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 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.


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

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/

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 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

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