Shopping for a new boat three years ago, Southwest Florida’s Mel Wann originally thought he wanted a yacht on the order of a Broward or a Hatteras. The Fort Myers Beach resident was looking for something that could host his whole family, which includes grandchildren, in maximum comfort but also lent itself to fishing and diving, two of his favorite ways to spend time on the water with his loved ones.
But Wann also wanted something sporty and fun to drive, so he shifted his focus from yachts to center consoles. That led him to Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats and—still thinking big—Wann eventually ordered a spectacular Nor-Tech 550 Sport model powered by four 627-hp outboard engines from Seven Marine.
Wann took delivery of the custom-painted beauty at the start of the 2019 holiday season and ran it to Key West, Fla., during the Race World Offshore Key Championships and Florida Powerboat Club poker run week in early November. Since then, he’s campaigned it in a couple of Fort Myers Offshore events and is planning to head for the Bahamas and the other side of the Sunshine State at least once this year.
To call the performance-oriented 55-footer, which the owner dubbed Master Plan II, well-equipped would be a disservice to everyone involved. The boat is flat-out loaded.
“I built the Nor-Tech for my family to enjoy so I had it designed and equipped to be able to do a little bit of everything,” he said. “It is set up for fishing with downriggers, a 60-gallon live-well with a bait station and tuna tubes, and has a complete, self-contained diving system (the Brownie Snuba system). It has an outdoor grill and a stove, two master staterooms, satellite TV and Apple TV—all the amenities you can imagine.”
The boat has a few more amenities that wouldn’t be out of place on a full-blown yacht including electronic “privacy glass” throughout the boat and a projection television with a retractable screen in the cockpit. Both cabins have their own enclosed shower and head compartments. For keeping beverages cool, the boat has a freezer, an ice-maker and a refrigerator. For keeping guests cool in the cockpit, its oversized T-top is equpped with a SureShade power extension.
Since taking delivery of Master Plan II, which also boasts a Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilization system and a Northern Lights diesel generator, Wann has put almost 100 running hours on its Seven Marine outboards. To improve performance, the engines were equipped with GT lower units from Seven Marine and propellers from Mercury Racing. Electronics include two 22-inch Garmin GPS units, sonar, a FLIR system, auto pilot, Wifi, Trac Vision Satellite and more.
Given the operating hours and that Wann has had the 550 Sport for less than three full months, it’s clear he’s not afraid to use it.
“It runs great,” he said. “It cruises right along. The boat is pretty heavy with everything I have on it and the outboards, but it’s still pretty quick and very stable.”
Ask about the 55-footer’s top speed, Wann declined to offer a number.
“It’s fast enough,” he said, then laughed.
Master Plan II is hard to miss at the docks.
But Tim Hill, the president of Fort Myers Offshore, offered his take after he saw the boat in action during the nonprofit scholarship fundraising club’s post-Thanksgiving run. And he was more than a little impressed.
“I slowed down to 55 mph at one point to have Pete Boden, who was shooting from Mel’s boat, get some photos of us,” he said. “After that, I couldn’t stay in front of it. I couldn’t believe how fast it was—I think they were baking cookies while cruising at 65 mph.”