By 11 a.m. this morning, the docks at the Camden on the Lake Resort, the host venue for Super Cat Fest, were almost empty. Just one day before—and on the Thursday and Friday before that—they had been filled with some of the finest high-performance catamarans in the world from DCB Performance Boats, MTI, Mystic Powerboats, Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats and Skater Powerboats. According to event organizer Alvin Heathman, somewhere north of 40 boats, as well as the spectacular canopied Outerlimits Factory Billet SV 50 sportboat (read the story) and a Mystic M4200 luxury center console, filled the resort’s 31 slips, many of which held two vessels.
Heathman was at once satisfied with this year’s event and relieved it was finished.
“We have a few things to work on for next year, like trying to add another helicopter pad for one of our participants who wants to bring his helicopter like John Woodruff does,” he said. “I’m just winding down from this one. But I thought it was another good event.”
From a catamaran-builder standpoint, Super Cat Fest has become something of a mini boat show in recent years. That it is primarily specific to catamarans is a big part of the event’s appeal.
“I think it’s better than a boat show to be honest,” said Tony Cutsuries, the national sales manager for Skater in Douglas, Mich. “Everything and everyone is rounded up in one place. Don’t get me wrong, the Florida Powerboat Club event in Key West is a good showcase too, but people are all over the place there.
“We got a lot of good leads this week,” he added. “I think we are going to sell some boats.”
Jeff Johnston and Tony Chiaramonte of DCB were on hand to support something on the order of 20 customers who brought their DCB creations to the event. According to Johnston, Super Cat Fest enables the El Cajon, Calif., company to showcase its cats in front of a national audience. But for Johnston and Chiaramonte, the event offers more than an opportunity to make new sales.
“Between the displays at Super Cat Fest and the four guys we had running in the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, it gives us a great chance to spend time with our customers,” Johnston said. “Our customers come from all over the country to support DCB as a brand, and we’re there to support them and show our appreciation. We like to think we’re selling more than incredible boats. We like to think we’re selling a lifestyle.
“Alvin does a great job for us,” he added. “He makes sure everyone is happy.”
For more images of 2017 Super Cat Fest event, check out the slideshow above.
Among those happy DCB customers was Oklahoma’s Carlton Bass, who owns a DCB M35 catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines. Bass takes full advantage of both Super Cat Fest, which has no scheduled group events on the water by day, and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, which he ran for the fourth time this year and took first place in his class with a 160-mph run.
“I like to drive a boat more than show it,” Bass said, then chuckled.
As for Super Cat Fest, which featured parties every night, a bikini contest Friday night and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout live auction Saturday night followed by the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather fight on the video wall in the resort’s pool area, Bass said he particularly enjoys how once the event starts the catamaran brands become almost irrelevant to the typically brand-loyal participants.
“Everyone forgets about brand and just relaxes,” he said. “I think that’s the best part. We’re sort of like a big family.
“Hell, I turn 60 in September and I’m heading the Lake Cumberland Poker Run in Kentucky in a couple of weeks,” he added. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this when I’m 70, but I sure hope so.”
Editor’s note: Look for a full feature on Super Cat Fest and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in the July/August issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine, which will go live soon.