Haulover’s Grand Opening

Thanks to a Grand Opening and Dedication ceremony held on Tuesday for the new Haulover Marine Center in Miami (read the story), my longtime colleague from Powerboat magazine and now speedonthewater.com, Ryan Johnson, was able to get a firsthand look at the grandiose $25-million renovation project located at Haulover Park.

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The new Haulover Marine Center in Miami is already packed with impressive hardware. Photo by Ryan Johnson

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Commentary: Blended Families

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Offshore powerboat races and poker runs are a winning combination. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

You could make a case—and a pretty compelling one—that the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run is the most successful event of its kind. The run, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, routinely attracts 150 boats for the better part of a week to the nation’s southernmost city. And now and then, the party stops just long enough for the poker runners to catch some powerboat racing action courtesy of Super Boat International, which runs its Key West Offshore World Championships concurrently—though not in conjunction—with the poker run.

How much the poker run benefits the racing or the racing benefits the poker run is an argument for the organizers of each. What can’t be argued is that both benefit Key West in general and Duval Street in particular.

Also without question, both benefit the respective and even collective participants and fans of each activity. It doesn’t matter if a poker run boat owner never catches a single lap of the SBI races on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday or if an offshore racer doesn’t spend a minute wandering the FPC Poker Run Village. Blending poker run enthusiasts, offshore racers and the fans of both—all members of the same performance-boating family—in a small town for a week creates synergy.

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Speed On The Water Year In Review Edition Thank You

Despite that the majority of what we produce at speedonthewater.com is digital, we grew up with print magazines. Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, Time, Surfer, Hot Rod, Vanity Fair, GQ, Outside, The Robb Report, Surfers Journal, you name a print magazine popular from the 1970s through present day and we probably know, have read or still read and love it.

Magazines, you see, are in our blood. That we both ended up at Powerboat—arguably (of course) the prettiest and best-written, photographed and laid out go-fast boating magazine of its day—reinforced our passion for print.

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Producing the 2016 Speed On The Water Year In Review collectible print edition was a professional labor of love.

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Long Live Speedboat

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The last consumer magazine standing in the high-performance powerboat market still has a good thing going.

Before Powerboat magazine kicked the bucket, Performance Boats magazine was its archrival. Before Performance Boats magazine became Performance Boats magazine, it was called Hot Boat magazine—and it was still Powerboat magazine’s archrival. Now, Performance Boats magazine is called Speedboat magazine and it has no rivals.

That’s nothing against Boating magazine—I have plenty of good friends who work there on the editorial side and their work is excellent. But Boating is a general publication for people who dig everyday boats, not folks who live and breathe high-performance. It’s also no slight toward Poker Runs America’s magazine or the Florida Powerboat Club’s Powerboating in Paradise magazine. Hats off to both outfits as they do a nice job, but those are—for the most part—club-specific publications.

Even Speed On The Water’s bi-monthly digital magazine and 2016 Year In Review (order yours now if you haven’t already by clicking here) in which I have an extremely vested interest are not the same things—one being digital and the other being annual—as a consumer magazine that prints and distributes 11 times a year. Don’t get me wrong, I think our daily news site, weekly digital newsletter, digital magazine and Year In Review print publications are first-rate products. But when it comes to something new you can hold in your hand and flip through almost every month, Speedboat is all that remains.

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Unique Sightings from Miami

By most, if not all, accounts, this year’s Miami International Boat Show, the second at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin, was a great success. The reason to me is simple—captivating products. Groundbreaking, jaw-dropping, incredibly unique boats, engines, accessories and more. For me, and no offense to the ever-improving power plants from Mercury Racing or the significance of the striking 50’ Marauder celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Cigarette Racing Team/Mercedes-AMG relationship, what catches my attention are the most unique things, the products I’m not used to seeing.

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Minncraft’s gorgeous Summit 26 received plenty of attention at the Miami International Boat Show. Photo courtesy Minncraft Boatworks

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