In February, Hollywood, Fla.-based custom center console builder Midnight Express began converting all its models from conventional lamination to resin…More...
Speed On The Water
Last week, I wrote a story for speedonthewater.com called, “Smaller Models Driving Skater Production”. In that article, Douglas Marine Skater founder Peter Hledin, a guy who throws on coveralls and works his company’s Douglas, Mich., plant every day said, “The smaller inboard [catamarans] seem to be making a comeback—we have three or four in production.”
Hledin went on to say that his 30- and 32-footer offerings were his hottest models at the moment.
That got me thinking: Are small high-performance catamarans in the 32-foot-and under range really making a comeback, or is that just a Skater thing?
Introduced at the Miami International Boat Show last year, the MV8 570 engine from Ilmor Marine will be in new high-performance powerboats by early to mid 2013. That’s the word from Paul Ray, the president of the Plymouth, Mich.-based engine company.
“We’ve talked to every high-performance boat builder who’s still in business, and there’s a lot of interest out there,” said Ray. “Some guys have said they will take them straight away, others will wait until they have a customer for them. It’s the same overseas—we have quite a lot of interest in the engine overseas.”
In conjunction with the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), West Marine announced last week that it will host an Open House Oct. 26-28 at the company’s flagship superstore, located at 2401 South Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The impressive store will have door buster deals, the Raymarine Mobile Showroom, the newest high-tech electronics, refreshments, vendor demonstrations and more. Plus, customers can enter to win a $1,000 West Marine shopping spree.
Tony Ludovico will be on deck on Friday and Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. displaying his work and signing autographs (the first 50 people each day will get a free signed print).Celebrated underwater photographer
“We are very pleased to have our first Open House during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,” said Demi Warner, general manager of the store. “Since our opening last December, we have been a witness to the excitement of the boating community and are pleased to be a part of the celebration.”
Close racing is good racing, and offshore powerboat racing is no exception. Except in offshore racing, rubbing definitely isn’t racing. Fiberglass-to-fiberglass contact in machines that weigh tons and run more than 100 mph in ever-changing water is a recipe for disaster.
So how close is too close? Simple—too close means contact. The rest is just, well, close.
This image by sharpshooting photographer Tim Sharkey from the Offshore Powerboat Association World Championships last weekend in Jupiter, Fla., of the Super Cat Light class battle between Amsoil and Phoenixparts.com shows just how close that close can be. It’s hard to know where one Skater catamaran starts and the other ends.
From Sharkey’s angle with the silver boat in the foreground it looks like Amsoil—the high-performance synthetic lubricant company was title sponsor for the 2012 OPA Offshore Powerboat Series—has a sponson tip on Phoenixparts.com. Or does it? Either way, this spectacular image defines deck-to-deck racing.
Editor's Note: Image of the Week, Part II: Down the Tunnel in Jupiter, will go live on Friday, October 25.