Michigan’s annual Muskegon Powerboat Weekend, put on by West Michigan Offshore, lit up the streets and the waterways with another successful event last weekend. The weekend actually kicked off Friday night with the “Thunderboat Row Street Party” on the streets of downtown Muskegon.
High-performance cats such as the American Ethanol/Cat Can Do Skater and MAX, a 46-foot Outerlimits cat, joined a variety of sportboats for the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend. All photos courtesy West Michigan Offshore members
According to Chris Dekker of WMO, the street party—held in conjunction with the Taste of Muskegon—had quite a turnout thanks to live music, a beer tent, tons of great food, games for children and, of course, 15 of the Midwest’s coolest offshore boats, including Jason Braun’s Cigarette Racing Team 39 Top Gun and Burton and Yvette Kirsten’s one-of-a-kind Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats canopied catamaran MAX and Don Doty’s “new-to-him” 46-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran.
“We sold more than $1,000 in WMO apparel that night—it’s exciting to see so many people getting behind the club,” Dekker said. “Although the weather was beautiful on Friday, rain during the night threatened the run. By the time we led the 10:30 a.m. captains’ meeting though, there was no rain on the radar all the way across the lake. The sky seemed to be clearing, and everybody got their boats ready and in the water for our noon poker run start time.
“It was neat to see approximately 100 boats—everything from 22-foot Bajas and 35-foot Fountains to high-dollar cats—coming through the channel in Muskegon,” he continued. “The channel walkway was packed with hundreds of onlookers that came to see the parade.”
The slideshow above includes six more photos from the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend courtesy of WMO members. For several videos put together by WMO Board Member Roger Zuidema from the event, check out the WMO Facebook page.
The run, which turned out to be great besides a huge wall of rain that developed quickly between Muskegon and White Lake just as the boats were coming through, consisted of poker-card stops in White Lake (12 miles north of Muskegon), Grand Haven (12 miles south of Muskegon) and several in Muskegon Lake itself.
“I was in Craig Ellis’ 51′ Sea Ray, and the wall of water that the boats hit was pretty solid,” Dekker added. “They all turned around to go south to Grand Haven first, and as luck would have it, another huge band of rain developed just south of Muskegon at that time too. That was frustrating at the time, but all was smooth sailing after that.”
Dekker said the day ended with a nice tent party on the grounds of the Shoreline Inn, which is owned by club member Jon Rooks, the owner of a 52-foot Outerlimits V-bottom.
“Captains and guests were served a delicious dinner, had access to a cash bar and enjoyed music from DJ Van Hekken,” Dekker said. “All participating boats in the event contributed $50 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the club raised more than $6,000 altogether. That’s on top of the $20,000 we’ve already raised this year. The event ended safely with few breakdowns, and many people saying they can’t wait for next year.”