Taking a well-earned lunch break at Captain Ron’s Lakefront Bar and Grill during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri, Jim Schultz—the man behind Factory Billet Power—paused for a moment to reflect on the events of the morning. A couple of hours earlier, Schultz had run his canopied Outerlimits 51 GTX V-bottom powered by the first pair of his remarkable 1,650/1,950-hp—pump versus E-90—engines alongside Factory Billet engine builder Mike Faucher to 161 mph.
With their 1,650/1,950-hp Flex-Fuel marine engine, automatic three-speed transmission and auto drive- and tab-trim system, the team at Factory Billet want to change the way you enjoy high-performance powerboating (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“This is the best time I’ve ever had,” said Schultz.
A longtime performance-boat owner and lifelong water-skier who owns Geremarie Corp., a company in Lake Zurich, Ill,, that has made all of the billet aluminum parts for MasterCraft Boat Company for almost 20 years, Schultz had good reason to be excited beyond a top-speed that would stand up as a tie for top honors in the shootout’s V-bottom class this year. He’d taken a big, albeit calculated, risk entering the 51-footer in the world’s highest-profile top-speed contest for high-performance powerboats.
Had the boat, which boasts a prototype automatic three-speed transmission and auto drive- and tab-trims, failed to perform under on such a large stage, the failure would have been a major setback to a project move than five years and several million dollars in the making. In short, it could have been a marketing disaster, and Schultz knew it. He knew people could have gone home shaking their heads about how an elite almost 4,000-hp canopied Outerlimits got smoked by a homegrown almost 4,000-hp 43-foot Black Thunder pleasure boat.