Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Big Excitement, Big Water at NJPPC Atlantic City Poker Run

We told you about the annual Atlantic City Poker Run put on by the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club (NJPPC) and according to reports, it was a great one - with some flat water at the start and some "big" water once the boats got out into the ocean, where the boats were greated with swells of 10' and over. Club member Tom A. says it was "the best one yet"

The photo to the left shows a 40' Skater coming out of the Holgate Inlet -- now that's what we call getting some air. According to accounts, there are a lot of boats out there BEHIND that big Skater -- you just can't see them behind those massive swells! It's pretty clear that the Jersey crowd has no fear of big water. The accompanying video below was posted by YouTube user fullthrottle200 - and it shows some of the bigger boats pulling away from the docks at the start.

If you're interested in checking out this run next year, or want to know more about this great club, check out the NJPPC website here. Its one friendly group, and people with boats of all sizes are welcome.

PHOTO CREDIT: NJPPC - SeriousOffshore Member - Tom A.

NEWS: [B3] Now a Media Partner with American Powerboat Television

In our ongoing effort to help hook you up with the best offshore performance information, news and entertainment on the web, we're happy to have become a Media Partner with American Powerboat Television, America's premier source for exciting video action of today's powerboat scene. Known as the "fastest half-hour on the water," APBTV offers regular television programming regionally and nationally -- through outlets such as Fox Sports and Comcast Cable, as well as online at americanpowerboat.tv.

The new media Partnership allows us to cross promote with APBTV on our websites, and will also provide an outlet for future [B3] video productions and features, as well as ongoing news distribution. Currently, APBTV carries a wide range of programing, including channels featuring PowerboatP1, Superboat International, Powerboat Magazine, Mercury Racing, Offshore Classics and many others. Be sure to click on over and check it out!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Make a Statment. Win a Statement. Sort of...

Win a Statement! The post headline on SeriousOffshore.com got my attention, that's for sure. And maybe that was the point. In any case, the folks at Statement Marine are kicking off a new monthly contest where they are asking fans to submit a "statement." It might be a personal belief or thought (like "Just Do It") - it might be marketing-related to statement boats, and it make or may not utilize the word "statement." It's up to you!

PHOTO CREDIT: Statement Marine, LLC

Just decide what you want to say and post it in one of the "Make a Statement" threads on any of the popular offshore boards online, like
SeriousOffshore or OffshoreOnly. According to the company, the monthly prize includes (sorry, not a boat) five shirts sent to you with Your Statement! on them (Retail Value $100). Each month, a winning Statement will be selected, and a company representative will notify the winner. Statement Marine, LLC will then use your Statement! in their marketing efforts; you can enter as many times as you like with the same Statement! or create a new Statement! each time. C'mon...Give it a shot!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thousands to Enjoy One Big Powerboat Party at 25th Annual Sarasota Suncoast Grand Prix

Super Boat International (SBI) returns to Sarasota, FL this weekend for the 25th Anniversary of the Panasonic Suncoast Offshore Super Boat Grand Prix Festival. The Festival runs from July 2nd through the 5th., and includes a parade on Thursday, a kilo run on Friday, and two races on Sunday.

One of the regular features of the Sarasota race will be the thousands of spectator boats that are expected to line the local beaches and inlets in an effort to get close and watch the powerboats speed by. Super Boat International president, John Carbonell said spectators should expect to see some very exciting and competitive races.

“The amount of spectator boats around turn one is tremendous,” Carbonell said. “We’ve added a third buoy to help the teams navigate the course, and the buoys give them a clear line to turn three.” Race fans can also expect to see plenty of action on turn four, located near New Pass inlet, where the water from the inlet meets the ocean current, creating some choppy conditions.

The Panasonic Super Boat Suncoast Festival also features a kilo run on Friday, where each team competes in what would best be described as a full-speed, drag race on water. With a mile to bring their boats up to maximum speed before crossing the start line, the boats complete two, 1-kilometer trips in opposite directions and average their top speeds from each trip.

PHOTO CREDITS: Super boat International & klauslang.com

The Festival has raised almost $14 million for charity since its inception. Much of the event's popularity is due to the many activities available -- from a block party on Thursday to a "kick off the weekend" Friday event -- better known as the “World’s Largest Offshore Party.” Planned 4th of July activities include a patriotic motorcycle ride and a fireworks show Saturday night along the Sarasota Bay near Island Park. For a complete schedule of the weekend’s activities, please visit Super Boat International’s events page HERE.

For anyone unable to attend the event, you'll be happy to note that the Suncoast Grand Prix and other upcoming races will appear on the Saturday afternoon “CBS Sports Spectacular” line-up this fall.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

VIDEO: Why We Love Fast Boats...

So -- you wonder why people like me spend our time riding on, writing about and looking at fast boats? Take a look at this superb video from cameraman David Arnold, which we found on YouTube a while back. It really captures the excitement of the sport, and the images are incredible.

The video was originally filmed with a gyro-stabilized camera on an airplane at the Offshore Super Series (OSS) World Championship in November of 2006. The music is Battle Without Honor or Humanity 1, 2, 3, by Tomoyasu Hotei. This is one of the higher rated offshore videos on YouTube - and here's hoping we get to see some more work from David.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Your High Performance Boat is Not a Toy

If you've never owned a high-performance boat before, you probably spend a lot of time dreaming of smooth, high speed runs down a sunny lake, sitting at the docks with your friends soaking up the sun, or roaring down the bay with other boaters in a thrilling poker run. Eventually you might get that boat - and then reality sets in.

The lakes and bays aren't always smooth--or they may not stay that way for long. Or, you find the speed exciting, but also a little bit unsettling...because it's an unfamiliar feeling and you're not quite sure what the boat will do next. You also might find launching and docking to be more of a challenge than you expected -- especially if you're alone, and your boat is fairly large. This was my own experience - and I'm sure it's not that uncommon. The question is, what can you do about it?

Most experienced boaters will tell you that there's just no substitute for "seat time" -- just getting in the boat, seeing how it reacts to various situations and conditions, and seeing how you react as well. I've found my own docking skills are getting better with practice, and your confidence should grow as well. But there is a good way to accelerate your improvement and increase your skill--and that is to take a performance boating training course.

Tres Martin's Performance Boat School is probably the best known of these programs, and any graduate will tell you that the tuition is money well spent in terms of boosting your confidence and safety behind the wheel of your boat. Instructors Tres Martin and Brad Schoenwald will help you understand how your boat will react in various situations, show you the proper techniques for maximum control and safety, and get you behind the wheel for practical, hands-on training. They offer two basic courses:

Performance Boat Course
Designed for single engine catamaran and V bottom boats running less than 75 mph, this course teaches you hull design, how steps work, proper trim and tab positions, turning techniques, recovery techniques, defensive driving, safety equipment, docking, trailering, maintenance, trip pre-check, safe following distance, places you cannot turn and how to handle all water conditions at speed. It's a full day course with on water skill based training.

Ultra High performance Course
This is the gold standard of performance boating course, where you are personally guided through advance skill training and terminal performance objectives required to safely operate faster boats. Designed for multi step V Hull and Catamarans that operate at speeds above 75MPH, this course covers safety issues, step hull v bottom design, cat hull design, trim settings and tab settings for all water conditions, places you can not turn, tab abuse, new five step turning protocol, recovery techniques, docking, maintenance, trailering, defensive driving maneuvers. A one and half day course with on water skill based training, it really is a must have course for ultra high speed performance boats.

PHOTO CREDITS: Tres Martin's Performance Boat School

The standard price for the Performance Boat Course is $1500; the Ultra High Performance Course is $2500. That might seem like a lot, but you get hands-on training by experienced pros that could actually save your life or protect your boat from serious harm. After every course, each graduating student is given a certificate of completion, and this certification is recognized or required by major insurance companies in the US. Not only will you be a safer and more confident boater, it's reasonable to expect that your improved skills will allow you to enjoy every trip out on the water a lot more. There's still time to enroll in a course this summer - remaining dates are:

July 2-3 Long Beach CA.
July 8-9 Thousands Island NY
July 16-17 Chicago

July 23-24 Toledo OH

To find out more about the course and the school, head over to www.performanceboatschool.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two Cool Solutions for Shoreline Anchoring

It's always a good idea to have two regular anchors in your boat anyway--for those situations where you want to anchor your boat with extra security and precision. Some places may require something a little different...especially if you do a lot of anchoring along sandy shorelines. While you can actually haul your boat up onto a sandy beach, it's not really recommended--and in the long run, it's hard on your hull. The best solution is to secure the boat a few feet into the water, where you can just wade out and hop onboard.

Here are two of the best solutions we've seen for beach and shallow-water anchoring. The first is the well-known Slide Anchor Shore Spike. The Shore Spike® provides a shore tie anywhere you might want to beach your boat, offering a tremendous amount of driving power to break through tough ground conditions -- and enough holding power to secure your boat in soft sands or strong winds. To use the Shore Spike, you simply drive the tubular handle downward to pound the spike blade into the sand. Once the Spike is secure, you tie it off to the lower ring. Retrieval is easy, too: tapping the tubular handle upward will free the Spike from the shoreline.

Available in 3 sizes, the Shore Spikes are priced from $69.95 to $89.95, and are available from Slideanchor.com

The Sand Spike Beach Anchor is a slightly simpler, yet highly effective solution. Simple to use, just insert in the beach angled away from your boat, and the Sandspike® acts as a temporary mooring bit. Once inserted, it looks good and it’s much safer than trying to tie off to sticks, rocks, or what ever else you find on the beach. They work on just about all types of beaches -- you place the bit into the sand and push down with your hand or foot to secure. Once it's in, it's simple to insert a line loop through the hole in the spike and secure it.

The Sand Spike is available in three sizes as well, for boats up to 42' feet. They are priced from $49.95 to $89.95 and are available from Sandspike.com They also offer complete kits, custom anchor head covers and custom lines for shoreline anchoring.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Team Aqua-Mania Joins 200+ mph Club

John Arruda posted on Offshore Only yesterday that Team Aqua-Mania's turbine-powered 50' Mystic posted a top speed of 204.56mph on Sunday morning. That's one fast Father's Day run...and a great follow-up to their recent run to Bimini-and-back, which set a new record.

PHOTO CREDIT: Team Aqua-Mania

The run was held in Alexandria Bay, New York, and according to John the boat ran flawlessly. Again, congratulations are in order for joining what is a pretty elite club!

WEEKEND WRAPUP: Cleveland Wiener Run & NYC Poker Run

Some great events happened this past weekend, and we just wanted to bring you some photos from a couple of them. The 2009 Wiener Roast Run came off spectacularly, with approximately 36 boats enjoying nice weather for the Cleveland event, based out of Lakeside Marina.

PHOTO CREDIT: SOS Member - Inbetween

Among the participants was the nice Cigarette brought out by Chris from SeriousOffshore - who also passed out shirts & hats. SOS member Inbetween has posted some of these photos on the forum. To see more, visit his TinyAlbum photo page here - they are really nice shots, and there are a lot of beautiful boats to be found.

PHOTO CREDIT: SOS Member - Inbetween

The other notable event of the wekend was the National Powerboat Association's NYC Powerboat Poker Run on June 20th. Organizer Billy Frenz did a great job organizing this run, and while the weather was just "okay" everyone agreed the the Hall of Fame Party on Friday was tremendous. Jeff Gerardi at Freeze Frame Video has a number of great photos posted on the Offshore forums and his website - be sure to check them out!

PHOTO CREDIT: Freeze Frame Video

Friday, June 19, 2009

THE GARAGE: 26 Corsa Project Goes from Racer to Poker Runner

We just love showing you some of the cool restoration and mod projects we come across, and one of our recent favorites was this 26' Corsa that Offshoreonly member Mike A. posted. This particular Corsa has a lot of history, including several World and National Championships in A Class and Factory 1, and has been noted as being one of the best A-class / F1 boats ever.

PHOTO CREDITS: Offshoreonly member Mike A.

Mike bought the boat a few year back in New Hampshire; at the time it was named "Radioactive." After a lot of hard work and some imagination, it's been carefully restored from a proven race boat to a sharp, comfortable cruiser that would be perfect for weekend poker runs. The size makes it a relatively easy haul, and the proven HP500 / 502ci (approx. 485 HP) is fully capable of pushing it up to 80mph, which is fast enough to keep up with most of the pack.

It would definitely be nice to show up at a weekend run with a boat like this - a real race boat with a champion's racing record. Best part is, you could do it! Mike has the boat for sale - he's looking to buy a cat...and let's hope he does another project at some point. Great job, Mike.

The original thread on OSO is HERE. Join for free if you want to contact Mike about this boat.

READS: Tiki Your Way to a Summer Frame of Mind

With the weather being a little cold in some places, not everyone has been able to run their boat as much as they'd like - or even had a chance to sit around a pool or lake, sipping Coronas. But you could get in a better frame of mind with Sven Kirsten's Tiki Modern, a great follow-up to his 2003 book, The Book of Tiki. The latter was a real inspiration to me, providing the impetus to build a tiki bar and generally turn my backyard into a summertime Bali Hai playground. Well...at least as much as our Ohio climate would allow. My wife drew the line at fake palm trees, but we'll see.

The book provides about as comprehensive a look as you could ever want at this remarkable cultural phenomenon. It may seem strange to us now, but for hundreds of thousands of American servicemen who served in the South Pacific during WWII, the tiki style provided an idyllic reminder of the region's natural beauty--even as it was experienced in the midst of a brutal war. Tiki Modern, like it's predecessors, is more than just a dip into nostalgia, it's an in-depth study of pop culture, and it's a great escape from our current cool weather. Kick back with one of these books and a Zombie or Mai Tai, and your spirit will soon be drifting off into a world of palm trees, gentle surf and skimpy bikinis.

Inspired? You can also head over to the Eastside Tiki store and get yourself a shirt, or a cool clock. It's just the thing to get you and your friends back on track with your summer plans!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Istanbul an Exciting New Venue for This Week's Powerboat P1 Race

PowerboatP1 is known for its exotic locations, and the upcoming race is no exception. The Turkish Grand Prix of the Sea is set for June 19-21 in Istanbul. The locale is a new addition to the series, and is the only city in the world that sits on two continents. Istanbul has a rich history dating back to 3000 BC, and with its unique mixture of European and Middle eastern cultures, is a really diverse, world-class city that has been selected to be the European Capital of Culture for 2010 by the EU Council.

The Bosphorus, where the race will happen, is a narrow body of water that forms the boundary between the European part of Turkey and its Asian part. "Conditions will be slightly different to the normal ocean races, probably more choppy," says P1 Radio analyst Martin Sanborn. "I cannot wait for the weekend - just like everyone else at P1.”


With flat waters, race speeds could be in excess of 120mph. Both Sanborne and his radio team member Steve Ancsell expect #10 team Cigarette Smash Poker to be the boat to beat in the Saturday's Sprint and Sunday Endurance races. The expected smooth going should give them an advantage, according to Sanborn: "In a calmer water race, I expect to see them racing really fast."


It's also important to note how much support Powerboat P1 is getting from the city for this race; the Bosphorus is being closed to shipping activity for the first time in seven centuries for the event. "There is no way we could have done the event if the Bosphorus had stayed open," said Powerboat P1 Chairman and Chief Executive Asif Rangoonwala. "With boats going at over 100mph, it is just not safe for other boats to be in the same vicinity. I was never in doubt that the Bosphorus would be closed and race given the go ahead."

To hear the race broadcast on live streaming radio, head over to P1 Radio HERE.

Hey - Where's Summer? Many Boaters Wondering.

From amateur science bloggers to experienced meteorologists, there's been a low, growing rumble over the past few weeks about the possibility of a "year without summer." That phrase actually goes back to 1816, when we actually DID have such a year - when temperatures over the northern hemisphere seldom exceeded 50 degrees and Pennsylvania lakes actually froze in Mid-July. Of course, that well-documented phenomenon was reportedly due to the eruption of the super-volcano Tambora, in Indonesia - and while there's certainly been a lot of talk about climate change - that's supposed to be global warming. What's up? This video from NBC Nightly News takes a look at what's happening:

You can already find threads in most of the offshore performance boating forums where members have been expressing their frustrations about the cool temperatures, from the Minnesota and Northern Michigan to New England and the East Coast. While the weather on the south shore of Lake Erie has been pretty decent so far, we're still waiting for more heat and humidity. Thankfully, if this NBC report is correct, what we're seeing is just a blip on the weather radar that will be a memory by the time July gets here. Let's hope so.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Best Boat-Buying Market in a Generation?

According to a new post on Mad Mariner, this is definitely the time to buy a boat if you have any extra cash laying around. While financing still isn't easy to get - especially for some used boats, the prices are some of the lowest we've seen in years, and that goes for both used and dealer inventory. As far as the offshore segment goes, the point-of-entry is really getting low, with great buys available both at dealers and from sellers who are being forced to sell due to business or economic circumstances.

So, whether you're looking to get that super-bad offshore boat to cruise around in, or are thinking of picking up a project boat that you might be able to race, we can't say it any plainer: Go find some money and get a deal done. You'll have plenty of boats to choose from. Here's how Mad Mariner explains the market:
"If you're in the market to buy a boat and you have the means, now may be the absolute best time to ink a deal – possibly the best buyer's market in a generation. With sales knocked flat by the economy and many dealers flush with inventory that is expensive to maintain, serious buyers can expect both a substantial price break — often as much as 30 percent — and a handful of perks if they are willing to put their money down."
To read the full story, go HERE.

PHOTO COURTESY OF: Tri-State Performance Marine

Weekend Races at Sunny Isle Enjoy Smooth Seas

This year's race to Bimini was held in some of the calmest water ever seen by participants. Run as part of the Sunny Isles race/challenge/poker run event this past weekend, offshore contestants raced the clock from Haulover Inlet to Bimini and back -- a total distance of 100 miles. In it's class, Aqua-Mania set a new record with an incredible time of 43 minutes and 43 seconds.

The Offshore Race on Sunday. PHOTO CREDIT: Freeze Frame Video

Gino Gargiulo's beautiful Mercedes cat was running super-strong as well, but had some bad luck just nearing the end of his run with a break-down. As expected, there was a lot of fun had by all and a lot of partying every night, too; the auction on Saturday raised a lot of money for Take Stock in Children. As for the race run off the beach on Sunday, the results were as follows:

1) Miccossukee
2) Stihl
3) Fluid Sealing Products

1) Aqua Mania
2) Geico

1) Amsoil
2) All Jacked Up

1) Miccossukee

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Great Boating Destinations: Torch Lake Michigan

Michigan has more fresh-water coastline than any other state, and the Northwest Portion of the Lower Peninsula is among them most beautiful regions in the country. This brings us to the gem of this region, the beautiful Torch Lake. We just posted a travel tip about this beautiful lake on TravelDudes.org, and wanted to give you a heads-up. The origin of the lake's name is derived from translation from the Ojibwa name Was-wa-gon-ong, meaning "Place of the Torches", referring to the practice of the local native American population who once used torches at night to attract fish for harvesting with spears and nets.

The remarkable thing about the lake is it's clarity and distinct color, which is a unique turquoise blue, more commonly attributed to Caribbean waters. The lake is so clean that at one time the EPA had approved residents taking drinking water directly from the lake with only filtration, and no other treatment required. The huge Sand Bar at the south end of the lake is a popular gathering spot, particularly on Fourth of July weekends. Be careful when jumping out of a boat; the clarity of the water makes depth estimates deceiving--and what looks like four-foot deep water may be well over your head.

There are some popular bars and restaurants on Torch, with The Dockside (at Clam River) being among the most notable. Indeed, you can cruise throughout the whole chain-of-lakes connected to Torch Lake, and there are accommodations of all kinds available, from campgrounds to cottages, which rent from $800 to $3000 or more per week, depending on the number of guests.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Dockside

Property owners with homes along the shore have included filmmaker Michael Moore, former Detroit Tiger Kirk Gibson, actress Christine Lahti and husband/director Thomas Schlamme, actress Julie Kavner, rapper Eminem, musician Kid Rock and world renowned ski racer Evan Berry. Reportedly, Kid Rock's hit "All Summer Long" is about the summers of his youth, spent on this lake and others nearby.

The Full TravelDudes Article is here. Additional info can be found here as well.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spotlight: Powerboat P1's All-Girl Team

The world of offshore racing is in a state of flux right now, there's still plenty of great series out there and some new developments (like the CBS deals with SBI) are giving racers and enthusiasts hope that we can get this sport back to where it was in past decades. There is little doubt that worldwide, the PowerboatP1 series is up at the front of the pack in terms of quality, visibility and overall organization, combining outstanding competition, state-of-the-art marketing & promotion and a very classy image.

With that in mind, we wanted to highlight the #44 Iko Casa all-girl team, driving a Chaudron 41, powered by twin 530hp, 8.2-litre Mercury engines. Driven by Brit Shelley Jory and throttled by Audrien Ciantar of Malta, the boat became had become a consistently fast machine under the watchful eye of experienced throttleman and team owner Angelo Tedeschi in 2007.

After Aaron Ciantar and Angelo Tedeschi became 2008 SuperSport Champions in the boat, they moved over to drive the Ukrainian Spirit's #43 Seagull Chaudron. As a result, the all-female team was assigned for 2009, with Shelley and Audrien already proving to be competitive. We wish them luck!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

World Rally Car Driver Helps Rescue Boaters in Norway Poker Run

On land or sea, racers are a special breed, and that was proven again last weekend when World Rally star Petter Solberg helped save the lives of two powerboat racers while participating in last weekend’s Poker Run Powerboat Festival in Norway. Solberg was entered in the event on behalf of his boat-building sponsor Johs Lunde, when another boat flipped and rolled over right behind him.

The 2003 World Rally Champion described the crash as pretty frightening: “I saw the crash in the mirror and knew it was serious straight away,” Solberg said. “The boat had turned over and was effectively on its roof. I turned around and went back flat-out, I was first on the scene. Some people were out of the boat already, but there were two more trapped. My co-driver jumped in the water to help and I followed. It was a really bad situation.”

The driver and throttleman, who had been secured in the in the upturned boat by their seat belts, were assisted by Solberg, his co-driver and others who arrived on the scene immediately. Three of five people involved in the crash were hospitalized, but all are expected to recover.

“All that matters is those guys are going to be OK," said the racer. "It was the most frightening thing I have ever seen. I’ve seen accidents on rallies, but when you arrive and a five-ton boat is upside down with people still in it, it’s terrible. The water was just so cold. I was in the overalls and the boots and everything, and after some time in the water I just couldn’t feel anything. I came close to fainting, it was really bad. But, like I say, they’re going to be OK and that’s all we all care about.”


Monday, June 8, 2009

Cigarette Racing marks 40th Anniversary and Powerboat Magazine Award for 39 Top Gun Unlimited

We couldn't go on too much longer without noting that 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Cigarette Racing, and the company, under the leadership of President and CEO Skip Braver, has done an outstanding job of maintaining and building upon its iconic reputation. Originally founded by the legendary Don Aronow, Cigarette has always been synonymous with high-performance powerboating - to the extend that for many years, all high-performance deep-V hulls were commonly referred to as "cigarette boats."

That tradition of excellence continues with the 39 Top Gun Unlimited, which has taken home Powerboat Magazine's 2009’s OFFSHORE V-BOTTOM OF THE YEAR award; it marks the sixth year in a row that Cigarette Racing Team has won accolades from the magazine as part of its annual Awards for Product Excellence. The 39 Top Gun Unlimited is also the company's best selling model. "We created this boat to meet the needs of our customer," explained Braver. "They've said they like it and we're glad Powerboat agrees."

PHOTO CREDIT: Cigarette Racing Team

The 39 Top Gun Unlimited has a LOA of 38' 9" - a beam of 8' and an overall weight of 9,900 lbs. Standard power includes twin Mercury Racing 700 SCI engines, but it can be ordered with 600s, 662s, 850s or 1075s. If you can swing it, a new or used Cigarette is always a good investment, as they are universally noted for holding their value over time. To find out more, head over to their website.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sunny Isle Beach Events Carry On after OSS Cancellation

What would YOU do? On June 2nd, OSS notified Sunny Isle organizers - Offshore Events LLC - that they were cancelling their involvement with the “Sunny Isle Beach Offshore Challenge Weekend," scheduled for June 11-14th. Aside from the fact that some sponsors were not coming through with promised funds, another critical problem was that the organizer's contract with the City of Sunny Isle Beach required that they provide a nationally sanctioned race. However, after hearing about the OSS pullout, the city made a concession to support a one time invitational event. Thankfully, after some serious hard work and the faithful support of dozens of offshore racers & volunteers, the Offshore Challenge race will go on as planned as a special invitational event, open to anyone and everyone - OSS, SBI, OPA and other groups.

PHOTO CREDITS: siboffshore.com / Offshore Events LLC

Event organizer Brad Schoenwald and his partners have done an outstanding job of keeping this highly-anticipated event on track. In addition to the regular race off Sunny Isle Beach, the weekend also includes a old-school open ocean race to Bimini and back on Friday the 12th, as well as a ThunderBoat Rally Poker Run on Saturday the 13th. A Racer's Village will be set up at Haulover Park, and there will be a boat parade on Friday evening as well. For more information and a full schedule of events, go here.

Of course, maybe the best reason that everyone is happy that this event is still happening is that it benefits Take Stock in Children - a comprehensive program that helps low-income children succeed by providing college and vocational scholarships, volunteer mentors, student advocates/case managers, tutoring, early intervention and long-term support. Take Stock in Children addresses one of the most critical problems facing Florida--high dropout and high youth crime rates; they have a proven record of helping low-income children stay out of trouble, graduate from high school, attend college, and become productive citizens. If you can get to Sunny Isles beach to watch this great event and help kids out, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

THE GARAGE: Thumbs-Up for a $1750 Paint Job

This is the kind of story we'd like to bring you more often. Performance boating sometimes has a reputation for being a "rich man's sport" - and at some levels, that probably true. Hauling around a 43' Nor-tech or a brand new Skater definitely takes some serious bucks - especially if you're hitting a different Poker run every other week. But the fact is, you CAN get it to the game for a reasonable amount of money by investing in a solid older boat, especially if you can do some maintenance and upgrade work yourself, or if you're willing to consider "alternative" ways to get things done.

BEFORE Photo Credit: Speedwake User - DonMan

Lake Texoma-based offshore forums user DonMan recently shared this project on SOS and Speedwake - a 1992 Python 24' - that he wanted to update in terms of looks, concentrating on new paint/graphics and interior. He also has some additional work in mind, including a new swim platform, new sound system, upholstery, gauges and pop-up cleats...plus new paint and wheels for the trailer.

AFTER Photo Credit: Speedwake User - DonMan

We just can't say enough about how Donnie's $1750 paint job turned out; it's a PPG base / clear coat over epoxy primer. So far, he's got about $1500 into re-upholstery, which turned out just as nice. He's also added a new vinyl Londeck floor covering, which should look great and be easy to maintain as well; the hull graphics are still to be worked, out, but everyone who's seen it so far agrees that the boat already looks great in it's new, crisp all-white finish. Kudos to Don for this beautiful upgrade job and if you see this boat on a Lake in Texas, be sure to tell him how sharp it looks. To see more pictures, sign up for free on SW and check out this thread.

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