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Powerboat Tests Sneak Preview

Once again, I’m writing on an airplane—only this one doesn’t have WiFi—that just took off. So I’ll write now and post in the morning.

Less than an hour ago, John Tomlinson dropped me at McCarron Airport in Las Vegas. Yeah, if you’re doing the math on time we cut it pretty close But it was worth it. We spent a day of testing boats on Lake Havasu with the Powerboat magazine crew that included lead test driver Bob Teague, editor Jason Johnson and photographer Robert Brown. Also on hand to help were Powerboat blogger Tank Sears and his wife, Kelly.

We tested five boats. While I can’t give you all the details as they belong to Powerboat—the magazine paid my way and also will pay for the reviews I write—I can give you a couple of goodies.

•With a pair of Mercury Racing 1350 engines providing the power, the M-31 Wide Body catamaran from Dave’s Custom Boats was everything I’d heard it was and more. I’ve not felt that kind of acceleration since I jumped out of a hot air balloon at 4,000 feet—I used to do a lot of skydiving—13 years ago. And even in head-down freefall, I’ve never gone faster.

•With a pair of 725-hp Ilmor Marine V-10 engines, a 32’ Spectre catamaran ran 146 mph. That means that for less than $300,000, you can get a boat that runs four ticks shy of 150 mph. If you think that’s expensive for a new boat with that kind of top end, you haven’t been shopping lately.

As for the rest, I’m afraid that’s all I can offer now. But there’s a lot more coming in the next few issues of the magazine.