With the 2015 Stock-class National Championship under his belt, Scott Porta, the owner and throttleman of the Papa’s Pilar team has decided to retire from offshore powerboat racing after the Super Boat International World Championships Nov. 8-15 in Key West, Fla. Porta, who throughout the 2015 season has been at the forefront of the push for the Mercury 300XS outboard engines to become spec engines for the class, cited several reasons for his pending departure from the sport.
Papa’s Pilar joins DoublEdge Motors (under the Five Brothers Grocery banner in this image) as the second Stock-class boat for sale this year. Photo courtesy Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“There are a lot of things in motion,” said Porta, whose 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran is currently for sale at $139,000 including its trailer and two Mercury 2.5-liter, 280-hp refreshed power-heads. “I got married a few years ago, and my wife, Cindy and I bought some property on the shore of the St. Johns River not far from our home in New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) that we’d like to build on.
“Racing takes all my time and is expensive,” he said then laughed. “I like to tell people, ‘I can almost afford to go boat racing.’ I am married to an awesome woman, and I would rather have her in the boat with me than on the shore.”
Papa’s Pilar is the second Stock-class catamaran to be listed for sale this season. Earlier this year, veteran offshore racer Ryan Beckley put his 30-foot DoublEdge Motorsports Skater cat on the block. (The 30-footer has not yet sold and, like Porta, Beckley plans to compete at the upcoming SBI Worlds.)
Porta, whose Porta Products company fabricates hydraulic transom brackets, said he’ll still be involved be with offshore racing in supplying conversion parts for Mercury 300XS outboard engines, which he said will be spec power for the SBI Stock class of twin-outboard canopied catamarans next year. (An official announcement has not yet been made by SBI.) Porta said he has interest in the conversion plate, which marries the 300XS powerhead to the 2.5-liter outboard lower section, from the pleasure-boat market as well as the offshore racing segment.
“I did not anticipate that,” he said. “But maybe I can turn that into a business. I went into (the 300XS project as power for the Stock) with a forthright and honest agenda. I didn’t know it was going to go this way.”
Asked if would ever return to the sport, Porta said he “would not rule anything out.” But his current equipment is at its limits, he added, as is his budget.
“We have an older boat—it’s the last Doug Wright cat in the class with the narrow tunnel—that I bought from (Superboat-class offshore racer) Billy Mauff two years ago,” he said. “I think it was built in 2006 and we got it to run as good as it can, at least in rough water. If the stars aligned I guess I could come back, but I’m not planning to.”