What began as an opportunity for Mike Fiore of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats to repower and re-rig a 42-foot rigid inflatable support boat (RIB) for the Oracle team competing in next year’s America’s Cup event has evolved into the Bristol, R.I.-based custom high-performance powerboat builder opening a re-powering and re-rigging facility in Fresno, Calif. That’s the word from Fiore, who is currently in Fresno setting up the new operation in an unoccupied building on the Whipple Industries property.
“We did a total refit of the Oracle tender we worked on before (Read the story) and my father-in-law (Art Whipple, the owner and founder of the noted supercharger manufacturer) was kind enough to give us space at his plant,” said Fiore. “We removed the Cummins powertrain in the RIB and replaced it with a complete Yanmar system, and that required us to modify the hull structure, cut through stringers and completely re-rig and rewire the boat. We got all of our stuff set up here, and we decided to hire people and keep open a repowering, re-rigging and service operation out West.
“We’re not going into the oil change and routine service business—there already are plenty of good shops for that,” he continued. “I’ll bet there are at least 25 Outerlimits out West right now. Ideally, what we’d like to do is specialize in repowering boats with Mercury Racing 1350 and 1100 engines. There’s a pretty slim number of people who are certified by Mercury to do that, and we’re among them. In a perfect world, we would do re-rigging for all our existing customers.”
The facility will specialize in re-rigging, repowering and upgrading of not just Outerlimits models, but in models from other high-end custom builders, according to Fiore.
“This allows us to expand our horizons,” he said. “And that’s something we’re always looking to do.”