Editor’s note: Check out the Speed On The Water YouTube Channel for a video playlist from Matt Trulio’s ride down to Gilbert’s.
There is nothing—and I mean zero—wrong with being among the last boats to arrive at the lunch stop of a poker run. That’s especially true if your ride was a pleasure, and that’s a fair description of the last hour I spent on Greg and Brenda McCauley’s V 42 center console from Marine Technology Inc. Between a stiff crosswind and a sloppy mix of go-fast boat and cruiser wakes, conditions were anything but smooth. They also were anything but challenging for the 42-footer, which has an 11’6″ beam and rides on a patented stepped hull.
While we nicked 70 mph a few times thanks to four 300-hp Mercury Verado outboard engines on the transom, we spent most of our time cruising at a comfortable 60 mph and—as we approached the mangroves leading into Key Largo and our lunch destination at Gilbert’s—50 mph. Truth be told, in a boat with the kind of heft of the V 42, the difference in sensation between 50 and 70 mph is mostly experienced through the onrushing wind. The ride doesn’t change a whole lot.
We did have a few of those “classic poker run moments,” most notably when Michael Ciasulli and company blew by us—at a safe distance of course—in his new Skater 388 catamaran. Equally entertaining was trading lead and trail positions with the other MTI V 42 in the run. Plus, the crew on McCauley’s boat couldn’t have been more hospitable, as well as adept at dealing with rafting off such a substantial ability.
Next up, I’m on board the 52-foot MTI cat called Pass Blocker with owner Brad Benson, Tom Healey and the rest of their crew. Given that the boat is canopied, there should be a whole lot less breeze to deal with. But given that it’s reportedly capable of 185 mph—not to be done in the poker run, of course, which has a 150-mph speed limit—it should be every bit as fun as the 42-footer. Maybe even more. Stay tuned.