As if two-time defending F1 H2O international tunnel-boat series world champion Shaun Torrente weren’t busy enough between producing and marketing his new innovative STR X-Act Dynamic Jackplate product and fielding a new 32-foot Doug Wright raceboat with Super Stock-class teammate Eric Belisle, the ambitious Floridian has taken on another project. Torrente recently acquired the Grant’s Signature Racing High-Performance Catamaran Driving School curriculum and will travel to teach the two-day course to individual new and experienced catamaran-owning students.
Accomplished on multiple levels in the high-performance powerboat world, Shaun Torrente (at the helm of his former 30-foot Skater Powerboat catamaran) will be instructing new and experienced catamaran drivers. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Torrente purchased the course assets from its founder Grant Bruggemann, the owner of Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla. One of the nation’s top high-performance pleasure and racing catamaran riggers, the multi-time offshore racing world champion established the insurance company-approved course for his private clients—with a focus on those who own MTI and Skater catamarans—several years ago. His business obligations, however, limited the amount of time he could spend teaching, much less marketing, the course.
“Grant went to all the trouble of working with Devin Wozencraft to get his course and its curriculum approved with the insurance carriers,” Torrente said. “I had thought about teaching my own high-performance catamaran driving course, but buying the curriculum from Grant, who was ready to let go of it, was the most efficient way to do that.”
For Bruggemann, the time to sell the driving school business was ideal—as was the buyer.
“Although we have thoroughly enjoyed doing the driving schools and meeting new people, we have so much going on at the shop that we felt we needed to focus more on that aspect of our business,” he said. “Several people had inquired about purchasing the school, but when Shaun called me I knew he was the right man for the job. I’ve known him a long time and worked with him on the speedonthewater.com test team. He is a natural people person and he loves being in all kinds of boats.”
The course will have one classroom day, which finishes with a written test each client must pass, followed by a day of on-water instruction with Torrente in the student’s new or pre-owned catamaran. Later this month, Torrente will be on site at the Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run Exhibit representing the STR brand in the Firm Real Estate and Boats Depot exhibits, and he’ll have printed material on the course available.
With both the tunnel boat and offshore racing seasons slated to start in May and his parts design-and-fabrication business thriving, Torrente knows his schedule will become even more compressed with his new venture. But he’s thrilled to have the opportunity.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.
Editor’s note: Shaun Torrente and Grant Bruggemann are test drivers for speedonthwater.com and alternate contributing columns to each issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine.