Riding back to our downtown digs from the Miami International Boat Show on a water taxi this afternoon, I met two charming couples from Naples, Fla. One of the gentlemen had just ordered a Cigarette Racing Team 41’ GTR performance center console with quad Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines a couple of weeks ago and all four of them were pretty much buzzing with infectious joy and enthusiasm. They were so cool—so completely into it—that I couldn’t resist chatting them up. (Fortunately, they had heard of speedonthewater.com so I didn’t make a complete idiot of myself.)
And they got me so fired up that I couldn’t resist giving them four new Dean Loucks-designed T-shirts. (At $50 apiece, they’re kind of expensive so I’m pretty sure that Jason Johnson, my co-publisher, will want to punch me when he reads this.)
Bob Teague offered a one-word review of the outboard-powered SL 41: “Bitchin’.”
It was the perfect end to another great day that started with a photo shoot and evaluation—for our upcoming digital magazine issue—of the new Outerlimits SL 41 sportboat with triple Verado 400R outboards. Once drivers Bob Teague and John Tomlinson were done with that, they hopped into the Predator Powerboata 447 V-bottom with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines and eventually ran it to 130 mph before they ran out of propellers. (The boat reportedly has topped 140 mph.) Outerlimits’ Dan Kleitz and I had the horrid task of shuttling the SL 41 back to the docks.
That was it for water duty, as we spent the rest of the day catching up with high-performance boat and engine builders including Skip Braver of Cigarette Racing Team and Peter Hledin of Skater Powerboats, both buzzing with enthusiasm for the event, as were John Cosker, Scott Sjogren and Greg Weber of the Mystic Powerboats team in their significantly upgraded-from-last-year display. From there we set up camp at Marine Technology, Inc., exhibit, which was nothing short of massive with everything from a 34-foot catamaran to a 57-foot center console.
Though it topped out at 130 mph today, the Predator 447 reportedly has run 140-plus mph.
At one point, speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete turned to me and said, “We get to do this. When people tell you they wish they had your job, you must be doing well.” Of course, he said it after photographing a Skater Powerbota 388 catamaran with 1,100-hp Sterling Performance engines.
That was the buzz, and we all—from media types to my four new best friends on the water taxi ride home—had it today.
The new Skater 388 catamaran with 1,100-hp Sterling engines left us all buzzing.