks, this 42X is the first new Cigarette build for Jerry Bernish.