When Southern California performance boater Mike Zarp decided it was time to get a new boat, he set his mind on outboard engines and ultimately decided on a 29 Deck Boat from Nordic Boats in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., with the latest and greatest in Mercury Racing power.
Last weekend, Zarp, who lives in Upland, Calif., and has a place at Havasu Springs Resort on the south end of Lake Havasu in Parker, Ariz., took delivery of his new ride—a sporty package with twin Mercury Verado 400R engines and a cool gelcoat design featuring vibrant green graphics paired with white, black and gray fades.
“The new Nordic is so much different than my Magic,” Zarp said, referring to his 28-foot Magic Powerboats deck boat that was powered by a Mercury 525EFI engine. “With the twin outboards this boat handles so well. It’s got all of the weight hanging off the back of the boat, which gives it incredible attitude by bringing the nose up like it does. From idling and throttling it right on plane to zipping past other boats on the lake, the Nordic is amazing. It’s a rocket.
“It is also substantially nicer than the Magic,” continued Zarp, who credited his girlfriend, Lezlie Schulte, in helping him with much of the boat-buying decisions. “It has such an open feel to it and, because of the outboards, there’s an extra 18 inches in the cockpit that really opens it up. I was a little worried about getting on and off the boat at the transom but the way the crew at Nordic did it with the short swim platform between the motors makes it hassle-free.”
Nordic’s John Lovell said he tested the boat in some extreme conditions on Lake Havasu before delivering the boat to Zarp and saw 98 mph at 7,000 rpm. Propped with 30”-pitch wheels and running in temperatures of more than 110 degrees with nearly unbearable humidity, Lovell was impressed with the boat’s top speed as well as its acceleration.
The 29 Deck Boat at rest in Havasu Springs Resort in Parker, Ariz. Photo courtesy catman/RiverDavesPlace.com
Both Lovell and Zarp believe the boat, which is pretty affordable at $199,900, will top 100 mph easily with 32”-pitch props, which are on their way and will be tested under more ideal conditions.
“Because of this boat, we’ve already got a couple of customers interested in doing the same package,” Lovell said. “Between the extra room inside and the value of fuel and maintenance costs savings with the outboard setup, you can’t beat this boat. Plus it’s just a cool custom boat that you can load the whole family and their friends in and have a great day on the water—and always get back to the ramp.
“I told Thane (Tiemer, Nordic’s general manager) after I drove this thing that when I grow up I want this boat,” Lovell laughed. “We’re very pleased with how it runs. We think this is going to be a hot model.”
Color-matched to the aagraphics, the Mercury Verado 400R engines look right at home on the deck boat. Photo courtesy Nordic Boats
Zarp said the coolest thing about the boat is that it’s a workhorse yet it’s playful.
“I can take a big group of people out and have a great time, and I can also go out with a couple of friends and get after it,” said Zarp, who has a removable ski post for towable activities but has yet to test it out. “The boat is super quick and so fun to drive. It’s really like having the best of both worlds—like having a Ferrari with the utility of a Suburban. If I were to compare it to a car though, I’d have to say it’s like a Tesla—fast and silent.”
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