After Miss GEICO was destroyed by fire during practice in late June, the Qatar team—led by Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani—began to rethink its plans for turbine power in its still-under-construction 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran. The team commissioned the cat thinking that the turbine-powered GEICO catamaran, another 50-foot Mystic, would be its chief competitor during the 2013 domestic offshore racing season. With GEICO’s power plans still up in the air for next year, the Qatar team considered going with Mercury Racing 1350 piston engines and running in the Superboat Unlimited class of Super Boat International.
Now the team has gone back to it original turbine power plans, according to John Cosker, the founder and owner of Mystic in Deland, Fla.
“They will run T-53s for races and T-55s for special speed events like the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout,” said Cosker. “They debated it, but Aqua-Mania (another turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic cat) is saying they are going to race next season and the Semper Fi turbine boat (a 48-foot Marine Technology, Inc., catamaran) is out there.
“But their big goal is to tackle the propeller-driven speed record,” he continued. “They are planning to do it in Qatar with a UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) sanction sometime next year. Steve Curtis (the throttleman for the boat) just asked me for lamination plans for the safety capsule to submit to UIM. That’s probably the biggest focus right now, around the safety capsule. I think with Steve’s input we took a really good design and made it even better.”
Scheduled to begin the painting process sometime next week, the Qatar team reportedly will unveil the cat at the 2013 Miami International Boat Show.