Paul Robinson, the primary organizer behind the Texas Outlaw Challenge coming up next month (June 20-23), has one rule for…More...
While high-performance catamaran designer Doug Wright has built his reputation creating successful offshore race boats, his first dedicated-from-inception pleasure cat—a five-seat 32-footer set up for poker runs—is two to three weeks away from on-water testing. That’s according to Wright and John Caparell, the San Diego-based dealer for a new venture called Doug Wright West.
More than a year ago, Caparell received a bare hull with an open-cockpit deck, complete with a recess for a wraparound windshield, from the Florida-based Wright. For all intents and purposes, Caparell has served as the project manager for the 32-footer, including using noted West Coast interior builder Eddie Martinez to handle the cat’s five-seat cockpit. The interior includes expansive stowage lockers on each side.
“You could put a 6’3” man in each of those stowage bins,” said Caparell.
Visual Imagination in Missouri handled the graphics for the cat. Caparell used another vender to rig the catamaran with twin 300-hp Mercury OptiMax outboard engines. With its 62-inch-wide tunnel, the boat rides on modified version of Wright’s racing hulls used in the X-Cat class overseas and Stock class in the United States.
Caparell said he expects the 32-footer, which currently is waiting for its windshield to be installed as the step in completion, to run 105 mph “all day long” an would be “happy” if it tops 110 mph.
“This is going to be the finest outboard pleasure boat on the planet,” said Caparell. “It’s completely fresh. Blower motor cats have become stale. Outboards are the future.
“The process has been painfully slow, but this boat is beyond words,” he concluded. “Doug sent me a bare hull and deck, and I took it from there. I had a vision of what I wanted.”
Added Wright “He spent a lot of time making sure everything was done correctly. He has a lot of patience, that’s for sure.”
Although initial testing of the plug for SV29 stepped V-bottom from Outerlimits was done with a Mercury Racing 525EFI engine under the hatch, the first complete model—to be unveiled at the 2012 Miami International Boat Show in February—will sport a Mercury Racing 600SCi engine. Mike Fiore, the principal of the Bristol, Rhode Island, custom high-performance V-bottom and catamaran builder, said he expects the boat to pick up 2 to 3 miles per hour with the 600-hp supercharged mill over the 90 mph it reportedly topped with the naturally aspirated 525-hp engine.
“We’re going to keep the boat mostly under wraps until the Miami show,” said Fiore. “We think people are going to be impressed.”
Base retail for the SV29 is expected to be less than $200,000.
Editor’s Note: Look for an exclusive feature on the Outerlimits SV29 in the summer 2012 issue of Sportboat magazine.
In 2011, more than 600 articles appeared on speedonthewater.com. Some offered good news and others offered not-so-good news, but one thing is certain about 2011: It was anything but a dull year in the go-fast powerboat world.
What follows are my picks—each with its own link to the original piece—under six headings for this year’s top stories. Of course this list, like all such selections, is inherently subjective, for what rates as significant for me may be insignificant to you. And with more than 600 stories to choose from this year, I know I missed more than a few.
But with that said, I offer the following:
With the as yet unfiled Gratton Family to File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Super Boat International and First Capital Sues American Marine Holdings and Liberty Acquisitions for $61 Million you could make a strong case for 2011 as “the year of the big lawsuit.” Regardless of the outcome, each is likely to have a profound impact on its respective world.
2. Center Console Mania
I’ll save those folks who like nothing better than to belabor the obvious the trouble: Center consoles aren’t new. But custom high-performance builders including Cigarette Racing Team, which was ahead of the curve when it introduced the 39’ Top Fish several years ago, Marine Technology, Inc., Nor-Tech, Statement Marine, Outerlimits, Sunsation and others getting into the center console game is new. And with purpose-built catamaran and V-bottom go-fast boat sales hardly booming, the expansion of these companies into another product segment is more than a good thing. It's survival.
3. Buried Alive, Dug Up and Buried Alive Again
If it did not affect real people—meaning loyal readers and dedicated staff—the saga of Powerboat magazine in the hands of Bonnier Corporation would be almost comical. The "We're off!" ... "No wait, we’re on!" ... "On third thought, we’re off now!” drama is a sad and rather undignified ending for a magazine that, love it or hate it (and there always was plenty of both for Powerboat) was iconic.
4. A Reign of Power Ends
Mercury Racing changed the game and left other engine builders playing catch-up when it introduced the supercharged 1075SCi engine in 2004. The company changed the game again when it released the quad overhead cam turbocharged 1350 in 2010 and created an 1,100-hp version of the same engine platform a year later. That effectively was the end of the line for the 1075 that once set the standard for reliable and manageable high-performance boat engines, which in their final installation demonstrated what made them so very impressive in the first place.
5. Just Finish the Damn Thing Already
Type Sterling 1700 into the “Search” function on this site and you will get 17 story results. (I don't have the time or energy to list them all here—that's why this site has a "Search" function.) That’s what happens when you follow the story of an engine, from development to installation and testing (well, sort of) for more than a year. The turbocharged Sterling 1700 has been at once an exhilarating and exasperating story—thanks to a series of epic delays and a glacial in-boat testing pace—for more than 13 months, but there is light at the end of tunnel. Sterling principal Mike D’Anniballe has offered to have me on hand for the final dial-in of the first pair of 1700s in a Skater 388, and while I’m not ready to make flight reservations just yet I’ll be there when it happens.
6. OK, So Maybe the No. 1 Was Overkill
After an Ilmor 725-powered Outerlimts SV43 set a new Around Long Island Record last summer, Mike Fiore and the crew at Outerlimits decided to offer a Don Aronow Limited Edition graphics package for the sit-down 43-footer. And the furor that ensued on the offshoreonly.com message board was as over-the-top and entertaining as any in recent memory. For sure, Fiore and company underestimated/miscalcuated the sacred connection between Aronow and Cigarette Racing Team, the most famous of the boat companies he founded, and the devoted following it created. Then again, they didn’t suggest raising taxes, banning religion or proposing a national boat care system. Without question, the story was this year’s “tempest in a teapot.”
May the new year deliver everything you hope it will—and more. One thing is certain: When it comes to the go-fast powerboat world, speeonthewater.com will continue to bring you the news in 2012.
In the perennially turbulent world of offshore powerboat racing, British-born and raised Nigel Hook is the rarest of birds—a longtime racer who no one ever has a bad thing to say about. Sure, Hook, 54, is a tough competitor on the racecourse, and he’s hungry to win. But off the racecourse Hook is a perfect English gentleman, one who happens to hold dual citizenship in the United Kingdom and the United States. That transatlantic presence, plus a couple of world championships along the way, are a large part of why he has been able to retain sponsorship from Lucas Oil for well over a decade – it’s currently is the longest-running team sponsorship in offshore racing.
“I was inspired to race by my uncle Roger Hook in England,” says Hook. “Our first race was the Dawlish 100 in 1974, which did in a 19-foot monohull with twin 100-hp Mercury outboards.”
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