As they have with just about everything they’ve done all year, the folks at Performance Boat Center are going big with their display at the Florida Powerboat Club’s Poker Run Village in Key West, Fla. In essence a concentrated high-performance boat and product show, the Poker Run Village opens in the afternoon on Thursday, Nov. 12, in conjunction with the late-afternoon arrival of the FPC’s poker run fleet.
Based in Osage Beach, Mo., Performance Boat Center will have three Cigarette models—two 42′ X sportboats and one 41′ Stern Drive 1040 center console—on display. Painted in house at Performance Boat Center and then returned to Cigarette for interior installation and rigging, the red-and-white 42′ X powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines will be at the docks and available for demo rides for qualified customers with the Performance Boat Center staff.
That Cigarette allowed graphics work on one of its new boats to be handled outside its own paint booth at its Opa-locka, Fla, headquarters is unusual. Performance Boat Center’s Brett Marine said he worked closely with Skip Braver, Cigarette’s owner and chief executive officer, throughout the project.
“I think we have each other on speed dial,” Manire said, then chuckled. “Cigarette sent us a bare white hull—the boat was built and rigged just for Key West. We had it for four weeks. The first week Mark Waddington (who co-owns Performance Boat Center with Manire) was figuring out what he wanted. Mark Morris of Visual Imagination designed the graphics. Then we painted it in our state-of-the-art paint shop. It’s back at Cigarette, and scheduled for its first sea trial next Monday.”
But before it finds its temporary home at the docks in Key West, the 42-footer will run down in the poker run. Powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1100s, the other 42’ X and the 41’ SD 1040 will be exhibited on dry land in the Performance Boat Center in the Poker Run Village. (All three Cigarette models will come with the poker run fleet.)
“The Lake of the Ozarks has been a strong Cigarette market forever, but we really didn’t have a strong presence there,” said Skip Braver, the chief executive officer of Cigarette Racing Team, in a recent interview. “Mark and Brett at Performance Boat Center have taken the bull by the horns. They have very much the same philosophy of marketing and how to treat customers that I do. They truly love the boats and they are selling all models for us—they’re not just good for Cigarette’s business, they’re reinvigorating performance boating.”