Retired offshore racing world champion Bob Kaiser doesn’t do a lot of poker runs in and around his home state of Michigan or elsewhere. In fact, Kaiser, who is the owner and CEO of the Troy, Mich.-headquartered industrial and mechanical systems supply company Gallagher-Kaiser, only does one—the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Boyne City—and this year he and his crew showed up with added enthusiasm.
Bob Kaiser and his Systems MTIs had people thinking they were seeing double during last weekend’s 20th annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Northern Michigan. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
That’s because Kaiser was taking delivery of a new 440X catamaran from Wentzville, Mo.-based Marine Technology Inc., that complements his 2021 48-foot carbon-fiber catamaran from MTI. The new 44-footer—the fourth 440X produced by the manufacturer—is powered by two of Mercury Racing’s brand new V-8 500R engines and has a paintjob, complete with the world-champion designation US-1 logos on the front hullsides, that matches his 48 that is powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1350/1100 engines with M8 drives.
Kaiser, who no longer owns the MTI-V 50 powered by five Mercury Racing 450R engines that he had at last year’s Boyne Thunder Poker Run, said the new 44-foot cat exceeded his expectations.
“It was great—everything was perfect!” said Kaiser, who owned an MTI 390X prior to ordering the 44-footer.
Both of Bob Kaiser’s MTI catamarans—his 48-footer (top) and his outboard-powered 44-footer—stole the show in Boyne City.
With his good friend and legendary throttleman, Steve Curtis, in town to join him and his family for the event, Kaiser opted to drive the 48 in the poker run, which he sponsored through one of his other businesses—Lume, a blossoming Michigan-based cannabis company with world-class products and 30-plus retail stores.
Taylor Scism, MTI’s client relations manager, and her father and MTI founder, Randy Scism, had the privilege of driving the 440X in the poker run just days after the 11-foot-wide, eight-seat cat hit the water for the first time.
“It was a really cool opportunity to be able to run Kaiser’s new boat for the Boyne Thunder Poker Run,” said Taylor Scism, the defending 450R Factory Stock world champion. “The new Mercury 500R is a great engine package on the 440X.”
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