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!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Get Your Party on with Six Great Beach Cocktails - Courtesy of TikiTender

After your day of boating is over - or even if you're relaxing on the dock watching the boats go by - nothing sets off a nice sunset like a cool, island-style cocktail. There's always the obvious choices...like Mai Tais, Margueritas or Pina Coladas...but we want to offer you something a little more original and creative.

Thankfully, we can turn to out old Twitter pal, Mark Woods, aka "TikiTender" who lives and works steps away from the Atlantic Ocean in Flagler Beach, Florida. Since 2005 he has made his work home at The Golden Lion Cafe, one of the area's most awarded restaurants. Mark's welcoming personality and creative drink mixing have earned him 3-time honors as Florida's Favorite Bartender, selected by the readers of Backstage Pass magazine.

So, next time you're up for something cool and crisp, set yourself or your friends up with one of these delicious drinks:

Aquatini
2 oz Absolut Citron vodka
1 oz blue curacao
1 splash sweet and sour mix
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Bikini Line
1 oz coconut rum
3/4 oz vodka
dash of grenadine
1 oz pineapple juice
Shake the liquors and pineapple juice with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Drop in a dash of grenadine. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Bonecrusher
"A group of customers requested this recipe two summers ago. They still like to order it when they are feeling frisky. They claim I am the only one in the area who knows how to make it."
1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz triple sec
1/2 oz rum
1/4 oz grenadine syrup
1/4 lime juice
2 oz sweet and sour mix
1 oz Champagne
Combine all ingredients (except Champagne) in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a tall glass, preferably a pint glass or large brandy snifter with ice, and float the champagne on top with a squeeze of lemon. Serve.

Jamaican Me Crazy
1 oz silver rum
1 oz coconut rum
1 oz creme de banane
equal parts pineapple & cranberry juices
In a tall glass combine all ingredients, balancing with the fruit juices. Garnish with a cherry & orange slice. Enjoy!

Pirate's Treasure
2 oz Captain Morgan spiced rum
1 1/2 oz Crown Royal Canadian whiskey
Coca-Cola to balance
Build over ice in a Collins glass.

Surfer On Acid
"I used to have a red-haired friend that loved 'em on ice with a little bit more pineapple."
3/4 oz Jagermeister herbal liqueur
1/2 oz Malibu coconut rum
1/2 oz pineapple juice
Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass, and serve as a shot.

For more great recipies, and to find out more about TikiTender's incredible skills, head over to www.tikitender.com - or follow him on Twitter here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Simple Joys of a Well-Thought Out Swim Platform

Of course, most of today's new boats already have an integrated swim platform, and there are some great manufacturers out there making sharp, powder-coated custom platforms for older models. Once in a while, we come across a savvy owner who decides to make his own, and that's just what we're featuring here.

PHOTO CREDIT: SeriousOffshore user / Sicksation.

Serious Offshore
member Sicksation recently shared some photos of this platform he made for his Sunsation Aggressor. As you can see, Not only is is nicely coordinated to the color of his boat, it also features some integrated drink holders...for your cold cans of, er...soda pop.

The unit was CNC-machined out of 6061 T6 aluminum, and he reports that he has made several more units that are designed to fit almost any single-engine boat, with a similar design soon to be available for twin-engine boats. Also, the cup-holder has been moved to the back of the platform. Nice job!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Loaded? Or Just Overloaded? Scarab Sinks at Havasu

Memorial Day weekend always brings out the best and worst in boating, and at popular venues like Lake Havasu, it's more evident than ever. Check out this YouTube video that shows a nice 29' Scarab going down in the middle of the channel.

Though there are lots of boats around, no one else seemed to have the presence of mind to throw these guys a line and haul ass to shore. In their defense, this boat does go down very fast, and with all the boat traffic in the area, trying to jump in and save the big Scarab might have caused even more problems. In any case, it seems other boats quickly moved in to pull the Scarab's passengers out of the water after its sinking was inevitable.


How did it happen? Another YouTube video, purportedly posted by the boat's owner, offers this explanation: "Long story short, our boat sank. One of the girls puked and as they were cleaning up too many people shifted weight to the back and down she went. None of us got hurt, thank God. Never gonna forget it that's for sure."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Formula Returns to Offshore Racing

People often forget that Don Aronow's first "Cigarette" was actually a Formula 233 deep-V (see photo at left). While Don had moved on to grow and sell several high performance companies, the Formula tradition has continued on with his original vision. Over the years, the Porter family has kept the Formula legend alive by continuing to strive for performance perfection, something that Don would be proud of today.

With that in mind, it was good to hear that Ted Porter, vice president of Formula Powerboats, has announced the formation of a new team to compete on the Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) Series presented by GEICO. This new team, named “Formulaboats.com”, will use the 382 Formula Fas3tech, which has several national and world titles on its resume. Tabbed to be in the cockpit are Scott O’Connor of Bradenton, FL and Trent Weyant of Palm Coast, FL. both from TnT Racing. Scott and Trent bring several national and world titles to the team as well as achieving the first ever Triple Crown, obtained by winning the Florida, National, and World Championship in the same season.

PHOTO CREDITS: Formula Boats

While Formulas are seen all over at poker runs, and are widely acclaimed for their comfort, safety, quality and ability to handle rough water, they will have some work to do to to make it to the top of the podium in OPA. If you want to follow their progress,just check out the Formulaboats.com Offshore Race Team at www.tntoffshore.com.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No Vacation? Live Vicariously with Bob The Builder as he Crosses the Caribbean.

Having recently started a new job, I'm not sure I will be able to get any time off this summer. But I don't feel so bad after checking out this thread on Offshore Only - courtesy of well-known performance boater Bob the Builder and his crew, who have been keeping us all up-to-date as he undertakes a wonderful adventure that's seen him cavorting across the Caribbean to enjoy friendship, fun, beautiful scenery and plenty of good times.

PHOTO CREDITS: naplesimage.com

It will take you some time, but check out the whole thread, where you'll read about Bob's superlative piloting skills (managing seas and dock areas with no steering - only throttles and trim tabs for control), swimming with pigs (really) awesome sights, and plenty of hot boat action.


From Bimini to the Bahamas - to Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic, San Juan and then on to British Virgin Islands for a poker run, Bob and his intrepid crew members including his (damn lucky) photographer Jay - put you right in the passenger seat for what has to be one of the best trips ever.


Not only will you see some great locations, hot women and unforgettable sights, you'll also see some very nice boats...a classic Monza, a nicely-restored Midnight Express, and plenty of others, including Bob's very own 2009 Diesel-powered NorTech 5000, Predator.

If you haven't registered for Offshore Only yet, be sure to do it so you can check out this wonderful photo-packed story that almost reads like a travelogue. The photos are incredible, with most demonstrating the considerable skills of Jay at naplesimage.com

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