In general our reports focus on new boats. But within the poker run community, New York boater Tom Abraham is about as notable as they come, so when he gets a new boat, it is news. Because Abraham has owned 18 different boats from Cigarette Racing Team (some twice) he's well-known. Combine the fact that some of those models were "firsts" for the legendary powerboat company—as in the first twin-stepped 42-foot Tiger Endangered Species—and Abraham is the ultimate "let's see what he comes up with next" kind of guy when it comes to his go-fast rides.
"It was Jimmy Jackson's old boat—the one that ran 146 mph at the (Lake of the Ozarks) Shootout last year," said Abraham, who will be running the boat at the National Powerboat Association's Old Saybrook Powerboat Poker Run in Connecticut this weekend. "I was very happy with the 36 MTI. I really wasn't looking to get rid of it—I think I even joked with you about selling it and getting something bigger with 1100s."
The joke Abraham is referring to came during the Jacksonville River Rally Poker Run aboard his 36 MTI with twin Mercury HP700SCi engines. And less than two months after I rode in the 36-footer with him and Jimmy McIntyre, the boat was out of his possession.
In what has become more of the norm, boaters like Abraham, who can probably afford a new boat, are opting for a pre-owned model they can make their own by re-powering, painting or making over the interior.
"I'll tell you what, this boat with these new engines is wicked—the power is instantaneous," said Abraham, who plans to split time between it and Shameless, his Viking Yachts 65 Enclosed Bridge, for the rest of the summer.