Question: How do you know a powerboating media photo shoot involving a half-dozen boats, more than a dozen people and a helicopter billing at $1,000-plus an hour is happening?

Answer: It’s raining.

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Even in miserable conditions for photography, this Nor-Tech 392 Super Fish proved to be a beauty (click image to enlage). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

And that’s exactly what happened during speedonthewater.com’s annual invitational photo session in Key West, Fla., earlier this month. We controlled all the variables we could by picking Saturday morning—the quietest time during Super Boat International Offshore World Championships and Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run—for the shoot date. We diligently, though kindly, reminded the manufacturers, their clients and three models when and where we were starting. We even chose a relatively civilized 9 a.m. start time for the shoot.

But we couldn’t control the weather, which rapidly disintegrated into sideways rain and gusty winds soon after speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden took to the sky. The folks in the boats already staged at the designated meeting point on the water had to wipe the raindrops from their faces and run for the camera. The rest—two MTI catamarans, their owner and his crew—waited back at the docks until the squall passed.

Among the boats running in the rain that day was a Nor-Tech 392 Super Fish performance center console. Like many of the images that came back from our Key West shoot, those of the 39-foot outboard engine-powered model were pleasantly surprising. While grey skies and rain aren’t the preferred conditions for powerboat photo shoots, they can produce some dramatic and—in their own way—beautiful results.

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