A lifelong powerboat enthusiast, 39-year-old Bret Ferrell of Bath Springs, Ky., had never owned a performance-oriented model before he took delivery of a new Sunsation Boats 32 CCX center console in time to enjoy it during Labor Day weekend. He just knew that he wanted something fun to drive—as a former motocross competitor and drag racer he has an affinity for performance—and he needed something that easily could accommodate his wife, Lindsey, and his daughters, Charley, 9, and Ryan, 6.
In their new Sunsation 32 CCX, Bret, Lindsey, Charley and Ryan Farrell have found a versatile, performance-oriented and eye-catching center console, which is a major departure from their previous 23-foot runabout.
And while Ferrell appreciated the 23-foot runabout he owned before stepping up to the Sunsation, his family was outgrowing it. Where they had once enjoyed the 23-footer as a platform for towed watersports, they needed something more versatile that could handle the four of them “just cruising” with their assorted boat-loving friends.
“I have this friend, John Rotenberry, who knows ever spec on every boat you can imagine,” Ferrell said. “When he’s not at work, he’s online looking at performance-boat stuff. I think he has a 28-footer with a 700-hp engine. He suggested that I’d like the 32 CCX with twin (Mercury Racing) 450Rs outboards because it would give me the best of both worlds.
“Over Labor Day weekend, we had something like 12 people on board,” he added. “The boat will run 80 mph, but we just cruised at 45 to 50 mph all day. And for the entire weekend when we stopped and floated, the kids spent their time jumping off the top.”
Ferrell found the 32-footer through his own research and worked with Travis Weeks of Performance East, Inc., a Sunsation dealer with locations in Goldsboro and Cedar Point, N.C. In a case of pure unadulterated luck, a would-be owner reportedly had ordered the boat but backed out of the purchase after construction began in June. Its supercharged 450-hp engines, electronics, JL Audio sound system and more had been ordered and completion and delivery were slated for late August.
The only thing the 2022 model-year 32 CCX didn’t have was a home.
“It was already optioned the way I wanted it so I bought it,” Ferrell said. “It had been ordered with the 450s, which I already knew I wanted. The interior had been ordered with orange and I like orange. But we were able to order the paint colors, which were inspired by Sunsation 32 CCX No. 100.
Viewed from any angle, the Ferrell’s 32-footer is a stunner.
“I know people will think it’s a little weird, but I had never stepped foot on a Sunsation before I bought one,” he added, then chuckled.
Noted Michigan painter Mitch Tolan of Mitcher T Custom Painting & Design handled the boat’s molten orange-and-black graphics, which gives the 32-footer a hot-rod look to complement its spirited performance.
“I come from a performance background and what impresses me most about this boat is its handling,” he said. “It’s a surprising, seat-of-the-pants experience.”
Though the Ferrells typically put their boats to bed after Labor Day and wait for spring to hit the water again, Bret said he’s looking for a poker run—his first— to finish off the season. He just needs more time in his family’s new prize.
“My buddy John is searching for a poker run for us,” he said.
Without question, his entry into the performance-boating world is off to a great start.
Said Bret Farrell, “It had been ordered with the 450s, which I already knew I wanted.”
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