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New Sunsation 34 CCX Owners Claim Big Win With ‘The Gambler’

When it comes to most new boat delivery stories on speedonthewater.com, it’s rare that a customer explains that he or she purchased a boat without ever taking a test ride in it or stepping foot in one. But that’s exactly how it happened with Lake Havasu City, Ariz.-based performance boaters Scott Sagor and Colleen Crane, who recently took delivery of an incredible Sunsation Boats 34 CCX powered by triple Mercury Racing 450R engines.

The latest Sunsation 34 CCX with triple Mercury Racing 450R engines was recently delivered to Arizona performance boaters Scott Sagor and Colleen Crane. Photos courtesy Brad DiMaggio/Sunsation Boats and Scott Sagor

Named The Gambler, which is the moniker of Sagor’s alcohol-fueled funny car, the 34-foot Center Console Xtreme model built at the Sunsation Boats factory in Algonac, Mich., turned out better than expected, according to Sagor and Crane, who grew up boating on the Columbia River, which borders Oregon and Washington, and still own a home in Sisters, Ore., so they can get away from the desert heat whenever they feel like it.

Sagor, who was the driving force behind the new build, said the process from start to finish was smooth and that the communication from the factory and the dealership the couple purchased the boat through—Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo.—was outstanding. He added that the same could be said for the interaction with Sunsation’s exclusive painter, Mitch Tolan of Mitcher T Custom Painting & Design in Middleville, Mich.

“We love the boat,” Sagor exclaimed. “It’s a big investment for sure, but it is absolutely stunning. The features of the boat are awesome and the performance is unbelievable. The handling is amazing and the torque of the 450R engines is out of this world. Years ago I owned an Eliminator with a big Evinrude on it—that was the thing back then—and I haven’t owned an outboard-powered boat since. All I can say is that the technology has come a long way. These 450s are something else. And they’re so quiet; you really have to listen to know that they’re running.

“We had a Conquest deck boat before this and every time I’d see a center console on Lake Havasu, which wasn’t very often, I was drawn to them,” he continued. “I thought the center console was a perfect concept for a boat. So when it came time to start looking for a new boat, that’s where we started. We looked around online at several models and ended up zeroing in on the Sunsation—we liked the features and they looked like quality boats—so I emailed them and asked about pricing for a 34. Rusty (Williams) from Performance Boat Center responded and said he’d work up a price for us. The guy was as no-pressure as it gets. After a few conversations, I placed the order in November and was told it might take a little longer than normal because I wanted the 450Rs, which was OK with me.”

Sagor, who said the boat should reach a top speed of 90-plus mph, explained that he originally thought about powering the 34-footer with twin 450-hp engines but opted for three instead because he wanted the extra power—and the more-impressive acceleration that an extra 450 hp was sure to provide. He also stated that he wanted Alcantara interior like some of his friends had in their remarkable catamarans built by DCB Performance Boats.

“The crew at Sunsation tried to talk me out of it when I told them I wanted to go with the Alcantara,” Sagor said. “They weren’t sure how well it would hold up in the elements, so I told them that I wasn’t going to leave the boat docked anywhere and that it would be stored in my garage when it wasn’t on the water. Rusty told me to pick what I wanted because you don’t build a boat like this every day. It was a little more money but so was the third engine and the larger GPS screens they talked me into so we did it all and I’m really happy we did.”

Sagor and Crane wouldn’t have it any other way now that they have the boat and have been able to experience what it feels like on Lake Havasu.

“We took it up to 85 mph when Jason (Billmeyer, Performance Boat Center’s transport driver) delivered it to us,” Sagor said. “It was 109 degrees out that day so we didn’t spend too much time on the water, but we were able to get a feel for it and experience how roomy and user-friendly the boat is compared to our previous boat. Don’t get me wrong, the Conquest is a nice boat, but when Lake Havasu gets rough it can be brutal in a deck boat. A few nights ago, we just sat on the boat getting used to all the electronics and everything in the boat, and we couldn’t be happier.”

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Check out the slideshow above for more images of the 34-foot Sunsation.

Sagor had assistance from Jody Hamilton of Hamilton Marine Finance when it came to financing the boat and getting insurance for it. He said Hamilton was a pleasure to work with and was extremely helpful with the process, including handling all of the U.S. Coast Guard documentation. And while he didn’t have a lot of interaction with Joe Schaldenbrand, one of the owners behind Sunsation, he explained that Schaldenbrand was very responsive and provided excellent advice during the build process.

“Joe is an incredible asset—the guy knows their product so well,” Sagor said. “He got right back with me on any questions. Same with Rusty. Between the two of them, their customer service was above anybody else I’ve ever dealt with. Mitcher T was great to work with, too. He was flexible when we asked him to tweak this and that or go with less of this color or more of that color.

“The paintjob turned out magnificent,” he continued. “I knew I wanted a lot of white on the boat so it didn’t blend into the water, but we also wanted a black bottom to make the boat stand out a little more, which it totally does. We really liked the lime green but didn’t want it to be too green and I think we ended up with a perfect balance between the green, the grays and the carbon fiber. Colleen had a lot of input with the paint and the interior. She was the one who decided to make the green lines a little narrower, which made a big difference.”

Sagor added that they opted to go with a trailer from MYCO Trailers, which he said turned out really nice. The couple is not sure how much trailering it will do with the boat, but having the option to take it up to Oregon or to an event on Lake Powell in Northern Arizona was a must and the MYCO most definitely will be up to the task.

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