Although Wake Effects in Osage Beach, Mo., has specialized in the towboat market offering wakeboard boats from the likes of MasterCraft not to mention pontoons and other types of watercraft, the Lake of the Ozarks dealership and service center appears ready to embrace the performance boat market thanks to owner Rusty Rahm’s stunning new 52 MTI, which was delivered on Monday in time for this week’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout festivities.
Powered by a pair of turbocharged Mercury Racing 1350 engines and featuring MTI’s first removable hardtop, the 52-foot catamaran was painted by Visual Imagination in Peculiar, Mo. The removable hardtop, which MTI calls an “environmental top” because it’s not its normal race canopy but a convertible concept that can be used no matter the weather, was Rahm’s idea. Well at least he asked if it was possible, and MTI did the rest.
“This is our first 52 with a removable canopy,” said Tim Gallagher, sales and marketing manager for MTI. “Rusty wanted something he could use when it’s cold out at the lake without having to sacrifice the sunshine and fresh air that his family enjoys during the boating season.”
Check out more images of the new 52-foot MTI in the slideshow above. Photos courtesy Brad Glidewell and Wake Effects.
Rahm, who acquired Wake Effects in 2012, said the decision to purchase the catamaran from the Wentzville, Mo., boat builder wasn’t easy. It had nothing to do with product style or quality and everything to do with a friendship Rahm had with Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats founder Mike Fiore, who died from surgical complications following an accident at the 2014 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
Rahm owns a 50-foot Outerlimits V-bottom with twin 1,450-hp Sterling Performance engines and has no plans of abandoning his fondness for the boats produced by the team in Rhode Island, but the opportunity to own such an extraordinary boat and become a dealer and service center for one of the most respected performance boat brands in the world was too good to pass up. He said working with MTI founder Randy Scism and everyone at MTI has been a great experience.
After a full day of testing on Monday, the well-equipped 52-footer was put back on its gooseneck Heritage trailer and returned to Waves and Wheels where Justin Wagner and his team worked around the clock to get the catamaran’s entertainment system dialed in in time for tonight’s Shootout on the Strip.
“The test was amazing—the boat handled absolutely incredible and its acceleration was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” said Rahm, who plans to do the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run in November. “It’s a very comfortable boat. The air conditioning works well and it has electric seats for the driver and throttleman. Spending a day driving with a world champion throttleman (Scism) in a boat like this was as good as it gets.
“The paint job is phenomenal,” he continued. “Every time I look at it I find another detail I didn’t notice before. I can’t wait to get some feedback at the street party. It’s already getting a ton of attention at the lake.”