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New Video: In The Lead With Johnny Tomlinson Of TNT Custom Marine

With today’s release of “In The Lead with Johnny Tomlinson of TNT Custom Marine,” we have produced nine episodes in the documentary-style video series, which launched in 2021, with our Scrapyard Media colleagues Brad DiMaggio. But none is nearer and dearer to our hearts than the Tomlinson segment because speedonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson and I worked with him on the Powerboat magazine test team for more than 10 years.

Among the best-known figures in the high-performance powerboating world, TNT Custom Marine’s John Tomlinson is the subject of the latest Speed On The Water “In The Lead” video powered by Mercury Racing with support from Bluave Marine Audio, CP Performance, The Firm Realty Group, Hamilton Marine Finance, Hardin Marine and MYCO Trailers.

As alternating co-pilots, Johnson and I evaluated hundreds of high-performance boats with Tomlinson (and even more with former Powerboat magazine lead test driver Bob Teague). We literally put our lives in his capable hands. So as people who often find themselves in potentially dangerous situations do, we got close.

In his opening voiceover, Tomlinson recalls his experience as a Powerboat test driver and what a “big deal” it was for him. But that is just one data point in a career that has seen him win multiple world and national offshore racing championships and become the finest throttleman of his generation. And along the way, he and his longtime friend Mike Thomas, built TNT Custom Marine in Miami into one of the most respected businesses in the high-performance powerboating realm.

Two very quick Tomlinson stories, both involving sandbars—neither of which is in the video—from his Powerboat magazine days?

John Tomlinson: “I used to get Powerboat magazine when I was in seventh grade. When Jerry Nordskog called me to join Bob Teague and you guys to be on the other test team, it was like a big deal to me, man.” Click the image above to watch the video.

With Teague on throttles of a 44-foot MTI catamaran and me smeared up against the gunwale, Tomlinson turned a cat harder than I thought was possible at 135 mph to avoid a sandbar in Florida’s Sarasota Bay. Earlier that week, Tomlinson stripped down to his briefs—much to the delight of the female Powerboat staffers on hand—to pull help pull me off a sandbar I had “discovered” in a 24-foot Baja during a photo shoot.

Hero or helper, John Tomlinson is equally comfortable in both roles. And there’s a whole lot more to our longtime friend and current Speed On The Water contributor than that, which you’ll learn as you enjoy the video.

Watch it now.

Season 2
New Video: In The Lead With John Tomlinson Of TNT Custom Marine
New Video: Painting Your Dream Boat—In The Know With The Schultes
New Video: In The Lead With Peter Hledin Of Skater Powerboats
Speed On The Water ‘In The Lead’ Video Series Renewed For 2022

Season 1
New Video: In The Lead With Waves And Wheels Justin Wagner Now Live
New Video: In The Lead With DCB’s Tony Chiaramonte Now Live
In The Lead With John Cosker Video Live Now And A Must-Watch
Commentary: In The Lead And On The Backstretch
Airing Today: In The Lead With Nor-Tech’s Trond Schou And Nils Johnsen
In The With Shaun Torrente
In The Lead With Grant Bruggemann
Behind The Scenes With The Speed On The Water ‘In The Lead’ Video Series Crew
Speed On The Water Launching ‘In The Lead’ Video Series