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WILD ENDURO 336!

2015 BOAT TESTS DCB • Eliminator Hallett • Shockwave Domn8er


Eddie Knox Racing / PROBLEM CHILD Top Fuel Hydro ‘06, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13 World Champion TFH World Record: Speed 262.238mph / ET 3.3

Tony Scarlata, Team Driver 28X World Champion / Top Alcohol Flat World Record: 5.168 ET Sudden Force Racing Water Ski Team

K-711 Eason & Irlick Racing #512 WOT Marine Racing Team

K-69 Freedom Child, Jennings/Rankin Racing. World Champion 2011, ‘12, ‘13

P-74 Crackerbox Pro 2014 Lucas Oil World Champion

These champions choose NRI. Bad Attitude Racing 1st in Class 175 mph at 2014 LOTO

Insurance coverage for ALL types of boats. Nick Rose Insurance (661) 253-1131 (CA) (928) 669-2900 (AZ) PHOTO CREDIT: STRYDER PHOTO

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TABLE OF CONTENTS January 2015

COLUMNS 6 RAY LEE 8 ALEXI SAHAGIAN 10 JIM WILKES

FEATURES 14 SUPERBOAT WORLD FINALS A week of breathless action in Key West sees wild flips, down-to-the-wire wins and some spectacular teamwork.

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26 MONSTERS INC. Lake Havasu’s coolest poker run and costume party surpasses its producer’s expectations.

32 PERFORMANCE TESTS Our first round of 2015 boat evaluations gathers models from DCB, Eliminator, Hallett, Shockwave and Domn8er.

54 FACTORY TOUR How Brett Manire is transforming LOTO’s Performance Boat Center into a nationally recognized conglomerate.

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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 Kerri Trapani Director kerri@speedboat.com Art Director Gail Hada-Insley

52 ENDURO 336 River Dave’s Place continues to carry on the legacy of the famous endurance race.

66 DEN AGAIN For the third year running, awesome boats come to party at Pirate’s Den Resort in Parker, AZ.

68 NJBA NATIONAL The final race of the year at Lake Ming gathers 80 boats hungry for victory.

72 LUCAS OIL WORLD FINALS More than 150 teams showed up in Chandler, AZ for the NAPA/Lucas Oil Drag Boat World Finals. Cover photo by Todd Taylor 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 Performance Boats’ 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 Postmaster: Send address changes to Speedboat Magazine, 9216 Bally Court, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

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Helicopter Services Fred Young fyoung@live.com

Photographers Todd Taylor, Jay Nichols Randy Nuzzo, Kenny Dunlop, Stu Jones, Jeff Girardi, Andrew Gates Operations Manager Michele Plummer michele@speedboat.com

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Webmaster Craig Lathrop craig@speedboat.com

Web Design Element Media Design Editorial Offices 9216 Bally Court Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 (888) 577-2628 (BOAT)

SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE (ISSN#1941-9473) is published 8 times a year by DCO Enterprises LLC. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Domestic $34.00 for 8 issues, Canada $56.00 for 8 issues, International $60.00 for 8 issues. All prices are for one year and in US 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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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE

Testing the Limits

Late last October, the Speedboat Magazine Test Team converged on Lake Havasu City, AZ to conduct our 2015 Manufacturer’s Performance Boat Evaluations. The boat tests have always been a great way to present the latest offerings from each manufacturer, as well as to debut any new models that the boating community has yet to see. Our team had spent the preceding months thoroughly preparing for these tests to ensure that all operations were run smoothly, safely and professionally for the three days that we were there. We were ecstatic to have the creations of DCB, Skater, Nordic, Eliminator, Cobra, Hallett, Shockwave, Essex, Caliber 1, Domn8er and Twisted Liquid all bring their boats out for our evaluations. With the exception of a stunning 48' Skater vee-bottom, we concentrated this round on the West Coast builders, with the intentions of conducting a separate test for the East Coast armada at a later date. My colleagues—publisher Chris Davidson, editor Brett Bayne, photographer Todd Taylor—and I consulted regularly and frequently with each other as to how to make this series of evaluations as successful as possible. Between this team of highly seasoned professionals, I was certain that we would have a great outcome and I found it exciting to be a part of planning and executing an event that I used to read about within 6

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the long gone pages of Hot Boat and Powerboat magazines. To execute the performance evaluations, we enlisted the driving skills and prowess of lead test drivers Bob Teague and Alexi Sahagian. Bob’s vast experience and knowledge as the former lead test driver at Powerboat, as well as a multitime offshore racing champion, worked well with our plans. His input to me was greatly appreciated and we initiated most of his suggestions to this round of testing. Alexi was the lead test driver for both Hot Boat and our previous moniker of Performance Boats Magazine. He also enjoyed success in the offshore racing circuit. We were definitely proud and confident to have these two professionals representing our team. As if the boat testing weren’t a monumental task alone, we decided to also conduct a bikini model shoot concurrently, all at the familiar locale of the Nautical Resort. The performance evaluations were to be run off of the docks in Thompson Bay and the photo shoot would happen in the adjacent cove. Fortunately for me, Brett Bayne took on the unenviable task of organizing all of the participating boats and the array of models for three days. Trust me—it’s not the dream assignment that many automatically assume it is (although it did draw the biggest crowd of spectators, for some reason).

We arranged for the manufacturers to arrive midday on Day One, for our dry land inspections. This is where the boats arrive to us on trailers and we examine the boat, inside and out, from bow to stern. We note the workmanship, gelcoat/paint execution, engine installation, rigging and countless other specs. Not a single detail is missed, and our trained experts mention all aspects of the quality of the vessel, right down to the last zip tie, into their respective recording devices. Day Two arrived, and we were up long before the sun rose. At zero-darkthirty, our team was hustling around like an ant colony to get ready for the long day ahead. We had to set up our test’s home base, mount the marker board checklist, distribute radios, test packets, audio recorders, life jackets, boat driving assignments, confirm manufacturers’ arrival times and helicopter flight schedules, coordinate photographers and paramedics, ice down refreshments and wipe down the boats so that they look as sharp in the magazine as they did in person. Then it was aerial photography time. This happened just after the sun decided to peek out. We ran the boats up and down the lake at moderate speeds, so that Todd Taylor could get shots at all angles of each boat, as our helicopter pilot, Mark Frey, manuevered the bird gracefully around the early morning sky. This is more for the beautiful shots that appear within these pages, rather than actual boat testing purposes. Once we had completed all of the pics taken from above, it was on to the actual performance evaluations. I teamed up with Bob Teague, as editor Brett Bayne teamed with Alexi Sahagian. I’ve known Bob for quite some time, and as many others, I have always respected Continued on Page 82 speedboat.com

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ON THE DYNO ALEXI SAHAGIAN Water in My Engine Dear Alexi: I have a 22' daycruiser with a 454 Chevy. It's equipped with headers. I had the engine rebuilt and added used waterjacketed headers to it. It ran well for about two years, but now I seem to get a ton of water in the oil, and the engine is often hard to start. If I wait and try to start the engine, it cranks over better. Any ideas? Joe Retaldo Austin, TX

It sounds like you may have a few things going on, or at least to check out. You may have a vapor-lock situation. What that means is when it’s hot, the fuel virtually stops flowing into your engine, causing it to shut down. I will assume you have changed the fuel filter regularly, and made sure your fuel cooler is flowing good water. I would check those out anyway. The other area to check is to see if your fuel fill vents are vented and/or if the vents are clogged. If the vents are clogged, it will do just that. On those Schiadas, we usually drill a second vent to assure proper flow. Next time you go out on a hot day, loosen the cap after it stalls out and see if it hisses like a snake at you. If it does, then it needs more ventilation. We drill secondary vents on all older high-performance boats. Bottom line: Check the filter, cooler and venting for starters. Let me know how it works out!

Shift It Dear Alexi: I own a twin-engine Fountain with two bigblock Chevy 540s in it. They generally run 8

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well, but they keep stalling when I put them into gear. I have #3 Speedmaster drives with large cleaver-style four-blade props. They are single carbureted and I just can’t seem to get them correct. Your thoughts? Pete Loman New York City, NY Nice boat! Well, this is a common issue with carburetors and heavy load changes. There have been some work-arounds that are great and that you may want to consider. Of course, EFI would solve this if it were properly tuned and set up. Besides that, we use solenoids, which introduce a burst of air into the system upon shifting. The way it works is that when you’re idling in gear, your neutral safety switch activates a relay that triggers a solenoid to pass air when in gear. Think of it as a secondary automatic throttle, but limited to airflow (approximately a 300rpm bump). This allows the engine to not stall and keeps it running in gear. It can be matched and tuned mechanically to perfection. These are a great option. Companies like Asco make valves that are designed to be continuous duty and ¾" is the size we choose, then tune down the

orifice. So again, find or drill a port under the carburetor base, run a -10 line to a ¾" solenoid, then wire it in to your shifting system and you should be impressed.

Set Up My EFI Dear Alexi: I am in the process of connecting a wasted spark system to my EFI engine. It is a Holley system, and I am confused on the wiring vs. firing order connection setup.

The other question is where to set up the 58x reluctor wheel to start it for the first time. Please help! Phil Arden Los Angeles, CA

It sounds like you are doing a firsttime EFI conversion of a V8-type engine for a boat. I will assume this and give you a few tips. First let’s take it out of order a bit, and set up your reluctor wheel first. On those Holleys and most other decent EFI systems, you have the ability to phase in the reluctor tooth count past the gap. We usually set up our engines 9 teeth back of the gap, regardless of the controller. We then tell the controller where we are in the mapping. Once you establish that, the spark system will work well. As far as the wasted spark wiring, usually they are banked together. What I mean is that two cylinders share one coil; hence, four coils overall. This is fine; however, the wiring triggering the coils and the output plug wires need to be precisely in the correct position or it may not run properly or even start without a popcorn-sounding experience. So, I recommend reading and toning the EFI wiring harness trigger leads, verifying the firing order configuration and setting the banks properly. Once this is done, you can verify it by unplugging the injector harness, cranking the engine and using a timing light to verify all orders. Then attempt to start it. It may save an intercooler or valve! I hope that was not too confusing. Good luck. speedboat.com

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V-DRIVE TECH JIM WILKES Milky & Clunky Dear Jim: I am new to V-drives and I need help. I recently acquired a 1973 Mandella Split Deck Cruiser equipped with the original 427 big-block Chevy. It’s got a V-drive (not sure of the model) with velvet drive transmission. The boat is alleged to have 36 original hours. I have a couple of issues I need help with. 1. The V-drive appears to have automatic transmission fluid in it. Is it supposed to have gear oil, or is the trans fluid sufficient?

2. After we ran the boat for a few minutes, the V-drive got noisy while idling—almost like the gears were clunking around. The V-drive whine was pretty loud as well. 3. I was told the boat was turnkey. I ran the boat on the hose twice prior to acquiring, and the carb clearly needed rebuilding. No biggie. I took it out to the river today and after 15 minutes on the water, I saw water leaking from the end of the head where it meets the block. I stopped and checked the oil, and it was starting to milk up. I turned around and headed back 10

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to dock. By this time it was very milky, and the oil pressure had started dropping too. I’m not looking to play the blame game, but is this a case of me not doing my due diligence, or is it possible that I got duped? I was aware the motor had sat for the better part of 40 years. The seller said he ran the boat at the beginning of the summer for two hours without issue. I never spooled the motor over 3,500 rpm. Should I pull the motor and have it gone through, or is it plausible to just do the heads? I didn’t run it over 2,500 back to dock. It still ran strong during that period. Bill Flagstone Hacienda Heights, CA Some raceboat guys use transmission fluid in the V-drive only because it has a thin viscosity level. I don’t use trans fluid because it does not have the the extra pressure (EP) additive package that the gears need for cushing. Also it does not have the additive package for long cycle life. You really need to change oil in your V-drive. Try using Lucas M-8 Marine gear oil. It has everything you will need to quiet your gear noise and lubricate properly. Bill, your first big mistake was not having the boat and engine checked out by someone with expertise in this area. Having a marine survey might have saved you some trouble—and very likely some money. It sounds to me the engine sat too long (40 years) even with the old owner running the boat earlier in the year. According to most sellers, everything is good. With buyers, well…caveat emptor! It sounds like you need to rebuild your 40+ year-old engine. Bring it over to Wilkes Marine. I will rebuild your engine. By the way, it is a good-looking older boat, my friend!

a taste of going fast. I will likely end up building a V-drive in the next year or two, so I figured it’s never too early to start learning! I’ve seen flats, “true” flats, runner bottoms, K boats, sprints, circle boats and various other configurations. What type of boat is good for which application(s)? I’m sure some are better drag boats, some better in rougher water, etc., but I have no idea what some of the differences in these things are. Can you help me narrow down what I should look for? The boat I did buy is an 18' CP Gullwing, because I think I’m going to be boating mostly in the Blythe area, which is fairly shallow, so I figured a jet was the way to go. I was on the fence between a jet and a small V-drive, but should have educated myself a little more before making the decision. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated! Henry Lawrence Temecula, CA You want to know the differences between all the different styles of bottom design, but really, after you learn the feeling of your California Performance hull— and considering the type of boating that’s done in the Blythe area—only one style boat that comes to mind, and that is a runner bottom. It’s a fast, smoothon-the-water hull that doesn’t require a bunch of power to go fast. And, it’s fun to drive! Runner bottom boats give you the feeling like your CP boat does: riding on a cushion of air. Trust me, if you’re boating in the Blythe area, the runner bottom boat is king. Besides, horsepower to horsepower, you will smoke the jet boys. That will get them fired up!

Future V-Driver

Plate Problem?

Dear Jim: I am new to the world of go-fast boating. Recently I bought a little jetboat, but it seems that an awful lot of guys end up gravitating toward V-drives once they get

Dear Jim: I own a 1982 Hallett 19.6 SS. It has a blown 540 making about 950 hp, running off the front of the motor. Gears are 18 Continues on Page 60 speedboat.com

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SUPERBOAT Photos by FreezeFrame.us

world finals

Above: Gary Jones and Billy Glueck took Team Black Pearl to a very narrow victory in Manufacturer P3 Class. The boat is a 38' Fountain powered by twin Mercury Racing 525s.

Team Kilt, a 35' Fountain, was 3rd in Manufacturer P3. 14

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Strictly Business, a 35' Fountain, placed in Manufacturer P3. speedboat.com

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A week of breathless action in Key West sees wild flips, down-to-the-wire wins and some spectacular teamwork.

T

he 34th Super Boat International Key West World Championships was

undeniably one of the highlights of the year for powerboat enthusiasts, and a genuine watermark for racing fans, with Miss GEICO snaring the Superboat Unlimited title, as well as the event’s overall win on Sunday. The race consists of a week of standalone racing for points. Races are held on Wednesday and Friday, with a Sunday double-length, double-points main event. Action got off to a frightening start on Wednesday, with driver Mike Figuero of Satellite Beach and throttleman Frank Sarro of Palm Bay flipping upside down in their 30' Superboat Vee class entry J.D. Byrider. The boat crashed on Turn 3 during the final lap of a seven-lap race in Key West Harbor; both men were treated and later released. Later that day, at the start of the Superboat Unlimited race, several boats were involved in a mash-up in Key West Harbor when the Lucas Oil Silverhook entry barrel-rolled, causing other competitors to bump into each other. Lucas Oil rolled back upright, sparing driver Shelley Jory of England and throttleman Nigel Hook of San Diego any injuries. “That was the gentlest, safest barrel roll I’ve ever done,” Jory said later. “Better

2nd Amendment, a 36' Spectre, was fourth in Manufacuter P3 Class. speedboat.com

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Superboat World Finals

The Manufacturer P4 win went to Dee Early and Anthony Silveira in the In Tone Crazy Chicken entry, a 29' Extreme.

Superboat Class winner Broadco, a 40' MTI. Below: Grant Bruggemann and Chuck Broadus celebrate their victory.

AMSOIL and Warpaint battle it out in Superboat Class.

Racing for Cancer, a 41' MTI, finished third in Superboat Class. 16

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Superboat World Finals Paul Teague and Giancarlo Cangiano were victorious in Superboat Extreme class with Hooters Instigator, a 40' Fountain.

Twisted Metal Motorsports finished second in Superboat Extreme.

The Superboat Stock field, led by driver Chris Schoenbohm and throttleman Gary Ballough in SOS Venezuela, a 32' Doug Wright hull.

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Marc Granet and Scott Begovich worked relentlessly to bring Miss Geico, a 44' Victory, to the win in Superboat Unlimited Class.

Two different CMS MTIs—a 48' and 52', both designated #3—competed in Superboat Unlimited. They finished in second and fourth place, respectively.

Todd Beckman (driver) and Mike DeFrees (throttles) in the 42' MTI Team CRC, were third in Superboat Unlimited. speedboat.com

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Superboat World Finals

Alex and Ani, a 42' Platinum driven by John Stanch and throttled by Serafino Cazzani, were 5th in Superboat Unlimited.

than a roller coaster ride.” Miss Geico, the 44' Victory powered by twin 1,650-hp motors, finished second in Wednesday’s opener and third in Friday’s racing, so driver Marc Granet of Boca Raton and throttleman Scott Begovich of Jupiter went into Sunday’s final as an underdog. Fortunately for them, rough water became “the great equalizer,” as Granet says. A fierce Sunday storm caused waters to churn and winds to pick up dramatically—which proved to be a boon for the Geico team, who ultimately defended their world title in Superboat Unlimited class. Rounding out the top Superboat Unlimited class finishers were CMS and Team CRC.

In Superboat Vee class, Snowy Mountain Brewery, led by World Champion Mike “Doc” Janssen on throttles and driver Brian Forehand, proved victorious. “I am just very proud of my whole team this weekend and the effort they put forth,” Janssen said. “They are all very efficient and professional in what they do and it’s a team sport for sure.” Snowy Mountain bested Hurricane of Awesomeness, Sun Sprint, Absolutely Not and JD Byrider. Meanwhile, Bob Teague and Paul Whittier debuted their AMSOIL Skater in Superboat Class, facing half a dozen other contestants, including the new WHM Skater 40SS and the Broadco MTI. The boats battled ceaselessly through the week

with cutthroat competition; AMSOIL suffered engine problems on Wednesday, but was back Friday for another battle royale. Chuck Broaddus of Broadco got the best start and never looked back, with AMSOIL placing. Competing in the spectacularly nasty conditions on Sunday, it was all-out war, with Teague running his Skater hard. But Broadco—a 40' MTI with twin 1,020hp engines—prevailed, winning its first Superboat World Championship with an average speed of 80.24 mph. After capturing a second- and thirdplace finish respectively on the first two days of racing, Team Venezuela driver Chris Schoenbohm of Orlando and throttleman Gary Ballough of Boca Raton knew

The Lucas Oil Silverhook entry in Superboat Unlimited barrel-rolled on Wednesday, but driver Shelley Jory and throttleman Nigel Hook escaped injury.

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Superboat World Finals

Superboat Vee entry #66 Hurricane of Awesomeness, a 30' Phantom, finished in second place.

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In Superboat Vee class, the 29' Outerlimits Snowy Mountain Brewery, led by World Champion Mike “Doc” Janssen on throttles and driver Brian Forehand, proved victorious.

the only way to win the Superboat Stock championship was to win on Sunday. They met that goal, battling their way to World Champion status. Hooters Instigator, driven by Paul Teague of Valencia, CA, and throttled by Giancarlo Cangiano of Italy, were victorious in Superboat Extreme class, with Twisted Metal Motorsports close behind. In Manufacturer P3 Class, Team Black Pearl, driven by Gary Jones of Bradenton and throttled by Billy Glueck of Sarasota, took the checkered flag with a slim two-tenths of a mile-per-hour higher average speed, putting them ahead of Strictly Business and Team Kilt. In Manufacturer P4, driver Dee Early of Buford, GA, and throttleman Anthony Silveira of Baltimore, MD, won in In Tone Crazy Chicken. A list of the top winners: Superboat Unlimited 1. Miss GEICO 2. CMS 3 3. Team CRC Superboat Extreme 1. Hooters Instigator 2. Twisted Metal Motorsports Superboat 1. Broadco 2. Team Amsoil 3. Racing For Cancer Superboat Vee 1. Snowy Mountain Brewery 2. Hurricane of Awesomeness 3. Sun Print Superboat Stock 1. SOS Venezuela 2. The Hulk 3. Talbot Excavating Manufacturer P3 1. Black Pearl 2. Strictly Business 3. Team Kilt Manufacturer P4 1. In Tone Crazy Chicken 2. Five Guys Rum Runners 3. Two Cruel

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MONSTERS INC. Lake Havasu’s coolest poker run and costume party surpasses expectations. Photos by Todd Taylor

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A

Above: Matt and Stacey Martin in their Nordic 25' Rage. Far left: Don and Connie London with their daughter, Summer Richardson, and Bob Teague of TCM. Middle: A macabre clown terrifies partygoers. Near left: Swashbuckler Don with Summer.

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scarifyingly fun poker run and costume party from

the folks who mount the annual Desert Storm event, Monster Bash shattered its producer’s expectations and solidified the run’s reputation for delivering thrills both on and off the water. Staged by Jim Nichols of LakeRacer LLC, Monster Bash is the go-to event in Lake Havasu during the Halloween season. But Nichols admits he was worried that this year’s festivities might not be the draw it was in its first four incarnations, due to it being rescheduled two weeks earlier than usual. “Then, two weeks before the event, we had only 50 boats signed up,” he says. Luckily, a flurry of last-minute entries poured in, bringing the boat count to a total of 83, “which blew me away,” Nichols says. “We had more boats than we expected, and it took a lot of scrambling at the last minute to get everything cleared for that many attendees.” And the reason for all the tardy confirmations? “I think people were waiting to see what the weather was going to be like and what was going to be on the schedule,” Nichols explains. “But the weather was absolutely beautiful, and we had a great lunch run down to Havasu Springs.” This year’s Bash happened to be scheduled during the birthday weekend of businessman and poker-run enthusiast Win Farnsworth, who went all out, renting a pair of helicopters to bring his family down from Las Vegas and to carry photographers to shoot the run. Farnsworth was also a major donator to the event’s charity auction, which was “off the charts,” according to Nichols. “We raised a total of $35,000 for the Havasu Food Bank,” he says. SPEEDBOAT |

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Monsters Inc. Mike Tracey of Phoenix, AZ, in his 29' Nordic Deckboat, Matched Pair.

Steve Caudle of Peoria, AZ, in No Reason, his 35' Formula FasTech.

Mike Mardaresco of Newport, CA, in his 38' Donzi, Stacked Deck.

Nick Bailey of Casper, WY, in his 35' Fountain Lightning.

(9094) Anthony Eyrich of Peoria, AZ, in his 32' Sleekcraft Heritage.

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Monsters Inc.

R.D. Sanchez of Albuquerque, NM, in his 32' Advantage Victory.

George Hill of Tonto Basin, AZ, in his 26' Baja Outlaw, Sea N Red.

Peter and Kelli Watkins of Napa, CA, in their 44' Skater, Double Down. 30

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2015

Speedboat Evaluations

Our first wave of boat tests gathers five lake warriors: models from DCB, Eliminator, Hallett, Shockwave and Domn8er. Photos by Todd Taylor

Presenting our test team. Front row: photographer Andrew Gates, helicopter owner-pilot Mark Frey, photographer Kenny Dunlop, models Cecilia Juarez, Cidney Williams, Regina Pacheco, Jennifer Kathreen and Caitlin O’Connor, dry-land inspector Greg Shoemaker of GS Marine, publisher Ray Lee, photographer Todd Taylor. Back row: Speedboat editor Brett Bayne, boat driver Mark Yates, test driver Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine, videographer Gary Meeker, test driver Alexi Sahagian of Boostpower Marine, Blake Davidson, publisher Chris Davidson and base commander Jay Forbes.

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DCB M31

Dave Hemmingson rigged his latest with with twin 565s for a more entry-level offering.

When DCB of El Cajon, CA, released its M31 six ested in family fun than shattering the 100-mph mark. The years ago, it took its place alongside its M35 sister Widebody line generally starts with 700 SCi motors as a ship in the newly christened Widebody series. Both boats sported a beam of nearly 10 feet and four individual bucket-style seats in place of a traditional rear bench, as well as a stylish, full-wrap 3/4" thick windshield with perfect optics. In addition, both featured front extended wings, wider sponsons and wider tunnels. Our test team has encountered DCB’s Widebody models several times in the passing years, unfailingly delivering on their promise of reliable handling and state-of-the-art machinery. For our latest series of evaluations, DCB brought an M31 it built recently for a customer who was more inter34

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baseline, but according to Tony Chiaramonte of DCB, the customer persuaded the builder to equip the boat with 565s with an XR ITS and Sportmaster drive package. “I’m blown away by the results,” Chiaramonte says. “It’s smooth and efficient and runs just over 100.” In addition to the power modification, the M31’s traditional poker-run interior was somewhat reconfigured to accommodate a more family-style seating arrangement, with a pair of mini-couches in the rear rather than individual buckets with headrests, while the driver and passenger seats boast large headrests but no rear-facing speedos. “I actually like speedboat.com

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DCB M31 Length: 31'10" Beam: 9'8" Deadrise: 22 Engine on test boat: two Mercury Racing 565s Drive on test boat: XR Sportsmasters Base price: $305,000 Price as tested: $370,000 Options on test boat: TCM bottom pickups ($2,900), foot shower ($1,200), Garelick ladder ($695), solid tailpipe and mufflers ($5,995), bimini top ($1,200), pull-up and pin cleats ($895), passenger-side gauges ($,2000), Garmin 8208 ($6,500), Raceview system ($3,200), third battery and box ($895), Phase II Stereo ($7,995) Top speed: 109.2 mph @ 5,450 rpm Dave’s Custom Boats LLC 1468 N Magnolia Avenue El Cajon, California 92020 (619) 442-0300 speedboat.com

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DCB M31

Dash amenities include Livorsi gauges and the new Garmond unit that displays the full range of engine parameters. Large TCM strainers with a custom-built flushout kit have been installed in the gunnel for the owner to attach a hose to and run more freshwater through it.

“The installation in the engine bay is as clean and simple as can be, with a nice finished gelcoat. Everything’s been done masterfully. The attention to detail is exquisite.”—Alexi Sahagian 36

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sitting in this boat better than the 35,” Bob Teague says. “The seats are extremely comfortable. What’s positive about this boat is that it’s simple—there’s isn’t anything negative about it, except it’s not a 150-mph DCB.” Dash amenities include Livorsi gauges and the new Garmond unit that displays the full range of engine parameters—a sleek and simple plug-and-play installation. We’d actually like to see more gauges, but everything was perfectly placed. Workmanship throughout is simply stellar. “The ideal setting for this boat would be a big lake,” Teague says. “You can take it to Catalina Island on a nice day, no problem.” Overall, this one-off represents an excellent value for entry-level DCB customers. Most of the M31’s bells and whistles are here (the integrated Lexan glass on the top of the engine hatch is still one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen), and this edition sports TCM adjustable pickups, as the owner takes the boat offshore. In addition, large speedboat.com

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TCM strainers with a custom-built flushout kit have been installed in the gunnel for the owner to attach a hose to and run more freshwater through it. This M31 also features a big-ass stereo. Our dry-land inspection of the boat drew raves from our test team. “Probably the best crafted of all the boats I’ve seen,” remarked Alexi Sahagian. “Beautiful gelwork, excellent layout. Everything is polished, and attention to detail is a 10/10. Everything in this boat is exquisite and awesome. You name it, it’s just a perfect boat.” Teague concurred, awarding a perfect 10/10 to the gelcoat, mold work, windshield, rubrail, hatch covers, engine installation, access to minor services and a host of other cosmetic features. On the performance side, DCB continues to swing for the fences, and connect. The M31 truly is the culmination of everything the builder has learned about building one-off, extraordinary craft designed to delight buyers. Water conditions were flat on Havasu on the day of our test, with a light breeze. We

headed for the stretch of water alongside Pilot Rock, which offered a bit more wind in order to change the boat’s attitude. The M31 came on plane with ease, drove well and stayed very stable at low speeds. With the 565 package, the boat naturally feels a tad lighter than the other 31s we’ve tested, but the boat stays on track, goes through the wakes and bumps with ease. “A very nice piece of equipment—not overdone, just straightforward fun,” said Bob Teague. “This thing will turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change.” At all speeds, the DCB remains hooked up. Going over boat wakes, the M31 merely slices through them. The boat was perfectly sensitive at trim, with little steering wheel torque, leading Teague to rate overall maneuverability a perfect 10/10. We got to 68 mph in 20 seconds, and it took us a while to reach our top speed of 109, but it was sure fun getting there. “It handles very nicely,” Teague adds. “It’s an amazing, awesome boat.” SPEEDBOAT |

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Eliminator 27 Speedster The West Coast legend continues to wow our test team with its #1 bestseller.

Eliminator’s 27’ Speedster remains the West wraparound windshield and a 700 Merc set up for primo Coast builder’s most popular model for a variety of acceleration. Mounted on “L” angles that are through-bolted reasons. From the minute you first make contact with this beastly beauty, you’re served notice that Eliminator remains now, as before, at the pinnacle of the recreational tunnel hierarchy. The Daytonas are among the best-selling hull series in speedboating history, and Eliminator’s line of fullsized, open-water step-vees and tunnels are on the short list of the most formidable pleasure craft of all time. For the uninitiated, the bottom of the 27 Speedster is the same as Eliminator’s 27 Daytona, with a different top configuration. For our 2015 tests, company president Bob Leach brought us a blue-and-silver edition with a stunning 38

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through the stringers and with solid mount feet, the engine employs standard CMI sweeper headers. Also featured in the bilge—which is finished in a shiny blue gel—are billet fender holders, Odyssey batteries and billet battery boxes. It’s a clean, sanitary installation with the stainless Adel clamps evenly spaced—typical of Eliminator. Meanwhile, the underside of the engine hatch is also gelcoated, with upholstery on the topside. Our Speedster had a water pickup through the sponson using a Teague Custom Marine 5-inch Sea Strainer with a pop-off valve. The NXT drive’s trim pump is located portside. speedboat.com

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Eliminator 27 Speedster length: jfkdsjlkjfdlk Length: 27' Beam: 8'1" Engine on test boat: single 700 Merc Drive on test boat: NXT Base price: $185,000 Price as tested: $215,500 Options on test boat: hydraulic steering ($10,410), stainless tilt helm ($1,500), custom 7-color gelcoat ($4,500), billet seat bases ($1,990), Mercury Vessel View ($4,225), Livorsi gauges ($4,775) Top speed: 105 mph @ 5,200 rpm Eliminator Boats 10795 San Sevaine Way Mira Loma, CA 91752 (951) 332-4300 eliminatorboat.com

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Eliminator

A carbon-fiber shifter throttle assembly is on the starboard side. Other features include IMCO tilt helm, Isotta steering wheel and Livorsi digital indicators. The carpeted cabin (opposite page) has room is free of frills, but there’s room for a couple of ice chests.

“The boat’s really quick. It handles well and feels good. The boat stays flat and leans into the turns pretty much at all speeds, which is a real bonus for a boat like this.”—Bob Teague 40

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Sitting at the helm is for lovers of luxury, with seating and upholstery registering flawless ratings on comfort, degree of support, and feeling of security at high speed. Analog gauges include a standard complement (volt, oil pressure, oil temp, fuel pressure, boost, etc.) with a 120-mph GPS mounted in the center of the dash. A carbon-fiber shifter throttle assembly is on the starboard side; other features include IMCO tilt helm, Isotta steering wheel and Livorsi digital indicators. The carpeted cabin has room is free of frills, but there’s room for a couple of ice chests. From stem to stern, the Speedster won ratings between 9 and 10 for virtually every inch of this machine. In our most recent encounter with the Speedster, the 700 SCi was coupled to a #6 Drive, which sensitizes driver connection with the boat, both in trimming and steering it, which makes it more fun to drive. And that’s virtually the only thing we missed about this boat’s setup. “I think a #6 drive would speedboat.com

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help them with this gear case influence on this boat,” noted Bob Teague. Even so, he gave a perfect 10 to tracking at low and midrange speeds, and 9s and 10s for most other performance grades, including throttle response, steeringwheel torque and overall maneuverability. The driver of this boat is advised to not to overtrim past 100-mph, or the boat will walk a bit, as both Teague and Alexi Sahagian pointed out during their WOT runs. “The boat’s really quick,” Teague says. “It handles well and feels good. The boat stays flat and leans into the turns pretty much at all speeds, which is a real bonus for a boat like this.” The Eliminator rolls up on plane with ease; simply trim it up a bit and it takes a perfect set. Then slowly bring it up to speed. With about half trim on a flat day, the boat finds its ideal cruising speed without any effort and runs superbly. As we approached the 80 mph mark, we noted a slight porpoise in completely flat water, but driving into the wind or through a little bit of

ripple solved that problem immediately. We did some slaloms with the boat and, for a single engine catamaran with a surface prop, it did a remarkable job. Turning at low speeds was effortless; at higher speeds, make sure to leave the trim up and it practically floats around the corner. Eliminator’s thoroughly enamoring 27' Speedster presents a perfectly orchestrated collaboration of custom artistry that reminds us who has been at this game longest over the course of time. Fiercely innovative, utterly practical, and an unbridled joy to drive as well as look at, this 105-mph rocket wraps the best of our industry’s art and science into one of the most compelling driving machines in recreational motorsports. It’s an ideal buy for the upper-end, high-performance catamaran enthusiast—a solid, dependable boat that has earned its reputation as a gorgeous, fast, beautifully rigged thoroughbred that’s incredible to look at, Mercedes-comfortable and a war machine all at once. SPEEDBOAT |

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Shockwave Here’s a terrific tunnel that carves through rough chop like nobody’s business.

One of the biggest hits of our Havasu trials was not the biggest, fastest or best-accelerating boat, but a family open-bow model that topped out at 65 mph. It was the 26' Cat from Shockwave Custom Boats of Corona, CA—the newest in the builder’s line, and one that thoroughly impressed our team with its docile ride, smart interior, plentiful storage space and flawless handling. Shockwave’s 26' Cat represents the middle ground in a line that begins with a 20' tunnel, on up to its Magnatude series of 29' to 35' deep-vees that are available in both closed-deck and mid-cabin cuddy configurations. Though at least 10 years old, this was our first encounter

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26 Cat

with Shockwave’s 26' Cat, a good-sized tunnel that company owner-founder Bob Anderson describes as “sort of a minideckboat that’s very strong structurally and able to handle rough water extremely well.” (The 26' is also available in closed-bow and mid-cabin cuddy versions.) The boat’s interior is smartly designed and roomy, with a wide cockpit that boasts a beam of 102". Seating for driver and front passenger is wide and quite comfortable, with solid billet seat bases; the rear offshore-style bench is wide enough for four large adults (or perhaps five smaller people). There’s a walk-through and step-down to the wraparound open-bow section with two forward-facing seats. Shockwave

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Shockwave 26 Cat length: jfkdsjlkjfdlk Length: 26' Beam: 102" Deadrise: 16째 Engine on test boat: Mercury 8.2 Mag HO Drive on test boat: Bravo One X Base price: $82,000 Price as tested: $95,050 Options on test boat: Merc 8.2/Bravo package ($5,300), billet power hinges ($1,500), billet seat bases ($1,200), stereo upgrade ($2,200), Livorsi digital gauges ($850), Livorsi billet shifter ($550), interior upgrade ($1,450) Top speed: 65 mph @ 5,000 rpm Shockwave Custom Boats 1800 Capital Street Corona, CA 92880 (951) 898-9360 shockwaveboats.com speedboat.com

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Shockwave 26 Cat

Adorning the dash are Livorsi gauges and an attractive switch panel, augmented by a stylish red Spragi steering wheel with black grip. Below left: Underneath the pilot and passenger bulkheads are small cushioned areas for the small fry to get out of the sun.

“For the power it has and the weight of this boat, handling is very respectable. We hit some pretty big rollers, and the boat stayed remarkably stable.” —Alexi Sahagian 44

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has obviously paid attention to the details of the seats and the design; everything about the interior drew high marks from our test crew (although the stepdown area in the front is a bit narrow). Underneath the pilot and passenger bulkheads are small cushioned areas for the small fry to get out of the sun. Cupholders have been placed everywhere, including on top of the bulkheads—two each for driver and passenger. Adorning the dash are Livorsi gauges and an attractive switch panel, augmented by a stylish red Spragi steering wheel with black grip. Ample storage is everywhere on this offering, another plus. Shockwave has installed special lighting underneath the cuddy area and two small bow rails. Our 26 Cat featured plush gray glued-in carpeting throughout, but Shockwave also offers a popular full fiberglass interliner as an alternative. For power, they’ve installed a stock Mercury 8.2-Liter (430 hp) motor with Bravo X drive—an admittedly mild package, although Anderson assures us speedboat.com

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that he can power this boat up to 9,000 hp, if that’s what the customer wants. This boat starts very quietly, gets on plane easily and is, in the words of test driver Alexi Sahagian, “very docile.” As with many cats, you’ll experience some bowrise, but not for very long. Once on plane, its ride is flat—it drives well through all of the speed ranges, and handled surprisingly well, given the relatively tame engine under the hood. “For the power it has and the weight of this boat, it’s very respectable,” Sahagian reports. “We hit some pretty big rollers and this boat really didn’t move much—it stayed remarkably stable. It wasn’t weird in any way, and I’ve got to give it a 10 for that.” The Shockwave was also one of the few boats we tested that earned perfect scores in the slaloms, “because you cannot screw up in it,” says driver Bob Teague. “Turn the wheel, and it just goes there. It tracks nicely, and it’s the same with all the turns. Deceleration reaction was also outstanding.” Morever, we were impressed to find that this setup was

fairly economical, fuelwise—about 2 miles to the gallon almost everywhere. Both of our test drivers gave high marks to the boat’s handling capabilities; it just needs more power—a 565 or a 600 SCi would be ideal. “I think I’ve even run a couple of these boats with 800 or 825 TCMs, and they work really well,” says Teague. Even so, he’s quick to point out that this boat is “much safer than a similarly sized vee-bottom with the same power—for handling, control, going over boat wakes, and not jostling up passengers,” he says. The 26' is not extremely fast—the speedo was about 5 mph faster than the GPS indicated—but it handles superbly. You could turn it at full throttle; it tracks all the time, never skips, and it leans into the turns at all speeds. Shockwave has got that part figured out, and there are no rattles in the boat—none. Bottom line: there’s a place for a model like this as a family boat instead of a big open-bow v-bottom—assuming, of course, that you can live without a cabin. SPEEDBOAT |

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Hallett The builder’s midcabin cuddy is a primo example of high-efficiency cruising on a grand scale.

290-S V2D

Like the 33' and 40' models that preceded configurations. For 2015, Hallett found a happy medium by bringing us it, the 290-S from Hallett Boats is a family performance hull with a double-step bottom that we first tested the 290 in Havasu shortly after its release in 2012, in a tester that was out of its molds just weeks before its appearance. It sported a tidy 525EFI installation that served up a top speed of 73.9 mph. Later that same year, we encountered another 290, this time with a TCM 825 with Imco SCX drive, which upped the ante by surpassing 90 mph. Although the 290 is also available as a pure harddecker, both boats we tested were mid-cabin cuddy 44 46

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another crawl-through cabin version—this time powered by a Mercury Racing 540 engine coupled to a Bravo XR drive. (Standard power is an 8.2 Mag, with 380 hp.) With this setup, a speed around 80 mph was anticipated. As in our earlier encounters with the 290, a signature feature of the boat is its passenger seating. Hallett has made great use of the fiberglass that lies forward of the driver’s bucket, as well as the boat’s wide 8'6" beam. The bow seating section is exceptionally comfortable and

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Hallett 290-S V2D length: jfkdsjlkjfdlk Length: 28'6" Beam: 8'6" Deadrise: 22.5째 Engine on test boat: Mercury Racing 540 Drive on test boat: Bravo XR Base price: $115,900 Price as tested: $139,200 Standard equipment: 8.2 Mag (base engine), full vacuum-bagged balso core construction, full marine instrumentation with Vessel View, custom switch panels, tilt steering helm, dual bilge blowers, electric hatch lift, heavy-tudy trim tabs with indicators, offshore-style 2-level shirt & trottle control, etc. Options on test boat: Full hydraulic steering ($5,800), Mercury Racing 540 upgrade ($17,500) Top speed: 82 mph @ 5,500 rpm

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Hallett Boats 4800 Rivergrade Road Irwindale, CA 91706 (626) 969-8844

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Hallett 290-S V2D

Livorsi gauges adorning the dash are augmented with a Smartcraft system set up to communicate with the engine. Lounge and berth construction is straightforward, with a seat on each side with storage space underneath.

“Workmanship is positive. It’s kind of a timeless piece that they build; This is nicely put together and pretty much the same as they’ve been building for quite a while.”—Bob Teague 48

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The bow seating section is exceptionally comfortable and spacious, and our forward-seated passengers were able to sit across from one another comfortably and unobtrusively. The gelcoat on this boat is nothing short of pristine; smooth as silk, and the colors are tasteful and savvily rendered (Alexi gave it a perfect 10). Mold work, too, is straight as an arrow. Another excellent feature on the boat is the windshield, a tinted acrylic model with a winglet on top to keep the deflect air from your face effectively. From stem to stern, the 290 won enthusiastic praise from our test team, with excellent grades given to rubrail, swim platform, rear storage, hidden ladder and Mayfair dual hydraulic steering system. Seat construction earned another perfect grade—Hallett has used sturdy brackets bolted down to the floor and through-bolted to the seat base. Carpet installation is a snapin in the cockpit area, with their traditional, flawless wood finish. Livorsi gauges adorning the dash are speedboat.com

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augmented with a Smartcraft system set up to communicate with the engine. Steering features a tilt helm—perhaps a bit low on the dash for the average driver, but it felt strong and was well-installed. Lounge and berth construction is straightforward, with a seat on each side with storage space underneath. Each cuddy passenger gets a pair of cupholders; there’s additional drawer storage and a stereo, and an area to put a cooler. It’s a well-conceived midcabin, perfect for the family using using the boat for a day on the lake. “I’ll give the overall quality of construction on this boat a 10,” declared inspector Alexi Sahagian. Bob Teague echoes: “Workmanship is positive—it’s a traditional Hallet wood floor. It’s kind of a timeless piece that they build; pretty much the same as they’ve been building for quite a while.” For our test, we set the tabs to neutral and found that that the 290 comes on plane quickly, but both our drivers noted that it takes an immediate list to the left, “even with a big guy on the

right,” says Bob Teague. “Throttles are very sensitive. It’s almost like an on-off switch.” As you approach 35-40 mph and up the trim, the ride levels out. The Hallett accelerated decently and turned very well at low speeds—an excellent feature if you’re planning to pull a skier. Driving the boat at speed in the flat Havasu conditions made it seem “a little bit flat and sticky,” as Sahagian observed, but trimming the drive to 4½ got us to 82 mph, which we thought was fairly impressive. It reached 78 with ease, then slowly crept up to its top speed, but we’re sure our top speed would have been taller with more chop. Still, the boat seems happiest when cruising along at 70 mph—as soon as you get beyond that, you’ll need to pay closer attention to it. “This is a classy-looking, good-accelerating cruiser with a lot of amenities, and one you should seriously consider if you’ll be skiing,” Sahagian says. Adds Teague: “The boat runs almost 80 mph with the 540, and that’s pretty good for a big bowrider.” SPEEDBOAT |

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DOMN8ER 22 Deck Boat The Lake Havasu-based builder offers a decker for families with a less voluminous garage.

Five years ago, our test drivers took the reins (Standard power on this model is a 350 Mag.) While few of the 22' Deck Boat from Domn8er Powerboats would mistake the 22' with a six-figure, full-sized deckboat, (Lake Havasu, AZ). Like the company’s stylish 26.5 performance decker, it tested well, leaving an impressive new mark in this genre with this outstanding family machine. Initially, re-encountering this small but undeniably welldesigned decker brought back pleasant memories: as we wrote back in 2011, peeling around Havasu in this great little machine was a meet highlight. Indeed, the boat continues to be stylishly dressed and impeccably finished, packing a lot of versatility into a comparatively small platform. Our original tester came equipped with a turnkey 496HO, while our new one features a Mercury 502 Mag HO with 430 ponies. 50

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it’s about as roomy as any boat this size could possibly be, and would make a nice entry-level option for a small family willing to sacrifice the room on a larger boat for a smaller bill—the base price is just under $60K. Our dry-land inspection of the boat’s overall workmanship and interior seldom wavered from our already high appraisal of the 22' Deck Boat. The bow is easily accessible, and the smart topside layout opens with a stylish nonskid play platform. Take a step down, and two comfortable facing sofa seats accommodate three per side (or two lucky loungers) in the sumptuous contours of ergo-friendly speedboat.com

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DOMN8ER 22 Deck Boat length: jfkdsjlkjfdlk Length: 22' Beam: 8'5" Deadrise: 14째 Engine on test boat: Mercury 502 Mag HO Drive on test boat: Bravo 1X Base price: $59,995 Price as tested: $83,670 Options on test boat: Mercury 502 upgrade ($10,500), custom paint / painted floor and under the hatch ($4,500), custom bimini top ($1,350), Kicker Marine stereo system and 2 batteries ($6,500), Aqua Step ($375), dual batteries ($300), driver shower ($150) Top speed: 66 mph @ 5,400 rpm Domn8er Powerboats 1790 Industrial Blvd. Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403 (928) 505-4078 domn8er.com speedboat.com

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DOMN8ER

The entire cockpit layout, including the seating arrangement, comfort of padding, stowage accessibility, etc., won straight 8s and 9s from our inspectors. This 22' was given a custom paint job with specially painted floors and paint under the hatch (a $4,500 upgrade).

The entire cockpit layout, including the seating arrangement, comfort of padding, stowage accessibility, etc., won straight 8s and 9s from our inspectors.

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recliner benches. Step down again and you’ll find two thick, shapely cockpit bolsters mounted to sturdy billet bases. These steps used to pose a problem because they tended to be hard to see; Domn8er has solved this with the strategic mounting of a light—we do fear that a customer runs the risk of kicking in one of the lights, but at least you can see the steps more clearly. At the rear of the cockpit, a sofa will easily accommodate two large adults or three kids; the starboard side features a foot path accesses two small steps to a cutout transom seat. The entire cockpit layout, including the seating arrangement, comfort of padding, stowage accessibility, etc., won straight 8s and 9s from our inspectors. Comfort is easily this boat’s calling card, with built-in foot rests and abundant leg clearance front and back. There are ample flush cup holders, stainless safety railing mounted low onto the seat bases, and tasteful LED step lighting. Protective storage is built into the driver and passenger helms. speedboat.com

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A front billet shower nozzle tends to sandy feet, cooling on demand. This 22' was given a custom paint job with specially painted floors and paint under the hatch (a $4,500 upgrade), as well as custom bimini top ($1,350), Kicker Marine stereo system with batteries ($6,500) and an Aqua Step spring-loaded boarding ladder from Aqua Performance ($375). Virtually every detail of the boat’s construction, interior and accommodations were rated an 8 or 9 by our team members. If only we could report that the boat performed as well with the Merc 502 as it did with the 496HO. “The boat goes almost straight up to the sky when you try to plane it,” reports Alexi Sahagian. “If you had 10 people on this boat, which it will hold, I don’t think it would plane at all. Trim tabs might help.” Both of our test teams noted that once you figure out how to get the 22' on plane, there’s a transition during acceleration (30-35 mph) where it porpoises uncomfortably before finally smoothing out until you reach your

top top speed of 66 mph, due in part to extremely flat conditions (a larger prop and a bit of chop would undoubtedly help to deliver a taller number—5 or even 10 mph faster). The boat turns reasonably well, although if you decide to make a 180-degree turn going 30 mph, it goes into “a crazy hop,” says Bob Teague, “in either direction.” However, once you reach a good cruising speed (5060 mph), turning becomes less problematic. Again, a larger propeller is a likely solution, although the current one (a 24" four-blade Bravo One) did contribute to some quick acceleration numbers—10 seconds to 40 mph, 15 seconds to 55 mph, and 20 seconds to 63 mph. The ideal customer for this boat: A family that wants a deck boat, but doesn’t have a huge garage to accommodate a bigger one. The way this 22' is currently set up, it needs a little more dialing in. That shouldn’t be too difficult for Domn8er to achieve, seeing as they’re based in Lake Havasu. SPEEDBOAT |

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Factory Tour

Story by Brett

Bayne Photos by Ray Lee & Todd Taylor

In 2014, PBC sponsored the offshore competitor e itor Marine Ma Concepts Speed Racer, a 44’ MTI owned by Randy Kent and raced by Kent a Ken and n R Reggie g i Fountain t IIII.

How Brett Manire is transforming his brokerage firm into a nationally recognized conglomerate.

Performance B 54

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L

ong before he came to the Lake of the Ozarks, Brett Manire was just a highschool kid in Nebraska,

earning a few extra bucks working at his dad’s garden center and snowremoval company. During college, he took a job at the Premier Boating Center, a boat dealership in Lincoln. During his 10 years there, he climbed his way up the ladder— first doing detail work, then as a salesman, sales manager and finally general manager. When the opportunity arose, he moved to Missouri to take a job at LOTO’s Performance Boat Brokerage. “I wanted to do something different,” he explains. “To grow and be around some bigger boats and bigger water.” The impact of that move has made some dramatic reverberations in recent years, when Manire began to manage the firm in 2010. “It was just a small boat brokerage business, and hadn’t been open very long,” Manire recalls. After about a year, he teamed

e Boat Center speedboat.com

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Performance Boat Center

The shop’s Freightliner Sport Chassis pulls client Ron Harrison’s 46' Cigarette, powered by twin 1350s.

A view of PBC’s showroom during Thursday’s night’s LOTO Shootout Party.

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Clockwise from top left: the sales counter at PBC’s marina store; at PBC’s LOTO party, model Brittany Dunn poses with customer Joe Thompson and his girlfriend Brittany Gifford; mom Cheryl Freeman and daughter Megan pose with Brett Manire; dock girls Kristen Rush and Amy Coursey at the bar. up with Mark Waddington, bought out the company and started growing the business. Keeping the original five employees, Manire rechristened the firm Performance Boat Center, which Manire operates under the auspices of Waddington’s Redhead Yacht Club, which owns all of the property that also features a full-service marina with 100 wet slips (including small 10x24 spaces all the way up to very large 20x60 slips), marina store and gas docks. In addition, it will also operate the new Redhead’s Lakeside Grill restaurant, speedboat.com

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slated to open in the spring. “Now today 25 people show up to work each day,” Manire smiles. The team’s first order of business was to expand the brokerage and service business, then align themselves more closely with performance boat builders. In late 2011, they commissioned a couple of new boats from Outerlimits, and recently signed a contract with Cigarette to be an official dealer. “We have three boats on order, so they’re going to be our main brand,” Manire says. “We’ve also got a couple

of Statement center consoles on order.” Manire’s chief goal is to become a national performance boat center for everybody. Currently, the staff does a good amount of pickup and delivery for service work for customers in surrounding states, as well as places as far away as Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois and Florida. “We are not here exclusively for the Lake of the Ozarks clientele—if you want your boat to be stored and serviced at a brandnew state-of-the-art facility with the best technicians and mechanics availSPEEDBOAT |

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Performance Boat Center

A 2014 52’ SL Outerlimits, powered by 1350s, is one of PBC’s in-stock models, above.

able, we’re here for you,” Manire says. They’ve certainly got the tools—and the chops—to deliver on that promise, with a large paint shop, service facility and full-service Mercury Racingcertified staff members specializing in #6 and #8 drives. “If you’re not happy with your service somewhere else, we’ll pick the boat up, bring it to our facility, store it indoors and work on it,” Manire says. “We can either hold it for you until springtime or bring it back to you.” Part of PBC’s efforts to publicize their operation has been sponsoring the offshore competitor Marine Concepts Speed Racer, a 44' MTI. Randy Kent 58

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of Osage Beach, MO, commissioned and built the boat, formerly known as Bud Select, which he races with Reggie Fountain III. “This year he wanted to put some money into the boat, install some bigger engines, get a new paint job, a new truck and really try to get a race team going,” Manire says. “So we teamed up with him and sponsored it this year and we’re most likely going to do it again next year.” Some rigging and mechanical gremlins dashed any hopes of a trophy in 2014, but there’s always next year. “It didn’t really get the time it needed,” Manire says. “Hopefully, we’ll get everything ready for 2015.” In the meantime, he says he plans to continue growing the company. “Phase One was the dealership and marina, Phase Two was the restaurant, and Phase Three will be vacation rentals,” he says, referring to a group of threebedroom, self standing homes that visitors to the lake will be able to rent for the weekend. The homes, located right across the lake from the marina, can

be rented by visitors, used as a home and vacated when they’re done—after which a cleaning staff prepares the house for the next rental. “You’ll be able to park your boat at the marina, leave your tow truck here, then stay right on our property and golf-cart it to the restaurant and the pool,” Manire says. “We should have units available to rent this spring.” PBC is centrally located, right on the 21-mile marker off of the main channel, putting it right in the middle of the lake. “The major highway that feeds the lake comes right behind us, so we’re the easiest marinas to get to from in and off the highway,” Manire says. “It’s really a dream come true for trailer boaters. Just take the highway all the way to our front door—we have our launch ramp and storage facilities on site. So once you come to the lake, your first destination should be Performance Boat Center at Redhead Yacht Club.” For more information, please visit performanceboatcenter.com or call (573) 873-2300. speedboat.com

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The Speed Racer team (including Reggie Fountain III and Randy Kent, center) with PBC’s Mark Waddington and Brett Manire. speedboat.com

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V-DRIVE TECH JIM WILKES Continued from Page 10 (although I plan to move them up), and the prop is a two-blade. (I’m not sure of the size, but I plan to switch to a three-blade). Those are the basics. Now my issue: the faster I go, the harder it wants to pull to the left. At high speeds, I have to have the down pedal all the way down to keep it straight—otherwise it will want to hook to the left hard. I have to use all of my strength to keep it straight. The rudder is not offset. What could the problem be? Something wrong with the plates? All of my running gears are tight and straight. Any help would be appreciated. John Ballard Bakersfield, CA The problem is the plate adjustment. Running off the front of the engine, you’re using a right-hand rotation propeller. The torque from the propeller is causing the boat to roll to the left. You need to adjust the left side of the plate down and raise the right side up.

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Remember, John, for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Think of your plate as the ailerons on a plane. When the plane turns, one aileron goes up and one goes down. We are not dealing with wind, but water. We only need to understand what is happening to the water as it comes in contact with the underside of the plate. Less water pressure on one side of the plate and more pressure on the other will cause the boat to react. Some plate adjustment masters like to try and control the ride by using just the outside corner turnbuckle. Personally, I prefer to use more of the plate surface and less surface drag. That’s just the way I do it; it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other way is wrong. I try and think outside of the box. Less drag means more speed! Good luck, and feel free to call me if you want more help with your plate adjustment at (714) 540-8908.

Whirl-Away Query Dear Jim: I have Casale V-drive with a Whirl-Away on it, but I think it’s going to only release if the prop shaft were to spin right-hand. The motor is in backwards, driving off the flywheel going in to the V-drive. If I hold the input shaft and try to spin the prop shaft to the left, it won’t release. However, if I hold the input shaft and spin the prop shaft to the right, it releases. I’m guessing the WhirlAway could be for a motor if it were being driven off the front of the crank, but I’m still learning. I might be over thinking the whole thing. What’s your opinion? The motor is a BBC. Thank you! Tim Snyder Atlanta, GA Your engine is install with the flywheel facing forward, meaning you have a left-hand drive system with a left-hand rotation propeller. To drive the boat, the Whirl-Away needs to lock up while you spin the driveshaft to the left. If not ,your Whirl-Away would just ratchet. It should ratchet to the right if you spin the propshaft to the right. Remember that when you decelerate, your propeller will want to keep spinning, but your engine wants to slow down. Your prop release will ratchet or, if your engine were to lock up, it would allow the release to ratchet, keeping your boat from rolling over. It sounds like everything is installed correctly.


Photos by Kenny

Dunlop

ENDURO 336 River Dave’s Place continues to carry on the legacy of the famous endurance race. 62

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Division D winners Steve Davis and Todd Haig in #D-737 also placed in Division 4.

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aunched in the early ’60s, the infamous Parker Enduro race has evolved steadily

through the years. In its latest incarnation, promoter River Dave’s Place has rechristened it the 336 Enduro and plotted a course from the BlueWater Resort & Casino to Pirate’s Den at La Paz County Park. A total of 29 boats registered—down from the previous year—but the action was no less exciting, with a close finish that saw Randy Davis, Billy Dunsmore and Gordon Jennings taking their boat to first place speedboat.com

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overall—the first time the team has had an Enduro win after years of chasing victory. The Nordic team also placed first in Division 3. The Needles River K Association was the new title sponsor of the 2014 event; other sponsors included Nordic Boats, Teague Custom Marine, Gene Price Motorsports, Palomar Solar, Stroke’s, Scion and Wonzencraft Insurance. The 2015 edition of the Enduro 336 will be Oct. 23-25, to once again take place at the Bluewater Resort in Parker.

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Enduro 336

Tony Scarlata participates in Division E, driving #435.

Overall winners Randy Davis, Billy Dunsmore and Gordon Jennings, representing Nordic Boats.

Division C winners Paul Fitzgerald, Chuck Sousamia and Tyler Roth in GN92.

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Division B winners Mike Quindazzi and Chad Hill in #007.

Division F winners Bob and John Teague were at the controls of the AMSOIL-sponsored GN77.

Division E winners John Haddon and Randy Pierson in #147.

Division A winners Sean Lambert and Robert Middleton.

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Den Again For the third year running running, awesome boats come to party at Pirate's Den Resort in Parker, AZ.

Photos by Jim Wilkes

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rizona's Pirate's Den Resort was the destination of more than 50 classic hot boats on the Parker Strip recently—the

third annual event that also drew more than a 100 antique autos. The end-of-the-season blowout, which gathered V-drives, jetboats and flatbottoms, continues to expand, according to Lori Steurer of Pirate’s Den. “We had a lot of new boats, which

was really exciting,” she says. “We also added a couple of new classes, including a River Racer class (for “the everyday guy who’s out there winding down the river”) and People’s Choice, where spectators can vote on their favorite rigs. “We got a lot of really old, restored race boats, including some beautiful allwood models,” Steurer says. “It was great to see those boats come out, because we don’t get to see those that often around the river.”

Kaylee Hiebert, 16, in Heith Hebert's GN boat, with paint by Jack Landers. Tom Buska did most of the rigging.

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Top: Ron Ramsey's Hondo won the River Racer Class award. Above left: Haf Gast, a 1963 Stevens Sportster owned by Mike Paventi of Thousand Oaks, CA. Below: Half-Moon, a 1960 Hallett owned by Dick Rush. The boat is powered by a 406 T-Bird with a Hallcraft V-drive installed by Dunsmore Custom Marine. Bottom right: Bad Medicine, a 1982 Cole hydro with 500-ci Chevrolet motor with aluminum heads and 871 blower.

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NJBA nationals

The final race of the year at Lake Ming gathers 80 boats hungry for victory.

Photos by Mark

McLaughlin

Danny Day pilots his own Comp Hydro, The Black Boat, to the #1 qualifying position. Photographer Mark McLaughlin wonders if Day spotted him standing directly in front of him down in the shut-down area on the shoreline.

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The 9.00-second bracket class had a total of 11 boats going for the trophy. Ben Wurster (right) worked his way up to the #3 qualifying position and battled the field of boats for the win. Below: Wurster is ahead of Alan Asbe in the first round, running a respectable 9.09 elapsed time to Alan’s 8.96-breakout E.T.

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total of 80 registered boats made took care of the field of seven boats…and, per tradition, prothe final race of the National Jet ceeded to get wet in the lake at the trophy presentation.. Meanwhile, rookie sensation Nick Pisciotta, driving in his Boat Association’s season at Lake Ming,

with racers competing in 15 different classes, including six bracket classes. The 9.00-second bracket class boasted a total of 11 boats going for the trophy; Ben Wurster worked his way up to the #3 qualifying position and ran the field of boats for the win. In the The 6.00-second Quick Eliminator class, 11 boats battled it out, with Michael Torgerson taking the #9 spot in qualifying. Going into the final round against Joe Shelfo, Torgerson took the easy win as Shelfo lost a propeller right off the starting line. First-time winner Ryan Mustie in the 8.00-second Pro Eliminator class

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first official sanctioned drag boat race, not only qualified #2 in the 10.00-second bracket class, but also took his firstever win, taking out Randall Docken in round one and then upsetting the current points leader, Blake Thurlow, in the final round. By trophy time, Nick was already prepared to jump in the lake. Other winners: Willis Johns (Blown Gas Jet), Kelly Rhead (Pro Gas Flat), Josh Hayden (Pro Gas Hydro), Mike Miller (Pro Gas Jet), Mike Torgerson (Pro Unlimited Flat), Charles MacLardie (River Racer) and Brian Coin (Top Alcohol Flat). SPEEDBOAT |

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NJBA world ďŹ nals In the 6.00-second Quick Eliminator class, Michael Torgerson took the win against Joe Shelfo, who lost a prop right off the starting line.

Below: Joe Shelfo’s Sucker Punch hydro lost a prop running in Quick Eliminator. Right: Ryan Mustie, first time winner in the 8.00-second Pro Eliminator class. Middle right: Mike Davis in the blown hydro War Child, qualified in the #1 position and took the win in the 6.00-second Quick Eliminator class. Bottom right: Cory Hallberg runs his Sweet Pickle jetboat in the 9.00-second bracket class.

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Adam Simmons in Modaka was runner-up in Pro Gas Jet.

Andy Ralls (above left) was runner-up in the 8-second Pro Eliminator class (below, racing against Tim Goodwin).

Pro Gas Flat’s Michael Jewell in Hee Bee Jee Bee shows everyone how a flatbottom boat is supposed to ride down the liquid quarter mile.

Rookie sensation Nick Pisciotta not only qualified #2 in the 10.00-second bracket class, but also took his first-ever win, taking out Randall Docken in round one and then upsetting the current points leader, Blake Thurlow in the final round.

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Lucas Oil

world finals

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Photos by Mark

McLaughlin

Drag boats face off in Chandler, AZ.

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ore than 150 teams showed up at the Wild Horse Pass MotorSports Park—formally

known as Firebird Raceway in Chandler, AZ—for the NAPA/Lucas Oil Drag Boat World Finals. Excellent weather all four days helped make it a stellar success, along with several record times and speeds.. In Pro Eliminator class, Dan Jensen drove his Without a Trace machine to the numbertwo qualifying spot. An eleven-boat field gave the #1 qualifier a bye run in the first round, and Jensen went all the way to the finals and took out the #1 boat to win the class. Meanwhile, Top Alcohol hydro owner/ driver Mike Fry, in Mean Streak II, qualified #2 and not only won the event, but took home the High Points World Championship. Vic Esposito didn’t fare so well in qualifying. Driving the Freak Show Pro Modified drag boat, he could only get to the #14 spot out of 21 entries. After taking out the current points leader, Marty Logan, in round 3, he then proceeded to take a bye run into the final where he squared off against the Desperado machine. Esposito ran a limited schedule for the 2014 season, but ended up on a high note with the World Finals win. Over 20 boats showed up for the newest class in Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series. The Quick Eliminator class is a bracket class with a 1000 foot course. Number eleven qualifier Jerry Hardwick, driving the Texas Red hydro, had to go five rounds to take the win in this very competitive class. He finished up the year as the high-points runnerup in Division 2 Quick Eliminator category.

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Lucas Oil World Finals

PE Class

Dan Jensen in Pro Eliminator took his Without A Trace machine all the way to the finals and took out the #1 qualifying boat to win the class.

TAH Class

After qualifying 14th in a field of 21, Vic Esposito ended up on a high note with the World Finals win.

PO Class

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Mike Fry in Mean Streak II not only won his class, but took home the High Points World Championship.

PM Class

Pro Outlaw champ Jimmy Booher in round one of a Pro Mod battle with Travis Tuttle in Short Fuse.

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Back in Black Crash

Greg Jones, owner of the Top Alcohol Flat Back in Black and son of the infamous Sonny Jones, went for a wild ride on Sunday. The boat was destroyed, and he was checked out at the on-site paramedic station. speedboat.com

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Lucas Oil World Finals

ME Class

Mod Eliminator driver Armand LaBarre takes his Yellow Jacket boat to the class win.

Brandon Brodecki and Craig Murphy not only take the class win, but also won the overall points for the year.

QE Class

In Top Fuel, Scotty Lumbert in MavTV/ Spirit of Texas passes Bryan Sanders in the Nitrochondriac for the win.

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Cracker Box Class

#11 qualifier Jerry Hardwick drives his Texas Red hydro had to go 5 rounds to take the win in Quick Eliminator.

TFH Class

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RR Class Keith Funk drives his What The Funk River Racer jet boat to the class win.

Owner/driver Bob Winder took Momma’s Diamond to the event win over a field of 12 entries.

SE Class

TAF Class

In his first Top Alcohol Flat race, Ronnie Hays took Flying Dutchman to the win over a tough field of veteran drivers.

In Top Elimnator, Texas Highrisk driver Kevin Conklin shoed for owner Jim Burns.

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TE Class

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Lucas Oil World Finals

Spirit of America Crash

The newly assembled Top Fuel Jet Spirit of America, owned by John Cost and driven by Brian Letterly, crashed after something on the jet drive broke. The capsule did its job; Letterly can be seen waving through the windshield.

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Lucas Oil World Finals

505 Crash

In Top Alcohol Flat racing on Sunday, Mike Martin, in the injected flatty Dazed and Confused, got off to a rough start. The boat launched into the air, sending parts and capsule across the water. Martin will be back to race again. 80

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SALES & SERVICE MerCruiser, Volvo, OMC Stern Drives

(714) 540-8908

V-DRIVE SPECIALIST COMPLETE BOAT RESTORATION Wood Decks, Paint, New Installations In-house Machine & Welding Distributor For PHENIX AN/SS Plumbing & LUCAS Marine & Racing Products

601 E. Alton Ave. • Santa Ana, CA 92705 • www.wilkesmarineparts.com

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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE

[Continued from page 6]

his reputation. However, working alongside him for those long hours and days, I came to understand how he has earned his place atop of this industry. We ran boats at speeds, both high and low. We ran precise times for different tasks, such as planing and acceleration drills. We ran them easy and we ran them hard. I watched and noted as Bob would finesse that final mph out of a vessel that simply did not want to give it up. It was exciting once that speedo finally ticked up. Alexi and Brett were testing simultaneously and the whole process started to evolve into a dance, of sorts. We would finish testing a boat and return to the docks, just as they were heading out, passing each other on the way. We would test the Nordic as they tested the DCB. Then they would test the Nordic, as we moved on to the Hallett. And so on and so on...until each team had tested every boat in attendance. We had reserved Day Three for late arrivals and follow-up boats that we wouldn’t be able to complete on Day Two. However, the process flowed so smoothly that we had completed the entire performance evaluations in only two days. In my book, that was a huge victory. Our entire test team did an amazing job on getting this event organized and accomplished. We then had everyone convene for a team photo, as we traditionally do. However, this time felt a little different. Chris Davidson had a box of something and gathered us around for a speech. He told us how proud he was of the job that we all did and was grateful for the loyalty that everyone has for him and this organization. After a few more heartfelt words, he presented us all with a spectacular custommade pendant. It bore the SPEEDBOAT name alongside a lightning bolt (in the fashion of Elvis Presley’s famous TCB logo with the same lightning bolt). In fact, Elvis’s personal jeweler that used to make the TCB pendants was responsible for making our Speedboat pendants. Simply beautiful. Thank you, Chris! I hope you will enjoy the performance evaluations that appear in this issue, to continue in our next issue. We will also post additional action and bikini photography from this event on our website, Speedboat.com. 82

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