A week after FB Marine Group’s Randy Sweers took the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based dealership’s first 34 Victory Team catamaran out for its shakedown cruise (read the story), Sweers hauled the boat across the state to test propellers and dial in the catamaran, which was built in Dubai and is powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines, with F1 H2O and XCAT world champion racer Shaun Torrente of STR Components in Cape Coral.
World champion racer Shaun Torrente was thrilled with the performance of the new 34 Victory cat powered by Mercury Racing 450R engines. Photos and video courtesy Randy Sweers and Shaun Torrente.
“The Victory cat seems to do everything well; I don’t know of many other boats that check off all the boxes like this one does,” said Sweers, FB Marine Group’s managing partner. “Not only is it fast and completely stable whether you’re running in calm or rough water, the boat, which is almost 36 feet long and 10 feet wide, checks the most important box, which is having something safe. The handling is nothing short of spectacular—it gives you the confidence to run the boat fast and hard.
“Bone stock out of the box with a couple of sets of Dewald props Shaun had, we hit 129 mph with the 36”-pitch props and 135 mph with the 38s,” he added. “And who better to run that fast with than Shaun Torrente? We had a job to do and we went out and got it done. We made one height adjustment while testing, that was it. My client probably won’t go faster than 125 mph anyway. It is a pleasure boat after all, not a raceboat.”
Sweers said the boat’s owner, Brock Vernon of Texas, can’t wait to get his hands on the boat, which is going to be for sale soon as he has another 34 Victory cat on order through FB Marine Group.
Torrente, who is familiar with the Victory hulls from racing in the XCAT World Series overseas, said the new 34 runs very similar to the Victory Team-built raceboats he’s driven in the past.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the 34 Victory cat test session.
“We only had half a day to mess with it, plus it was more than 90 degrees and humid, but the boat felt great,” said Torrente, who supplied the adjustable brackets the outboard engines were mounted on. “I knew the boat would run well, and I figured we could get it past 130 mph pretty easily with my personal 38”-pitch propellers that Dave (Dewald) and I have been fine-tuning for a while now, so I was happy with the 135 mph. The boat is super easy and fun to drive. It’s plenty fast—with a set of 36s, which I believe is the best overall setup for the customer, the boat should be able to run 125 mph all day long with people and gear on board. The coolest part is that it’s like driving a Cadillac at any speed. The boat does everything great. It accelerates hard, it stays level and it turns incredibly well.
“We tried the 36s Dave built for the boat first and ran 129 mph,” he added. “Then we put on my 38s, which look like crap by the way but they’re frickin’ amazing, and we ran 135 mph. I looked at Randy and said, ‘I think this thing will run 136. Want to give it another go?’ He just looked at me and said, ‘Nope I’m good.’ I’m pretty certain the customer is going to be happy with that number, too, even if he never runs it that fast.”
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