Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slick Silver Merc 1350s for Nordic

Just featured on the Mercury Racing Blog, Fred Kiekhaefer has posted some pics of a sharp pair of 1350s that are being installed in one of Nordic's new boats. The new Super Silver color option also features rich, high-tech carbon fiber and plenty of old-fashioned muscle.


PHOTO CREDIT: Mercury Racing.

Fred's post also featured a picture of the matching M8 drives, which were being prepped for their trip to Nordic at Lake Havasu AZ. That's going to be one sweet combination - can't wait to see it installed! Check out the blog post HERE.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How Cool is Old School?

Recently came across a fun thread on Offshore Only [OSO] that features some fine examples of some classic old school boat designs that hearken back to the 70's and 80's. Clean straight lines...full, deep-V hulls and maybe even a radar arch seem to typify these designs, which can be seen in classic Cigarettes, Apaches, Sutphens, and of course--Chris Craft Stingers and Scarabs.

PHOTO CREDIT - OSO member OL40SVX.

If you haven't joined the OSO forum already, it's a great excuse for doing so. Check out some of the photos of these older, badass boats that members have posted and and see what we're talking about! The thread is HERE.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Boat Air Conditioning...Revisited

With snow blowing in the air, summer cooling may be the last thing on your mind. But that doesn't stop us from searching for useful items that will make next year's boating more enjoyable.

A while back, we took a brief look at some DIY ideas for turning regular beer coolers into reasonably functional air conditioners that would help make those summer overnights on the boat a little more bearable. Turns out the folks at KoolerAire have developed the idea a little more fully, providing a ready-to-go unit that provides reliable 12-Volt cooling for almost any boat.



The KoolerAire fits securely within the top portion of your cooler trapping the cold air inside. Once the unit is turned on the powerful, 100 cfm, brush-less fan draws hot air in through the large opening directly into and through the ice. The air is instantly cooled to about 50 degrees before being released through the smaller vent. The air conditioning unit is designed for their exclusive foam ice chest or fits the Igloo Marine & Family 25 quart brands.

To find out more - check out the KoolerAire website.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Check out First Boat Linkedin Group for Boating Enthusiasts & Professionals

It seems that as the months grow colder and most of ourt boats head into storage, all we have left are our memories and a list of things we'd like to do next year! But you can still "talk boating" all you want, and a great place to do it is by joining up with the FirstBoat Linkedin Group.

Contrary to what you might think, it's not for people who have just purchased their "first boat" - but for folks from all industries who share the common interest of boats and boating. The group not only includes all types of boaters, but a wide range of experienced industry professionals, who are involved in a number of interesting discussions covering issues like Boat Shows, Marketing, Safety, Boat Design, Marina Operations and other related topics.


Of course, we all enjoy the latest talk about offshore racing and performance, but the FirstBoat group provides an excellent knowledge base and info resource, built on a very broad marine-industry foundation. Whether you're the proud owner of a high-powered offshore boat or an enthusiast who wants to find out more about boating and the marine industry, this site is a great place to start.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Livorsi Debuts Newest Guages & Controls

Industrial Series Gauges
Designed for day-in, day-out performance, these no-nonsense gauges outlast are built to perform anything else on the water. They feature fade resistant powder coated pointers; SAE rims in a powder coat finish or in polished stainless steel. The gauge line up includes pressure, vacuum and temperature gauges, with diesel and gas tachs also available.


PHOTO CREDITS: Livorsi Marine

Plug-in connectors are waterproof and resist salt corrosion; Red LED backlighting provides easy viewing in low light conditions, and the SAE rim can be selected in your choice of Black, White or Polished Stainless Steel.


Vantage View®
Vantage View® reads and displays your boat's performance data directly from CAN (Controller Area Network) for protocols: Smartcraft®, SAE J1939, NMEA2000® Indmar and MEFI4. The Gauges are completely digital, with an analog face. In addition to factory set warnings, 15 alarms can be set to your individual preferences. Each triggered alarm gives visual warnings in the corresponding gauge (via LED warning light) and the Master Tach LCD. Vantage View® Gauges are linked with Deutch connectors and plugs for easy installation.


Other New Products:

New! Pull-Up Cleats
These feature a mounded base designed to allow water to run off the cleat, eliminating the need for drainage cups or hoses. Made of marine grade 316 stainless steel for strength and a polished finish for a long lasting shine. Available in three sizes: 4 1/2", 6", 8". Easy to install.

LED Pop-Up Bow Light
The LED Pop-Up Bow Light houses both port and starboard navigation lights in one convenient 316 stainless steel housing. Folds down flush when closed, opens with the push of a finger. LED lights draw very little power and stay cool to the touch. USCG approved for 2 nautical miles. Optional waterproof cup for water runoff.

New! Stainless Steel Mushroom Cleats
Secure your fender lines to these mushroom cleats. For fresh water or salt water conditions. Easy installation, requires 3/4" cutout, 2" overall. Stainless steel with a polished finish.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Activist Group Seeks to Keep Lake WinniPesaukee Open for Performance Boaters

New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee is a big lake - and has been one of the Northeast's top boating destinations for many years. Over the past several years, there has been a real struggle between boaters who want to keep the lake open to free, fun and responsible boating, and zealots who have pressured legislators to enact a 45mph speed limit on this attractive and popular lake.

Now there is an Activist Group - Safe Boaters of New Hampshire (SBONH) that is working with the State of NH Legislature to promote safe boating and effective legislation. This was the group the came out in severe opposition of prematurely ending the speed limit tests and instituting a permanent speed limit. This group of avid and educated boaters is also working to support bills to allow captains call on the lake as well as increase safety by promoting inspections with the US Power Squadron and other initiatives.

PHOTO CREDIT: www.lov2xlr8.no.

The group has started their own Forum to privately discuss these future initiatives and they ask that all interested powerboaters who enjoy Lake Winnipisaukee join to show your support as well as chime in on the crucial discussion that will shape the future of all lakes in New Hampshire. Check them out here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lightning On The Water Expected to Electrify Atlantic City & The Jersey Shore

The Offshore Powerboat Association hosts "Lightning on the Water" on Sunday Sept. 19 in Atlantic City, a Grand Prix event that's shaping up to be a critical junction in the current OPA racing season. This is the first year powerboats have raced in Atlantic City since 2004, after competing in Point Pleasant for the last several years. Racing takes place in six bracketed divisions, and the winner of the premier division (Extreme Turbine – Unlimited) will be vying for a $50,000 grand prize.

PHOTO CREDIT: Press of Atlantic City

"We have no intention of going away," said OPA president Ed Smith, 53, who races a 38-footer sponsored by Wazzup Motorsports. "We are going to do this for many years in the future. I am looking at least another five years."

This year's races begin Sunday at noon, right in front of Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort to the Showboat Casino Hotel, with the start/finish line in front of the Steer Pier. The races will air on the Versus television channel later in the year, and the high level of interest in the race may point to a revitalization of offshore powerboat racing on the Jersey Shore. About 45 boats are expected for this weekend's races, an increase over the 30 boats that competed at Point Pleasant last year. This year's event attracted a number of drivers due to the upgraded facilities, convenient dockage and extra entertainment value that Atlantic City has to offer.

This winter's television exposure is also expected to aid the growth of the sport, which is getting a major boost in support from Geico. The 2010 race schedule will appear on the cable sports channel starting in late Fall and will run through the end of the year. Geico has also teamed up with Trump Entertainment Resorts to give the Atlantic City race an extra-high profile, providing additional promotion and providing top-level accommodations for the racers.

PHOTO CREDIT: Seabreeze.com.au.

In addition, the 2010 race has a special international flair, as well known competitors like Spirit of Qatar driver Sheikh Hassan are showing up to hit the waves at Atlantic City. The Sheikh admits that the race venues on the eastern coast of the U.S. offers a distinct new challenge to his team. “In fact, the whole east coast is new to us,” he adds. “We know the races take place on open seas, and we hope we can have an advantage with that if we experience rougher conditions.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is a Plug-in, Electric Hybrid Powerboat in Your Future?

At this point, we certainly don't see it's innovative powerplant replacing a couple of Merc 1075s, or an Ilmor V-10, but the potential offered by Epic Boats 23e does provide some food for thought in regards to going fast on the water. Right now, for about $150,000, you can slide behind the helm of this first-generation, 3200 lb electric hybrid boat, which claims to offer the battery-powered equivalent of a 375-horsepower motorboat. I tend to doubt that claim, since my 23-year old, 325-hp Mercruiser will push my 42oo lb 26' Formula to 55+....something that I don't think this boat would be able to do with its 800 lbs. of batteries. But I could be wrong.

PHOTO CREDITS: Epic Boats.

The 23e uses a "Flux Propulsion" EVO 8.1 Marine Drive System to recharge itself over a four-hour run via gas motor, allowing it to use about half of what a similar wakeboat might use to pull a wakeboarder or skier. While that may seem kind of pricey for what you get, it's reported that 2012 may bring a $70,000 version.

The applied vinyl graphics look pretty nice (in a wake-boardy kind of way) and the video seems to demonstrate pretty decent performance for a ski boat. Of course, the big question is whether this type of power could ever be pumped up enough to deliver poker-run-ready-performance for the offshore crowd, who demand a lot more speed than the typical ski-boater.



If it ever could be, this technology would definitely go a long way toward making high-performance offshore powerboating a little bit "greener." The 23e offers:

- Over 50% reduced total carbon dioxide emissions
- Virtually no risk of CO poisoning with our hybrid drive system
- The Epic 23E burns 50% less fuel than a typical wakeboard boat on a 4 hour wakeboard outing
- Wakeboard for 1 hour on batteries without ever burning a drop of fuel
- Wakesurf for 3 hours on batteries without using any fuel
- It can be fully re-charged by the generator in about an hour
- The 23e can be re-charged from a typical 110v wall outlet or a 220v wall outlet once you're at home or at the dock

For more information, go to Epic Boats Website.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Southampton Grand Prix of the Sea sets UK's Southern Coast Abuzz

Powerboat fans in the UK were buzzing about the four big races on the South Coast at Southampton this weekend - as the Southampton Grand Prix of the Sea was set against the backdrop of the big PSP Southampton Boat Show. Seventeen teams from the Powerboat P1 SuperStock Championship fleet competed, including five teams that hit the water in P1 for the very first time.

PHOTO CREDIT: Powerboat P1 Superstock

That fact made it especially exciting for Team Fox, who celebrated its maiden Powerboat P1 SuperStock Championship as Martin Colligan and Gideon du Val beat seven other powerboat teams to the title, moving within 26-points of championship leaders, Grandstand Motor Sports, with one event to go.

PHOTO CREDIT: PSP Southampton Boat Show.

Early reports had ticket sales up by 112% and the 350+ boat show had added up to 70 more showboats on exhibit in the marina, significantly up from 2009. The excitement and crowds generated by the boat show offered an outstanding opportunity for the P1 SuperStock Championship racers to compete in front of a large and enthusiastic audience. Last year the ten-day boat show event attracted 130,000 visitors but organizers say this year's 42nd annual show would likely break all records.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Don Aronow Memorial Marathon Race Around Long Island Set for September 18th

The 2010 Don Aronow Memorial Race is just a week away, and promises to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to race just like the legends of the sport did....and that includes traveling over the same course and deal with the same conditions they endured many years ago. As HORBA managing director Charlie McCarthy says about this race:
"You finally can compete without having to be a billionaire and have a chance for the win. Many, many races were won by people who used their heads, rather than go allout and blow up in the first half of the race.""

The race starts at LaMotta's Restaurant/Manhasset Bay Marina in Port Washington, NY, then heads North -- going around Orient Pt Litehouse, then around Montauk Pt Litehouse, South around the Rockaways, up the Hudson River, up the East River and back to LaMotta's Restaurant. The total distance is 271 miles, and participants can stop for fuel (if needed) wherever they want.

PHOTO CREDITS: Charlie McCarthy - HORBA,

Stu Hayim in his 32 Skater, "RECOVERY" set the record for this course at 3 hours and 6 minutes in 1989 with Joey Impresscia on the throttles. Think you need a big boat? The first two winners of the Around-Long Island race (in 1959 and 1960) were just 17-footers!

As always, thanks to Charlie McCarthy at HORBA for posting these inspirational, historic photos on the message boards for us to enjoy. For more information about the race, head over to www.nationalpowerboat.com.

Eliminator Boats Restructures Via Chapter 11

It's just been reported that Eliminator Boats, one of the leading West Coast performance boat builders, is filing for Chapter 11 reorganization. Company Owner and Founder Bob Leach made the announcement as the company prepared to submit its restructuring plan to the bankruptcy court and consider the possibility of seeking outside investors to aid ongoing efforts to remain in business.

PHOTO CREDIT: Eliminator Boats.

The company, which traces its history back to 1969 and has produced thousands of boats, is considering adding some new models to a lineup currently highlighted by the new 27 Speedster cat. While rumors of the company's demise have been quietly floating around, the current plan certainly beats having to close up shop completely. As a result, the company has also had to cancel plans for the 2010 Eliminator Regatta, which was scheduled for this weekend. Here's hoping that the crew at Eliminator will fight their way through these tough economic times and come out solid and strong on the other end!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

VIDEO: Great Footage from Class 1 The Swedish Grand Prix 2010

We came across some great video featuring the Class 1 powerboats at the 2010 Swedish Grand Prix. Team Abu Dhabi walked away with maximum points from the race after Prix, after initial race winners Arif Al Zafeen and Nadir Bin Nendi were handed a post-race time penalty for an overtaking infringement on the start-lap.



The 27.62secs long-lap time penalty - added to the World Champion's overall race time - gives Rashed Al Tayer and Giovanni Carpitella a second Grand Prix win in two days. This was especially satisfying for them since it marked the team’s full time entry into the Class 1 World Powerboat Championship. Thanks to YouTube user Homarus12 for the great post.

Friday, September 3, 2010

News from The Left Coast: Nordic Expansion & a New Midwest Dealer

Nordic Boats USA Expands the Corona Showroom

Nordic Boats has been one of the most respected of the West Coast boat builders, as their boats have always met the demanding performance requirements you expect from a true, big-water offshore boat. Now, Nordic is pleased to announce an expansion of their Southern California facility, as they are moving about 2 blocks away from their current location.

PHOTO CREDITS: Nordic Boats USA

Still in the "heart" of boat selling county, Corona CA, the new location will allow them to have over 20 New Nordic Boats indoor and on display, in addition to an expanded outside "yard" storage, a full Parts department and a full factory trained Service Department!

Nordic will be moving in with Tige WaterSports at 1451 Pomona Road Corona, CA 92882, less than 2 blocks from the current location at 1631 Pomona Road. It seems like a great and natural connection between Tige Wakeboard Boats and the entire Nordic line. Tige Watersports has a tremendous reputation and now both high performance brands will be under one big roof!

New Dealer, too...

Nordic Boats USA is also proud to announce that North Canton Ohio's North Coast Performance Marine has become our newest dealer to join the growing Nordic Boats dealer family. Located just south of Akron and less than an hour from Lake Erie, their motto is "Committed to bringing honesty and integrity back into a boat sale!" Established in 1995, North Coast Performance Marine has been dedicated to providing the highest quality boat sales and service. North Coast Performance Marine - 8424 Cleveland Ave. - North Canton, OH 44720 / Phone: (330) 494-3115

For more information on Nordic Boats USA, visit www.nordicboatsusa.com

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

42nd Annual Long Beach Yacht & Boat Show - Sept. 9th - Sept. 12th

The Long Beach Yacht and Boat Show tradition continues, September 9-12, celebrating forty-two consecutive years of boat shows produced in Long Beach by the Southern California Marine Association and presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California.

PHOTO CREDITS: Long Beach Yacht & Boat Show.

Performance boaters looking for accessory products and related marine services won't be disappointed as this show also offers a wide assortment of name brand companies showcasing the very latest in marine electronics, custom accessories and hardware, safety equipment, insurance and financing.


As always, visitors will find a real party atmosphere on the waterfront at Long Beach, thanks to a special Saturday evening pizza and beer/wine mixer hosted on the marina green by Latitude and Attitudes Magazine. The event will feature festivities, prize giveaways and music; the dock party, which is free to all boat show ticket holders and exhibitors, starts at approximately 6:30pm. Be sure to check it out!

DATES: Thursday, September 9 thru Sunday, September 12, 2010

LOCATION: Shoreline Village Marina, Long Beach (at the corner of Shoreline Drive and Shoreline Village Drive)

SHOW HOURS:
Thursday.........11am - 7pm
Friday...........11am to 7pm
Saturday ...... 10am - 7pm
Sunday........... 10am - 6pm

ADMISSION:
Adults $12.00 -- children 12 & under free
Show your Auto Club membership card for additional admission discounts weekdays

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THE SCMA: PHONE (714) 633-7581 FAX (714) 633-9498 1006 E. Chapman Ave. - Orange, CA 92866

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Mystic with V-16s to Debut at Lake of The Ozarks Shootout

We first wrote about Lightning Performance Group and their V16 engine about a year ago, and this weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, you can check it out. Lightning Performance Group will be debuting their highly anticipated 50’ Mystic Project with this incredible V-16 power. If you make it to the Shootout, you need to stop and see these engines for yourself--they're rated at 1700 hp on pump gas...at a mild 6100 rpm.

PHOTO CREDIT: Lightning Performance Group.

In addition, Lighting Perormance will also be showing off an innovative new trailer setup (see abov) with a separate boat cradle/trailer frame design. It’s a perfect combination for getting your boat safely transported down the highway and into the water. These and all of the company's “Next Generation” bolt-on performance items will be on display this weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Tell 'em [B3] sent ya!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zip Goes The MotorBoat: Japanese Artist's Creation Unzipping the Sea

If nothing else, Performance boaters surely have a sense of humor. Even though this creation by Japanese artist Suzuki Yasuhiro--who designed this boat as a slow-riding water taxi--is totally impractical, it's sure to put a smile on the face of those who can appreciate a good joke.

PHOTO CREDITS: asiajin.com.

This is especially evident when the boat is underway and viewed from above (see top photo) as it actually appears to "unzip" the water as it leaves its wake.

Still being tested before going into service as a water taxi - the boat's design may make it slightly more susceptible to rollover - it's nevertheless something to wonder at - and laugh at - for the rest of us. Via asiajin.com.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Piranha 3D Film Takes a Big Bite Out of Lake Havasu

Anyone familiar with the performance boating scene at Lake Havasu AZ knows that's it's truly one of the more unique locations in the USA. "Have-a-Zoo" - as many have come to call it, offers a wide array of outstanding go-fast performance boats, plenty of eye-candy, fun places to go and some truly memorable scenery.

No doubt that is why the producers of the current summer movie hit, Piranha 3D, selected Lake Havasu as their primary location for filming; I mean where else can you have this many obnoxious college students, clueless locals and dozens of tanned hotties fall victim to a roving pack of prehistoric, flesh-eating Piranhas? While the premise and the plot may have some holes, the fact remains that anyone familiar with this locale (renamed Lake Victoria, to protect the innocent) will probably get a kick out of this movie.

Early reviews say that for the horror genre, the movie's not bad - and it does have a good cast, featuring Adam Scott, Elisabeth Shue, Kelly Brook, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O'Connell, Christopher Lloyd, and Ving Rhames. If you're stuck with a rainy day and you can't go boating - be sure to check it out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blast From The Past: Offshore Florida WM 1990

Honestly. I'm not quite sure what this video is...hopefully one of the old-timers from HORBA can chime in and ID this footage, which is listed on YouTube as Offshore WM Florida 1990 on the page but dated 1981 on the video itself, which I might take as a more accurate label. The footage features some pretty slick old school racing action and some badass, twin canopy open water cats.



Part of the fun of this video is the accompanying music, which sounds pretty dated today but is kinda fun in a funky, goofy sort of way. Titled "Powerboat Racing," Ian Kussick's song helps complete this fun little blast from the past.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

BIG. BAD. BOAT. That's the New 80' Nor-Tech Super Roadster

Apparently the first Nor-Tech Super Roadster is in the water after months of anticipation. The 80-foot "performance yacht" is unlike anything else on the water- in fact, the only thing that even comes to mind might be a big Magnum - but the Nor-Tech, in appearance and performance, is really in a class by itself. With three cabins, a large salon, full galley and flat-screen TVs all around, the new boat is a real showcase of craftsmanship, luxury and style.

PHOTO CREDITS: Nor-Tech Boats.

Power for this monster is provided by twin 1900hp Caterpillar turbo-diesels, which can push the boat to somewhere between 60-70mph. That's very impressive for an 80' boat...especially one that offers so much seating on its open deck--a deck that's clearly made for entertaining.


That said, the boat's design and lines make it look much sleeker than you might think; in fact, it's hard to judge it's real size without a 32' or 40' offshore boat next to it.


The boat also features bow and stern thrusters, a 1300-gallon fuel tank, and weighs in at a hefty 70,000 lbs. -- which makes that top speed even more impressive. The first Super Roadster will be enjoyed by it's new owner in Sarasota, FL. Congratulation to him...and to Nor-Tech - for setting another high standard for performance boating.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Looks Like Lake Erie Boat Week May Never Leave The Dock

Last year, Lake Erie Boat Week promoter Janie Vogel ignored, then antagonized the local fast-boat community when they tried to offer her helpful advice on how to stage a major powerboating event. The result? The plan fell through, and the whole shebang was postponed and reset to be held this year.

Over the past year, it appears Vogel licked her wounds but did little else to mend fences and reach out to the many people who would have been willing to help her pull the event off. While she did almost manage to get the APR Powerboat Superleague to stage an event, the lack of any funds to buy insurance and the lack of a volunteer list--which needs to be submitted to the city of Huron for background checks--seems to have put the kabosh on this year's planned event as well. Just over a week ago, Vogel stated that she had to unilaterally cancel the APR tunnelboat race because of a lack of funds.
“I’m left wondering why on earth you would sign an agreement when you don’t have the money,” said Sherron Winer, partner in the Powerboat Superleague. “We’re very disappointed. We were truly looking forward to going to Huron and being able to race there and entertain everyone.”
With some of Boat Week's scheduled events just weeks away--including regattas and other competitions--registration forms are noted as "to come" on the event web site. Press releases claim that the "Fastest Boat on Lake Erie" competition is still set for September 11th, but it remains to be seen if anyone will show up, since Vogel and her efforts have been the target of much criticism on the internet's performance boat message boards. While most boaters quickly welcome the event concept she has put forth, the criticism of her approach, her apparent lack of knowledge about offshore racing and her seeming focus on "money first" turned many potential supporters off. As an example, the "Fastest Boat on Lake Erie" competition requires a $100 entry fee -- with no mention of anything the participant will get in return. Not even a T-Shirt

As an example, I was just reading an email exchange with Vogel from last year. I had offered her some advice on using Twitter to help get the word out, and also offered to do a story on the event and at least exchange some advertising banners. At the time, we had at least 1000 unique visitors to our website every week (no doubt a lot more than her site was getting) but the offer was ignored. She said she was too busy...and noted that I could register as a volunteer if I wanted to help.

Of course, the lack of volunteers proved to be one of her main problems, as many boaters said the work and time commitment she was demanding from volunteers was far too much to expect. A "First 100 Club" of $250 contributors supporters never had more than a handful of members (there are four now) and it appears even some of those people changed their mind. Overall, boaters were left with the impression that Vogel had a "me first" attitude--putting the need to make an immediate profit in front of the concept of slowly building an event over the long term, collaborating with her natural support base, and getting people interested and invested in the event's success.

PHOTO CREDITS: City of Huron

Instead, we're left with another embarrassment for the sport. I often ask myself why there are so many people associated with this sport that are all about money--who will sacrifice the health of powerboat racing so quickly if the opportunity exists to get in line for a fast buck. We've seen it on the business side too, as one of performance boating's more popular offshore websites fell victim to it's organizer's willingness to put on a fake front and scam well-intentioned supporters for money. The thing is, there are a lot of good organizers and boaters out there who know how to work together. They put on good events. They raise money for charity, too.

Maybe this will encourage some local Lake Erie boaters to step forward and put together some ideas on creating an event of this type in the future. Clearly, it wouldn't be too hard to show Vogel the right way to put on a performance boating event...there are plenty of folks out there who would be wiling to sacrifice some work and some time to have some fun. And put the sport first.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

PRA 1000 Islands Run: Another Year of Success

The 1000 Islands Poker Run roared into life again on Saturday August 7th, luring hundreds of admirers to watch the mighty engines ply the St. Lawrence -and to get a close-up look at the cigarette boats moored temporarily in Tunnel Bay.

There were more people (spectators) this year than in recent years," said city Councillor Larry Journal, one of the event's organizers. "We were really, really pleasantly surprised."

PHOTO CREDITS: Kingston This Week

For many local people, standing amid the thunder of these powerful engines seeing the kind of toys they will never be able to afford themselves is becoming a tradition. This year, the poker run boats made card stops in Brockville, Prescott and Kingston.

This year's event drew about 65 boats, but included some impressive examples of offshore power, including AquaMania, a 50-foot carbon fibre Mystic, that's equipped with two turbine helicopter engines.
"(It's) currently the fastest boat on the St. Lawrence River in history," said Merola, adding the vessel went over 205 m.p.h. last year. "We came to try and beat our record. I have been attending for 25 years. I have been to every single 1000 Islands Poker Run since the beginning."
While a handful of locals have criticized the poker run as an unnecessary waste of energy -not to mention a source of pollutants -in an age of global warming, most local residents support the event, and the economic boost it provides every year. Oh well--So much for the party-poopers ... congratulations to Poker Runs America for putting on another superb event!

Monday, August 9, 2010

No. 13 Popeye's Boat Flips at Michigan City

10-year offshore racing veteran Lisa Matthews was knocked unconscious and flown by helicopter to St. Anthony Memorial Hospital after her Popeye's #13 offshore cat flipped during the SBI Great Lakes Grand Prix at Michigan City, IN this past weekend.

PHOTO CREDITS: Rob Quinn - Herald/Argus.com

Both Matthews and throttleman Stan Ware, a New Orleans native, had to be rescued by the SBI medical team after 32 minutes of racing after their boat capsized while driving 110 miles per hour. Ware escaped unscathed, but Matthews was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons after nearly drowning. Racers agreed that rough conditions may have contributed to the crash. Ware noted that the lake had unpredictable waves, and he had taken measure to weigh the boat down prior to the race. Popeye's crew chief Wayne Courson also said that bad weather had stirred up the lake.

"I've raced the Great Lakes since the '70s, and it's always a surprise," said Ware afterward. "We went straight up (and tipped over). (Matthews) got tangled up in some lines, and I was pulling her out. We're fortunate to be here...it was a scary moment. The medical team is great. Without them, it wouldn't be like this right now."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunsation's New 36 Dominator Hitting High Sales Marks in a Tough Economy

Say what you will about the current bad economy, some manufacturers are still selling plenty of boats--especially larger models. Sunsation Powerboats has announced that their new 36-foot-long Dominator is posting higher pre-production sales than any model in the company's history.

PHOTO CREDITS: Sunsation Powerboats

Reportedly, the 36’ Dominator performs very well, running approximately 100 mph with a pair of Mercury Racing 525EFI engine. The staggered engine layout provides plenty of stability and the hull design is built for top performance. Joe Schaldenbrand, vice president of sales and marketing for Sunsation, attributes the model’s record-breaking sales to the attention to detail in its construction.


“Every person that's bought a 36' has been blown away by the level of detail,” he explains. “We’re doing all kinds of things to a level of detail that has raised the bar on the industry."

Price for a fully loaded 36-footer with the twin 525 efi power package is $299,000. That includes a wide array of popular options. For more information, check out http://www.sunsationboats.com.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thousands Turn Out for OPA Races at St. Clair, Michigan

Thousands of offshore racing fans lined Palmer Park Boardwalk for this year' 16th annual St. Clair River Classic offshore race on Sunday July 25th. Clearly one of the Offshore Powerboat Association's (OPA) favorite racing locations, St. Clair attracted 50 fast boats divided into 11 different classes.

PHOTO CREDITS: thevoicenews.com

As always, crowd favorite Miss Geico pounded down the river at speeds of up to 150 mph, placing first in the Turbine and Extreme Class. Together, the Blue Water Offshore Racing Association and OPA have teamed up to put on a great event every year; the races regularly attract over 30,000 spectators to the city.

PHOTO CREDITS: offshoreonly.com member frickstyle

“We’ve had a great weekend. I estimate there to be at least 40,000 people downtown here to watch the race,” St. Clair Police Chief Richard Jefferson said. The next OPA race is scheduled for Patchogue Long Island, NY August 20-22 - for more information, surf over to www.greatsouthbayracing.com

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cigarette AMG Boat Combines the Best of Both Worlds

First seen in February, the new Mercedes-AMG inspired Cigarette 46' Rider features hand-applied AMG ALUBEAM silver paintwork seen on the new SLS AMG. The boat is currently on a worldwide tour, after being unveiled first at the Miami Boat Show.

PHOTO CREDITS: Cigarette Racing / AMG

Inside, the boat features marine-grade upholstery that resembles the two-tone AMG Design porcelain and white Nappa leather offered on the SLS AMG. While many of the influences of the SLS AMG can be seen in the exterior paint work and interior, most of the excitement here is found in the technology developed for this boat. Featuring more than 100 technical innovations, this all new 46' Rider serves as a incredible showcase for Cigarette.



From the propulsion system to the rigging, a clean sheet approach was utilized to build the Rider. Powered by a pair of revolutionary twin-turbocharged 552 ci, 1350 HP Mercury Racing engines, boat is estimated to have a top speed in excess of 130 MPH. Truly, an incredible example of the boat-builder's art; hats off to everyone at Cigarette Racing.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ilmor Opens New Marine Engine Manufacturing Facility in NC

Performance engine builder Ilmor Marine, recently began production at its new, 50,000 square foot marine engine assembly and test facility in Mooresville, NC. Under construction since 2008, the new plant is capable of assembling up to 15,000 engines per year.

THE NEW ILMOR GEN IV - 725 / PHOTO CREDIT: Ilmore Engineering Inc.

“This is a great day for our marine division. The program has been in the works for over three years,” said Paul Ray, President of Ilmor Engineering, Inc. “We made the decision to enter the inboard market in 2007, and since then, our staff has worked flat-out on engine design and development, in-water testing, engine integration and facility construction. This new facility allows us to expand into higher volume markets."

Ilmor Engineering, Inc., employs 15 in Mooresville, but plans to have 30 workers by year's end. The facility took over a vacant building on the Penske campus in the Mooresville Business Park.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

4th of July Hot Spot: The Torch Lake Sandbar

If you've ever listened to Kid Rock's All Summer Long, you've probably heard him reference to "splashing through the Sandbar." Well, here it is: the famous Torch Lake sandbar, that sits at the south end of this crystal clear lake, near the mouth of the Torch River. Beloved by northern Michigan vacationers everywhere, it's one of the best places you can be...surrounded by sand, sun and crystal-blue water unlike anything else in the Midwest. Here is an 2009 arial photo of the area, courtesy of DeWitt's Marina.

PHOTO CREDIT: DeWitt's Marina.

In past years, they even used to have floating stages and organized concerts, but it grew a little too rowdy and loud for the neighbors. The place is still rocking on the 4th, however, with hundreds of boats and people making their own music and taking in the scenery. Just a few miles north of Traverse City, Torch is a place you don't want to miss...and once you've been there for a 4th of July, you'll doubtless be back again.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stong Outing at Malta Hooks 2nd Place Overall for Lucas Oil Boat

Thanks to a strong performance in the 2010 Maltese Grand Prix of the Sea, 77 LUCAS OIL SOC now holds 2nd place standings in the European Championship and 5th place in the UIM World Championship. A strong finish in Sunday’s Round 4 Endurance race was crucial for the 77 LUCAS OIL SOC after taking 3rd place in Saturday’s Round 3 Sprint in the UIM World Championship.

“In our practice before the Saturday race, we had taken two extra laps to get a lock on the water conditions,” said team captain Nigel Hook. “We were running well across the 5-foot seas, but since we expected Saturday's waves to keep getting taller, we went with our smallest propeller selection.”



At the end of the day, the top three positions on Sunday's podium were 1st place Issoto Diesel-powered 60 Metamarine Foresti & Saurdi (Italian entry, driver Giampaolo Montavoci), 2nd place Ilmor-powered 77 Lucas Oil Scandinavian Offshore Challenge (Swedish entry, driver Michael Silfverberg), and 3rd place 66 Cranefields Wine (German entry, driver Sigi Greve).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Got to be the Slickest Ear Buds Ever...

Normally, I hate using ear buds - maybe it's just my ears - but they always seem to fall out into my lap. To me, nothing beats the sound of old-school, over-the-ear headphones, and that's what I normally wear - even if I'm out walking or jogging. In addition, if you're on your boat, you're probably more likely to have your music blasting out of the custom stereo you installed.


PHOTO CREDIT: teknines.com.

Be that as it may, I might make an exception for these Teknine Nine Millimeter earphonesmade by a company called MUNITIO. At $250 a pop, I doubt that I will be owning any soon - but these 18k gold, 9mm casing ear buds are very cool indeed. All the components are top end ; to find out more about the features, go here.

The first run is limited to 500 units, so you might want to get one fast. Just the thing if you own a Cigarette Top Gun!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sunny Isles Beach Offshore Challenge Brings Old School Powerboat Racing to Life

The City of Sunny Isles Beach and Offshore Events, LLC hosts the third annual “Sunny Isles Beach Offshore Powerboat Challenge,” this weekend, celebrating Miami as the birthplace of open ocean racing and high performance boat manufacturing. June 10-13th will see professional offshore race teams and fans from all over come to Sunny Isles Beach for an action packed weekend of racing.


What makes this event unique is that both enthusiastic amateurs and a number of seasoned professionals will be competing in this Miami-to-Bimini Ocean Challenge, a grueling test that demonstrate each participant's endurance and navigational skills. The overwhelming success of last year’s event has performance boaters expecting this year to be bigger and better...and bringing back even more memories of how wide-open, "big water" racing used to be.

The weekend kicks off Thursday, June 10th at Haulover Park Racers’ Village for the Bimini Ocean Challenge Race registration. Friday’s “Putting on a Wish” boat rides for kids and auction benefits the families of the Make a Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, and Saturday, June 12th features the Bimini Ocean Challenge in a demanding 106 mile round trip of wide open ocean racing. Afterward, the evening will feature a meet-and-greet event titled "The Legends of Racing Reunion and Night of Mayhem,'' where fans can get autographs from professional racers at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle resort.


On Sunday, June 13th Race 2 of the OPA/GEICO Offshore Racing Series will take place, along with a closing OPA award ceremony. For the full Offshore Events schedule visit: www.offshoreevents.net or text RACE to #32075. All race events are open to the public; admission into the Racer's Village, where you can see the race boats and meet the racers, is just $5; children 13 and under are free.

STORY PHOTO CREDITS: Offshore Events.net and Daton O. Fullard/ Pepper Offshore

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Galway Power Boat Festival Kicks Off Around Ireland Offshore Powerboat Race 2010

The streets of Galway, Ireland were packed with visitors as the Galway Power Boat Festival began last weekend. The festival, which runs from the 5th - 12th of June, features the P1 Superstock Championships, P750 racing and Jet Ski time trials, but the focus is really on the Inaugural Around Ireland Offshore Powerboat Race, which had competitors setting out after the coveted title on Monday 7th at 9am and expected to cross the finish line on Sat June 12th.

STORY PHOTO CREDITS: www.aroundireland.org.

Denis Dillon, Powerboat Development Officer of the Irish Sailing Association, said "There is a huge history of powerboating in Ireland; in fact the first ever International powerboat championship for the Harmsworth Trophy was held in Cork in 1903. The Around Ireland Powerboat Race 2010 is in its inaugural year and we are hoping that it will become a permanent fixture on the international circuit and will grow to a major sporting event."


First leg results (Galway to Killybegs) had Cinzano Bianco in first place, with a time of 4 hours, 11 minutes, 38 seconds and an average speed 39.35Knots. That trend continued through Stage Two with Cinzano still in 1st -- this time runing at an average speed of 43.41 Knots and with an elapsed time of 3 hours, 48 minutes, 05 seconds.


The race will circumnavigate the entire coast of Ireland and will certainly be the toughest endurance powerboat race on the International circuit. The 5 days of racing will be a surf-pounding test of man and machine, with 5 stages and special events at each of the stopovers:

• Galway to Killybegs (07 June)
• Killybegs to Belfast (08 June)
• Belfast to Waterford (09-10 June)
• Waterford to Fenit (11 June) Fenit Sea Breeze Festival runS 6/11- 6/13
• Fenit to Galway (12 June)

For up-to-the minute coverage, check out the race Twitter page at http://twitter.com/AroundIreland

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gawking at the Biggest, Baddest Pantera Ever - the New 41'

After months of being teased with various "under construction" shots, we're finally able to feature som photos of the new Pantera 41' - which has to be one of the sharpest boats we've ever seen. Built with twin Mercury 525 EFI engines and #6 drives, this hot, Ferrari-red boat was designed to compete in Powerboat P-1.

PHOTO CREDITS: Pantera Boats

The boat also features NXT1 transom plates, Stelling extension boxes and Arneson Rocker Plate tabs with a Zieger heavy duty polished tie bar. Stainless Marine fabricated a custom exhaust system, and the helm is finished off with Ray Marine GPS units, Momo "Trek" race steering wheel, custom push button ignition panels, Livorsi "monster" instruments, race throttles, Ritchie compass, pop up indicators and much more.

If you notice the stars of the Chinese flag at the rear of the hull, it's because the boat's new UK owner was born in China. While some observers on the forums have asked why Pantera went with a [relatively] mild 525 combination, Jo Nunez explains why it makes sense for P1:

"P1 racing in the Super Sport class requires the boats to weigh 4.5 Kilograms per H.P. so there is a lot of weight to carry. We did not build this boat real light becase it has to weigh approximately 10,600 pounds at the end of the race. The Supersport class has a limit of 90 MPH. Acceleration and handling have a lot to do with having a winning boat over there due to the rough water and turns..."

After testing, the 4-blade props were switched out for 5-blade props of a larger diameter. With that combination, hitting the Super Sport Class 90mph speed limit will not be a problem. With it's bulletproof design and substantial weight, the boat should be tough to beat in rough water.

Congrats to the Nunez Family and everyone else at Pantera!

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