In the early to mid-2000s, the heydays of Factory 1- and Factory 2-class offshore powerboat racing, Kryptonite hulls were among the most coveted in the category. Two factors fueled the demand for the open-cockpit, 27-foot—and later 29-footers with an added swim platform—V-bottoms. First, they were fast for the power in the Factory 1 ranks, which was a single Mercury Racing 500EFI engine.
Second, they had scarcity value. Former Factory 1-class racer Randy Schleuss, who reportedly owned one of the first Kryptonite raceboats built by the now-dark company, described those builds as “rare.”
Off the racecourse as well as on it, Kryptonite established a reputation for its fast and sturdy 29-foot V-bottom. Photo by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.
“I don’t know if they even built 20 of them and I don’t think they’ve built a new one in 18 years,” Schleuss said. “They almost never come on the market, and when they do they are expensive and disappear immediately because they’re such great boats.”
Not long ago Schleuss, who most offshore racing fans know as a stalwart Stock V-class competitor who campaigns a 29-foot Extreme raceboat dubbed Typhoon, acquired the molds for the 29-footer. He is teaming up with longtime friend Mark Schnepf of Rage Powerboats in Long Island, N.Y., to try to revive the once-coveted V-bottom.
“The 29 Kryptonite is such a solid boat, especially in rough water,” Schleuss said. “It’s a fantastic hull.
“I’m not a boat-builder and I don’t want to be become one,” he added, then chuckled. “That’s why I reached to Mark at Rage Powerboats. We’re not in a position to just build a few and see what happens, but we will build one as soon as we get an order.”
Like Schleuss, Schnepf sees value in offering the boat with sterndrive or outboard engine power.
“With the outboard craze right now, I think it will be a crazy-good platform for a pair of (Mercury Racing) 300Rs,” Schnepf explained. “We will build them any way people want.
“I am pretty busy with my own (Rage Powerboats) stuff right now,” he added. “I have a lot going on and getting good help is pretty tough. But the 29 Kryptonite is another great horse to have in the stable.”
Though Randy Schleuss currently fields a Mod V-class Extreme raceboat (above), he ran a 29-foot Kryptonite in the Factory 1 ranks. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
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