It’s not easy to keep up with the different boats coming and going from the impressive fleet owned by the Branton family in Louisiana. And over the past few years, Jim Branton, the 27-year-old son of David and Leeann Branton, who have owned 15 Cigarette Racing Team models not to mention countless other go-fast boats, has obtained a couple of notable Skater Powerboats catamarans and other boats as he’s gotten more involved in the poker run community.
While he’s sure to be running around in some of the family’s other boats this year, he’s likely to get the most attention wherever he goes in his newest boat, the Low Altitude turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran. Branton picked up the well-known canopied 50-footer from Georgia’s Shannon Hamilton, who owned the former raceboat after notable performance boaters Win Farnsworth and Tom Borisch, following the Florida Powerboat Club’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run and Exhibit back in February.
“I’ve had my eyes on a turbine boat for a while now and when I saw Shannon down in the Keys with Low Altitude in the poker run, I asked him if he’d want to sell it,” Branton said. “He said yes and we made the deal. It’s such an incredible boat with a unique history. We’re planning to have some fun with it this year.”
Branton said the boat’s twin 1,800-hp T-53 turbine engines are currently at Marine Turbine Technologies in Franklin, La., where Ted McIntyre and Stuart Duncan are handling any necessary maintenance and adjustments before he starts running the radical machine.
To go with his Mystic, Branton ordered a new trailer from Pratt Industries (not pictured).
Excited to get some seat time in the boat, Branton plans to take it out locally later this month when a large group of his friends—and friends of friends—gather for what was supposed to be the 2021 Tickfaw 200 Poker Run weekend before it was unfortunately cancelled because of pandemic restrictions.
He said he’d like to take Low Altitude to Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and Super Cat Fest in late August and participate in a few other events this summer, especially now that he just took delivery of a new Pratt Industries tilt trailer for the 50-footer.
“The trailer should be great new addition to the boat,” Branton said. “I didn’t want to have to worry about the reliability of my trailer so I got with Alex (Pratt) and started working to see if we could get a 50 Mystic to fit on his trailers. We have some minor modifications to make to it this week and we should have her on it for the weekend.”
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