For Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, R.I., the notion of adding a center console to its existing lines of high-performance V-bottom sportboats and catamarans has been a bit of a ping-pong ball. For years, company founder Mike Fiore toyed with the idea and even managed to produce a few—none of which he was particularly wild about. Truth be told, his heart wasn’t in it.
The Outerlimits team is eager to release its first new 39-foot high-performance center console.
Times change, and while more than a few go-fast boat enthusiasts have dubbed the center console market “saturated,” they’re still selling. And knowing that they have an instant market for an Outerlimits version thanks to their loyal tribe of customers, the decision-makers have decided to move forward with an outboard engine-powered 39-footer.
Outerlimits principal Brian McLaughlin recently greenlighted the project, which is based off a five-step Outerlimits hull, and the first model will be his.
“We have taken some of Mike’s original drawings for a center console, though he had it as an inboard, and expanded on them,” said Jason Amaral, the company’s general manager. “We have changed the sheer line a bit and retooled the deck. It doesn’t have much bow-flare as that would not be consistent with Outerlimits styling, but it does have much more of a ‘proud bow.’ It also will have a top originally designed by Mike. When it’s finished, the boat will have a dominant presence.
“During our Factory Fun Run last year in Bristol, I had so many customers tell me they would love an Outerlimits center console if we offered one,” he continued. “Brian McLaughlin was at the factory the other day—we’re still open during COVID-19 because we are classified as a manufacturer—and we were talking about it with our head rigger, Billy Dutra, and electrician, Cam Abbot. Brian said, “OK, it’s time. Let’s do it.’ We are in the process of designing the deck right now. I want to have it done by August. And we already have two more orders in the works behind the first one.”
Boasting a 10’6” beam, the first boat will be powered by quad Mercury Marine 400 Verado outboard engines. Outerlimits also will offer the boat with twin-, triple- and four-engine setups spanning the Mercury Racing outboard line-up. The Outerlimits team is expecting the boat to run in the mid- to high-90-mph range with four Mercury Racing 450Rs on its transom.
Amaral, an avid offshore fisherman who grew up in the Northeast running far off the coast to target tuna and other blue-water species, said the crew at Outerlimits is considering going big with fuel capacity in the 500- to 600-gallon range.
Check out the slideshow above to enjoy more concept images of the upcoming 44-foot center console from Outerlimits.
Amaral emphasized that the center console introduction, while a passion of the late Paul Fiore, is driven by customer demand and demographics. And though he knows that the company’s version will be compared to offerings from MTI, Nor-Tech and more as Outerlimits is a high-performance boat builder, the plan is to maintain the “legendary Outerlimits performance and go after the more mainstream center console market that includes Contender, Grady-White and Jupiter.”
“Our sportboat customers still love our sportboats,” he said. “And they’re such a loyal bunch. But as their priorities change, a lot of them are wanting to add a second boat because their boating needs have also changed. They have kids and in some cases grandkids. They want to take out their entire families. They want to take out their friends. We can’t wait to get the first one on the water so they can see it.”