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MTI At 25: Over The Top In Key West

Being that it’s “Key West” week for the powerboat community with the Race World Offshore World Championship taking place in the southernmost city in the continental United States today, Friday and Sunday, this seemed like the perfect week to reflect on one of the most memorable moments in the 25-year history of Marine Technology Inc.

Anyone who was anywhere near the “outer mole” in Key West, Fla., during the 37th annual Offshore World Championships produced by Super Boat International on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, likely never will forget the high-speed impact sounds, long-lasting gasps and moments of relief as the teammates in two of the Unlimited-class catamarans exited their boats without assistance following a collision unlike anything offshore racing fans and, eventually, millions of people around the world, had ever heard or seen before.

A dramatic crash between the CT Marine Victory catamaran and the CMS MTI happened in front of many spectators during the 2017 Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla. Photo by Sam Jirik

As longtime CMS teammates Bob Bull and Randy Scism were attempting to exit the course when a mechanical issue in Bull’s 52-foot MTI ended their effort to chase down the front-running Miss GEICO and Wake Effects teams in respective their Victory and MTI catamarans, the CT Marine 44-foot Victory campaigned by driver Andy Strobert and throttleman Billy Moore ran right up the rear of CMS.

Basically the orange, black and gray MTI became a launch ramp for the all-white Victory, which landed on its starboard-side transom and rolled upside-down. Strobert and Moore escaped uninjured through the underside hatch between the sponsons, while the startled Bull and Scism found out later, upon exiting the boat, that the massive stainless-steel sea strainers aft of the cockpit prevented the CT Marine team’s rudder from potentially slicing through the canopy.

Although it appeared disastrous from afar, especially to those unfamiliar with offshore racing, a serious catastrophe was avoided. And, in the end, there was some positive results to come from the accident.

First, the MTI was converted to an open-cockpit pleasure boat that has logged more hours than it likely ever would have as a raceboat.

Second, in 2021, Taylor Scism, MTI’s client relations manager and Randy Scism’s daughter and current 450R Factory Stock-class racer who finished third in today’s first round of competition in Key West, came up with a cool idea for the Speedonthewater.com Key West Bash auction that raises money for the local charity, Samuel’s House. She put together a display featuring a portion of one the engine hatches with the propeller marks from the other boat along with a photo of the incident.

The very unique auction item fetched a little more than $10,000, which was rather amazing and super impactful toward the event’s $80,000-plus donation that year. Hopefully we don’t have to auction off something else like that anytime soon.

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