Monday, July 11, 2011

Boyne Thunder: The Great Northern Poker Run

Everybody knows about big powerboat poker runs like Desert Storm and Key West, but switch out the sand and palm trees for the clean, cool waters of Northwest Michigan and the rich smell of pine trees, and you've got the great Northern poker run...Boyne Thunder. We headed up there after work on Friday night and jumped off I-75 at Gaylord for a solid night's sleep before heading over to Boyne City bright and early Saturday to watch the 40+ boats head out across Lake Charlevoix.

The municipal marina at Boyne City is a great venue for this event; there's plenty of room for even the largest boats, and the point on the western end is a great spot for spectators to gather. This year's event has been described by many as the best ever - and the collection of boats found at the docks backed that up, with a great selection of Skaters, Nor-Techs, Outerlimits, Apaches, Fountains, Formulas and Cigarettes on hand. It was an incredible scene -- especially when they all started the engines and headed out onto the lake.

As a tradition, the boats (in two groups) circle around the lake on a high-speed parade lap before heading west toward Charlevoix -- and the hundreds of spectators gathered on the point roared their approval as each boat gunned its engines on the pass-by.

The boats then head down the lake, through Round Lake at Charelvoix, then out the channel to Lake Michigan and the other card stops. The weather was just about perfect; warm and sunny, with little wind--which made the big lake manageable for some high speed runs and lots of fun. We drove up to Charlevoix for a few beers, caught a few more nice boats heading up the channel, then gradually worked our way back toward Boyne City right after noon. We even had a chance to grab a bite at the Horton Bay General Store, which any Ernest Hemingway fan would recognize from his Nick Adams stories.

The final card stop was at the marina at Somerset Pointe, featuring a very nice reception which offered visitors a chance to catch the boat crews coming in for some snacks and ice cold refreshments. We weren't sure how they were going to fit everyone in, but they managed to get the crews off the boats and into the bar with a high level of organization. Clearly, this run benefits greatly from a wonderful team of volunteers, who managed it all superbly. Hats off to them.

We wanted to stay longer for the Thunder Feast that evening, but the wife and I had another stop to make on that day's itinerary, and over a 100 miles to travel before nightfall. Suffice to say that as before, we had a short but albeit wonderful time at Boyne Thunder, and look forward to coming back again. If you're an offshore powerboater who loves great poker runs and is looking for something a little different, this is one run you will want to add to your calendar next year.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

[B3] Will Be at Boyne Thunder This Weekend

Northwest Michigan is one of our favorite places in the world and also home to one of the best poker runs anywhere...Boyne Thunder. Kicking off in Boyne City, MI - at the eastern end of beautiful Lake Charlevoix, this is one of the best organized runs anywhere, attracting dozens of the Midwest's very best boats, and many from well beyond.

Created to benefit Camp Quality for Children, the run heads out of Lake Charlevoix and into Lake Michigan, where stops are set up at several great venues. Conditions can be unpredictable once you are out on the big lake, so participants have to be ready for anything.

There's a big street party in Boyne City Friday night, with lots of boats and hot cars on display, as well as a fun "pub crawl." The run starts Saturday morning, and concludes in the late afternoon. Saturday night, everyone sits down to enjoy an awesome "Thunder Feast" by the side of the lake. The location is superb, the weather looks to be great this weekend, and we're sure to see lots of top-shelf boats on hand, which is why organizers are expecting this to be the best BT ever. We'll be there to bring you some pictures and more!

Monday, July 4, 2011

That's Gonna Leave a Mark: 1981 Harbour Towne Race

Came across this recently posted YouTube video, courtesy of the Duke Video Archives, which shows the spectacular crash of Michael Meynard and teamate Bob Idoni's Cougar cat, Fayva Shoes. The 36' super-light cat, powered by a pair of big Mercruisers and the then-new Arneson surface drives, was clearly capable of speeds up to 125mph or more.  The boat was probably too light, which is why--returning from the first checkpoint--the port sponson dug into a wave and disintegrated.

Luckily, both Meynard and Idoni survived the wreck. Meynard--who was already receiving treatment for Hodgkins Disease--escaped unscathed, and Idoni had some leg injuries that would keep him in the hospital for  week. The race came at a pivotal time for offshore racing; it was clear that speed and power were outpacing safety considerations, and changes would soon come to the sport....along with the big American superboats, which would soon be making their appearance.

You can check out more of Duke's offshore-related DVD offerings HERE. They are in the European PAL format, so they would not be viewable on North American NTSC format players, but could probably be converted with the right software.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

P1 Superstock Series Featured at 2011 Madison Regatta

P1 SuperStock has launched their new head-to-head Match Race this weekend at the 2011 Madison Regatta. While primarily known as a venue for H1 hydroplane racing, Madison-area fans have eagerly embraced the new P1 Superstock racing formula, adding a new dimension to powerboat racing here.

Madison, Indiana, is located on the Ohio River; the earliest documented power boat regatta here took place in 1911. The steamship PRINCESS from Coney Island tied up in the middle of the river as power launches ran an oval track roughly around the boat. This was also one of the earliest examples of competition as it is currently characterized around a closed course.

Team Oregon Custom Marine of the number 15 Panther made history by becoming the first Match Racing Champion of all time. Oregon Custom Marine ran the course extremely well, hitting every turn tightly with ease and quickly crossing the finish line.

With a first place finish in Saturday’s Match Race, Team Oregon Custom Marine earns the pole position of their choice for Sunday’s endurance race. Team JD Byrider of the number 14 boat finished second, receiving the second option for preferred pole position. Typhoon Racing and Pirate Racing were back and forth throughout the entire race and had fans on the edge of their seat until the final lap. Typhoon Racing finished just a few feet in front of Pirate Racing earning them a victory in the first of their three heats.

Be sure to check out for results from the inaugural P1 USA Series event.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Speculation Abounds Whether Phenomenon will Show at LOTO Shootout

Little has been seen or heard about Al Copeland Jr. and his Phenomenon cat since the boat debuted at the Key West Worlds in 2009 and making a splash at the Miami Boat Show back in 2010. The 56-foot catamaran with four T-55 Lycoming turbines got a lot of attention when it was first seen, but technical problems encountered since that time seem to have put the kabosh on any speed record attempts or further trials over the last year. Recently, speculation has grown on whether the boat might turn up at this year's Lake of The Ozarks Shootout, on August 22-28.

Driver Al Copeland Jr., was hoping to follow in the footsteps of his famous boat racing father, who founded the Popeyes restaurant chain. Phenomenon is the culmination of his father’s wish to break the propeller-driven speed record of 220.43 mph...but there's some stiff competition out there from other powerful turbine cats, like Miss Geico--which has hit 210mph.

With the 4 turbines, the boat was supposed to bust out with about 12,000hp--and on paper, it should be able to make a solid record attempt. The question is, will we see it any time soon? The project's Facebook page has plenty of fan questions...but no answers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cigarette Takes Balls to the Wall with Photo Print Gallery

Everyone knows Cigarette Racing has become synonymous with extreme powerboat performance, and Cigarette is clearly the most famous brand of offshore boat on the water. Since its inception under Don Aronow, the company has always had a rakish, sexy and notorious attitude--and no where has than been more in evidence than it's famous print ads.

With that in mind, and due to popular demand from fans and customers alike, the company has worked with professional printers to produce fine, high-quality art prints that are just the ticket for your home, office wall, garage or your boathouse. Each photograph in the series has been color-corrected, optimized for the professional printer, and printed on Kodak Professional Supra Endura VC paper. This archive-quality, fine art paper is rated for 100 years of home use and 200 years in dark storage.

PHOTO CREDITS: Cigarette Racing.
In addition to unframed prints, Cigarette is also offer framing, matting, glass, and a myriad of options that will put a ready-to-hang art print on your wall fast. Selected items are also offered as 1.5" standouts, a unique way to display. For more information on the Cigarette Print Gallery, head to the store HERE.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Outerlimits' New Hull-Engine Package Powering Class 1 Fendi Team

Italian team Fendi Racing has been testing their new Outerlimits boat-engine package, which they are planning to run competitively for the first time in July at the Class 1 BMW Norwegian Grand Prix in Arendal. The American-made boat was put through a series of shakedown tests on Lake Lecco by throttleman Giovanni Carpitella, alongside team manager and crew chief Marco Bonomo.

The Fendi Team - PHOTO CREDITS:

“This hull-engine combination is completely different to the Victory boat that Fendi ran in Abu Dhabi," explained Bonomo. "We have a lot to learn in terms of its handling characteristics and overall performance, and some work to do tweaking the engines.”

During test on open waters near Jesolo, Team owner Luca Fendi Formilli Fendi was there to get his first outing in the new boat. “I was very emotional when I saw the boat, even more so after going out to test,” he said. “The last time I saw it, it was just a mass of grey material in a workshop in America and to see it now is incredible. The team has done an amazing job. Now the project I started to talk about over a year ago has really come together.”

The decision by the team to run with the Outerlimits boat and twin 850 SC Outerlimits Powertrain engines sees the American high performance boat manufacturer making its debut into the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship, swelling the ranks of different boat-engine manufacturers competing in the championship to five. The Arendal, Norway race is scheduled for July 15th - 17th.

Classic Speed and Style on Display at PLX Boat Show

Every year, I try to make it over to the local Chain of Lakes to check out some of the sharp classic boats of yesterday. The show is normally held on the 4th of July weekend, but organizers decided to move it up a week, and except for the fact that the weather was a little cloudy and cool, it didn't seem to be a bad idea.

As usual, The Portage Lakes (PLX) classic boat show always features a number of slick "woodies" - and everyone's favorites are the big dual and triple-cockpit Chris Crafts and Hackers, which you can see below. They were truly the "big bad boats" of their day, and they are great examples of style and crafstmanship.

Not all the boats are wood, however...and not all of them are really old.  There are some nice examples of boats from the late 50's 60's and 70's to be found, like the nice jet boat I came across, and some other old "performance boats" of their day.

Some of the examples on hand were clearly inspired by 50's auto design, and others--while modest in size--were clearly well-built, well-cared for and are now shown proudly by their owners at various shows and regattas around the country. In the end, a nice boat is a nice boat - and there were plenty of nice ones to appreciate here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Available Now: [B3] Powerboat Weekly News for June 27-July 3

Be sure to check out this week's issue of The [B3] Powerboat Weekly. You can read about some of the advantages of outboard motors, Bonnier Communication's plans to re-launch Powerboat Magazine, Team Cintron's success at South Beach, and much more. Thanks to all our Twitter partners who help make it happen every week!

Friday, June 24, 2011

New 42' Statement V in the Works

No, they don't fall into the classification of "spy" photos, but St. Petersburg, FL-based Statement Marine builds some pretty outrageous and good-looking boats. The designs are original, the technology is truly advanced, and every new boat they produce is highly anticipated. We wanted to feature some photos of their latest creation, recently posted on OSO by member boating37.

  PHOTO CREDITS: offshoreonly member boating37.

This green beast is reportedly heading to Lake Cumberland, where she will fly down the lake bearing the "Saddle Up" moniker. The paint work was done by Rodney at Pro Body Works in MO. ...but there's no word on what kind of power they're planning on putting into this thing. Whatever it will be we're sure it will do the paintwork justice.

To see more of this beautiful boat, check out the thread on OSO here. To find out more about Statement Marine and their boats--check out their website.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Operation Dry Water Promotes Safe Boating This Weekend with BUI Enforcement

Operated carelessly, any boat can be dangerous--but this is even more the case with high performance boats, where size, speed and power can quickly multiply the effects of a bad decision. Most responsible offshore powerboaters are aware of this, and take care to avoid the risks involved in drinking and boating; moreover, most organized events, like poker runs, have strict enforcement policies when it comes to drinking and participation.


This weekend, law enforcement organizations across the country are joining together through "Operation Drywater" to raise awareness about BUI (Boating Under the Influence) promoting enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water.Curbing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities is key to achieving a safer and more enjoyable environment for recreational boating. According to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard statistics, Boating Under the Influence is still the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, with 17 percent of boating fatalities a direct result of alcohol or drug use. 

No one wants to take the fun out of boating, or stop people from having a good time on the water. But the purpose of the weekend is to remind boaters that if you want to drink, do it after your boating day is over, or be sure to enjoy it in a responsible manner. Also be aware that drunken passengers can put themselves in danger, despite your best efforts--and they can be a significant distraction while you're operating the boat.Take care...and you'll take everyone back home at the end of the day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Team TDI Clean Diesel takes on NYC to Bermuda World Record

Chris Fertig from TDI Clean Diesel has announced that they will be attempting to break the world record time between New York City and Bermuda, using a 37' Statement Center Console (see below). As part of Boating Magazine's Bermuda Challenge, the basic rules of the run are simple: the boat must be trailerable, less than 40’ in length, and the 780 mile trip from the Statue of Liberty to St. Georges, Bermuda must be made without refueling.

PHOTO CREDITS: Boating Magazine.
The challenge was first met in 1996 by Larry Graf in his Glacier Bay 260 Canyon Runner with twin Honda 90s. Running time from North Cove Yacht Harbor at the World Financial Center in New York City to Bermuda, off Gates Fort, was 37 hours. The current record, set by Neil Burnie in a 306 Prowler back in 2002, stands at 22 hours and 23 minutes. "

Team TDI will be streaming live video and audio to the web during the run," says Fertig, "So you can cheer us on as we make our way across the gulf stream, through the Bermuda Triangle towards the finish line in St. Georges."

To see more pics and read more about the challenge, check out Boating Magazine's Bermuda Challenge web page.

Available Now: [B3] Powerboat Weekly News for June 20-26

Be sure to check out this week's issue of The [B3] Powerboat Weekly. You can read about how Miss Geico bested the rest in the Sunny Isles OPA race, a possible recovery wave in the boating industry, the Malta 2011 Grand Prix of The Sea, and much more. Thanks to all our Twitter partners who help make it happen every week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

VIDEO: Malta 2011 Ocean Grand Prix - OnBoard With Nigel Hook

Last weekend's Malta Grand Prix of The Sea Enduro Class was handily won by the #33 Furnibo boat, garnering them 20 championship points and a winning time of 00:39:43:80. For an interesting take on this recent race and the course, check out this YouTube video featuring the newest U.S.-built Lucas Oil boat, with an excellent running commentary by Nigel Hook.

The commentary is especially insightful as Nigel speeds through the course, explaining the methods involved in maneuvering around the bouys and negotiating turns effectively at approximately 100mph. It's very interesting to watch an expert in action, calmly providing the details about what would be a "white knuckle" ride for most people. Job well done!

Video courtesy of

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Excuse Our Technical Difficulties...

It's good to be back online after the DNS servers at decided to stop forwarding our web address to the proper location. Never really got a good answer from them on why that happened, but we were planning to switch the URL registration to another registrar anyway.

That's done now, so we apologize to our readers (and advertisers) for the delay. In the meantime, we have plenty of material to catch you up on, so be ready for plenty of fast boating goodness in the coming days ahead. Sincerely - The Dude.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BVI Leverick's Bay Poker Run is a Study in Good Times

Over on Offshore Only, respected powerboater Bobthebuilder has been sharing many of his Caribbean adventures, and recently he's been providing some updates on his trip to the British Virgin Islands, to participate in the Leverick's Bay Poker Run. Accompanied by Jay from, they provided some outstanding coverage of this event that you can see on the OSO thread HERE.


According to Bob, the run was even more fun than last year, with over 100 boats participating. Also on hand was a very large spectator fleet, including a large tour boat wiht a large crowd on board. They took hundreds of pictures, and were able to take a number of folks for exciting rides on his beautiful boat, PREDATOR. This year also marked the run's 10th Anniversary; we also were able to find this video, courtesy of YouTube member - which provides some running shots of the participants...

All in all, this run looks like a great time -- the biggest challenge is just getting there. Most everyone has their boats transported, and while it's not an easy undertaking, it's well worth the effort, since you will be rewarded with a lifelong memory you will always cherish. In fact, Bob is providing info on how those who are interested  can participate in a separate OSO thread. Maybe you can make it next year...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sharp New Boats in the Works at Eliminator

Eliminator Boats is showing off some of the newest examples of their fine work on the powerboat forums, and it's nice to see some of the incredible craftsmanship this respected West Coast builder is offering. One example is a new 36' Speedster cat that is reportedly going to a customer in Africa.

PHOTO CREDITS: Eliminator Boats.

With a 108" beam, approximate weight with engines of 7800 lbs., 160 gallon fuel capacity and seating capacity from 4-6 people, the Speedster is truly an impressive boat. In fact, one of these boats with a pair of 1200hp engines was one of the fastest non-race boats that Powerboat Magazine has ever tested, at 169mph.

Not so big, but definitely badass for its size--is this 22' Eagle, which will be featuring a supercharged Cadillac CTS-V engine. LOA is 22' 11" - with an 8.25' beam and a 40 gallon capacity tank--which seems a little modest considering that supercharged Caddy engine.

Eliminator is turning out some mighty fine boats, and as a strong competitor in APBA Offshore 2 Competition, their boats are race-proven and built tough. Find out more at - and check out more photos of these new boats under construction on Offshore Only.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

UK Powerboat Racer Shelley Jory Back behind The Wheel in P1 Superstock

We've highlighted Shelley Jory's efforts before - back in 2009, well before before a pair of dramatic accidents last July left her with some very serious injuries. Earlier last year, the 40-year old had become the first woman to win a Powerboat P1 Grand Prix event, but when her boat Spirit of Belgium sunk in Sardinia, she and throttleman Patrick Huybrieghts ended up in the hospital, wondering if they would ever race again.

Describing the accident, Shelley said it was easily the worst of her career: "The front of the boat just dipped into the water and shattered on impact. It's like driving a car into a brick wall at 83 mph," she recalled, recovering from head injuries and a broken nose.

After an extended leave of absence, Shelley has decided to return to powerboat racing, planning to announce her entry into the Powerboat P1 Superstock series in the UK. Though the boats don't have the power and speed of her previous P1 championship boats, they will offer her a significant challenge.

“P1 have always been a great support to me through my career, she says. "This will take me back to my Honda race days, which were by far the most competitive and fun racing I have done.”

Jory & Huybrieghts - the first wreck in Malta. PHOTO CREDIT:

From Hampshire England, Shelley has always been a fan favorite, and when she's not boating, runs a very successful bridal business. Her first race event is scheduled for Jersey on June 11-12, and I'm sure we're not the only ones wishing her the best of luck. For more information on that race, go HERE.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Powerboat Magazine Ends Regular Publication Upon Aquisition by Bonnier Corp.

Long established as THE source for news, boat reviews and features covering the world of high performance boating, Powerboat Magazine will cease regular publication in August after being purchased by Bonnier Corporation, one of America's largest consumer publishing groups. With over 1,000 employees and more than $350 million in annual revenue, Bonnier Corp. ranks in the top 10 nationally among publishing companies. The company was formed in March 2007 when Sweden's Bonnier Group purchased 18 magazines from Time Inc. and combined those assets with its U.S. magazine partner, World Publications,

Rumors of a purchase offer had been floating around performance boating forums for about a week, but only today has the announcement of Powerboat's sale been officially announced on the Powerboat Facebook web page:

"Surely hope this isn't an end of an era, but it's still a sad day. After the July 2011 issue, which is being sent out this week, it looks like Boating will be coming your way if you're a Powerboat subscriber."

Bonnier currently publishes a number of marine-relate titles, including Boating, Sportfishing, Yachting and WaterSki, among others. Reportedly, Powerboat and Trailer Boats (also acquired from Affinity Media Group) will be offered from time-to-time as "special issues" during the boating season.

Of course, I enjoyed Powerboat as much as anyone else, and it has been hard to watch the magazine gradually shrink as the performance boat industry has taken a beating over the last few years. While the content has always been first-class, the fewer number of advertising pages sold has clearly had a significant impact on the cost of operation. While on the surface, it seems like the end of an era--it may be a sign that media coverage of performance boating is simply changing to reflect new technologies, new publishing models and new times. We're looking forward to being a part of that.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2011 Oneida Lake Swamp Run - Good Fun for a Good Cause

Lots of Poker Runs are run to benefit a worthy non-profit cause, and few are more worthy than the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Once again, New York State Power Boat Inc. is organizing another great Swamp Run on New York's beautiful Lake Oneida. Set for Saturday, July 30th, the run is known for its excellent water, fun destinations and top-notch organization.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sharkey Images.

This year the Swamp Run will follow the same course as last year, starting and ending in Brewerton at The WaterFront. From there, the group will run to Sylvan, have lunch and relax for about an hour and a half at Harpoon Eddie's. Afterwards, everyone will line up in front of the beach (South Side) and run in line across the front of the beach for everyone to watch.

Following this will be a run to ChMarker 117 for a card stop, then to ChMarker 135 for another card stop, then to 3 Mile Bay for a raft off with some fun and Bikinis. At 5pm, the whole group will run back to the Waterfront for dinner at 7pm with banquet and plenty of refreshments.

Last year, the event was able to raise over $10,000.00 for Make-A-Wish, and organizer Nolan Ferris has set an even more ambition goal of 21,500.00 for this year. If you've ever wondered how big a difference a contribution can make for an event like this, check out the touching story that Nolan has posted on Offshore

To find out more and reserve your spot, contact Nolan at

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Boat Tech: Pocket Gadgets to Make Your Life Easier

We recently came across a couple of items that could come in handy on your next boat trip; the first is the Freeloader Personal Solar Charger - especially useful because it's one gadget that can help keep the rest of your gadgets running.

It's true, you can always use your 12v cigarette lighter outlet to charge a lot of your items like cell phones, MP3 players and other small items. But if you're dedicating that outlet to your iPod to play music while you're running the boat, or powering a portable Nav unit, you might want some extra charging capacity. This might especially be the case if you've got a boatload of friends along on a poker run.

The freeloader quickly expands it's solar panels to gather available sunlight, and includes a charging cable that plugs into a USB port or almost any chargeable device with one of its 11 adapter tips. Once charged, the internal Li-Ion battery can power an iPod for 18hours, a mobile phone for 44 hours, PSP for 2.5 hours a PDA for 22 hours and much more. With its tough, rust-free aluminum body, it features a 1000mAh Li-on battery and can be charged in as little as 3 hours. Pretty handy in a pinch.

Our other item here is a floating keyring; nothing new in terms of basic concept, but extremely useful in terms of its added capability. The Waterbuoy Floating Keyring is only 3" long (not nearly as bulky as many floating keyrings) but can float up to 2lbs. That's a whole pocketful of keys, as opposed to the 2-3 that most floating keyrings can support. In fact, it provides enough buoyancy to support many waterproof VHF radios, mobile phones and some digital cameras.

The secret is inside: The Waterbouy has a tiny gas cylinder that inflates a puncture-resistant balloon after submersion. It won't go off if only splashed, and also has an LED light - visible at 850ft and lasting 24hrs - inside the balloon, so it can easily be found even at night.  Pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Video: It's 1972 All Over Again as Cowes to Monte-Carlo Race Shapes up for 2013.

They are calling it the longest and toughest offshore powerboat race in the world...and they are probably right. The 2013 Cowes to Monte-Carlo Race will cover 2,400 nautical miles in deep offshore water, from England and then off the coasts of France, Spain, Portugal, through Gibraltar and across the Riviera coast. It has only been run once - in 1972 - and is open to any powerboat from 26ft to 50ft, fitted with diesel or gas, inboard or outboard engines. Since the distance between some of the stopover venues will range from from 190 to over 300 miles, long distance tanks will be a must.


So far, about 40 teams from 12 different countries have signed up to participate, and the UK organizers are hoping USA teams will eventually be among them (we do see a USA Donzi entry on their web site). In any case, it's important to move fast, since the cap for participating boats will be set at 55. We'll keep you posted as news about the race develops - but you can always check out the latest happenings at the Official Race Site. In the mean time , you can check out the video here, posted on YouTube by .

Available Now: [B3] Powerboat Weekly News for May 16 - 22

Be sure to check out this week's issue of The [B3] Powerboat Weekly. You can read why Cocoa Beach is  ready For The Thunder of Super Boats, discover Lakeside Restorations' Mid-May specials, and find out why the interest deduction for boats as second homes is under fire. Thanks to all our Twitter partners who help make it happen every week!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Boating at Night: Danger Lurks in The Darkness

If you've ever been out on a boat at night, you have to admit there definitely can be something special about it...especially if you're cruising slowly down a quiet lake. Like the old postcard image below depicts, it's an image full of romanticism and mystery; even today, I can remember coming home to our vacation cabin in northern Michigan at night on my dad's rented fishing boat. You watched the old houses and cabins pass by along the shore and wondered what people were doing inside...saw flickering campfires near the docks...occasionally hearing screen doors smacking shut, off in the distance.

Of course, we were just puttering down the lake at about 5 miles per hour, and I'm sure that made a big difference. I'm sure the location did too - for cruising home on a calm lake at night is much different than making your way down a busy ocean bay or river at night, with more traffic--including larger boats, commercial shipping and barges, bridges to dodge and any number of other hidden hazards. Whatever you're in or wherever you boat, it's clear than night boating is a different animal, and requires a much more measured and careful approach than typical daytime boating.

The Day After

You've all seen them - and they tend to stick in our minds because they look so strange: the news photos of powerful boats high up on the rocks, or planted somewhere in the woods onshore after a boater got careless at night. We all look and wonder - how in the hell did they do that?

Often, the first thought goes to drinking, and that's not a surprise; it is the cause of many boating accidents. and the ones where it plays a role often get the most notoriety. But it's often just plain carelessness, disregard for the dangers at hand, or failure to understand how the darkness can play tricks on our vision that result in tragedy.

This came to mind with an accident I read about within the last week. A guy puts his 30' offshore boat onto the rocks with fatal results to him, but thankfully not his two passengers. One passenger claims he had not been drinking, but the post-mortem blood alcohol results say he was past the legal limit. The same passenger also said the driver had removed his contact lenses, and was having trouble with his vision. To further add to this recipe for disaster, the authorities estimated that the boat was traveling at approximately 65 mph when it hit some "rip-rap" - the rocks that are often pushed up around piers and bridge pilings to help combat erosion. Again, one of the passengers says the boat was only going 35 mph. I say: Does it matter?

35 mph is plenty fast enough to get you killed. A lot of boaters I've talked to refuse to even get their boat up on plane at night; they slow speeds so they can hear and react to what they can see--because at night, there are a lot of things you can't.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

700 HP V-12 Diesel Sparks Interest at Dusseldorf Marine Show

Ray at Raylar Engines recently shared some photos of this musclebound V-12 diesel offering that was recently showcased in Germany. Identified as the RED A03, the engine would be a newcomer to the marine world, as it is currently only available as an aircraft engine.


Originally developed to fill a niche market between aircraft gasoline piston engines and the more expensive turboprops, the powerplant is the brainchild of Russian engineer Vladimir Raikhlin. Built by the RED aircraft GmbH, located in Adenau, Germany, the marine version of the engine is designed for output power of approximately 700 hp at 3,900 rpm.

The liquid cooled V-12 diesel engine has a 90 degree configuration between cylinder banks and twin double overhead camshafts. It's also electronically controlled with a common rail direct fuel injection system, and features a dry sump lubrication system, twin fuel pumps, twin turbochargers and an integrated oil-water heat exchanger.

Further details of the powerplant should be announced later this year; while it will no doubt be expensive, it would probably offer an extremely high degree of reliability, since it was originally designed for aircraft applications. In the end, this might give it a serious leg up on similarly-priced high-end gas engines, like a Merc 1350.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cocoa Beach Ready for Super Boat International Season Opener, May 18-22

SBI is celebrating its second consecutive year racing at Cocoa Beach with next week's 2nd Annual Bright House Space Coast Grand Prix. In fact, it was just last Fall when SBI teams converged on Cocoa Beach and hit the water after what had been a 20-year hiatus.

PHOTO CREDITS: Super Boat International.
Extra good news is that even more teams are expected than last year, with some of the world’s fastest boats scheduled to race along the area's sandy beaches near the famous Cocoa Beach Pier. “2010 was a very good as a first year back, and we expect this to be an even more exciting race than before,"  says SBI Founder John Carbonell. "We're pleased again to see how excited and supportive the community is about Super Boat racing. This is really going to make for a great season opener for 2011.”

Cocoa Beach fans unable to attend the race in person can follow Sunday’s activities on and watch it through the live streaming broadcast. Super Boat International is broadcasting the entire 2011 season online through live streaming and can be found at on the day of the race.

The week's events start off with a sponsor and VIP party, May 18th at the Paradise Cove Restaurant. Teams, boats and support equipment will continue to arrive Thursday, May 19th in the Dry Pits across from Fishlips, and race boats will be on display for the “Powerboats on Parade” in downtown Cocoa Beach at 3pm.

Friday, May 20th is team registration and boat inspections along with parties and live entertainment in the evening near the pits. Teams will be testing on Saturday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and the races are on Sunday, May 22nd at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

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