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
Anchorman Tom Hudson and his crew interviewed Cigarette President and CEO Skip Braver at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show where the company, as the anchor of the "HI Performance Village," displayed a range of models including the new 42-foot Huntress performance center console. Hudson then visited the Cigarette factory to see firsthand how the custom boats are built.
In the NBR interview that aired on Dec. 14, Braver explained how when the economy got tight and most of the marine industry contracted, Cigarette invested in new tooling, new models and kept its factory and employees busy to grow the Opa-locka, Fla., company, preparing for the better times ahead. The strategy worked for Cigarette as it has continually enjoyed excellent sales.
Hudson reported on the process of boat building at Cigarette and Braver explained that the company's loyal customers are "lifestyle addicts" who enjoy the premium luxury lifestyle brand, which has expanded and refined under Braver's 10-year tenure. The NBR segment, which also includes Trinity Yachts, can be seen here at www.NBR.com. The interview with Braver starts around the 20-minute mark.
What better person to kick off The Highs and Lows of 2012 series on speedonthewater.com than Fred Kiekhaefer, the outgoing president of Mercury Racing? By the time this series is finished in January, Kiekhaefer, who has held the reins of the company for 23 years, will be working as a consultant for the high-performance marine engine-building giant in Fond Du Lac, Wis. That’s a big change for a strong and innovative leader. Here’s what he gave as his high and low for 2012.
High: “I guess the high was that Brunswick picked Erik Christiansen to be my successor at Mercury Racing.”
Low: “I was disappointed that Gasse broke a water hose in one race and a steering fitting in another and could not finish all three races at the (Key West) Worlds. It would have been nice to see them win the Worlds. But that’s racing.
“On a larger scale, I am disappointed that our business and the economy has not recovered to the point where I could bring back some of the people we let go. I am still very disappointed that the confidence in the economy has not come back, for very understandable reasons.”
Editor’s Note: Look for a complete feature on Fred Kiekhaefer on the home page of offshoreonly.com tomorrow.
For round two of The Highs and Lows of 2012 series on speedonthewater.com, the founder of Dave's Custom Boats (DCB), Dave Hemmingson, took a moment to reflect at the end of a busy year. Not only is DCB in the midst of expanding its popular M Series catamarans with the new M41 Widebody and the M29 Widebody, which will be finished in early 2013, the El Cajon, Calif., company has been charging ahead by attending more events annually and focusing on its redesigned website. In fact, the crew at DCB recently introduced a new feature called InsideOut, which follows the happenings in and out of the DCB shop. Here's what Hemmingson had to say about the year 2012.
Years ago, I wrote a feature for Powerboat magazine on the best high-performance boat paints jobs of all time. I talked to boat builders, painters and boat owners. Of course, it was a completely subjective story but it was a lot of fun to research and write.
Among the builders I spoke with was Mike Fiore of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, R.I. He named the then-canopied XXX V-bottom, which reportedly topped 161 mph on 1,450-hp Sterling Performance engines in 2004, as his favorite of all time.
I understood his perspective. Between 47-footer’s killer paint job and sexy lines, it was a stunner. And even with its canopy removed, the boat, which now is owned by Glenn and Laurel Fuller, still is. Photographer Jay Nichols captured the XXX Outerlimits during the 2012 Boyne Thunder Poker Run this summer on Lake Michigan.
High-end custom go-fast boats have many lives. The XXX 47 GTX started its life as a canopied machine that was built to make a point in the Outerlimits vs. Fountain speed war. Now, it’s a poker run pleasure boat. But it still looks fantastic.