I almost didn’t believe it myself when Louisiana performance boater Nate Michel informed me in confidentiality a few weeks ago that he was selling his beloved Cloud IX, the “movie star” 40-foot MTI catamaran he had completely redone several years ago.
It’s hard to believe, but Nate Michel of Louisiana sold Cloud IX, his incredible 40-foot MTI catamaran pictured here during the 2021 Waves and Wheels End of Summer Fun Run. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos
The lucky new owner of the former Mojo boat that starred in the Michael Mann-directed “Miami Vice: The Movie” in 2006 is Dylan Thompson, an avid boater and late-model dirt stock car racer who owns Chase Motorsports and Chase Motorsports Coach & Trailer in Paducah, Ky. Thompson, who started his business in 2007 and currently owns an Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats 42 Legacy with his brother, Cody, is excited to own his first catamaran, especially one of the caliber of Cloud IX, which features twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines, a stunning five-seat interior originally completed by Island Audio and Hydroflat Custom Fiberglass—and since updated by Mayden Design Co. in Missouri—and a gorgeous custom paintjob completed by Dean Loucks and the team at The Art Of Design in Indiana. Michel also credited the team at Lake of the Ozarks-based Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo., for rigging the 1,350-hp engines, servicing the boat and dialing it in.
Thompson also is excited that Michel, who ordered an MTI-V 42 luxury performance center console that should be delivered in August, is going to be by his side at several events this season, starting with the MTI Owners Fun Run in the Florida Keys in March, one of Michel’s favorite events.
Kentucky’s Dylan Thompson competes in races around the country in his No. 99 Rocket, a 950-hp Super Late Model Dirt Stock Car.
“I can’t wait to get out there and do some events in the boat and meet some more people,” Thompson said. “I know Nate will be a big help when it comes that stuff. I don’t know how many runs we’ll be able to do—I have too much work and too many other hobbies to go boating all of the time, but we’re going to make the most of it and dip our toes in the water this year.
“My brother and I have always dreamed of running a cat—when we were little kids we had a Miss Budweiser hydroplane RC boat—so we decided to give it a go with Cloud IX and see what that is all about,” he added. “I bought my first Baja 25 Outlaw about 10 years ago and I had a couple of 25s before I moved up to a 33 Outlaw and then, in 2017, I bought the 42 Legacy. I am going to sell the Outerlimits, which is powered by triple Mercury Racing 525EFI engines, and I’m going to do my best to learn from Nate.”
The owner of the powersports dealership that sells and services ATVs, motorcycles and side by sides said he originally met Michel through the RV side of his business, which buys and sells luxury motor coaches, liftgate race trailers and stacker trailers, catering to the racing industry and people who want one to camp and travel in.
“It’s kind of funny how I met Nate,” Thompson said. “He sent me a message on Facebook and asked me what I was getting out of one of the coaches I was selling because he was thinking about selling his Renegade toterhome. We totally hit it off and I ended up buying the coach from him.”
Chase Motorsports recently delivered this Long Nose 389 Peterbilt 2021 S&S Welding Coach & Trailer to a customer in Georgia.
After getting to know each other a little better since then, Thompson said he reached out to Michel to see if he’d entertain selling his work of art.
“I don’t know if he really wanted to get rid of it, but I think he’s looking forward to focusing on something else,” Thompson said. “Nate took me for a test drive a few weeks ago on Lake of the Ozarks and it was like 30 degrees out and there was no one on the lake but us. I told him I didn’t need to go too fast and to maybe take it up to 100 mph, and he told me the boat was barely idling at that speed. So we went out and all of the sudden we’re going 135, 140, 150, up to 155 mph, and he looked at me and said, ‘Do you want anymore?’ I was like, ‘Nope I’m good.’ I don’t really need to go that fast but man was that a rush.”
Michel, who recently purchased a new Statement Marine center console with a friend and is in the process of purchasing another catamaran that is as well known as Cloud IX, admitted that the decision to sell the MTI catamaran was not an easy one.
“I was a little depressed about selling Cloud IX at first—I never wanted to sell it; in fact, my vision was pulling the power one day and sticking it in my building to put it on display because I really didn’t think anybody would give me big money for it,” Michel said with a laugh. “I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be like, ‘No way you sold your boat.’ I mean it’s kind of like built into me. All I know is that Dylan got one hell of a boat.
“For me, it’s awesome because I still get to run the boat and be around it,” he added. “We’re going to pick out some events to do throughout the year. Dylan wants me to help show him the ropes and introduce him to the right people. He seems like a great guy and his family are super cool people. I think he knows he bought more than a bought—he bought a lifestyle.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of Cloud IX as well as Thompson’s 42-foot Outerlimits V-bottom.
Thompson added that he’s looking forward to getting used to running the fast cat.
“I love the dirt track stuff, but boating is a whole other level of speed,” Thompson said. “Speed on the water is different from any type of speed on land or on the track.”
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