Eliminator Custom Boats recently put the finishing touches on its first catamaran featuring twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines, and the boat’s owner—longtime performance boater Dale Dondel—was pleased with how well the initial testing went as Mercury Racing’s Mike Griffiths joined Dondel and the Eliminator crew in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., with several propeller choices for the 28 Speedster.
Eliminator’s sleek new 28 Speedster is powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines. Photos courtesy Eliminator Boats
“I was hoping the boat would run 125 mph, but to be honest with you, I didn’t think it would go that fast unless it was light on fuel first thing in the morning,” said Dondel, who owns Racer Engineering in San Jacinto, Calif., and is responsible for building and racing trophy trucks and off-road vehicles. “The 28 Speedster is a good all-around boat, and since I’m an outboard guy at heart, this project made perfect sense. The one stipulation was that the boat had to be light—I wanted the carbon-fiber layup and, because I build racecars for a living, I planned to supply lightweight brackets, hardware and batteries. I even picked out a lightweight steering wheel.
“With 34”-pitch Mercury CNC props, we ended up running a comfortable 125 mph and change at 7075 rpm,” he continued. “I’m definitely happy with that and the 3.9-percent slip. I believe there’s another 2 or 3 mph in it, but now my brain is thinking about how we get to 130 mph. We’re as far up as we can go so I may need to build some different water pickups.”
The gelcoat work on the new 28-foot cat from Eliminator appears to be flawless.
Eliminator’s Fear Bivian said that Dondel, who has owned many catamarans from DCB, MTI and Skater Powerboats, was great to work with and provided a lot of valuable input on the center-pod-style cat that weighs roughly 4,200 pounds.
“We set up the 28 Speedster to run fast, but it’s still a pleasure boat and that’s how Dale wanted it,” Bivian said. “It has a full interior, which turned out awesome. We’re going to have the boat on display at the Desert Storm Poker Run Street Party at the end of this month.”
Bivian said that Eliminator has a couple other 28 Speedsters in production, including one with a single Mercury Racing 1350 engine and another with a pair of 1.050-hp Teague Custom Marine engines. He also noted that orders for the company’s deck boats have been booming at the shop.
“Everything worked out with the boat—it turned out pretty cool,” Dondel said. “It planes faster than any boat I’ve ever owned and it doesn’t porpoise one bit from 20 to 125 mph. It looks great, too. I think we hit a homerun with this one.”
Editor’s note: For more on the various other sport cats with the same power as the 28 Speedster, check out the “Sport Cats’ Meow” feature in the latest Speed On The Water digital magazine. Download the issue for free here.
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