Although Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, R.I., has been steadily moving forward since the untimely death of one of the company’s principals, Joe Sgro, following an accident during the 2017 Key West Poker Run in November, the company received a major shot in the arm this week when longtime Outerlimits customer and former shareholder Bob Russell finalized a deal to take over Sgro’s ownership alongside longtime Outerlimits partner Brian McLaughlin.
Back in 2013, Bob Russell (below right) and John Rogers set an endurance record from San Francisco to Long Beach, Calif., in Russell's 51-foot Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats catamaran. Photos courtesy Mike Quindazzi
One of the original business partners of late Outerlimits founder Mike Fiore—and a major investor in many of the new models the company cranked out in the 1990s and 2000s—Russell, who resides in both Washington and Florida, is excited to be involved with Outerlimits again.
“I feel like at this point someone needs to step in and get this thing back on the rails,” Russell said during an interview on Wednesday the day before the Miami International Boat Show. “Things are going well there right now but I feel like we can ramp things up and build more boats, get out to more events and just have more fun as one big Outerlimits family.
“I plan on being very hands on for at least the first year or two to try and get things back to the way they used to be,” he continued. “Brian and I go way back and I’m excited to be working closely with him and the entire team at Outerlimits. Joe was such a nice guy to me, and he and I were already talking about me getting more involved with the company again. Unfortunately, because of what happened to Joe, this deal moved a little faster than expected.”
Russell, who said Fiore was like a little brother to him, said he couldn’t pass up the chance to support his Outerlimits “family” and help keep Fiore’s dreams alive.
“I am doing this to honor Mike,” Russell said. “I don’t need anything out of the business, I’m more concerned with keeping Mike’s dreams alive and continuing what he set out to accomplish, which is build the best boats possible. I have so many neat memories with Mike from the first builds we did together, such as Wild Child and Four of a Kind, to the talks we had when he moved out to California not long before he passed away.”
Everyone in and around the Outerlimits camp are optimistic about the Russell’s involvement.
“It’s great having Bob back—he’s one of the originals,” said Outerlimits’ Dan Kleitz, who pointed out that 2018 marks the company’s 25th year in business. “His involvement gives all of us a very positive outlook. He understands this business well and gets along with everyone here. Plus so many people in this industry know Bob and respect him. This is great news.”