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SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE

TYLER SPEER’S WINNING STRATEGY

SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM WE TAME 5 OUTRAGEOUS ROCKETS

MARCH 2017

M ARCH 2017

Speedboat Legends Tim Seebold’s Incredible Career 71327_SpeedBoatMarch_001.indd 1

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Roomy, reliable and 100+ mph on GPS. Welcome to the quintessential deckboat. Your next boat purchase is an investment in both your family and yourself. Make the right choice.

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50 years of serving the custom boat industry.

The 29 Deckboat with twin 400s. Luxury and style at 100+ mph! LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZONA • 800.279.5398 • E-MAIL: sales@NordicBoatsUSA.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS March 2017

COLUMNS 8 CHRIS DAVIDSON 10 RAY LEE 12 ALEXI SAHAGIAN 14 V-DRIVE TECH 64 NEW PRODUCTS

FEATURES 18 PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS Our drivers tackle five incredible boats we’ve never tested before, including models from DCB, Eliminator, Nordic, Shockwave and Caliber 1.

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38 WHERE THE GIRLS ARE They’re here, that’s where they are! We collected the most smoldering women at poker runs around the country for this spring pictorial.

44 POKER RUN ELITE Meet Jake and Gina Nossaman, a couple with an MTI cat and a Statement center-console deep vee.

50 FACTORY TOUR Boat Bling’s cleaning “sauces” have expanded beyond the high-performance marine market—and far beyond the United States.

56 SPEEDBOAT LEGENDS This month, our staff pays tribute to Formula One champion Tim Seebold, who has retired after a career spanning 44 years.

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Editorial: Speedboat Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All manuscripts, materials, photographs and artwork submitted are at mailer’s risk and must include self-addressed envelope with proper postage if requested to be returned. All letters sent to Speedboat will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes, and are subject to Speedboat's right to edit and comment editorially. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or part is expressly forbidden, except by written permission of the publisher. Postmaster: Send address changes to Speedboat Magazine, 9216 Bally Court, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

Cover photo by Kenny Dunlop; Inset cover photo by Mark McLaughlin Table of Contents photos by Jeff Gerardi.

Speedboat.com To find your nearest location to purchase a copy of Speedboat Magazine go to: www.WheresMyMagazine.com

Published by DCO Enterprises, LLC Publishers Ray Lee ray@speedboat.com

Chris Davidson chris@speedboat.com

Editor Brett Bayne brett@speedboat.com

Senior Tech Editors Jim Wilkes jim@speedboat.com

Alexi Sahagian alexi@speedboat.com

Tech Editors Greg Shoemaker Jim Wilkes Valerie Collins National Sales Ray Lee Director ray@speedboat.com Art Director Gail Hada-Insley Helicopter Services Fred Young fyoung@live.com

BRETT’S COVE 66 THE YEAR OF SPEER We interview Tyler Speer, who emerged as the Lucas Oil Drag Boat World Champion in just his second tour with the series.

Photographers Todd Taylor, Pete Boden Kenny Dunlop, Paul Kemiel, Jeff Gerardi, Randy Nuzzo, Mark McLaughlin Operations Manager Michele Plummer and Subscriptions michele@speedboat.com 5840 W. Craig Rd Suite 120, #386 Las Vegas, NV 89130-2730

70 PIRATE PARTY

Webmaster Craig Lathrop

Old-school flatties, V-drives and dragboats add spice to the 6th Annual River Rockets Boat Show.

Web Design Blair Davidson

76 ROCKIN’ THE NEW YEAR Lake Elsinore, CA, continues an annual tradition by ringing in the new year with a collection of V-drivin’ maniacs.

craig@speedboat.com Market It Mobile, Las Vegas, NV blair@speedboat.com

Editorial Offices 9216 Bally Court Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 (888) 577-2628 (BOAT) SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE (ISSN#1941-9473) is published 8 times plus a bonus issue this year by DCO Enterprises LLC. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Domestic $34.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue, Canada $56.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue, International $60.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue. All prices are for one year and in U.S. funds. For subscription info: call (888) 577-2628. PRINTED IN USA These rates represent Speedboat’s standard subscription rate and should not be confused with any special rates or premiums otherwise advertised or offered.

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MY VIEW CHRIS DAVIDSON

Chains of Solid Gold

Perfection: Few attempt it, and even fewer achieve it. DCB is unique in that it has reached perfection. Year after year, the El Cajon, CA-based builder hauls a stunning new beauty to our boat tests. Invariably, some are taken aback by the boat’s price tag, but the fact is that each model is worth every red cent—not just because of the inherent high quality of each product, but because of the top-notch customer service after the purchase. When our team grades a DCB, it outclasses the competition in virtually every category we critique it on. It is one of the few companies that routinely brings us a new model—that’s what the tests were primarily about prior to the recession of 2007: presenting new boat models to our readers so that you can both investigate and contemplate the purchase of a new boat. It’s what Motor Trend does with all of Detroit’s latest offerings. Unfortunately, in some cases, we end up testing boats that weren’t built in the past several years, let alone drive an all-new model. This magazine’s editor, Brett Bayne, often spends hours, even days, trying to 8

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chase down information that some manufacturers inexplicably leave blank on their data sheets, which can make writing the reports in a timely fashion difficult, to say the least. But DCB consistently submits its test forms typed and containing all of the pertinent information we need about its boat. Moreover, DCB is of the few companies that regularly attends our tests with factory staff/owners who provide insight on how to actually operate the boat most effectively—where to set the trim, how to get the best holeshot performance, tips on turning the boat, or any new features that have recently been added. DCB’s Jeff Johnston and Tony Chiaramonte are unfailingly near the Speedboat base to address any questions or issues that arise. This year, it was more fuel at the dock for their M29, powered by a pair of Mercury Racing Verado 400s. This model was an unqualified hit with both our test team drivers, Alexi Sahagian (pictured, above left) and Bob Teague, who were both passionate about it. Typically, a boat gets a running test time of around 30 minutes with each driving team in order to get the proper feel and handling. With the DCB, each team ran the boat for more than 75 minutes each—the equivalent of a kid taking multiple rides on his favorite roller coaster. DCB is one of the few companies that have aggressively and masterfully continued to create technologically enhanced designed hull configurations that are built to handle the new mega horsepower

engines being created by Mercury Racing with their proprietary quad overhead cam offerings, which include the 1100, 1350 and now 1650 series. Many of the performance boats being manufactured today weren’t necessarily built to operate or handle the higher mph. When we first began testing at Hot Boat in the late 1980s, hitting 80 mph was considered fast, while a top speed beyond 100 mph was rare. Today, a majority of the boats built are powered to run well over 100 mph. Yet few do it in the style, class and ease that DCB creates year after year. This year’s M29 ran in the 110 mph range, but that’s not the impressive part. The M29 tracked and performed precisely through all the power and speed ranges and ever-changing water conditions. DCB is one of the most predictable and speedfriendly boats currently being made on either coast. Eliminator owner and high performance boat godfather Bob Leach came with longtime faithful sidekick Mike McInyrne to spend time with our team and to speak with our test drivers. Bob spent the entire day at the base assisting us with everything almost as if he was part of the team. The 28' Eliminator Speedster was a team favorite for its stripped-down race/poker-run ready boat, which handled like a Corvette on steroids. The twinpowered 400 Mercury Racing Verados were more than impressive, with superior throttle response and handling. Bob is one of my favorite people in our industry. He has remained the same humble, hardworking businessman for the entire 30 years that I have known him. Shockwave is one of my perennial favorites in the entry- to mid-level priced boats. The gems that company founder Bob Anderson always brings perform well, everything works and is both appealing to

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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE

A Controlled Chaos

The West Coast edition of Speedboat Magazine’s 2017 Performance Evaluations took place in Lake Havasu City, AZ, last fall. It is one of the highlights of our year and we always look forward to it. We, the test team, invite the top builders to bring their latest and greatest creations for us to meticulously inspect, examine, and run through our extensive and thorough paces. This is all to help you, our readers, make an educated and well-informed decision when it comes to the everimportant choice of which company will build your next boat. For this year’s round of testing, DCB, Nordic, Eliminator, Shockwave, Caliber 1, Domn8er, Ultra—and even East Coast manufacturer Spectre—all came out to participate. There are a lot of moving parts in putting on a complete evaluation, and this year proved to be no less challenging than years past. Between manufacturers’ scheduling conflicts all the way down to team availability—this year definitely sprouted a few more grey hairs up top. Our ace photographer Todd Taylor, who 10

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is usually there to shoot the boats and help organize our dry land and dock home bases sites, was unavailable due to a previously committed gig. In addition, videographer Earl Crowe and renaissance player Jay Forbes were also unable to attend this year for personal reasons. Enter Team newcomers Dennis Martz and Daren Van Ryte, who did an extraordinary job filling the voids for us. Thank you, guys! To be there to witness this event is quite the sight to see. It can only be described as a psychotic symphony of controlled chaos. Two test teams, ten team members, eight boats and one helicopter all there to get the job done. The test team of Alexi Sahagian and Tony Scarlata would take one boat off of the docks to evaluate as seasoned veteran Bob Teague and I would take another—only to return and repeat the process seven more times until all of the vessels were completed. The results of all this effort appear in this issue and an upcoming one as well. A funny thing happened while Bob and I were out testing Nordic’s brandnew model, the 34' deck boat with twin Mercury Racing 600 engines. We were executing slalom turns when the engines hiccupped a bit. We looked at the gauge to see that the fuel level was critically low, especially to feed those two thirsty, supercharged beasts. Fortunately for us, the gas dock at Havasu Palms was a short distance away. We just weren’t exactly sure how far the boat would make it. We idled ever-so-cautiously toward Havasu Palms. As we turned the corner, Bob and I were both holding our breaths as the gas dock came into sight, albeit quite a distance away. (Cough, cough—sputter, sputter) It was going to be CLOSE! As we painfully inched closer and closer to the gas pump, the boat finally gave out about a football field away from

the goal line. Damn! Was I going to have to jump into the water and swim the boat to the docks? Could I even budge this 34' machine with twins? Were we going to have to radio home base for assistance? All of these thoughts were running through my mind when I looked up and noticed that our momentum was carrying us closer to our desired destination. We might make it after all! Now, we generally leave all fenders and dock lines on the docks. It minimizes clutter in the boat while testing and makes it easier for our team to help tie up the boats as we come back in. But for whatever fortunate reason on this particular voyage, Bob had brought the Nordic’s extra-long dock lines onboard with us. Bob and I sat in silence as we drifted toward the gas pump. When we were just above the speed of a crawl...we stopped, dead in the water. We were so close, and yet so far! But then we noticed the dock lines sitting quietly on the ground, just behind Bob’s bolster seat. We laughed at the sheer dumb luck of having those with us. I grabbed one of the long dock lines and summoned my best rodeo-roping cowboy. I believe it was on my third throw that I hooked the tall post that secured the dock to the earth. We quickly fueled back up and went back to work. We finished up the rest of the Nordic test and proceeded to check off the rest of the fleet that we had remaining. While it was frustrating and trying at the time, I appreciate the experience of it now. It still makes me laugh as I write this. It was a long two-day process, but when we were done, we were all proud of the work that we did. (Exhausted, but proud.) We hope you enjoy the feature. speedboat.com

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ON THE DYNO ALEXI SAHAGIAN CAN Bus Digital Dash Dear Alexi: I have a 2009 Eliminator Daytona. It is a great boat, equipped with an aftermarket engine and has a MEFI-4 ECU on it. I was told that I could not connect it to a digital dash without a big headache or a bunch of sensors. I was told you are the one to go to for this info. Please give me your view on this. I want to put a digital display on the back head rests and passenger side for my passengers to be able to be an extra set of eyes and ears. Your thoughts? Jim Dotson Dallas, TX

I am glad you are enjoying your Eliminator. Several engines have EFI these days. Some EFI computers are equipped with J1939 or CAN technology on board. With that said, you can simply ad a gateway box or a few NMEA 2000-compliant items to make your engine immediately compatible with the new Garmin, Livorsi or other brand CAN gauges, dashes or other high-tech products. Your MEFI-4 computer needs to be configured to output the CAN High and CAB Low signal out of the wire harness. Simply take those wires into a marine gateway that converts the signals to NMEA2000 and send that cable to your network or GPS map directly. The display will show whatever channels your tuner populated on the stream. Some require more sensors and some engines already have them on board. Once you get used to setting it up, the next ones are much easier. One thing folks usually forget is that a NMEA 2000 wiring system requires a power tap of 12-volt negative DC keyed 12

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power and usually two 120-ohm resistors installed on the beginning and end of the NMEA 2000 run for all to be stable. If you purchase the Gateway or Garmintype display, usually the instructions will be detailed, and I suggest reading them thoroughly to get a solid understanding on what you’re about to do. Once it’s set up, you will have fuel flow, speed, engine parameters etc., and then you and your passengers will have a ton of fun monitoring the systems. I hope that answered your question.

Engine Scan History Dear Alexi: I have a 2011 twin-engine Formula with 525 Mercury engines powering it. It has 250+ hours on it. I just purchased it from a local dealer here in Florida. I took it to my local shop and they plugged in a scan tool to see that one engine has 255 hours on it and the other had 261 hours on it. What was weird to me is that the total engine history hours did not add up to the amount of total hours, so I am wondering if I've been screwed. I’m thinking this boat has more hours on it based on its service needs! Can you explain this system and how it scans? I appreciate your help. Ted Jacobs Orlando, FL There seems to be a lot of confusion on scan tools and their abilities. Most shops use

a Mercury or SPX-type scan tool. Others use a Rinda, which is the better of all, in my personal opinion—as long as it’s up to date. With that said, most of the engine scan tools plug into the factory wire harness on the engine and communicate to the handheld device. Usually you can scan for codes, clear codes and view engine history. One thing you can’t do is reset engine hours. The total engine hour clock is a locked out section in an ECU. Even the MEFI and PCM555 will not allow you to manipulate those with reflash software. Only engine files and parameters are adjustable. Back your question. Most of the time, the scan tools do not allow you to reset an engine history. However, some have the option to. At times, new owners request the dealer reset this for knowledge of their use, and not necessarily the previous owner’s driving pattern and some shops may reset it due to keyed errors they accidentally clear. Don’t panic—if someone reset the history, it will never add up to the total hours from a common scan tool. The engine clock is solid. So taking a look at all the service records is the best way to determine the care of a used boat and take the scan records as a reference, because codes and history can

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V-DRIVE TECH JIM WILKES Mystery Motor Mount Dear V-Drive Tech: Help! I am working on a nostalgic 1960 Biesemeyer Caribbean and found a broken motor mount. The motor is a Pontiac 389 and the mount is a steel pin pressed into an aluminum plate. Have you ever seen something like this? Could it be a custom made piece? I’ve been scratch-

ing my head trying to figure out which direction to go. If you don’t have one lying around, I may need to fabricate one out of steel myself. Please let me know your thoughts. Gary Wilson Spokane, WA

shop that has a press machine and have them help you. Good luck with your project, Gary.

Prop Release Dear V-Drive Tech: We are building an old Mandella G-hull and would love to keep the old classic top-loader. We have an Algon prop release that is left-hand drive. Do you know if we can turn it around and make it right-hand drive? A prop release is required for racing and we really don’t want to install a modern-style split case if we don’t have to. Thanks, Roger Atlass Denver, CO Through all the years I’ve been doing V-drive work, I have only worked on two Algon prop-release systems. One was a butchered, welded-together piece of junk; the other one I was able to rebuild. If memory serves, the way the sprag gear was installed, I believe it can be installed to allow for the unit turn either direction. If you try to change the direction, be careful not to destroy the sprag bearing. It might be a hard bearing to locate! Good luck with you quest, Roger.

upgrades. There have been a number of V-drive manufacturers over the years, but most have closed up and moved on. Casale has always been the king of the V-drives, building the units for offshore boats, unlimited hydroplanes, Top Fuel Hydros, both single and dual-drive systems and circle boats. Casale was the inventor of both the Whirl-Away and the Swirl-Away. Even today you can get parts for almost every style unit they have built. In its heyday, Casale built hundreds of drives for ski boats and cruisers. Today most of the drives Casale builds are for race boats. The Hallcraft unit is a good V-drive, designed and engineered by Jim and Earl Hall. These units were well made and reliable, but it is a bit noisy with gear whine if you have a parallel shaft unit. I believe you can still get parts for this unit, but some of the parts have been upgraded to use Casale parts.

Casale vs. Hallcraft I have not seen an engine mount like this in years. Not too many boats used this style of mount. Looking at your picture, I would think you could repair this mount and make it 100% whole again. Heat the aluminum and then press the steel pin out from the housing. Make your new mount to the length you need. Clean everything well, put your pin in the freezer for about six hours. Get everything set up to press the pin back in the aluminum housing. Have everything set up, heat the aluminum, take the pin out of the freezer and press it into your heated housing. You should be good to go. If you don’t have the equipment at your disposal, then take your part to a 14

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Dear V-Drive Tech: Why do some people prefer the Casale box over the Hallcraft (aside from the straight cut gears)? I understand that the older Hallcraft boxes are not made for high horsepower. I have the smooth Hallcraft model on which someone took the time to install a Whirl-away, so I’m wondering why you don’t see more of these boxes being used. I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Greg Bloom West Covina, CA Over the years, the Casale V-drive has been proven the most popular on the market, both in parts and safety speedboat.com

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DCB

M29

The legendary team finally gave us some seat time with one of the smallest boats in their M Series— and it packs the same punch as its bigger siblings. Photos by Kenny

Dunlop

The first thing you notice about the When you’re shopping for a boat, mance. Meticulously crafted and lavthere are two ways to approach ishly appointed, this mean machine DCB is the quality of the workmanship, it: You can dream small, or you can is guaranteed to please even the most which is first-rate from stem to stern. dream big. DCB Performance Boats are for people who dream big. Their M29 may not be largest of their M series, but DCB’s team devotes the same massive commitment to excellence, luxury and power to this boat that they give to their M31, M35 and M41 Widebody models. Speedboat Magazine’s first-ever encounter with the builder’s four-year-old M29 model was equipped with a pair of Mercury Racing 400 Verado outboards capable of triple-digit perfor18

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demanding boaters.

The Package: In the earlier days of DCB, we would be given a big boat to test and remark that it resembled a larger version of their standard offering. Times have changed dramatically: the M29 now seems like a smaller version of their typical musclecraft. Our tester was primarily orange with touches of black trim, and the color scheme is incorporated into the boat’s interior as well.

“There’s nothing negative,” remarked Bob Teague. “The fit and finish is stellar. You can’t find anything that is wrong, and I looked pretty darned hard.” (It’s true. He really does.) Our dry-land crew found much to applaud about the M29: perfect “10” ratings were awarded to the gelcoat, mold work, paint job, rubrail, hatch cover, engine installation, wiring, and all aspects of the boat’s interior, including the windshield. Test driver Alexi Sahagian made a speedboat.com

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DCB M29 Length: 29'0" Beam: 108" Engines on test boat: twin Mercury Racing Verado 400 outboards Drives on test boat: Sportmasters Price as tested: $322,245 Options on test boat: Engine upgrade, Isotta wheel, State #2 gelcoat design, Mercury Vessel View, Garmin 7608 MFD touch screen, Alcantara fabric, etc. Top speed: 114 mph @ 7,050 rpm DCB Performance Boats 1468 N. Magnolia Ave. El Cajon, CA 92020 (619) 442-0300 dcbperformanceboats.com

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DCB M29

Alcantara partial trim fabric really added a luxurious touch to the cockpit, with the famous cross-stitching that defines DCB’s styling. The dash sports Mercury’s Vessel View VV7, along with an Isotta steering wheel. LED lighting is incorporated in the gunwales and engine compartment.

“It’s the most dialed-in boat that we’ve had at this particular test. There’s really nothing negative about the performance.” —Bob Teague 20

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special note on the windshield: “It’s one of the only boats we drive that doesn’t have the windshield creaking or making noise,” he says. “They’ve done a really good job securing the windshield on the boat. The support is incredible.” Our 29 came equipped with DTS-type throttle, so there were no cables—it’s all electronically controlled via a wire harness. There’s a simple push-button operation to start the boat, so it’s very convenient to start and stop the outboard engines. Our dash was adorned with SmartCraft vessel view that shows both engines’ data on one screen; it’s also got tachometer, GPS speedo, trim position and water pressure, which is programmed in the current page when driving the boat. There’s also a dash readout on the passenger’s side with the same information. DCB’s upholstery has always featured speedboat.com

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that impressive cross-stitching, and it’s one of the things that sets DCB apart from its competition. The team puts a great deal of extra effort into the finish work on the seats and entire cockpit. The layout on this boat is a real winner. Performance: From low-speed tracking and maneuverability to turning to handling at top speed, our test team was proudly liberal with their “10” ratings on the DCB—“perfect” was a word that kept coming up as they described the ride in this boat. “It’s the most dialedin boat that we’ve had at this particular test,” Teague remarked. “There’s really nothing negative about the performance—although I’m always happier with more speed and more horsepower.” Who isn’t? When the water got choppy on Lake Havasu, the DCB shows that it can handle the rough stuff with ease. The

Mercury 400s took us to 114 mph without much hassle, although since this particular boat was propped for topend performance, so it did take a while to reach the tall number. But patience paid off with a beautiful, flawless, speedy ride unaffected by wind, wake or shift. It tracked perfectly 100 percent of the time—no hop or porpoise, just pure fun and pure comfort. The Bottom Line: Like its sister ships, DCB’s M29 combines brute power with captivating style and comfort. The fit and finish is top-notch: you can’t find anything wrong in this boat, and we looked hard. Even when the water gets bumpy, the M29’s ride is fast and flawless as it carves its way through choppy water like it doesn’t even exist. If you’re looking for the nicest outboard runabout you can dream of, look no further than DCB’s M29. SPEEDBOAT |

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Eliminator 28 Speedster

Released in 2008, Eliminator’s foot and a half larger than the 27. The 28’ Speedster is the “big sister” difference might seem slight, but you to the company’s very popular 27 Speedster—as well as the “little sister” to the builder’s 36 Speedster. We’ve reviewed the 27 on several occasions, but this year Bob Leach and his crew opted to send us a 28, which gave our test team an opportunity to compare and contrast the two models. As with DCB’s M29, Eliminator’s 28 has been outfitted with twin Mercury Verado 400 outboards with hydraulic steering. You may find it odd that the Speedsters are offered in 27, 28 and 36 configurations—the spacing is a little lopsided—but the 28 is actually a full 22

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can definitely feel the difference in roominess. That’s because the length is only half the equation: the 27 has a beam of 96", while the 28 is a full 108" wide. The Package: This particular version of the 28 looks great. The hull has been capped, affording a clean, smooth finish around the perimeter of the boat. It sports a superb gelcoat with a smart layup, and includes a number of nicely appointed equipment (i.e., attractive mounts on the motors). At the same, it’s also a rather “bare-bones” model, with nothing very

heavy and not a lot of extras. But that’s not necessarily a negative—in fact, its stripped-down nature is really because this boat was built strictly to be a speed demon without a lot of unnecessary frills. The dash layout, for example, is the epitome of simplicity. It consists primarily of a Vessel View system in front of the driver and a GPS positioned in the middle, between passenger and driver. “I like the black pad on the dash—it takes all the glare out of the window,” notes Sahagian. “Overall, it’s cool to have data for both engines in the SmartCraft display in front of the driver—it’s a pretty straightforward speedboat.com

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It’s our very first time behind the wheel of Bob Leach’s formidable rocket, which shoots for big speed with twin-outboad power—and succeeds with flying colors.

Eliminator 28 Speedster Length: 28'6" Beam: 9' Engines on test boat: twin Mercury Verado 400R outboards Price as tested: $315,770 Options on test boat: Full hydraulic steering custom engine brackets, custom gelcoat, pair of custom Mercury CNC 5-blade cleavers. Top speed: 123 mph @ 6,800 rpm Eliminator Boats 10795 San Sevaine Way Mira Loma, CA 91752 (951) 332-4300 eliminatorboat.com

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Eliminator 28 Speedster

“I think it’s one of Eliminator’s best boats—not only for an outboard, but for an inboard too. It just happened to be a home run. It’s a great boat with all sorts of power.” —Bob Teague 24

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setup.” Still, he wishes that it had been mounted a bit higher, as the steering wheel obscures it somewhat. All controls, including the throttles, have been placed in a comfortable location, and we were delighted to find the SmartCraft push-button start. This boat’s seats were also very comfortable. Because this is an outboard configuration, the I/O engine compartment is empty. And that’s just fine for the boat’s owner, Dale Dondel. “It’s basically a big storage compartment,” he explains. “I have two little girls, 6 and 8 years old, and they like me to bring a big foam floaty toy along for them. So the engine compartment is like a huge glove box back there.” The interior of the boat features a snap-in carpet on an innerlined fiberglass floor. Options on the Eliminator included full hydraulic steering ($10,400), cusspeedboat.com

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tom engine brackets ($12,200), custom gelcoat ($4,500) and a pair of Mercury 15¼"x34" props ($12,440). Among the standard equipment: windshield, bimini and bilge pumps. Performance: Our 28 Speedster was a relatively light boat, which has its pluses and minuses. One of the biggest positives was the 123-mph (at 6,800 rpm) top speed and the decent holeshot—we were on plane at 20 mph (at 2,100 rpm) and at 89 mph in just 20 seconds. This is a speedy boat, for sure, and it’s been perfectly propped— though not very economically: the pair of custom Mercury propellers come with a price tag of $12,440. Ouch! The other debit is that its light weight makes Eliminator a trifle wake-sensitive. Even so, the Speedster came away with a report card that should appeal to everyone concerned—numerous 10 ratings (low and high-speed tracking,

steering wheel torque, overall maneuverability), with all 8s and 9s rounding out the remaining scores on trim sensitivity, bowrise, throttle response, etc. Perhaps the most important review comes from the boat’s owner. “It comes out of the hole really well and accelerates hard,” says Dondel, who builds race cars for a living. “And it’s quiet. My little girls hated riding in my MTI because of the two 1,400-hp big blocks in it were noisy. Also, my big boats cost a $1,000 a weekend in race gas to run. The Eliminator only costs $150 a weekend.” The Bottom Line: The 28 Speedster performs extremely well, it looks great and handles like a dream. “I think it’s one of Eliminator’s best boats—not only for an outboard, for an inboard too,” Teague says. “It just happened to be a home run. It’s a great boat with all sorts of power.” SPEEDBOAT |

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Nordic 34 Deck Boat Designed by Thane Tiemer, Nordic’s newest creation is their biggest addition to their line of spacious, deftly designed decks—and with twin 600 SCis, it’s plenty fast to boot.

Photos by y Kenny y

Dunlop p

Speedboat has been lucky high-rpm runs to enjoy its rock-solid The Package: Designed by Nordic’s Thane Tiemer, the biggest of the deckenough to test a variety of hulls performance. Last year, Nordic added a 34' to the boat family features a roomy 108” beam, from Lake Havasu-based Nordic Boats over the years, most frequently its range of closed-bow cats (24', 28') and vee-bottoms (21' Cyclone, 42' Inferno). Last year, though, they brought their 29 Deckboat to our test event. After back-toback tests in 2015 and 2016 (with a single I/O power and twin outboards, respectively), we understand why it’s become their best-selling model. It’s a fast, fun ride, smartly designed and sculpted for families who like to have a lot of room, stretch out and occasionally do some 26

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deckboat family, which also includes a 26'. The very first hull out of the mold was sold to customer Mick Manning— but not before Speedboat was given an opportunity to get some seat time in it. In fact, at press time, Nordic has been so busy that they haven’t had time to build another 34' for their inventory. But it’s likely that after publishing our report, they’ll need to put building another one of these at the top of their priority list. It’s a winner.

and our tester was pushed by a pair of Mercury 600 SCi with XR drives to guarantee triple-digit speeds. “We had a lot of customers who wanted to go faster, and the best way to achieve that in the 34 was to move to twin-engine power,” Tiemer says. The 600s seem like an ideal choice, although “some prospective customers have expressed an interest in installing 1100s, if you can believe it,” he adds. “Anything from 520s to 1100s would work well.” speedboat.com

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Nordic 34' Deck Boat Length: 34' Beam: 108" Engines on test boat: twin Mercury Racing 600 SCis Drives on test boat: Bravo XRs Price as tested: $299,900 Standard equipment: Isotta wheel, Livorsi gauges, Mercury Vessel View, built-in battery charger, wash down station, etc. Top speed: 107 mph @ 5,350 rpm Nordic Boats 770 North Lake Havasu Ave. Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403 (928) 855-7420 nordicboatsusa.com

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As you can see, the interior of the 34' is huge. Livorsi tachs and Mercury Vessel View adorn the dash on the driver’s side, with a lovely Isotta wheel and smartly positioned controls. The rear bench is a full wraparound design. There’s also tons of storage on this boat.

“We don’t offer a lot of options. Everybody gets the same highquality product. We have this joke around here that the only thing you can upgrade is your stereo and your motors.”—Thane Tiemer 28

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There’s room aboard for a dozen funloving souls—including lots of room in the bow area (which features two forward-sitting lounge seats) and a full wraparound rear bench to maximize the payload. Mold work on this model got a big thumbs-up from our graders, as well as test driver Bob Teague. “The colors on this boat are really pretty amazing,” he said, “and the gelcoat work is outstanding. There’s a ton of room in the boat, and it’s outfitted very nicely.” He also singled out the boat’s upholstered panels on top of the dash to knock down the glare from the windshield. The dash itself has an IMCO tilt helm with a blue Isotta steering wheel to match the colors of the boat. Dry-land inspector Greg Shoemaker raved about the boat’s workmanship, awarding all 10s to the exterior and mostly 9s and 10s to the every other speedboat.com

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aspect of the boat. Quality of construction, attention to detail and fit and finish got straight As—perfectly aligned with Nordic’s typically first-rate production standards. Performance: On a warm (85°F) October day in Havasu, our two crews took the 34' through its usual series of performance tests. The boat is superb at negotiating wind, chop and boat wakes without much disruption—it’s great going over rough water. “I’m going to give it high marks, somewhere in the 10 range,” says Teague. The 34' had very good acceleration. It came on plane in 6.14 seconds, and from sitting dead in the water to 20 seconds, it was able to reach 74 mph in 20 seconds. Throttle response was also outstanding, going from 40 to 60 in 5.33 seconds. It takes a while to eke out the

big number, which was 4 mph faster than the 103 mph Nordic predicted—and trust us when we say that manufacturers are overly optimistic on top speeds 99% of the time. Our top speed of 107 was achieved at 5,350 rpm. The only slight negative we could find was the tinting of the windscreens. “My personal preference would be to have tinted not so dark,” Teague says. “They do provide wind protection, but they feel like you are wearing dark sunglasses and I would like to have them just slightly lighter. But again, that’s just a matter of personal preference.” The Bottom Line: Nordic has done it again—this latest deckboat is a joy to drive at all speeds, it’s beautifully designed, looks great and really takes advantage of those 600 SCis. Time to get to work making more of them. SPEEDBOAT |

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Shockwave 28 Deck Photos by Kenny

Dunlop

Like the Eliminator and Nordic The Package: The 28 first had models reviewed in the previous to pass muster with our launch ramp pages, Shockwave’s 28' Deck team, led by Greg Shoemaker. Turning represents a boat that’s not only new to our test team—it’s also a larger version of a model in the company’s stable that we have previously tested. The last Shockwave deck we encountered was a year ago: the 22' Deck Boat, introduced in 2008. This 28 Deck, which debuted in ’07, promised six additional feet of extra fun and thrills—even if we did have to sacrifice the jet pump for a single 600 SCi engine with Bravo drive. We couldn’t wait to get started! 30

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a critical eye on every single aspect of the Shockwave, both inside and out, Shoe was massively impressed by all that he saw. Asked to grade dozens of the 28’s details, the vast majority of the ratings were 10s, with a few 9s rounding out the boat’s report card. From a purely workmanship aspect, that’s fairly incredible. Gelcoat, mold work and paint job got the highest scores, along with every single bit of the interior— including installation of seats, gauges,

carpet, steering, throttle and underdash wiring. The interior design isn’t radically different from most other decks, with a couple of exceptions. We’re used to the forward-facing seats in the bow area that are incorporated into the side-by-side benches, but Shockwave has upped the ante by providing backwards-facing back cushions as well—a novel way to sit two people portside (facing each other) and an additional two starboard the same way. Meanwhile, behind the driver and passenger, is a rear bench with three speedboat.com

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On the 10th anniversary of its debut, we finally get a shot at Bob Anderson’s immaculately designed and appointed family deckboat— with a 600SCi I/O leading the charge.

Length: 28' Beam: 102" Engines on test boat: single Mercury Racing 600SCi Drives on test boat: Bravo 1XR Price as tested: $181,535 Optional equipment: Upgrade to Merc 600, triple axle trailer, full hydraulic dual-ram steering, platimum stereo system, billet hydraulic hatch hinges, Aqua Steps, etc. Top speed: 84.5 mph @ 5,400 rpm Shockwave Custom Boats 1800 Capital Street Corona, CA 92880 (951) 898-9360 shockwaveboats.com

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Shockwave 28 Deck

Driver’s side dash sports Livorsi speedo and tach, as well as the Mercury Vessel View. There is a ridiculous amount of storage space on the 28. We liked the bowrider seats, with their front- and rear-facing back cushions, and the Aqua Step boarding ladders are a nice touch.

“This is a good boat for Lake Havasu, or for the river, or for just about anywhere you want to run around—even the Delta. It has a nice, secure feeling. I was impressed.” —Bob Teague 32

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individual seat areas; on the port side, there’s an additional “jump seat,” while the starboard side features a rear-entry staircase for easy access off or onto the boat from the transom. It’s a very cool layout. There are speakers, cupholders and storage compartments everywhere you look. Of special note are the bulkhead areas between the bow and the driver/ passenger, which open up with hydraulic lifts. There’s a hinged door inside that provides easy access to all wiring and controls in the back of the dash. The engine compartment was clean and well detailed, and we dug the vacuum-infused hatch cover, as well as the two self-retracting Aqua Step boarding ladders. Shockwave uses compression molding and compression latches in its construction process, so you don’t hear any doors rattling. “Ours are probably the speedboat.com

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only deck boats that have that,” boasts company president Bob Anderson. Overall, it’s an immaculate job. Performance: The 28 now faced our two pairs of drivers: first Alexi Sahagian and Tony Scarlata, followed by Bob Teague and Ray Lee. Team #1 reported that the 600 SCi performed exceptionally well around the docks. “Wide, single-engine cats sometimes get a little weird around the docks,” Alexi noted. “This one handled very well backing in and out of the docks and maneuvering at low speeds.” The boat came on plane well, was easy to drive, turned well and creeped up to its top speed with no problem, he added. Bob and Ray, meanwhile, were “very impressed with this boat,” Teague said. “It probably doesn’t get the amount of credit it should get. It does everything

really well. And it goes 84.5 mph. It turns at any speed, it leans in, it goes over flat water and all of the bumps well. It has no porpoise, no outside lean, no deceleration reaction...no issues at all.” In addition, Teague praised the Shockwave for its topnotch turning abilities. “I give it 10’s in the slaloms and in all of the speed ranges,” he said. “I like it a lot. It was perfect.” Our teams were thrilled with the latermodel Mercury display screen on the boat, as well as the dash layout and controls. “And the seats are very comfortable,” Teague added. The Bottom Line: It’s about time Shockwave brought us the 28. It’s not a Denali, it’s a Suburban—but a great one. It’s beautiful, it does everything right and it’s got plenty of room. We were impressed—and given the builder, that should come as no shock. SPEEDBOAT |

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Caliber1 2450 Phantom This nifty walk-through bowrider vee bottom features a super-cool gelcoat design with matching interior graphics.

Photos by Kenny

Dunlop

When customer Devon Jared decided to build a 2450 Phantom by Caliber 1 Custom Boats, he gave company co-owner Jason Clarke some excellent advice: “I told him, ‘Build it like you were building your own boat.’ And that’s what he did.” Shortly after Jared took delivery of the boat, our test team put it to the ultimate Havasu test for this issue. Here’s what we thought about his dream machine. The Package: Jared, a lineman based in Southern California, played a key role in designing the boat’s exterior and interior. Bored by all of the indistinguishable white and red boats on the water, Jared came up with a dynamic 34

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orange scheme with fades, then had Caliber 1 extend the gelcoat’s oranges into the super-cool upholstery, swim step and seat bases as well. “I really didn’t want solid white in the interior because of sun fade,” he explains. “Also, people always track dirt into it. We came up with something perfect.” Agreed—the end result is a design that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but durable and comfortable as well. The 2450 is one of six models offered by Caliber 1 in a lineup that starts with the 210 Magnum and moves up to the 280 Thunder, situating the Phantom dead center in the family. Caliber 1 builds both deep-vee and tunnel boats

in closed bow, walk-through, midcabin cuddy and deck-boat configurations— it would be difficult not to find something to your liking in their inventory. Base power on the Phantom is a 6.2L (320-hp) I/O setup; ours came with the 8.2L 502 HO (430 hp) with a Bravo 1X drive (a $9,500 upgrade) that the builder predicted would push the boat to 72 mph. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t.) Standard equipment includes a stereo with six speakers, dual batteries, single electric hatch ram, LED lights, billet bezels and an Extreme trailer. This particular boat was also equipped with a number of options, including a truly insane $12,000 JL Audio stereo system, Livorsi Monster gauges, speedboat.com

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Caliber 1 2450 Phantom Length: 23'6" Beam: 8' Engines on test boat: single Mercury 8.2L 502 HO Drives on test boat: Bravo 1X Price as tested: $89,900 Options on test boat: Engine upgrade, upgraded JL Audio stereo system, Livorsi Monster gauges, billet seat bases, custom fiberglass seat backs. Top speed: 67 mph @ 5,025 rpm Caliber 1 Custom Boats 905 Port Dr. Lake Havasu City, AZ 86404 (888) 780-8282 caliber1customboats.com

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Caliber1 2450 Phantom

The aweome gelcoat with matching interior were some of the real highlights of this 2450 Phantom. The bowrider section features the popular forward-facing seats to stretch out on, and the midsection contains facing loveseats, where you can get out of the sun.

“I love the boat. I love the way it accelerates. With this motor, I think I could change the prop and get a little more top-end speed if I wanted to.” —owner Devon Jared 36

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and the aforementioned billet seat bases and fiberglass seat backs to match the gelcoat. As the pictures will attest, this boat is nothing if not eye-catching. Given the choice of bow configurations, Jared opted for the walk-through version. “I didn’t think the boat was quite big enough for midcabin cuddy—it would have been difficult ducking down to go through to the front.” The walkthrough version was a bit more expensive, but worth it. Good call. Workmanship grades were positive, according to our test crew. “It’s a nice fit and finish, nice gelcoat,” said Bob Teague. The only real negative was the placement of controls: “It’s not where the controls are, it’s the other stuff next to the controls. You can’t get your hand between the throttle lever and the stereo speaker. A couple of times I needed to speedboat.com

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pull back and got my hand caught on the big JL Audio speaker. They just need to have that somewhere else.” Performance: The Phantom is relatively predictable for a vee bottom. It leans quite a bit into the turns, and turns relatively well, especially in flat conditions. There were quite a few boat wakes on Havasu the day of our test, which was something of a challenge for the boat. Still, Teague was sufficiently impressed to give an 8 on the 1-10 scale for the boat’s turning, throttle response and tracking capabilities. “The boat does have a deceleration reaction,” he says. “It pulls to one side a little bit. It’s about average for this size boat going over wakes and rough water. I’d give it an 8, because it’s great to be 8!” We’d love to see the boat with full hydraulic steering,

because it likes to move around a little bit and there was quite a bit of slop in the cable. The boat is not particularly sensitive to trim. About the time the boat really starts to carry, it runs out of propeller. But we liked the boat’s maneuverability at all speeds. It took 20 seconds to get to 62 mph; our top speed of 67 mph was achieved at 5,025 rpm. “The performance is pretty respectable for stock power,” Teague said. “I’m not saying the boat really needs to have more power. It’s a boat that most people can drive.” The Bottom Line: This is a nifty, affordable entry-level boat that looks great on and off the water. It would be ideal for a family looking for some extra room, cool styling and some modest performance capabilities. SPEEDBOAT |

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Britney Godsey on her 38' MTI, Project Mayhem. Site: Old Hickory Charity Poker Run, Nashville.

Where the Girls Are Weave an itinerary of sundrenched destinations, pierce them with the unique sensory overhaul that is imminent in the company of a contemporary offshore speedboat, and push the throttles forward. More often than not, you’ve created the “perfect storm” environment that pulls beautiful 38

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women into its orbit. At least, that’s been our experience on board the Speedboat juggernaut. The bathing beauties featured in our latest Swimsuit Extravaganza were photographed during a number of recent poker run and shootout events, including Desert Storm in Lake Havasu, AZ, the Old Hickory

photography by Todd Taylor Charity Poker Run in Nashville, TN, and the Texas Outlaw Challenge event in Kemah, TX. We found some of the most exotic and gorgeous young women at these venues, and we think you’ll agree that they look pretty darn nice in conjunction with the high-performance machines found at these locales! speedboat.com

2/3/17 4:35 PM


Stunning Stephanie Murphy Craven poses on the 40' Skater pictured on the cover of our Sept. 2016 issue.

A beautiful woman delights the eye; a wise woman, the understanding; a pure one, the soul. These astounding ladies delight every fiber of our being.

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Spring Swimsuit Spectacular Cidney and Simone make Desert Storm seem even more exciting as they view the action from the deck of this 40’ Skater.

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Jana Lee Miskovsky, last seen in January’s Poker Run Elite edition, poses on her 2017 DCB M35 Widebody, powered by twin 1350 Mercury Racing engines.

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Spring Swimsuit Spectacular

Kelly Goff gets her turn to pose on the 40' Skater at the Old Hickory Charity Poker Run.

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Keli Lockwood (left) and Melissa Nelson enjoy the sight of this Skater’s twin 700 SCi power.

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ELITE t h e P oke r Run

ELITE

Jake & Gina

NOSSAMAN Double trouble! This Oklahoma couple gets their thrills in an MTI cat—and a Statement center console!

Photos by David

Dilks

J

ake Nossaman was a high-school senior pany grow by leaps and bounds, and its phenomenal success has when he purchased his first boat—a 17' allowed the Nossamans to enjoy the best of what performance

VIP open-bow runabout. When the performance bug bit, he went through a series of Fountains, Eliminator and six (!) DCBs. As his family has grown larger (he and wife Gina have four kids), he has finally settled— for the time being, at any rate—on a 48' MTI cat and a 380 Statement SUV center console model, and you’re likely to see both ships at the poker runs. “We had them both at LOTO,” Jake says. “We love Lake of the Ozarks. We’ve been going up there for the past ten years.” Nossaman, who launched his Collision Works repair shops across Oklahoma and Kansas back in 2001, has seen the com44

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boating has to offer. Both the MTI and the Statement are called Wired Up; the cat is powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines, while his center-console vee bottom has triple Mercury Verado 400R outboards. As different as they are, the boats sport similar color schemes and graphics. “Yes, they match,” Jake says. “It’s a matched pair.” In addition to LOTO, the Nossamans have attended the Florida Powerboat Club’s poker run to Key West, and this year hope to attend the Lake Cumberland Poker Run, as well as the Tickfaw 200. Jake, 39, has been married for six years; he and Gina have two girls, Ashlyn and Madison, and two boys, Tyler and Caden. speedboat.com

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The Nossamans’ Wired Up 48' MTI, with its truly amazing LED lighting, is displayed at LOTO on a tilt trailer. The eight-seat MTI features plush Alcantara interior and SeaDek flooring—just as the couple’s 38' Statement center console does.

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Jake & Gina Nossaman

The MTI, which is stored in the Nossaman’s home state of Oklahoma, is towed by their Sport Chassis, seen above during the day and night. Right: the two Wired Up boats docked together. Both boats have large 24" Garmin displays on the dash.

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Jake & Gina Nossaman

The Wired Up Statement 380 SUV is housed in Fort Lauderdale, FL, ready to take on the Atlantic Ocean or the Intercoastal at a moment’s notice. The boat sports Statement’s unique “S-top” design. The boat can accommodate a truly breathtaking amount of passengers; it’s the ultimate party boat.

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FACTORY TOUR Company CEO Patrick Jones, VP of Sales Fred Scuncio and Director of Operations Zack Bale.

BOAT

BLING Story by Brett

Bayne • Photos by Ray Lee

S

ome products are lucky enough to meet with success within the per-

formance marine market and persevere. But it’s exceedingly rare that a product launched within our industry goes on to experience the kind of crossover success into other markets that Boat Bling has enjoyed. The story starts 10 years ago, with the friendship of Tom Kruse and Patrick Jones, who connected on the old Hot Boat Magazine online forums. Kruse, who owned a Howard Bullet, offered a ride to Jones, who was interested in purchasing one. “He and I became good friends,” Patrick recalls. “He had this idea for a cool billet engine cowling that would fit over the 496 HO. As an architect, he had an amazing design and I told him I could sell it, so we started making them.” The engine covers were a high-quality 50

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Hot Sauce, Vinyl Sauce, etc. have expanded beyond the high-performance marine market—and far beyond the United States.

product—curved, etched and CNC’d, but soon enough a competitor arrived on the scene with a cheap aluminum alternative, and the partners soon realized that the market wasn’t big enough to sustain a business that just made engine covers. “We needed something that every boater could use—the jetski owner, performance boater, wakeboarder and so on,” Patrick says. Ultimately, the pair turned their attention to a cleaning product opportunity they branded as the Sauce line, officially born in 2006. Since then, they have worked tirelessly to redefine, improve and develop a superior series of chemicals made by the boater, for the boater. In addition to being very effective, the Boat Bling sauces were packaged and marketed very deftly, capturing the imaginations as well as the admiration of customers. Although the entire line debuted simultaneously, the first product name to be

conceived was Hot Sauce; Vinyl Sauce and Transom Sauce quickly followed. Hot Sauce was developed and refined in the harsh waters of the Colorado River, and has evolved into the finest marine multiple-purpose cleaner detailer available. Designed to easily clean and protect your investment, Hot Sauce is safe for all marine surfaces, including plexiglass, plastic, paint and clear coat, chrome, polished aluminum, colored or clear anodized aluminum, and gelcoat. Boat Bling’s first few dealers includedCobra Performance Boats, Teague Custom Marine and Absolute Speed and Marine. Patrick made sure everybody got samples, and manufacturers were quick to warm up to the products. After Boat Bling started to gain traction through the online forums, more people began to discover how well it worked. “Boatbuilders would sell it or put together kits for new owners and new speedboat.com

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boats,” Patrick says. Later, Patrick began to push to secure distribution. Small and regional distributors were the first to take the product to customers; now the sauces are sold through big-time outlets like Mercury, Land & Sea, West Marine and many others. This was a key reason Boat Bling catapulted its popularity into other marine segments—for example, it reached an entirely new market with support from national retailers like Cabela’s. “The recreational boaters— including the wakeboard and fish-boat markets—are massive for us,” Patrick says. In the early years of Boat Bling, every bottle was filled, assembled, labeled, boxed and shipped by Patrick and Zack Bale out of their Phoenix digs. After heading up its headquarters for five years with a 3,000-square-foot warehouse in Phoenix, Boat Bling transitioned its production to a facility in Southern California two years ago. Speedboat toured the company’s stateof-the-art fulfillment/manufacturing facility, where a dedicated staff now does the heavy lifting. Boat Bling now sells Hot Sauce, Toon Sauce, Vinyl Sauce, Condition Sauce and Quickie Sauce—individually and in special packages and different sizes (i.e., quart, gallon, five-gallons). Boat Bling’s VP of Sales, Fred Scuncio, attends the Dubai Boat Show annually, and works with a distributor who sells in Dubai and Kuwait; the sauces are also sold in Australia, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean. “We have international presence now,” he says. “Fred travels to those locations and does a great job for us globally.” One of the keys to Boat Bling’s success is its mastery of marketing initiatives. Its ultimate goal to inspire pride in ownership. “Originally, we wanted to stop people from using vinegar and water, which would ruin their gelcoats,” Patrick says. “We wanted to prove that by using our products, you could boat more, clean less, and still have a boat that’s in showroom condition. We set out to change the behavior of boaters to protect and take pride in their investment, to make it look better for the amount of money they’re spending and their time and effort.” speedboat.com

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Above: A row of large holding tanks and mixing vats where the raw chemicals are made into sauces that are produced in large batch forms and stored until they’re ready to be bottled.

Above and below left: Sauces are produced in these smaller vats as well. Purified water is always used in the creation of the products. Above: Condition Sauce can be seen just above an area where foam overflow is captured.

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Boat Bling

Top left and right: Batches of 1,500 empty bottles are taken into the shop and stored until they’re ready to be filled. Right and above left and right: Labels for various different sizes of Hot Sauce bottles are applied mechanically. The labels themselves are manufactured at a location very close to the Boat Bling factory.

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Boat Bling

Above: The bottles are filled and tops are screwed on tight.

Those goals remain the company’s credo to this day—inspiring pride in ownership. They have taken what they’ve learned in the performance boating segment and applied it to every other market segment in the boating arena. Now that they’ve resonated in all of the marine segments and taken their sauces across the globe, what’s next for Boat Bling? The future, it turns out, is full of incredible possibilities. “We have an aggressive growth plan and an aggressive marketing plan,” Patrick says. “Now that we have worldwide distribution, we will continue to go into new market segments, and we’ll start rolling out new products in the future.” One idea he hopes to develop is a prod-

uct that revolutionizes the way people clean their saltwater boats—not just a 51' Outerlimits, but for a 33' Sea Ray cruiser that sits in Dana Point, or a center console running along Florida’s Intercoastal. “We want to offer a product that will help everyone clean their boats in saltwater. But because of EPA rules, you can’t just spray a bunch of product on and then wipe it off into the ocean. We’re pushing for a revolutionary, eco-friendly product for all market segments, and one of the pushes we want to make is innovation in the saltwater world.” For more information, or to find a dealer to buy products, please visit boatbling.net.

Summer Richardson, aka Desert Storm’s “Queen of the Desert,” uses Hot Sauce on the Dial 911 Skater.

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legends

Story and Photos by Paul

Kemiel Interview by Brett Bayne

Last year, Speedboat paid tribute to outboard tunnel-boat competitor Bill Seebold Jr., who along with his father and sons Mike and Tim, is part of the winningest family in professional motorsports. This month, we tip our hat to his son, Formula One champion Tim Seebold, who has retired after a career that has spanned 44 years.

Tim Seebold

F

ormula One tunnel boat racer Tim Seebold of Osage Beach, MO, announced at the beginning of the 2016 USF1 Powerboat Tour Series that he would be retiring after the end of the current racing

season. The “Last Lap Tour� concluded a career which spanned 44 years as driver, winner and champion. Tim, 52, started racing at 8 years old in a Junior Stock hydro powered by a 6.5-hp engine with a top speed of 38 mph. Seebold won his first championship at age 17 driving a Mod 50 boat to a Mod 90 class Marathon Nationals.

1994: Tim drives #16 Smilin Jacks in Bay City, MI (below). 1995: Tim returns to Bay City (above).

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1997: Tim wins the race in Mission Bay, San Diego, CA, driving the ANCO-sponsored #16 boat. Above: dad Bill Jr. (third place), Tim (first) and Alden Thornton (second).

caption

Career highlights include world record holder Mod 90 in 1982, Marathon National champion 1982, 1990, 1991. SST140 National Champion 1990-91-9394. PROP Tour F1 champion 1998-99 and ChampBoat Series champion 2002 and 2004. It’s been a stellar Formula One racing career, during which he accumulated a total of 16 world championships, 13 North American championships in ChampBoat and Formula One catagories in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2015, 2016. He also competed in the USF1 Powerboat Tour Series circuit, where he nabbed back-to-back title wins in 20152016. Tim is the only driver in U.S. history to win seven ChampBoat and USF1 championships. Seebold has amassed a total of 33 career F1 victories and is the winningest driver in the USF1 Powerboat Tour Series. Tim’s last F1 win was at the Maple City Grand Prix in LaPorte, IN, in June 2016. The end of his Formula One career was a fitting one indeed. It unfolded at the Three Rivers Regatta in Pittsburgh in early August 2016. Seebold managed to finish one position ahead of Terry Rinker in the Final Heat in seventh place, while Rinker finished in eighth. Tim ended up winning the 2016 USF1 National Championship by just 1 point (394) over Greg Foster (393) and Terry Rinker (393), speedboat.com

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Speedboat Legends

2000: Driving the Sun Caresponsored machine, Tim wins a race in Laughlin, NV (above left). Above: Tim, Bill Jr. and Mike. 2003: Tim competes in the Bud Light-sponsored #1 boat for a second-place finish competing against his brother Mike in the Centurionsponsored #11 boat (left). 2005: Tim wins a Bay City, MI, race driving another Bud Lightsponsored tunnel (below left). 2008: The Bud Light crew celebrates Tim’s first place finish in Naples, FL (bottom left).

who tied in the final standings. Thus, the three generations of the Seebold family officially ends a Formula One tunnel boat racing era after 77 years: Bill Seebold Sr., the pioneer of the sport beginning in 1939, to Bill Seebold Jr., considered the greatest racer of all time, covering a 46 year career with 69 world and national titles and more than 900 race victories. The legacy includes Tim’s brother Mike, who has won numerous F1 and Offshore world and national championships. Now that the retirement dust has settled, Tim hopes to promote the sport by recruiting new drivers and finding race sites across the country. Speedboat sat down with Tim to discuss his career, his crew, and his plans for the future. SPEEDBOAT: You started racing when you were only eight years old, in Stock Outboard class. TIM SEEBOLD: Yes. It was an 8-foot hydroplane and it had a 6½-hp Mercury outboard on it. I don’t remember what 58

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association I was racing for, but I was 8 and my brother was 13 when we got going. And my grandpa bought us a couple of Chance Crafts built by Tim Chance of the St. Louis area. Basically, they were made out of lauan, a wood used for door paneling. You’d run them for a season and then you’d burn them at the end of the season because they were all used up. It was a lot of fun. We had eight or nine kids in the St. Louis area and we’d run at different events. Back around 1973, we ran in the St. Louis Grand Prix in between my dad’s races. SB: Do you remember your first-ever race? TS: The first race I ever ran was at Horseshoe Lake. My grandfather, who was in the Kiwanis, used to put on an alky race there, so that’s where we would run. Normally we’d run three or four times per year. You’d go out and test, drive the boat and learn the beginning stages of racing—how you did it, and all about props and the setup of the boats. It was a lot of fun. We did that mainly with my grandfather, because my dad had his business and was off racing of his own. SB: So there were three generations of Seebolds in all. Neither your or your brother Mike have any kids? TS: No. But we also have an older sister named Kim and a younger brother, Billy. But my younger brother never raced. He loved driving the boats, but never got into racing. SB: How did it happen that all three generations of Seebold somehow wound up with the same competitive fever? TS: Well, we were around the sport 24/7. My grandfather raced and had a marine dealership, as well as my father. In 1974, my dad sold his marine dealership, but continued to race. Dad had raced since he was 11. So it was just in the family. Kids always have heroes and want to be like their heroes or the people they look up to. The only difference for me was that it was my family. I started a racing a little early and just progressed from there. We also rode a lot of motorcycles, go-carts and four-wheelers throughout the years. My mom wasn’t overly excited for us to get into boat racing, but that’s what our family wanted to do, and we did it. speedboat.com

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Speedboat Legends 2015: Tim wins a race in LaPorte, IN, driving the NGK Spark Plugssponsored #16 boat (top left). 2016: The NGK Spark Plugs crew portrait during Tim’s farewell tour in Bay City, MI (below). Below right: Tim finishes third in the NGK Spark Plugs boat, Bay City, MI.

But my dad never pushed us into it. If anything, they tried to steer us into a different direction. But I was the kid drawing race boats at school and that’s all I was ever thinking about. So, I just wanted to be like them and go and race with them. SB: Thinking back on your career, which races are the most memorable? TS: I’ve had the good fortune to be able to be able to race in a lot of different areas across the world. But the first time you win a national championship or set a world record is very exciting. Of course, that was a long time ago, back when I was 17. When you grow up in boat racing— particularly at that time—your competition wasn’t with other kids. Once you got out of the J Stock Hydro class, and started going up the ladder into different classes, you’re racing against grown men. The first professional race I ran, I was 13, driving a C Service Runabout. At that time, I was the only kid in that class. When I turned 16, I started running on the national circuit. At that time, the Great Lakes Boat Club had a very good 60

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circuit in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, so we ran a lot of those races too. But I was competing against all men, especially in the Mod-50, which I ran back then. So for me, the first time I ever won a championship and set a world record, I was 17. That was huge. SB: Any other highlights? TS: Well, in 1991, I won the Mod-U

national championship and won the IOGP series in the SST-140 class. That was a really big step for me. SB: Racing in St. Louis, you had a spectacular accident that destroyed your boat and nearly prevented you from going to the final. Fortunately, you were able to get a backup boat from Billy Joule. TS: And I ended up winning the race! You always dream of winning the St. Louis race, but to go through that whole experience where I blew over and ended up in the woods, and everybody thinks the worst...and then you come walking out of the woods, and on Sunday afternoon you’re standing on top of the podium! That was one of the craziest weekends I’ve ever had. You talk to guys who raced their whole lives, and if they could have won just one race, it would have been St. Louis. It’s the Indy 500 of tunnel boat racing. And to do it in your home town, in front of your family and friends, was a huge accomplishment for me and a very important race. Another highlight for me was going abroad and winning races, such as the speedboat.com

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Speedboat Legends Green Cup in Lake Ashinoko, Japan, right at the base of Mount Fuji, in 1994. That was a great experience. Winning Pittsburgh back-to-back, in 1995 and ’96, was a great thrill. That era had some of the best tunnel boat racers that ever lived in the Formula One class. You’d go to a race and it would be my dad, my brother, Scott Gillman, Greg Foster, Benny Robertson, Rusty Campbell,

family and friends and my crew members, who were able to share the experience with me, because they deserve it as much as I did. SB: Is there anybody you’d like to single out from your crew? TS: It’s been 44 years, so the crew has been rotating throughout my racing career. But I owe a lot to my friends

Tim Seebold battles sponson to sponson with his father Bill Jr. in their respective Bud Light hulls at a 1995 race in Bay City, MI. Terry Rinker and others that I’m sure I’m leaving out. But at that time, you legitimately had eight to 10 guys who could win any race. It was super competitive. I can remember starting a lot of those races in eighth place after the qualifying heats. Another huge highlight for me, was winning the Formula One series in 1998 for the first time. That was very important to me, to be considered a legitimate Formula One driver and to be deserving of my last name. I had to win a Formula One Championship to solidify that. So when I first won it in 1998, that was an unbelievable achievement for me in my own mind. SB: You got your own team the following year, in 1999. TS: That year was also great. It was a small team. I had one boat, one powerhead, one gear case and only a couple of props, and I won the series without ever winning a race. That was huge. Being the all-time Formula One race winner in the U.S. is something to be proud of. Winning seven Formula One Championships was fantastic. It’s not only about me—it’s also about the great 62

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Steve “Sog” Sharaga, Charlie Shaeffer and Matt Serra. Another friend, Craig “Termite” Erb, helped me a ton. He used to help us build the boats. Then there’s my dad, and my wife, Debbie. SB: Your brother Mike was a huge influence on your racing career as well. TS: Absolutely. He and I were very competitive. It didn’t matter if we were riding bicycles or skateboards or motorcycles or boats. We could get last and secondto-last—as long as you beat the other one! Over the years, that was probably the biggest thing that pushed me— and hopefully him—to be able to get to another level in the craft of racing. Not just driving, but with propellers, boat setup, etc. You have to be able to know all of that. SB: Let’s talk about last year’s racing, where you won the national championship by a single point. TS: That was the last race in the USF1 Series. It was Pittsburgh, the last race of the season. It had been a very pressure filled year for me, because I announced my retirement before the season. My crew and I had worked tirelessly in

hopes of winning the last go-round, for the final time. You want to go out on top; that’s everybody’s dream. I don’t care what sport it is. So Terry and Rinker and I were tied on points, and Greg Foster was just 7 points behind us. We went through qualifying, and it’s extremely rough, a very challenging course. After the two heat races, Terry and I were still tied. So we went into the final. Greg Foster was on pole, I was second and Terry was third. The water was rough. Then on lap 26 of 30, I barrel-rolled. When I did, they had to tow me in. My thought was, “I just lost the championship.” SB: But even though you were unable to continue due to problems caused by the accident, you still ended up finishing one position ahead of Terry Rinker in the final heat. TS: Which was kind of crazy, because back in 2001, we got 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the championship and I got 3rd that year. I think Foster was 1st, Terry was second and I was third, and there were two points that separated all three of us. This time, it was first through third, and there was one point that separated us. It was a hell of a rollercoaster, but we were able to win the championship and luck had a heck of a lot to do with it. SB: So what’s next for you? TS: One of the reasons I got out of the cockpit was the fact that I wanted to try and help the sport before I’m not involved in it anymore. So I’ve got a lot of contacts and a lot of people throughout the years that I’ve been associated with and I want to try and use them, use my name and all my good fortune to try and help the sport of boat racing. That’s my goal. I’d like to thank all my crew members that helped me throughout my years of racing, as well as all of the fans who have supported not only me, but the entire Seebold family for the last 77 years of racing. It wouldn’t have been possible without their friendship and dedication. speedboat.com

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MY VIEW CHRIS DAVIDSON [Continued from page 8] for a customer who was color-blind). That notwithstanding, the 22' Domn8er deckboat is a great buy. Over the past year, the Speedboat brand has continued to establish itself with readers. Publishing nine issues a year has really made a difference with subscription orders. Each day we receive five to six new orders via Paypal, thanks in large part to all the work Ray Lee is doing on Instagram and Facebook, where we have built up more than 50,000 and 70,000 users, respectively. Thank you, Ray.

Final note: I temporarily lost my gold Speedboat necklace during the tests at the Nautical Resort—it fell through the wood planks at the docks where we set up our base every year. Fortunately, after crawling around on the rocky shoreline underneath the platform the next morning, I was able to locate it among the sand and pebbles (above). I immediately snatched it and put it on over my head once again. I love Speedboat and the team we have, and this necklace is a cherished symbol of all we have created.

the eye and pocketbook. This is a working man’s boat that provides both sex appeal and great value. Bob has single-handedly created a company from honing his original craft as one of the industry’s best riggers in the 90s to one of the best value boats with great handling and aesthetics. Domn8er Boats has become a very visible fixture in our industry, although I have occasionally found it to be somewhat perplexing. Owner Dory Sarafin, a great guy with a genuine passion for our sport, owns quite a large collection of molds. The 22' deck boat is one of the best valued boats built at $50,000, but we do sometimes encounter some minor issue during our tests This year, it was a confounding color combination—an all red metallic gelcoat paint scheme with a mismatched (but well done) black and tan interior with a gray floor. I don’t think I was alone in finding it a tad unsightly (I overheard several team members commenting on it), but the boat did run exceptionally well, and had a great deal of storage space. This model would be a terrific choice for an entry-level boater (although this particular one would be most suitable speedboat.com

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November 2016

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New Products BRETT BAYNE

Lubricant 101 from Teague

It's back, by popular demand! The search for the real deal: After being discontinued from many marine distributors’ lines, Teague Custom Marine of Valencia, CA, has taken action to source this grease product. Special Lubricant 101 is TCM’s preferred grease for use in marine applications, and it’s now available for sale at both retail and wholesale levels. Special Lubricant 101 is a highquality multipurpose lubricant containing Teflon, designed to reduce friction and provide a protective coating in a variety of applications (including uses in boats, cars, motorhomes and motorcycles). Its recommended uses include steering systems, cable linkages, throttle and shift cables and linkages, remove controls, prop shafts, swivel pins, drive shaft splines, tilt lock mechanisms, tilt tubes and hinge pins. This grease is water resistant in nature. Some of the key benefits are protection against corrosion, prevention of metal-to-metal contact, and reduced friction. The grease is available in a 5-ounce jar with brush top or 8-ounce squeeze tube. For more information or to purchase the product, call (661) 295-7000 or visit teaguecustommarine.com. 64

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Spark Plug Wires

Torrance, CA-based Edelbrock has introduced its Max-Fire Ultra-Spark performance spark plug wires for V8 engines. These performance spark plug wires are manufactured in the USA from highestquality materials to help deliver maximum voltage, ensuring the ultimate performance for engine output. The wires have an extremely high EMI/ RFI suppression, along with a very low resistance to help deliver the most spark possible. They feature a heavy duty 8.5mm diameter silicone jacket to protect the Kevlar spiral wound core from heat, moisture and chemicals. Max-Fire offers two levels of spark plug wires: Ultra-Spark 500 and UltraSpark 50. Ultra-Spark 500 is a great choice for replacing OEM wires and are value priced. They feature high-quality leads that deliver 500 ohms of EMI/RFI noise suppression with low resistance. They are ideal for daily drivers and for budget builds, offering the best combination of value and performance. Meanwhile, Ultra-Spark 50 spark plug wires are engineered for high-performance engines that need all of the voltage they can get for maximum power output. They are made with wire leads that deliv-

er a low 50 ohms of resistance per-foot for maximum EMI/RFI noise suppression. This makes them ideal for engines with aftermarket high performance upgrades that require maximum voltage. Max-Fire Universal spark plug wire sets feature the same high quality as the company’s model specific sets, but give the user the flexibility to tailor them to fit their V8 application perfectly. Each kit has the spark plug boot preinstalled from the factory and is available in straight or 90° boots. The straight boot sets are a "Vari-Angle" boot. This allows the boots to be bent and hold their position in tight areas to clear headers. They include early OEM socket style and late style HEI plug distributor terminals. They are available in both performance levels; Ultra-Spark 500 and Ultra-Spark 50. Each kit includes 8 spark plug wires (varying lengths), points style terminals, HEI plug style terminals, straight distributor boots, 90° distributor boots, distributor to coil wire, dielectric grease and installation instructions. Will require the use of a wire crimping tool to complete the installation. For more information, visit edelbrock. com. speedboat.com

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Brett’s NEW YEAR FAST FEST See Page 76

ALSO:

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The Year of the

SPEER When he’s not conquering the stock-car racing circuit, Tyler Speer is winning his class in the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series.

Photos by Mark

McLauglin, R. Michelle Percival & Marsha Waz

I

n the auto-racing uni- pursuit of his stock-car career, he’s often verse, there’s a stock car at the helm of a wicked-fast hydro racing series known as ARCA, boat in the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series?”

formally known as the Automobile Racing Club of America. Naturally, this professional league has its own website, its own speed heroes and, inevitably, its own articles about the sport and its racers. A few years ago, ARCA published a feature story about its rising star, Tyler Speer. After rattling off some of his accomplishments, the story asked: “Did you know that when Speer isn’t in 66

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Speedboat magazine might well ask the reverse question: Did you know that when Speer isn’t targeting the Lucas Oil World Championship trophy, he’s also racing on dirt and asphalt—sometimes during the same season? It’s true. Speer has been pulling doubleduty on the track and on the water, and his hard work has paid off in spades—especially on the liquid quarter mile.

The son of dragboat racer Tim Speer (founder of the Woodstock, GA-based service center ProBoat), Tyler began racing go-karts at the age of 12. He moved into the Allison Legacy Series when he turned 15, where he won one event and finished fourth in the championship points during the 2009 season. He launched his ARCA career in 2010 and has competed all over the country, including events like the Super Chevy Store 100 in Springfield, IL, the Talladega Aarons Dream Weekend in speedboat.com

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Above: Tyler with dad Tim Speer pose in front of one of their many ARCA racecar competitors. Left: Tyler drives the Climax boat in Pro Mod class during the 2016 Lucas Oil World Finals.

Lincoln, AL, and the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Embarking on his amphibious racing career, Speer rapidly adapted to the change of scenery, qualifying first in his debut race and winning races shortly thereafter. By season’s end, Speer and his Amphibious Motorsports team had earned a seventh-place finish in their first full Lucas Oil Drag Boats season. Speer spent 2015 honing and perfecting his boat-racing skills, then returned last year with eagerness and enthusiasm, jugspeedboat.com

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gling both auto and boat races—sometimes having to really hustle to make it to back-to-back events. His 2016 Lucas Oil season astonished many when he entered the World Finals in Phoenix with a narrow points lead—and then went on to finish the event as World Champion. Pro Modified class is arguably the toughest class in drag boat racing, and the 2016 finals participants included three racers with a World Championship on the line. Speer and his #410 Climax boat maintained a tight lead over Kevin

Helms in Tommy Thompson’s Fist Full of Dollars and Jimmy Booher’s Hillbilly Express. Despite encountering several mechanical gremlins and speed bumps during the qualifying runs, Speer tackled every problem head on to capture the title when both Booher and Helm went out in earlier rounds. Following his win, Speedboat caught up with Speer in the Lucas Oil booth as he signed autographs during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis last December. S P E E D B O A T | March 2017

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Tyyler Speer Speer drives the Hedman Huslersponsored Climax in Pro Mod class in this image captured by photographer R. Michelle Percival.

(His Top Fuel boat Shockwave was the main attraction in the Hedman Husler Hedders booth.) We asked him about his multifaceted racing career and his plans for the future. SPEEDBOAT: What do you remember about your early days of boating? TYLER SPEER: I’d been around boats forever, but never actually raced anything. The first time I ever made a pass was in a 19-foot Edge jetboat that my dad and I had built in 2013 called Trophy Girl. I was just making a licensing-type pass for the guy who was actually racing it—he just let me do the testing that day. SB: You raced the Shockwave machine in Top Fuel last year, but you won the Worlds with the Climax boat in Pro Mod. Was it fully set up when you purchased it? TS: When we bought Climax in 2014, it was just a bare hull. Nothing was bolted on it—we got everything in Ziploc baggies. That wasn’t a bad thing, because I had never put a capsule together 68

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before, and some of the equipment was unknown to me. Chris Vandergriff from Hedman Headers helped a lot. Bob Montgomery of the Liquid Quiker team assisted us, and Andy Dement helped us assemble the latch system. My dad does a lot of the motor and bottom work on the boat. With a lot of collaborative help, we got everything put together. SB: So your first stab at boat racing really wasn’t until 2014. TS: Actually, our plan for 2014 was just to get licensing. That’s all we were planning to do; we weren’t running anything. The first national event we attended was in Livermore, KY, where we did a half-track deal just to feel everything out. Then we went to Wheatland, MO, and got licensed there. Our first full season was in 2015. SB: What gives you that competitive edge racing against others on the course? TS: My dad, who is our crew chief and a former high points champion, speedboat.com

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Speer made his first-ever pass in this Edge hull in 2013.

has been a major inspiration ever since we started on the stock car side of it, so I owe a lot of it to him. I’d also have to credit our talent for preventative maintenance. We always go through everything thoroughly and we tear down those boats pretty much after every race we attend. A lot of our competitors on other teams say, “You treat that like a fuel boat.” That’s correct. We tear the ARCA car down after every race, because there are so many moving parts on a stock car, and that’s what we’re accustomed to. Our 2015 season was a huge learning curve because we didn’t know how long parts lasted. We didn’t know anything about hemis before we got into this—we were learning the boat and the motor, how long things need to last, how often they need to be changed, etc. So 2015 was a year of gathering information.

SB: Last year was a series of highs and lows for the team. What happened? TS: We didn’t get off to a good start. We qualified dead last at the first race. At the first Phoenix race, some of the changes we made weren’t working out, so we missed the first round of qualifying. We couldn’t get a handle on where we needed to be for the tuneup. So we qualified dead last and ended up going out the first round. We didn’t qualify at all the first round of the second race at Parker either. They only ran two rounds anyway, before strong winds canceled the race. But then everything started to come together a little bit at Wheatland and then in San Angelo, TX. That’s when we started going in the right direction. Our success had a lot to do with the people who were helping us, as well as my dad’s background and knowledge. Plus a lot of

Speer also campaigned the formerLiquid Quiker boat, now known as Shockwave, in Pro Mod class last year. Photo courtesy Marsha Roberts Waz.

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what I had learned on the stock cars, like tearing things down. A lot of it is stuff we never would have caught or found if we didn’t go through it the way we did. Something was always just a little bit “off,” and we’re good at adjusting for those movements. All of those little details made a huge difference in how the season played out. SB: Driving both a car and a boat last year must have presented some interesting challenges. TS: Yes. We had a dirt race last year at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois, but it was scheduled the same day as a Lucas Oil race at Wheatland. Typically the car race is on a Monday, but they moved it to Sunday night. So as soon as I finished racing Climax at Wheatland, we rented a little puddle jumper plane and flew to DuQuoin. One of the officials picked us up at the tiny airport they have there. He drove us over and we qualified. We never got to practice—the first practice lap was qualifying. We qualified 15th and we finished seventh. If we’d gotten a chance to practice, I’ll bet we could have gotten at least in the top five or even the top three. But for never having any laps in it and just going out and winging it, I think we did very well. SB: So what is your plan for the 2017 season? TS: We’re planning on running the Climax boat in Pro Outlaw this year, and the Shockwave boat in Top Fuel. We’d like to participate in five races. SB: We’re looking forward to seeing you on the course. Best of luck to you and your crew! TS: Thanks. I’d like to thank a few people. My girlfriend, Joslynn Wilde, handles my Facebook and social media stuff. Our friends Brian and Brook Ousley, as well as Justin Roach, come to most of the races. And finally, my mom runs ProBoat when my dad and I are away. She’s the one who holds down the fort at the shop while we’re out playing. S P E E D B O A T | March 2017

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Pirate Party Photos by Todd Taylor

Old-school flatties, V-drives and dragboats add spice to the 6th Annual River Rockets Boat Show.

P

irate Cove Resort, the “secluded California oasis” located 11 miles

southeast of Needles, CA, recently hosted the 6th Annual River Rockets Boat Show presented by “Billy B” Berkenheger. As in previous years, vintage hot boats gathered at Moabi Regional Park, on the banks of the Colorado River, for a rousing show of bling, color and power. “Every year it just seems to grow,” Berkenheger told Speedboat. “And this year in particular, there were a lot of boats that I haven’t seen before. That makes it nice, because you meet different people and you get to see different boats.” Among the boats new to the event: a blown big-block crackerbox competitor that Berkenheger describes as “pretty wild,” along with an alcohol-powered bubble deck hull. “It was a typical blown injected Chevrolet, but you rarely see that on a flatbottom any more,” he says. “It’s usually a Cole or a Hondo or something like that.” Many older hulls were represented, he adds, including one brought by Mike Smith of Northern California, who traveled to the show with a couple of his buddies. “It’s actually working out really neat and it’s fun to see it,” Berkenheger says.

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Left: Dominick Napoleon’s Sanger Bubble Deck has a 427 Chevy with 1471 blower. Below: A late ‘80s 21' Schiada River Cruiser.

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Pirate Party

“A” Game belongs to Tyler Stevensen of Tucson. It’s a long deck 18' Hallett. 72

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Teacher’s Pet

Bill and Gina Wishart of San Jose, CA, debuted their newly restored 1968 17’ Stevens Silhouette at the Needles event. Purchased via Craigslist four years ago from a seller in Yuba City, CA, the boat—then sporting a black paint job—was in fairly disgraceful shape. “It had a Ford big block FE motor in it when I first saw it,” Bill says. “I made a deal to purchase it without the motor, and set it up with a 350 Small block Chevy.” Subsequently, it was given to Harlan Orrin a year ago; six weeks later, Orrin had built a brand-new zebrawood deck for the boat. The boat is now powered by a 1957 Chrysler Hemi 392 c.i. engine. Look for a full restoration article in a future issue of Speedboat.

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Pirate Party

Lance and Debbie Oster of Lake Havasu in their California Performance gullwing hull. It’s powered by a 526 Pontiac big-block Chevy.

Ron Minegar’s Rayson Craft.

Blew-by-You, a Rogers V-drive cruiser.

A 20' Rayson Craft flattie owned by Steve Whitney of Lake Havasu.

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A rather rare 20' Mandella Step Deck, owned by Casey Soens of Tucson, AZ.

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Event organizer “Billy B” Berkenheger.

Dave Kahn’s 1972 23' Bob Warren Hurricane.

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Rockin’ the New Year Lake Elsinore, CA, continues an annual tradition by christening 2017 with a wild collection of V-drivin’ maniacs.

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Photography by Mark

McLaughlin

S

outhern California’s Lake Elsinore has become the

place to ring in the new year, according to the V-drive community. Wade Addington, owner of Elsinore’s Weekend Paradise RV Park, has been inviting these go-fast enthusiasts to celebrate New Year’s Day at his venue for seven years running, and there’s no telling who will show up—from Lucas Oil dragracing superstar Tony Scarlata (who brought out his new white flatbottom) to Greg Duff, who made some hot laps in his Boot Barnsponsored Pro Stock machine. Then there were the electrifying runs by Steve Faist in his original factory Cole TR3 Spooky BGF featured in last year’s September issue. The event has become a veritable Who’s Who of fast boats. “The water was a little green, but it was still wet,” Addington said of the notoriously algae-heavy Lake Elsinore. “Everyone seemed to have a good time. We were down about eight boats due to the rough weather we’d been having—it was raining the day before. But we got some Grand National boats. It was a good mix.” Addington campaigned the #309 War Paint boat in Comp Flat and other classes in National Drag Boat Association racing through the 1970s and 1980s. He’s raced at all of the major venues, from Firebird and Lake Ming to Chowchilla.

Steve Faist (above) makes a great pass in Spooky, an original factory Cole TR3 boat.

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Rockin’ the New Year Steve Stuart in his 1982 Howard T-deck, powered by a blown 427.

Above left: Chris Donahue’s 1975 Cole TR-1, with a 468 big-block Chevy. Above center: Darren Gazzola’s 1986 Cole TR6 is powered by a 598 BBC. Above: Tony Scarlata’s 2016 blown alcohol Cole has a 540-c.i. engine. Left: Bill Montague’s 1984 Biesemeyer, powered by a 500-c.i. Chevy. 78

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Top: Dino Iacovino’s 1965 Stevens is powered by a 389 Pontiac. Middle: Dwight Ivy’s Kurtis runner bottom sports a blown 496 engine. Bottom: Greg Duff in his Boot Barn-sponsored 1980 Daytona.

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Rockin’ the New Year

Above: Dexter Lee’s 1981 Cole TR-2 is powered by a blown 454 big-block Chevy. Right: Jordan Endler of Santa Ynez, CA, drives his 1978 Cole TR-2. The full restoration was featured in our March 2015 issue.

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ON THE DYNO ALEXI SAHAGIAN [Continued from page 12] be cleared, so all you really get is total hours. You can purchase your own scan tool from $400 to $675 in most cases if you want to monitor items yourself. I hope that gives you some insight.

Annoying Engine Bay Venting Dear Alexi: I have a 40' MTI with two of your engines in it. I really like the boat as you know. My neighbor at the lake we boat at has a single engine vee-bottom with a supercharged 825 engine you built that we put in here in Missouri. The boat runs fine, but he gets an engine bay smell in the cockpit area and under the bow at mid to high speeds. We lift the hatch and there is not smoke or excess breathing from the valve covers but it just an engine bay smell and its annoying. Any ideas? I know we spoke on this but I think it would be good for your tech article or show. Thanks! Milt Borgeon Chicago, IL

to exit the air. At times, folks put scoops on the hatch of the boat and don’t realize the pressure in is greater than the engine requirements and the excitability of the air. In this case the excess air will vent forward into the cockpit. Other times air may enter the side panel of a boat, the engine will gulp its needs and the balance of the air comes out of the other cup holder area as it is the least path of resistance. With all this said, some trial and error needs to be performed to assure you reduce the engine bay fumes while underway. It is really boat

specific so take a close look at vents and air entries and exits.

Yes, that can be very annoying. Some boats vent air through the bilge certain ways that draw un wanted odors into the cabin and cockpit. All engines emit some odors as they vent the crankcase to the atmosphere. Most engines recycle some of that; however, some don’t, depending on the setup. It seems as though it is really important to look at how the air enters and exits the engine bay. Some engine bays get air from the side panel cup holder area of the boat. This means that in a reverse flow direction, the engine bay odors will come right up your nose in certain conditions. Without going into annoying bilge room pressure tech, you need to concentrate on exiting the air to the rear of the bilge area rather than in a circle venting forward. The air just wants to exit. Just think about opening the rear hatch of a Chevy Suburban and driving down the highway. It will suck all the exhaust fumes back in toward the driver. So understanding flow direction is a bit of a challenge but you really must figure the best way

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