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Spectre Powerboats Revival

Truth be told, I was genuinely sad when Jay Pilini of Spectre Powerboats sold the molds for his high-performance catamarans and focused exclusively on building center-console fishing boats. First, Pilini and his crew built a great product—I’ve had the pleasure of helping test many of them during my tenure as a writer for Powerboat magazine. Second, Pilini has an engaging, understated personality and a dry sense of humor. He doesn’t talk much, but when he does it’s entertaining.

So when I heard in late 2009 that Pilini and his business associate Tony Frisina of Frisina Motorsports were buying back the molds for Spectre’s 30-, 32, 36- and 42-foot-long cats, I have to admit I was delighted.

So why did Pilini come back?

“I really missed the performance boats—I’ve been building them for 25 years—and truthfully I really missed the people,” Pilini told me this afternoon. “It’s certainly a different group of people than the center-console crowd.”

But Pilini and company didn’t just get back the existing Spectre molds and start production. To begin with, they worked with Chris Dilling—a name well known to go-fast boat graphics aficionados—of Grafik EFX to create new graphics for all existing models, most of which are undergoing some level of retooling.

Though the hull plug for the 42, which was created by Doug Wright, was completed and sold with the rest of Spectre catamaran tooling in 2006, Pilini’s own deck design for the 42-footer had not been finished. That deck is currently in production, and the finished product is slated to debut at the 2010 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Power for the boat, said Pilini, will be a pair of Mercury Racing 1350s.

Pilini also said he plans to produce a couple of brand-new models.

“We are going to be developing a new boat in the 36- to 38-foot range to fill out the line a little better,” he said. “We’ll also be tooling up a boat to fill the gap between the 32 and 36, something in a wide-body, which everyone seems to like these days. It will share the lines of the 36.

“Of course, people will always be able to get our classic 30, 32 and 36,” he added. “We have orders for the 30 and 32 that we’re filling right now.”