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Speed On The Water
Most of what I call “email bombs”—the dreaded electronic missives that deliver bad news—are waiting for me when I fire up my laptop in the morning. The more generic the subject line, the worse the news usually is. I mean, no one wants to come right out and say your mom is really your aunt, your stock portfolio is worthless or your dog died. Better to ease into the telling of such unpleasantness with safe headers like “Mom/Aunt Get-Together” or “Market Correction” or “Pet Health.”
But as I said, most gems like these reach me in the morning. Today, as I’m sure you can guess by now, was a little different because I got one this afternoon. The subject line was “Sport Boat,” which was so safe and generic that it made my stomach plunge. The content was simple: The decision had been made to immediately cease publication of Sportboat, the quarterly magazine for which I have served as a freelance editor in chief for the past six issues.
No explanation for the decision was given and, to be fair, I didn’t ask the higher-up who sent it to me for one in my return email. And I won’t. What I think and feel doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t.
Yesterday’s speedonthewater.com story “Mystic Building Second Cat for First Repeat Owner” sparked our search for a strong image of Don Onken's first 50-foot, V-16-engine-powered catamaran in action. Naturally, ace photographer Jay Nichols came through with a gem from the 2012 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. Nichols caught the cat, which reportedly had a combined 3,400-plus hp, during the Saturday afternoon runs.
“Knowing the boat had a unique power setup, I suppose I was anticipating something different before it even ran,” he said. “The sound was different, like it could pull forever.”
While Nichols caught his best shot of the boat on Saturday, his strongest memory of it came from its run the following morning.
“My most vivid recollection of the boat was from a Sunday morning run they made during a downpour that came through,” he said. “Although I was sitting in wet leaves on the edge of that rocky bluff trying to keep two lenses clear and not slide into the lake when they came by, all I could think about was driving my MGB top down in the rain. That’s no problem as long as you go 35 mph or faster. They were moving a bit faster than that.”
When Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats introduced the 427 at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in 2010, even Terry Sobo, the company’s director of sales and marketing, was uncertain of how the boat would be received.
A hybrid of sorts combining the company’s popular 3900 Super V hull with a cockpit modeled after the 4000 Roadster catamaran, the 427 featured center-position steering and helm seats, an elongated cockpit and a redesigned aft end of the boat with a new sun lounge and a larger swim platform.
Now, two years later, the new design is officially a hit. Along with the debut of the new 477 at the Key West Poker Run in November, Sobo said the North Fort Myers, Fla., company is in the midst of building a 43-foot version and will soon begin working on the largest model in the lineup—the 527—for notable poker run enthusiasts, Mark and Eileen Fischer, who own OffleaseOnly.com and BoatsDirectUSA.com.
Lamination is underway for an all-carbon-fiber 50-foot Mystic Powerboats catamaran that will be powered by twin 2,500-hp V-16 engines built by noted engine man Keith Eickert and Don Onken, the owner of the new cat. The canopied offshore race boat, the fourteenth 50-foot cat the DeLand, Fla., custom boat company has built since it introduced the model, will be Onken’s second Mystic.
“Don is my first repeat customer,” said John Cosker, the founder and owner of Mystic. “His first boat was hull No. 7. This one is hull No. 13—I actually saved production space No. 13 for him. The Spirit of Qatar boat took the No. 14 spot.”
Cosker reportedly inked the deal with Onken, who won’t race the boat himself but will have other racers in the cockpit during the 2013 season, after the Super Boat International Key West Offshore World Championships in November 2012.