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MTI At 25—Black Ice

There is nothing practical about a powerboat with a black deck. Even on a mild summer day, walking across its deck is like tap-dancing on a giant sizzling skillet. OK, if you lean toward the sadistic it is fun to watch other people do it. But if you’ve ever done it yourself, you know it’s bad juju.

Black Diamond and Black Diamond Express are two of the most head-turning MTI catamarans ever created. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

So when I first saw Derek Wachob’s uber-sexy, 52-foot all-black MTI catamaran dubbed Black Diamond at the 2013 Miami International Boat Show, I questioned the canopied boat’s practicality—and the owner’s sanity.

Then again, and this notion changed my thinking, there’s nothing practical about a 52-foot go-fast catamaran, period. So why not get the color you want and find ways to deal with it? Properly placed mats on the deck and gunwales can keep you from searing your tootsies and a canopied cockpit allows for features an open-cockpit does not.

Like real air-conditioning.

The definition of looking fast while sitting still.

Three years later, the affable Oklahoman took delivery of Black Diamond Express, an all-black MTI 340X catamaran powered by a pair Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines to complement his twin Mercury Racing 1350 engine-powered 52-footer. The six-cylinder outboard-equipped 34-footer was hull No. 2 from the Wentzville, Mo., company.

Black Diamond Express was the second MTI 340X catamaran built.

To this day, Black Diamond, Black Diamond Express and Pressure Makes Diamonds—another canopied all-black 52-footer owner by Wachob’s friend Troy—remain among the most talked-about and ogled catamarans at any given poker run.

They’re just that hot.

The original Black Diamond—you hate to see it go but you love to watch it speed away.

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