In what was somewhat of a surprise for most offshore racing fans, the Missouri-based Performance Boat Center team showed up in Cocoa Beach, Fla., for the season-opening race of the American Power Boat Association Offshore Championship Series with a new boat. And I’m not talking about the much-anticipated Super Cat-class 42-foot MTI—the Performance Boat Center/Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast boat throttled by John Tomlinson and driven by Myrick Coil—that was rigged and wrapped in time for a quick test session on Thursday on Lake of the Ozarks before being hauled overnight to make tech inspections in Central Florida on Friday.
The Performance Boat Center team showed up for the Thunder On Cocoa Beach race in Central Florida with a new 32-foot Doug Wright Super Stock-class boat. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
I’m talking about the new Performance Boat Center/Auto Alert 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran that raced—and finished second—in the competitive 10-boat Super Stock class. With Coil on the throttles and rookie driver Rusty Williams on the wheel, the boat, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing OptiMax 300XS engines, fared surprisingly well its first time out.
“Man that 32 was a blast—I can see why that class is growing and growing,” Coil said after pulling double duty in Cocoa Beach. “It kind of felt like being in the big boat with the way it reacts. And while we’re not going as fast, the perspective of speed is similar because all of the boats are so competitive. You feel less vibration in the little boat and a lot of the speed is gained or lost with slight changes in trim. We found a happy spot and tried to maintain speed by controlling the trim and keeping the boat in the water. If we got airborne, the boat would go from 96 mph to 89 mph immediately. In the big boat, we control our speed more with the throttle, but with the outboard boat we pretty much ran wide open and just bumped the trim when necessary. It’s kind of amazing how fast you can run a two-stroke 300 boat in rough water.”
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