Called 450R Factory Stock, a new offshore racing catamaran class has been added to the rulebook of the Offshore Powerboat Association—an American Power Boat Association member-organization—for the 2021 season. The class will be limited to canopied catamarans from 34 to 40 feet long and powered by twin stock Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines. So far, MTI of Wentzville, Mo., has two of its 390X catamarans, which in pleasure form have open cockpits but will include protective canopies per the class, ordered for the 450R Factory Stock ranks.
MTI will offer its 390X (above) and 340X catamaran models in canopied versions for 450R Factory Stock competition. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The first 39-footer, which will be driven by MTI’s Taylor Scism with a throttleman to be named later, will go into production in about a month.
“The bigger engines are too big for the smaller Super Stock-class boats, which top out at 32 feet, and just right for the bigger boats,” said Randy Scism, the founder and owner of MTI, who worked closely on creating the class with OPA president Ed “Smitty” Smith. “As long as the hull comes out of a standard mold—the hulls will be homologated into the rulebook—Mystic, Skater and DCB all have cats in the size range and could come and race.
“The current Super Stock class is a very good class, but it’s a little more ‘aggressive’ than I expect this class to be,” he continued. “My hope is that 450R Factory Stock-class boats can run for a long time with very little maintenance on their stock 450R engines. I don’t think the new class will affect the current Super Stock guys at all.”
In addition to the 390X, MTI will offer its smaller 340X catamaran for the new class.
“One has the advantage in flat water, the other has an advantage if it gets a little bumpy,” Scism said. “We are taking orders now, as well as for the 2022 season.
“It’s going to be a really cool class,” he added.
As for his daughter Taylor, a rookie to the sport who works as MTI’s marketing manager, she can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the first 390X built for the class. For now, however, she’s working on developing promotional and marketing materials for the 34- and 39-foot MTI cats that will compete in the class. The current plan is for MTI to have the first two raceboats ready to go in time for the start of the offshore racing season.”
Said Scism, who declined to name who she’ll share the cockpit with next year, “I sure wouldn’t mind getting in some practice this spring.”