The Victory Team's Arif Al Zaffain and Mohammed Al Marri dominated the second race of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix…More...
Speed On The Water
While the year began "a little bleak" in the words of Peter Hledin, business has been strong for Douglas Marine/Skater Powerboats—the iconic high-performance custom catamaran company he founded—since August. Hledin and his crew in Douglas, Mich., reportedly have built 10 new cats this year, and while the 388 is the current favorite with clients, Hledin says sales of his smaller models are picking up.
Come on, 'fess up. When a group of high-performance powerboats rockets by you on your local waterway, that last thing you think is, "I'll bet the guys who own those boats do a lot for people less fortunate than them." Yeah, I'm pretty sure that—between the conjured images of gold chains, silk shirts, and buxom babes a few decades younger than their hosts at the helm stations—that's the last thing that crosses your mind.
Yet the truth is that high-performance powerboat community consistently reaches out to the world of charity in a big way. It's been like that for a long time, but when it came to fundraising for those in need or providing joy for individuals—from veterans in the Wounded Warriors Project to mentally and physically challenged children and adults in New Jersey— who find joy hard to come by, 2013 was a banner year in the go-fast world.
Don't believe me? Keep reading.
For Jeff Johnston, director of sales and marketing for Hering Propellers, his highlight from 2013 was a no-brainer—getting married to longtime girlfriend Nichole Overson in Newport Beach, Calif., in early October. Six weeks later the newlyweds were running around Key West, Fla., during the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run and the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships. Key West was one of a half-dozen performance boat events Johnston attended in 2013, so choosing a high point wasn't that easy.
In February, Hollywood, Fla.-based custom center console builder Midnight Express began converting all its models from conventional lamination to resin infusion. When the transition of the company's 37-footer is complete early next year, all of the builder's models will be built exclusively using the process.
Unlike the process of vacuum bagging, the infusion process does not remove excess resin from fiberglass (or epoxy from carbon fiber) using a vacuum after both are placed in a bag to form a hull, deck or part. Instead, all of the dry materials go into the bag and then the resin is pumped into the bag through a series of hoses and vacuum-infused into those materials.