A lifelong resident of Key West, Fla., 33-year-old Daniel Garcia, III, is passionate about the Florida Keys. In April 2018, he started an Instagram group called Keys Island Runners and it has attracted more than 20,000 followers. Among Garcia’s goals in forming the group was to connect powerboat enthusiasts in the upper and lower Keys. He’s already put on one successful event this season—a fun run to the Islamorada Sandbar in Key Largo—this year and, though he’s been stalled somewhat by the COVID-19 pandemic, has several more in mind.
Daniel Garcia’s new-for-2020 24-footer will be the first Progression model to be powered by a Mercury Racing 300R outboard engine.
0420 sotw square325And if his current plans hold, he’ll be enjoying them in his own new ride soon. In February, Garcia took delivery of a 2020 24-foot Progression Boats V-bottom that will be powered by a Mercury Racing 300R outboard engine. He ordered the boat with upholstered seating emblazoned with the Keys Island Runners logo.
The 24-footer currently is in the shop at Peaceful Sea Marine Services in Homestead, Fla., where craftsman Carlos De La Paz is handling customer fiberglass work including panel fabrication.
The naturally aspirated V-8 outboard is at Murray Marine in Key West, where it will be installed on new Shaun Torrente Racing X-Act brackets by rigger David Demeza. Eric Mesa at Custom Marine Concepts will handle the boat’s electronics and stereo system. Living in Bradenton, Fla.., but also a product of Key West, Ryan Beckley of Kinetic Animation will wrap the boat in custom-designed graphics.
“I had Progression beef up the boat’s transom in case I eventually decide with bigger power like a Mercury Racing 400R or 450R outboard,” said Garcia. “I also had them build it with an unfinished cuddy cabin, which I will finish myself. I’ll use the cabin to take stuff like Keys Island Runners merchandize in it to events.”
Currently at Murray Marine in Key West, this naturally aspirated Mercury Racing V-8 outboard will power the boat.
“It’s a really cool project,” said Garcia. “I’m hoping to have it finished and on the water by July or August.”
Editor’s Note: Look for updates on this 24-foot Progression build-out as they become available on speedonthewater.com.