Along with the news that Mercury Racing was in Fort Pierce, Fla., last week testing the new 32-foot catamaran from Sonic Power Boats and that the boat’s Fineline Interiors custom cockpit design is being installed this week, the team at Sonic announced that the 32-footer that is powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines is going to embark on a poker run tour this summer in conjunction with its new dealer, Atlanta Performance Boats.
Sonic’s new 32-foot cat should be all set for its upcoming poker run tour later this week. Photos courtesy Sonic Power Boats
The newly formed dealership and concierge service center in Georgia, which is owned by local father-and-son boating enthusiasts, Gary and Michael Atz, and Tony Canale of Canale Marine in Buford, Ga., is eyeing an ambitious list of events beginning with the upcoming Smokin’ the Sound Poker Run in Biloxi, Miss., on June 2-5. Other events on the target list include: Erie Poker Run, Lake Cumberland Thunder Run, Boyne Thunder Poker Run, Pirates of Lanier Poker Run, Alexandria Bay Poker Run, Old Hickory Fun Run, Buffalo Poker Run, Emerald Coast Poker Run, Cape Coral Poker Run and the Key West Poker Run.
Canale, a well-respected offshore racer who has owned his full-service marine center for more than a decade, can’t wait to join Gary and Michael in Biloxi in the catamaran that was painted by The Art of Design in Elkhart, Ind.
“It’s been five years since I’ve done any poker runs, so it should be a fun time,” said Canale, who won’t be attending all of the poker runs since he has a busy racing schedule to balance that includes races in Florida—Sarasota, Clearwater and Key West—as well as Michigan City, Ind., Mentor, Ohio, and Port Jefferson, N.Y. “I’m looking forward to driving the new 32 with the 400s, too. It’s going to be a nice change from the racing.
“Basically we outlined 11 events we want to hit,” he continued. “We’re not sure if we’ll make it to every one, but you can count on us having a huge presence at Pirates of Lanier as well as in Destin for the Emerald Coast run. We’re planning to have at least three boats at Lanier—the 32, the new 42 with twin 700s that also was painted by The Art of Design and one of the new 36-foot center consoles—maybe more.”
The 32-footer features a detailed paint job from the talented team at The Art of Design.
Canale wasn’t on hand for the first sea trials that Mercury’s Mike Grffiths and Bret Martin were a part of last week, but he heard the boat is expected to run faster than 110 mph.
“We reached 107 mph in some windy and snotty conditions in our first go round,” Griffiths said. “The boat rides well and handles great. I don’t know how much testing will get done before it leaves for the poker run, but there’s still more left that’s for sure.”
Gary Atz said that he and his 21-year-old son started Atlanta Performance Boats primarily to focus on concierge services for people who didn’t have the means—i.e. tow vehicle, time or even knowledge—to be able to use their go-fast boat. The deal with Sonic came together when Canale, who is handling service work for Atlanta Performance Boats customers, got wind of the new 32-foot cat and some of the other happenings at Sonic.
“The opportunity in the Atlanta area is ripe—there’s a lot of money here and this area is saturated with dealers for Regals, Mastercrafts, Sea Rays and Chaparrals, but there’s really no one selling performance boats,” said Gary Atz, who owns a 38-foot Cigarette with a pair of upgraded 575s under the hatch. “We have a good amount of powerboaters out here so we knew the concierge and storage idea made sense, but once we met with Sonic and saw everything that was going on there, selling boats made sense, too. I’m retired, although I still do some consulting, and my son is finishing college, so we felt now was a great time to start this business. It helps that we have Tony to lean on—he’s been doing this stuff a long time.”
Editor’s note: Look for an update from the Smokin’ the Sound Poker Run in Biloxi following the 32-foot catamaran’s event debut.