For Mark Munro, this year’s Miami International Boat Show—which closes tomorrow afternoon, was the best he’s attended in the past seven or eight years. That’s because when the show ends, his new Wright Performance 360 sport catamaran will be released from the Performance Boat Center docks, where it has been on display for thousands of visitors for the past three-and-a-half days.
The Munro’s first catamaran was on display this week at the Performance Boat Center docks during Miami International Boat Show this week (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Munro and his wife, Susan, have three daughters and live primarily in Spring Lake, N.J. They also have a second home in the South Beach area of Miami. For the past four years, they’ve owned a 2008 Cigarette 39’ Top Gun sportboat powered by Mercury Racing 700 engines. Last summer, they sold the boat and began hunting for its replacement.
“My wife was like, ‘Let’s do something different,” he said. “I looked at V-hulls and cats running the Mercury Racing 400 outboards. I was looking for something more usable. I have three daughters and they go boating with us a lot, and sometimes the sound coming from those loud, straight pipes is a bit too much for them. So I was looking for a different type of boat, but one that still had speed.”
Munro said he drove sport catamarans from different builders and was impressed. But his ride in the Wright Performance 360, the product of an ongoing collaboration between Doug Wright Designs and Performance Boat Center, from Miami to Key West during the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run last November cemented his decision.
“Actually, it was a pretty easy decision,” he said. “When you spend an hour-and-a-half in a boat doing 115 mph, and the ride is great—well, I was impressed. So I negotiated with Brett Manire and his guys at Performance Boat Center and ordered the boat in December. My wife did most of the work choosing all the colors.
“I am really happy, especially for a guy who has only owned V-bottoms,” he continued. “This is my first cat and so far I love it. You can carry on a conversation in the cockpit when you’re running without having to yell. Everything is right in front of you with that big screen. I like the way it runs. It feels fast, but it also feels safe at high speed. There’s much more room for everyone in the cockpit. It’s like I’m driving a Ferrari. It feels like I’m driving a sportscar on the water. That’s the best way I can describe it.”
Mark and Susan Munro will use their new Wright Performance 360 catamaran in Florida this winter before bringing back the boat to New Jersey for the summer (click image for full frame).
Munro said he plans to keep the catamaran in South Florida for the winter. Next weekend, he’ll campaign it in the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual Miami Boat Show Poker. Later in the season, Munro will run his 36-footer in the FPC’s Tampa and Fort Myers poker runs. In May, he’ll bring the cat back home to New Jersey where plans to spend plenty of time running alongside his close longtime friend Bob Christie, another former V-bottom owner who recently transitioned a new sport catamaran (an MTI 340X).
“We’ll have a blast together,” said Munro. “Bob is the guy who really turned me on to this. He said, ‘You really owe it to yourself to test drive these cats.’ He was right. Not having owned a cat before, I was a little nervous. But I’m very impressed with how easy and intuitive this boat is to run.
“Last Friday, I ran it to Key Largo and back,” he added. “At 115 mph on the way back from back from Alabama Jacks, Susan fell asleep in the back. It was a fabulous ride.”