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Project: OptiMax 300XS Outboard-Powered Doug Wright Cat Hits 122 MPH

In March this year, we caught up with offshore racer Dan Lawrence of the The Hulk team fame on the restoration of Loan Shark, his 32-foot Doug Wright pleasure catamaran originally built for Super Stock-class competition in 2005. Lawrence ran the then-canopied cat with Marc Granet (long before Granet could even imagine driving for the Unlimited-class Miss GEICO team) and the duo won five races in its first season. Two years later, Lawrence had the cat’s canopy removed and converted it to for pleasure use. Since then, he’s used it for poker runs—putting more than 800 hours on the 32-footer—and other recreational go-fast boating events.

Lawrence logged a lot of memories in the cat during the years, but arguably his most noteworthy memory of all came yesterday afternoon when he ran the boat, renamed Martini-Rossi and powered by twin Mercury Racing OptiMax 300XS outboard engines—with 80 operating hours on them—to 122 mph.

martinirossi 01

Said Lawrence on yesterday’s speed runs: “Throughout it all, the boat was driving great. The original 32’ Doug Wright is an amazing piece.”

“What I want to emphasize is that with a big set of props and the 300XS engines it will run 112 to 115 mph all day,” said Lawrence, who was giddy after yesterday’s events. “I borrowed some ‘magic’ props from (recently retired Stock-class offshore racer) Scott Porta, 34-inch-pitch, 15-inch-diameter Herings for yesterday.”

Progressively raising the outboards with the help of The Hulk crew chief Burgess Haussermann, Lawrence made faster and faster runs in the cat. By the time he posted his impressive 122-mph run, they had removed the boat’s rear bench and had just eight gallons of fuel in each of the cat’s twin tanks.

“Throughout it all, the boat was driving great,” he said. “The original 32’ Doug Wright is an amazing piece. In raceboat form, it went 118 mph with 2.5 outboards so it was always very fast. If you’re going to race, you need the newer 32’ Doug Wright with the wider tunnel, but for poker runs and so on this boat is perfect. You can run it at 95 mph in three- to four-footers and it does everything right. It flies level and it’s nice and sturdy and strong.”

For a few more images from yesterday, check out the slideshow above.

In refurbishing and restoring the catamaran during the past few years Lawrence worked with several companies and was quick to credit all of them. Owned by fellow Stock-class racer Chris Schoenbohm, Smart Marine Service in Orlando, Fla., handled blueprinting the cat’s bottom and installing its new, plush leather interior. AcryliCo of Lantana, Fla., custom-built a new “gorgeous” windshield for the boat, said Lawrence, and Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla., precisely aligned its engines and steering system. Haussermann handled re-rigging the 32-footer, and in the process the boat lost 170 pounds.

“During the past seven years, the boat has always been in good shape mechanically but was a little beaten up cosmetically,” said Lawrence. “We had it wet sanded and buffed out. We had the trailer sandblasted and powder-coated again. Burgess had a company in Miami make the Martini-Rossi graphics, basically because they just look cool.”

Lawrence said that eventually he’ll list the 32-footer for sale, but until then he plans to enjoy it. “It’s basically a new boat,” he said. “And we had a ball with it yesterday.”

Related Story: Farewell Loan Shark—32′ Doug Wright Cat Remake Well Underway