A little more than two years ago, an ambitious Miami-based automobile dealer named Rey Marino purchased the tooling for the Jay Pilini-designed 30-foot Spectre sport catamaran and created a sport cat company of his own called Hellkats Powerboats. According to its founder, the company has delivered a dozen of the outboard engine-powered 30-footers since then.
The first Hellkats Powerboats 32-foot catamaran will debut at the Keys Island Runners Key West Poker Run next month.
But with the ongoing trend toward wider tunnels in the go-fast catamaran world, Marino had his eyes on a larger. His goal was to extend and widen the 30-foot Spectre hull, as well as create a new flat deck for it.
Now the first new 32-foot widebody catamaran from Hellkats Powerboats is out of the mold and almost complete—with three more customer-ordered builds behind it. Getting there, however, was the product of teamwork between Marino and his friend Todd DeFilipps of Wicked Power Boats in Naples, Fla.
A veteran offshore powerboat racer who competes in the Super Stock ranks, DeFilipps was in the process of widening the full and creating the deck for 30 Spectre catamaran of his own when Marino began his project.
“We were doing same project at same time,” Marino said, then laughed. “And I got some good ideas from Todd.”
The two boat-builder friends struck a deal. DeFilipps would complete the hull, which meant expanding the tunnel to 45 to 63 inches, and deck conversion, and provide it to Marino. Marino would create the tooling from what was essentially a running plug with a 10’5” beam and start building his new 32-footer.
To add the extra length, Marino filled in the hull’s notches by about a foot before creating his hull mold. The other foot of overall length comes from the cat’s added ducktail-bustle. (Working former offshore racing great Peter Hildago, Marino also modified the steps in the sponsons—and the two reportedly are collaborating on a 40-footer.)
Marino, in turn, will build the first all-carbon-fiber 32-foot Hellkats catamaran for DeFilipps, who doesn’t know whether it will be a pleasure cat or a raceboat.
With the addition of a 32-footer Hellkats Powerboats currently offers two catamarans—and a 40-footer reportedly is in the offing.
“I just want to see Ray do well,” said DeFilipps, who has been building his own boats since 2007. “He’s a very fast learner—a sponge who soaks up information well.”
With current power—a pair of Mercury Racing 300R outboard engines— DeFilipps and Marino expect the boat to top out between 115 and 118 mph.
Though hull No. 1 has not been sea-trialed, Marino said that should happen well before the April 23 Keys Island Runners Key West Poker Run. The boat will make its public debut at the event, which thrills Keys Island Runners founder Daniel Garcia, III, who counts Marino as a friend.
Said Garcia, “Hellkats Powerboats is one heck of a story.”
But the best part of the story could be the boat’s price. According to Marino, a base Hellkats 32 catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines will list for $300,000.
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