Two things you know about the Lake of the Ozarks in late July. First, the Central Missouri heat and humidity will have you doing the towel-to-towel, “oh that’s freaking hot” fire-hop across the decks of rafted-together boats. Second, most major waterfront eateries have ice-cold beverages and swimming pools with swim-up bars.
Nowhere in the high-performance boating world will you find a better example of cause and effect.
There was no finer place to be than on the water and moving during yesterday’s Outboard Only Fun Run organized and produced by Performance Boat Center. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
Just ask the 52 owners of everything from go-fast catamarans to pontoon boats—up from the inaugural event’s 42 entries last year—and their guests who beat the formidable heat to enjoy the second-year Outboard Only Fun Run produced by Performance Boat Center of Osage Beach, Mo., and backed by Mercury Racing of Fond du Lac, Wis. The event was open to boats of all kind, as long as they were powered by Mercury Racing and Mercury Marine outboard engines.
“We had a blast,” said Burton Kirsten, who ran Jetster, his wife, Yvette’s, MTI 390X catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines. “Performance Boat Center always puts on a first-class event.”
Performance Boat Center’s Brett Manire described it as a super-hot and humid day
“People hung in there and made it a great day on the water,” Manire said. “We had four different groups that left in four different waves for Big Dick’s—that’s always such a nostalgic destination—for a catered BBQ lunch under a big tent.”
Enjoy more images from yesterday’s Lake of the Ozarks event in the slideshow above.
Still, the best way to stay cool on the Lake of the Ozarks in the summer is to keep moving across the water, and that’s what the group did after lunch. Some broke off to seek shade and cold beverages at the Fish And Company venue, but most headed to Backwater Jack’s, the run’s originally planned post-lunch destination.
By the late afternoon, most of the fleet had returned to its Performance Boat Center starting point for a taco-and-burrito-bar dinner and party in the multi-brand dealership’s wonderfully air-conditioned showroom.
“We had the Mercury Racing marketing truck and a DJ in there,” Manire said. “For the crowd that wanted to hang out and party later, the Redhead Tiki Bar next door got its fair share of people.
“It was definitely hot yesterday but everyone had a good time and no one broke down,” he continued, then laughed. “That’s the great thing about outboards.”
Mercury Racing and Mercury Marine outboard-powered boats of various makes and models, including this new Cigarette 41 Nighthawk owned by Tyler and Lindsey Miller of Kansas, were in the mix.