In mid-2020, John Cosker, the founder and owner of Mystic Powerboats in Deland, Fla., was thinking about scuttling his company’s C4000 catamaran. His recently finished new facility was filled with new M4200 and M3800 luxury performance center console builds, and despite the efficiencies delivered by the new space, his crew was running flat out to meet demand. The cat, which began as a 38-footer, was becoming an unwanted distraction, and while Cosker—a high-performance catamaran lover to the core—found much to enjoy about his creation, there was one thing missing.
Thanks to a carbon-fiber lay-up and Mercury Racing 450R outboard engine power, John Cosker is bullish on the future of the Mystic C4000 catamaran. Photos by James Gilbert courtesy/copyright Mystic Powerboats.
A number. Translation? In standard lamination dress, a C4000 cat powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines wouldn’t reach 120 mph.
A veteran boatbuilder celebrating Mystic’s 25th anniversary this year, Cosker knows better than most that top speed is an overrated performance metric. But without that metric, his 40-footer was at a serious marketing disadvantage in the sport catamaran segment, where a 120-mph top speed has become something of a benchmark.
“That was the big issue—the boat wasn’t fast enough,” said Cosker, who visited the Mercury Racing facility in Fond du Lac, Wis., earlier this week with his wife, Robin. “The boat handled really well and had a great layout with lots of space, but we were coming up against a number.”
That changed with the build of the first all-carbon-fiber C4000 with 450R outboard power, which went to loyal Mystic customer Slug Hefner at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri earlier this month. Right out of box, said Cosker, the boat, which weighs 1,000 pounds less than its conventional-fiberglass counterpart, reached 120 mph.
Check out the slideshow above to enjoy more images of the Mystic C4000 in action.
“As soon as we delivered Slug’s boat, we sold two more carbon-fiber C4000s,” he said.
The timing of the first carbon C4000 proved perfect as Cosker had rediscovered his love for the boat in early December while running one—with its original lay-up and 450R power—with his daughters, Rachel and Kendall, during Mystic’s Owners Rendezvous and Demo Day at the Westin Resort in Cape Coral, Fla.,
“We probably put 100 miles on the boat and it was unbelievably fun,” he said. “We ran everywhere from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico and it was incredible. Rachel did most of the driving and she hadn’t really driven a cat that much. The last corner we took was at 105 mph and it was perfect.”
In January, John and Robin Cosker returned to Southwest Florida to run the same 40-footer in the Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun and the Fort Myers Offshore Nor-Tech 30th Anniversary Fun Run a couple of days later. And as he was with his daughters in the boat a few weeks earlier, he was delighted with its performance.
“Robin and I have never been big poker runners, but we had a great time in the boat,” he said. “We had it in everything from flat water to four- to six-footers and it was perfect.”
With a carbon-fiber lay-up, he said, the boat performs even better.
John Cosker and company will showcase the C4000 catamaran at events around the country this year.
“It’s lighter so it’s more nimble and it accelerates harder,” Cosker said. “Going from the 400R to the 450R was a big improvement for the boat, and going from a conventional lay-up to carbon-fiber is that much more of an improvement again. It’s more fun.”
Now that Cosker has committed to keeping the C4000 model in his line, he needs more space to build it. To that end, he has leased another 8,000-square-foot facility that will be dedicated to the production of the 40-footer. Cosker informed his immediately bemused wife, who remains his closest advisor in the business, today. She approved, and not just because she believes the carbon-fiber version will sell.
Family harmony is at stake.
“Our kids love it,” she said, then laughed. “I think their goal now is for them to be in the cat for every event and for us to be following them in a center console.”
They may get their chance. Cosker said he plans to take the Mystic C4000 demo boat to events around the country this year, staring with the Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run and Exhibit, February 18-21, in Key Largo, Fla.