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SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE

SPEED SPORT SHOCKER!

Eddie Knox is Back on Top

NO

PROBLEM!

SEXXY SE7EN Our Sizzling Swimsuit Special! JUNE 2016

J UNE 2016

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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 June 2016

COLUMNS 8 RAY LEE 10 WILKES 14 INDUSTRY NEWS 60 NEW PRODUCTS

FEATURES 16 LAKE HAVASU BOAT SHOW The biggest and best display of muscleboats on the West Coast suffered a cruel dose of wicked weather.

24 SEXXY SE7EN Our editors took seven girls to Lake Elsinore, CA, for their latest swimsuit shoot.

34 THE TRUTH ABOUT ETHANOL Speedboat dispels the myths surrounding boat racers’ fuel of choice.

40 ROLLING THUNDER Some of the wildest rigs on the East Coast play fast and loose on the Chesapeake Bay.

46 TREK TO TAMPA Florida Powerboat Club President Stu Jones gives the lowdown on his group’s latest adventure.

54 SPEEDBOAT LEGENDS In the fourth edition of our Hall of Fame series, we salute Eliminator Boats founder Bob Leach. 6

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speedboat.com

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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 Ray Lee Director ray@speedboat.com Art Director Gail Hada-Insley Helicopter Services Fred Young fyoung@live.com

BRETT’S COVE 64 DEWEY’S DAYTONA Tattoo artist Mike Dewey gets his go-fast fix in his beautiful Eliminator tunnel.

68 THE SKAGEN SOCIETY

Photographers Todd Taylor, Pete Boden, Randy Nuzzo, Kenny Dunlop, Paul Kemiel, Jeff Girardi, Mark McLaughlin Operations Manager Michele Plummer michele@speedboat.com

Subscriptions Valerie Snedeker valerie@speedboat.com

Customers of the legendary Seattle shop gather annually at the MarDon Resort.

Webmaster Craig Lathrop

74 PURE INSANITY

Web Design Wes Nielsen

The 2016 Lucas Oil Drag Racing season gets off to a bang with fierce competition in Chandler and Parker, AZ.

craig@speedboat.com

wes@speedboat.com

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

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.

SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE (ISSN#1941-9473) is published 8 times plus a bonus issue this year by DCO Enterprises LLC.

Postmaster: Send address changes to Postmaster: Send address changes to Speedboat Magazine, 9216 Bally Court, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

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.

Cover photos by SeanKelly-Photography.com (top) and Ray Lee (bottom) Table of Contents photo by Randy Nuzzo speedboat.com

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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 US funds. For subscription info: call (888) 577-2628.

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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE

Shelter from the Storm

In my column last month, I wrote about my long-standing battle “against the wind” and how it most recently affected our swimsuit photo shoot in Lake Elsinore, CA. It is rare that we come out on top during these faceoffs, as Mother Nature can be a ruthless “female canine.” Well, she continued her wrath on the West Coast boating community, again with minimal signs of mercy. The organizers of the Lake Havasu Boat Show had spent months planning the 2016 event. Exhibitor count was way up from the year before and the buzz was electric, partly because of the lackluster offering from the L.A. Boat Show in February. The Havasu Boat Show was scheduled for a three-day run in the balmy month of April, where the weather is usually mild and comfortable. But not this time. Wind and rain threatened to spoil the party all week as invested individuals closely monitored various weather apps on their smartphones… frequently. The opening Friday was greeted with fierce winds and sideways rain. As I was making the wet drive across the desert toward Lake Havasu, Speedboat photographer Kenny Dunlop texted me a picture of a once-functioning EZ-Up from an unlucky vendor booth, with its canopy ripped clean away—only the mangled skeleton remained. I knew then that the boat show would suffer considerably. Exhibitors and the few attendees sought shelter wherever they could. Inside 8

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vehicles, motor homes and even in and under the boats on display. The diligent ones braved the cold and wet elements with hopes of clearing skies, while the less patient ones left the premises to find a warm meal and a cold beverage. Saturday looked hopeful because the venue—and the boats—had dried out and the sun made a much-welcomed appearance. It actually turned into a picture-perfect day, and the show bubbled with activity. Deals were being signed, products were being sold and fun was being had. This was what the event was supposed to be like all weekend. Inevitably, though, Saturday led into Sunday, which brought the rain and winds back with it. Some exhibitors and vendors had pulled up stakes the night before, anticipating the foul weather, while the rest of “Team Optimism” returned Sunday with expectations of a repeat of the day before. However, that was not to be, and the rest of the show was eventually cancelled. Fast-forward one week later, to the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Races in Parker, AZ, where race fans were anxiously awaiting for the thunder to return to the Colorado River. Again, vendors and exhibitors set up for what was certain to be an exciting weekend on and around the grounds of the Bluewater Casino Resort. But guess who showed up again to ruin the festivities? Mother. Freaking. Nature. Sustained winds of 25-30 mph howled

across the dusty pit areas and caused the liquid race course to whitecap. Gusts of up to 50 mph tested awnings and canopies to their extreme limits. Race teams did their best to protect their engines and vessels from the windstorm, but most to no avail. I especially felt sorry for the PA announcer, who had the unenviable job of reporting the status of the non-existent races and attempt to keep the spectator fleet from fleeing. For two days straight, the winds refused to lay down, keeping all boats on their trailers and securely in their pits. Some teams gave up and headed home on Saturday, with frustration riding shotgun. Time dragged on as everyone kept their fingers crossed for a calm, tranquil Sunday, as Saturday was obviously a lost cause. And that is precisely what they got. Sunday proved to be a nice, breeze-free day, and the teams were finally ready and able to race. There was a lot to do, having lost two full days, so the racing started early and continued on throughout the day, keeping a feverish pace. Spectators on that day received the payoff for having the rare virtue of patience. Some outstanding and exciting racing occurred until near sunset. So between the two events in two weeks, Mother Nature proved to be generous roughly about 33.3333% of the time. But maybe she will now finally show a little mercy on the boating community. With the season ready to kick off in full swing and large events just around the corner and across the nation, I hope she will provide nothing but the best conditions from here on out. That is the Mother Nature I love. Because I’d much rather be writing about actual boating rather than adding to my résumé for the position of local meteorologist. speedboat.com

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V-DRIVE TECH JIM WILKES

Gear Box Info Dear V-Drive Tech: Would you happen to know the make of the gear box in the attached photos? Are they reliable, and are parts still available? Thank you! Mark MacColl Baton Rouge, LA The V-drive unit in your boat is a Casale top-loader style unit with a cast aluminum mounting bracket. Parts are still available for these units, but not all the parts are “on the shelf” items. I have parts for these units, so if you need anything, give me a call at Wilkes Marine, (714) 540-8908. Good luck with your V-drive!

Daytona Situation Dear V-Drive Tech: I am looking to buy or build an Eliminator Daytona V-drive. Did Eliminator not make many V-drives? I know that the jet guys are adept at taking the outboard boats and converting them, but can they be converted to a V-drive as well? What do 10

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you think about the Eliminator V-drive setup in general? I am a novice, and I have heard that V-drives take up a lot of room in the interior. How many passengers can a 21' Daytona V-drive comfortably seat? Who in California could assist me with such a conversion? Finally, how much hp would I need to see low 100s? Much obliged, Gerard Barry Rancho Cucamonga, CA When Bob Leach first started building boats, he did indeed build V-drive flatbottom-style boats. Since those days, Bob has built just about every style and type of boat, including a variety of 19' and 21' V-Drive tunnel Daytonas. Tommy Barron of the famed Barron family (Hallett Boats) did most of the V-drive installations for Eliminator Boats, although some V-drive Daytonas were rigged at the Eliminator factory. Can you take a outboard and convert it to a V-drive style boat? Yes, of course. The one critical part on the installation, in my opinion, is the cav plate setup.

The downside is going to be the expense. V-drive boats aren’t cheap to build. Even if you do the labor yourself, expect the parts to be pricey. You can easily sink $20,000 into new quality parts for a conversion. If you use a Turbo 400 transmission, you will have room for four bucket seats: two front bucket seats and two very small bucket seats in the rear. I have built four 21' tunnel boats with outstanding success. Sam Corbett used a twin-turbo 468 that we built, and my dyno test showed 876 hp at 6,000 rpm, 12 pounds of boost; with 32 gears, the boat ran 114 mph. This boat turned out fabulous. Set up correctly, they are the best 21-footers I have ever ridden in during rough-water conditions. I would seriously consider trying to locate a used one. As a matter of fact, I know where is one for sale right now. Call me if you’re interested: (714) 540-8908. It won’t be for sale for very long.

Prop Choice Help Dear V-Drive Tech: I recently purchased a Sanger Mini Day Cruiser with blown BBC (600-700 hp) with a TH400 transmission. It came with 29 gears and 3 blade 12½ x 13 pitch prop. The boat cavitates badly out of the hole and midrange when heavy footed. I need suggestions for a good “all-around” prop. Thank you! Ken Franklin Mesa, AZ I have rigged or re-rigged a number Sanger V-drive hulls of this particular model. For my style of installation, the best propeller I have found is a 12"x15.5" pitch model. Some guys like a 14" pitch prop instead of a 15+" pitch. It’s really just a matter of engine placement and V-drive location. How the boat feels at speed is extremely important. You want safe propeller control for your rocket. speedboat.com

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Industry News BOB BROWN

To Wake, Or Not to Wake Lake Havasu Boaters Face Possible New ‘No Wake’ Restrictions

The never ending-debate between recreational power boating access/ use and environmental protection has once again surfaced in the Lake Havasu Wildlife Refuge, the 18-mile stretch of Colorado River located just north of the I-40 bridge extending south through scenic Topock Gorge where the river meets Lake Havasu. And to complicate matters, the Refuge is administrated by multiple governmental agencies; the Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. The newest struggle over access/use and environmental protection appeared about a year ago when USFW created a new no-wake zone in a backwater area of the Refuge which had been long used by wakeboarders and water skiers seeking smooth water. Acting on the complaints of non-motorized watercraft users that 14

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boarding and skiing were harming the wildlife habitat in that area, USFW installed buoys making it a restricted nowake zone. Naturally, the boarders and skiers strongly objected and were successful in getting the support of Congressman Paul Gosar (R) Mohave County to engage USFW in heated communication regarding the closure. Gosar, a staunch advocate and watchdog about governmental over-reach, objected to the lack of process (no public input or notification) used by USFW in imposing these new restrictions on boating. Now, fast forward to today. On April 12, 2016, USFW unveiled a Compatibility Determination (CD) to make additional no wake zones within the Refuge boundaries. It also indicated that public meetings about the CD would be held on

Monday, May 2 at the Aquatic Center in Lake Havasu from 6 to 8pm, and Tuesday, May 3 at the AVI Resort & Casino from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition, concerned citizens would also have an opportunity to make comments by email or mail on the matter until May 12. All of this is troubling to power boaters who frequently travel the main channel of the Refuge, making lunch and dinner runs to popular destinations like Topock 66 and Pirate’s Cove Resort. Although it appears on the surface that the newly proposed no wake zones are primarily located in areas where power boats seldom go (Topock Marsh backwaters) there is concern that the marsh-like area at the southernmost tip of the Refuge boundary where river and lake converge may also be targeted for no wake desigspeedboat.com

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nation under this plan. It appears on the USFW provided chart, that no wake would be restricted from the eastern shore (Arizona side) out to the middle (imaginary dividing line) of the lake on the California and Arizona boundary. This area has been largely unrestricted until now, and boaters routinely travel at moderate to fast on-plane speeds (above 35 mph) in order to avoid running aground in shallow water. If in fact this is the case, the new no wake zone would undoubtedly have a detrimental economic effect on up river restaurants, bars and resorts north of the I-40 bridge. Big picture: Restricting boating access and use are not something boaters should relinquish casually. Overzealous conservation activists, don’t consider recreational boating as a fundamental right. And it appears the USFW shares that sentiment given a statement contained within its own CD—“Based on the analysis within this Compatibility Determination, the Refuge proposes to limit boating to activities that support the priority public uses—hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education and interpretation.” Conspicuous by its absence is any mention or reference of general recreational boating as a priority public use. Concerned boaters are urged to send their comments to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Attn: Draft Recreational Boating CD 317 Mesquite Avenue Needles, CA 92363 Comments may also be emailed to: Havasu_Boating_Comments@fws.gov. More information will undoubtedly be forthcoming following the public meetings at the Aquatic Center on Monday, May 2, and AVI on Tuesday, May 3. If possible, please attend and be involved in the process. Watch this space for further developments. speedboat.com

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Lake Havasu boat show The biggest and best display of muscleboats on the West Coast suffered a cruel dose of wicked weather.

Photos by Kenny

Dunlop

A

s chronicled in Ray Lee’s excellent column this month (see Page 8), the forces of nature did not smile down on exhibitors and

attendees of the Lake Havasu Boat Show this spring, sending unseasonable precipitation and high winds in place of the typical clear and sunny skies. What should have been the usual impressive array of muscle and bling became a massive puddle with demolished EZ-Ups on the side. Saturday proved the only worthwhile day, and the Speedboat team was able to photograph the sights in between monsoons. And what a display it was, howsoever briefly. Virtually every fast-boat builder in Southern California and Arizona were on hand with their always-impressive hulls, and there was no end of accessories and engines to be marveled at as well. Among the highlights: a terrific display from local builder Advantage Boats, which displayed its 25' Citation, 29' X-Flight and 34' Party Cat TRX; DCB’s latest M35 masterpiece; and a Cobra 270 Python with a super-plush interior and a Teague Custom Marine 1025 engine under the hatch. Check out all of the goodies on the pages ahead. 16

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Caliber 1 The Havasu-based builder showed off its 265 Silver Bullet deckboat atop an Extreme Trailer. The same model was also on display at the Los Angeles Boat Show only a few months early.

Cobra This plushly appointed 270 Python (left and below) is equipped with a Teague 1025 motor.

DCB The El Cajon, CA-based builder of luxury muscle cats and vees displayed its popular M35 tunnel (left) along with various other models (above). DCB shared space with its dealer Horizon Motorsports, which has showrooms in Arizona and Colorado.

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Lake Havasu Boat Show

Domn8er The Havasu-based builder, owned by Dory Sarafin, had its 25’ Deckboat (above) on display.

Jet Renu The Corona, CA-based maker of cleaning systems for boats showed off its full line of environmentally friendly sprays and waxes, including the popular “Clear” glass cleaner and “Pink” spray and shine wax (left).

Howard Based in Valencia, CA, Gene Willen and his team brought an open-bow version of their popular 28 SCS cat.

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Lake Havasu Boat Show

Hallett Nick and Jerry Barron celebrated their 285 Party Cruiser 2.0.

GatorStep T.J. Ayres educated showgoers about GatorStep’s nonskid surface systems, available in a variety of colors and designs (below left).

AMSOIL The maker of synthetic motor oils displayed Miss AMSOIL, an APBA Stock A hydroplane race boat (below).

Eliminator The legendary Mira Loma, CA-based builder displayed its classic 280 Eagle XP.

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Predator I, driver Vern Gilbert, West Coast Drive Service

Gone Again, driver Kenny Mungle

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Lake Havasu Boat Show Shockwave Introduced in 2008, Shockwave’s 22 Deckboat was recently redesigned. A jet version of this model was reviewed in these pages earlier this year; the boat earned stellar marks for its superior ride, handling and ability to negotiate the rough water in Lake Havasu.

Advantage The Havasu builder’s 24 Party Cat TRX (above and right) has been its biggest seller this year, with several currently on order.

Mercury Racing The ubiquitous powerhouse displayed its 520 sterndrive, an 8.6-liter multiport fuelinjected V-8 engine that features a premium forged microalloy crankshaft. This package has been induction hardened and precision balanced for maximum performance.

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Nordic Thane Tiemer proudly displayed Nordic’s 28SS, beautifully appointed and powered by a 1350 Mercury Racing engine.

Conquest The Havasu-based builder Group One Marine had its 28' Top Cat model on display.

Boat Bling Zack Bale and Patrick Jones showed off their line of detailing products, including Hot Sauce, Vinyl Sauce, Condition Sauce and Quickie Sauce. The company is currently celebrating its 10th year in business.

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SEXXY SE7EN Th S The Speedboat db t tteam ttook k seven girls i l tto Lake Elsinore, CA for our latest swimsuit shoot.

Six of our girls chill on Caliber 1’s beautiful new 265 Silver Bullet deckboat. From left: Akacia, Rupa, Angela, Emily, Tatiana and Tiffany.

Photos by Ray

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Lee & Brett Bayne

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Greg Duff did a full restoration on his Daytona Sprint. Look for it in an upcoming issue.

caption

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W

e’re not going to mince words. This was the windiest shoot we’ve ever done.

Olivia poses on White Trash, David Giacomino’s Magnum.

The weather in Southern California is usually picture perfect, and although the sun never stopped shining down on our venue—Lake Elsinore’s Weekend Paradise RV park—it turned out to be one of the most blustery of days of recent memory. For this year’s swimsuit extravaganza, we rounded up seven of the sexiest gals we could find and deposited them in some of the bitchenest rides in the SoCal area. You’ll notice that most of the boats never even touched the water—that’s because the water was too rough, so we just shot the girls on the trailer, where none of them could lose her balance and break a nail. Special thanks to Wade Addington of Weekend Paradise for hosting our shoot. Let’s do it again sometime! S P E E D B O A T | June 2016

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SEXXY SE7EN

Emily digs Mike Dewey’s 1978 19' Eliminator Daytona. To see more of this boat, turn to Page 63 of this issue.

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Wesley Morgan’s 1971 Southwind fits both Tatiana (above) and Tiffany (left) to a “T”!

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SEXXY SE7EN Our model Rupa is seen here with Dennis Capogni’s 1978 18' California Performance hull. Inset: Rupa shows off Dave Stehle’s helmet, which matches his immaculate 2002 Biesemeyer K-Boat (inset).

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SEXXY SE7EN

Right: Akacia enjoys the view from the transom of Dave Tilley’s 1970 Hondo, Misbehavin’ Again. Below: Olivia hopes to catch a ride on Keith Cummins’ 1977 18’ Hondo GT.

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Tatiana and Emily look smokin’ hot on Mike “Mouzer” Pierce’s equally smoldering 1965 Stevens Drag Hydro, God’s Speed.

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SEXXY SE7EN

Tiffany braves the wind on Steve Faist’s 1986 Cole Factory Boat, Spooky.

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Tiffany is all smiles on Larry Spriggs’ 1994 Ultra jetboat.

Our “Sexxy Se7en” models with Bryan Struck’s 1982 19’ Howard.

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4/29/16 8:36 PM


Story by Brett

Bayne

Signs of the times: fuel pumps that offer high-ethanol fuels— and that don’t. Above: The American Ethanol Mystic, winner of the Top Gun Shootout prize at LOTO.

Speedboat dispels some of the myths and misinformation surrounding boat racer’s fuel of choice.

Y

The Truth About

Ethanol

Let’s start with the basics. What is ethou’re at the marina. You’re ready to fill your anol? Well, if you’ve ever treated yourself boat with gas. You to a distilled beverage, spirit, or liquor, approach the pump and you’ve consumed ethyl alcohol. That’s

you see that familiar slogan: Does not contain ethanol. That sounds like something bad, doesn’t it? Like Contains no gluten, or This product is non-toxic. So what’s so bad about ethanol? Myths about ethanol fuel have run rampant, and for many, it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. So let’s take a closer look at this biofuel: What it is, how it impacts boaters, and whether or not you should be using it.

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ethanol. The substance is produced from organic matter, such as corn, wheat, sugar cane, grass, et al. Ethanol was used in fuel more than 100 years ago—in fact, the Ford Motor Company’s first car, the Model T, was powered by ethanol gasoline made from corn, which is still the #1 ingredient of gasoline containing ethanol sold in the U.S. today. In the early 2000s, the popularity of ethanol began to expand as an oxygenating agent for gasoline, replacing MTBE.

It’s typically added to fuel in order to reduce the hydrocarbon emissions that cause air pollution. Ethanol/gasoline blends are now available at most service stations around the United States; nearly all of the gasoline sold in the U.S. contains about 10 percent ethanol, and it burns safely in all cars, trucks and boats. Then there are the high-level ethanolblended fuels: E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gas), E15 (15% ethanol) and the popular E85, which can refer to an ethanol-gasoline blend that typically contains anywhere between 51% and 80% ethanol. E85 is intended only for engines that have been specially geared to accommospeedboat.com

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The Truth About Ethanol

Most ethanol made in the United States comes from corn.

What the experts say: Daniel Schwartzkopf A pioneer in the marriage of ethanol and racing, Schwartzkopf started racing ethanol with a street car and progressed into drag racing. He was owner of a sixcar NHRA drag-racing team, and was GM/shareholder of an ethanol plant. He has helped get ethanol approved for other motorsports, such as a compact series, Indy car, tractor pulls, and raceboat series. Today he works directly with race teams and helping them transition into ethanol-based fuels.

A

s someone who brought ethanol into the the racing world, I think we’ve proven

it to be a superior fuel as far as power, octane and emissions. Emissions is a critical part of the equation, because it’s so much healthier. It’s not a carcinogen. Gasoline and methanol fuels contain a lot of carcinogens; ethanol does not. I’m working right now with a group of people who compete in road rallies on a 27-mile course. Right now, some are using a methanol/gasoline blend, and we’re working on converting them 36

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over to ethanol because of the power enhancement that they gain. With ethanol, we have a slogan: “Good for the air, good for the engine, good for the environment.” But we also work with boats, so we should add: “Good for the water.” Because if you happen to tip a boat and the ethanol goes into the water, it’s biodegradable and non-toxic, so it’s not going to kill anything. We absorb ethanol when we toss back a Jack Daniels. That’s a grain-based alcohol. Unlike gasoline, ethanol does not carry the high intensity of hydrocarbons, which helps it to be easier on parts for with less carbon deposit on parts for less wear. It’s a low-risk fuel as far as health factors—not only for us, but for the air, plants and the rest of the environment. That’s probably the most important factor, aside from the performance gains you get. And we’re not just talking about little gains—in the performance world, some of these racers are recognizing anywhere from as little as 40 hp on a real precision motor, clear up to 300 hp. If you’re building an engine from the ground up,

Dan Schwartzkopf we consider a number of specific issues: air-fuel ratios, ignition that it takes to light the fuel, crankcase pressures, etc. Every motor is different—turbo, naturally aspirated, blown. Each individual’s setup is different. I think ethanol has become a predominant fuel of the future because of its characteristics—lower cost, environmentally friendly, you get more power and torque. Unfortunately, people don’t like a lot of change. But once they’re able to see the benefit of ethanol, it’s a whole new world—just ask Gary Smith, Don Onken and Keith Holmes. They’ve all had huge success using Ignite Racing Fuel. speedboat.com

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This year, American Ethanol is sponsoring Cat Can Do, owned by Keith Holmes (right).

date high-ethanol content fuel blends, and its availability at service stations across the country has grown briskly in the last few years. If you operate a competitive raceboat, chances are decent that you have used (or are at least aware) of E85. Probably the most famous promoter of this type of fuel is Don Onken’s 50-foot Mystic offshore competitor American Ethanol, powered by quad 1,700+ hp alcoholburning motors. It’s the boat that nabbed top honors at the 2015 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout with a top speed of 208 mph with driver Myrick Coil and throttleman John Cosker; the Top Gun winner was also pictured on the front cover of the November 2015 issue of this magazine. The term “American Ethanol” refers to the marketing campaign dedicated to increasing awareness of the performance capabilities—and affordability—of ethanol made in the U.S. This year, American Ethanol is sponsoring the Skater offshore racer Cat Can Do, with additional sponsorship from Ignite Racing Fuel of Marion, IN. Ignite makes and sells a variety of fuels and lubricants, including its own E-85 blend that offers what it describes as a “true” consistency (E85 can legally contain as little as 51% ethanol). In addition to its high-level ethanol fuels, Ignite also makes and markets a variety of highperformance lubricants. One of the most vocal in persuading boaters to convert to high-ethanol fuels— while dispelling the many myths about them—is Ignite Racing Fuels President Jay Berry, who underscores that ethanol can accommodate significantly higher compression ratios than gasoline. speedboat.com

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The Truth About Ethanol

The ethanol industry provides jobs in agriculture, construction, operations and maintenance, mostly in rural communities.

Left: Jay Berry of Ignite (center) with Keith Holmes of Cat Can Do (left) and Kenny Mungle of Gone Again.

What the experts say: Carson Brummett The son of legendary Mandella Boats founder Lou Brummett, Carson operates Brummett Marine in Pasadena, CA. A builder of big-horsepower engines, he has converted several raceboats to accommodate E85 fuel.

E

thanol has its pluses and minuses. For making horsepower in a turbocharged or supercharged engine, it’s very good. The boat has to be set up for it, with all Teflon fuel lines, and the filters and fuel tanks have to be compatible with ethanol and so forth. But everything’s good with it. The downside with a pleasure boat is that you’re going to use a third more of it than with regular gasoline. So if your boat barely has enough capacity and you’re going out for the day, you might be hurting with E85. And if you 38

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have a big turbocharged motor, you will be changing the oil more frequently. But if the fuel mapping is correct, it’s not too much of a problem. It definitely works. We’ve been running it since around 2001 and we’ve converted a lot of people over to using it. Sterling Engines was never going to use it—they hated it—but last year even they started using it! Ethanol definitely has its applications. You can certainly make more power with it, but it’s like anything else—you have to have the right combination to make it work correctly. We still do the PSI blown motors like Don London has. I believe this will be his fourth season using those. Last year we did Gary Smith’s Whipple motors in the Predator, and we’re working on some new turbo engines right now for a customer in Kansas. Those are all going to be E85-compatible.

Two 388 Skaters that run engines built by Carson Brummet: Don London’s (top) and Jon Roth’s (above). speedboat.com

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“Ethanol likes to be squeezed—that’s why we’re seeing massive horsepower gains with the boat racing crowd. The more compression and the more air flow you can get to it—that’s where we really blow the doors off of gasoline or racing gas,” he says. According to Berry, many in the boating industry still resist going to higher ethanol fuels based on faulty information. “We want to dispel the myths,” he says. “Among the misperceptions with ethanol and pump E85 is that it’s plugging a boat’s injectors. It’s not—it’s a cleaner.” The real problem with E85, he says, is that it’s a misnomer, because the blend can contain as little as 51% ethanol. “As long as you have 51% ethanol, that’s all the government cares about,” he says. “The oil companies can blend with it whatever they want to blend. That’s where all these issues about ethanol being bad come from—that’s all because of what the oil companies blend with it. A lot of oil companies can get rid of waste out of their refinery by blending it with the ethanol.” The solution, he says, is to rely on “true consistency” fuels like Ignite’s, a true E85 blend containing 85% ethanol and 15% denturant every time, every barrel. It burns cleaner and cooler to extend the life of an engine while providing more torque and power for the speed. “Another misconception about ethanol is that its production reduces our food supply,” Berry says. “That’s actually not true, because a third of the corn comes back. What’s left is very high-protein feed, so dairy cattle who go on it actually gain an extra gallon of milk production because of it. All we do is pull the starch. The high-protein feed that the animals actually need and is better feed for them.” Among the benefits of ethanol: If a boat catches on fire the fuel gets dumped in the water, ethanol is 100% biodegradable. Ethanol has lower emissions than gasoline.

So should you switch over to a higher-ethanol fuel? For boaters, some components (gas tank, fuel lines, injectors, carburetors) will need to be checked out by a professional and possibly converted. For offshore racers looking for a competitive edge, that may be worth doing. Performance gains notwithstanding, boosting your ethanol levels will unquestionably be

better for the environment. “Ethanol burns cooler, but it also burns cleaner,” Berry says. “And some racers have told me that it cleans your engine to look like brand new. Guys who used to have to refresh their engines two to three times a year that now can go a whole year without doing it. Some go as long as two years without having their engine torn down.”

Other myths about ethanol: • Ethanol requires too much water to produce. Not true—the amount of water required to produce ethanol is on the decline. • Ethanol needs more energy to make than it yields. Again, not true: ethanol production has steadily become more energy-efficient.

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r e d n u h T

g n i l Rol

Coast t s a E the n Bay. o s e g k i a r e t p s hesa wilde C e e h h t t f Some o and loose on st play f a

Photos by Randy

Nuzzo

H

eld in Northeast Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, the Thunder in the City

Poker Run wrapped up its ninth annual run last year, and photographer Randy Nuzzo shares some of his best images with Speedboat on these pages. Owned and operated by Victor DiMarco of DiMarco Marine Performance in Newark, DE (302-4551440), the event draws boats from all around the country and Canada, but most

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heavily from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas. Home base is the Chesapeake Inn Restaurant & Marina (410-885-2040), with the scenic Chesapeake City Bridge providing an alluring backdrop. Participants typically enjoy breakfast at the Inn before the run, with a first-class lunch at the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore and raft-up at Jellyfish Joel’s Tiki Bar. Thunder in the City is a perfect place to see an array of big-muscle offshore boats—everything from Outerlimits

and Skaters to Fountains, Cigarettes, Apaches, Sonics, Formulas and virtually every other manufacturer you can imagine. In this issue, we throw the spotlight on five recent attendees, starting with the 2006 38' Ocean Express owned by John Pentz of Quakertown, PA. Pentz, who installs sound systems and security systems through his company All About Audio, says his boat handles well through rough water, thanks to the way his 555-c.i. quad Whipple motors are set up. Each engine puts out 1,150 speedboat.com

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John and Amy Pentz (right, with friend Mike Abbott) and their Ocean Express (left). The boat is powered by two 555-c.i. quad Whipple engines that put out 1,150 apiece (below).

hp for a total of 2,300 hp. The current top speed is 138 mph; after some motor changes this year, he hopes to see even more top-end magic. “We’re hoping to get 1,250 to 1,300 horses out of each motor after we do some head work,” he says. Meanwhile, the sound guru assures us that his Ocean Express is equipped with a truly killer audio system. Pentz is previously the owner of a 31-foot American Offshore, which was pushed by a set of 800s. He enjoys doing the poker-run circuit with his wife Amy. speedboat.com

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Rolling Thunder

OUTERLIMITS Scott and Tina Reiter of Pasadena, MD, bought their new 42’ Outerlimits Legacy in 2006. Don Onken of Lightning Performance rebuilt their Mercury Racing 850 engines in 2013. The boat is called Tina-Cious.

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Rolling Thunder

POWERPLAY Before actually owning a boat, Ambrose and Lisa Fasolak would join several friends on the Key West Poker Run. While on one such trip to South Florida in 2003, Ambrose surprised his wife at a marina by announcing that he had purchased the boat they were currently looking at. It’s a 33’ Powerplay that Ambrose has completely redone, adding the same kind of gunnels, interior and styling of Outerlimits’ 44SL. The power package has also been upgraded to 700-hp (555-c.i.) fuel-injected motors. Top speed is around 95 mph. As owner of a machine shop in Pennsylvania, Ambrose has fabricated a number of custom pieces, including bezels, LED-lit nameplates and a full windscreen, “to make it a better boat,” he says. 44

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STATEMENT Previously the owner of Sea Ray-style sport cruisers, Allentown, PA-based restaurateur Donny Petridis stepped up in 2014 with the purchase of a new center-console Statement powered by twin 300 Mercury outboards. “We took all of the rod holders out and put cupholders in,” he chuckles.

ACTIVATOR

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Frank “Shorty” Dziobczynski built his 2007 30' Activator brand new. It’s powered by an 850hp (632 c.i.) naturally aspirated engine built by DiMarco Marine & Performance; it’s coupled to a Mercury Bravo XR Sportmaster Drive. “It’s the best rough-water boat you’ll ever see,” he says. Dziobczynski set the boat up poker-run style, with port and starboard side throttles and controls. S P E E D B O A T | June 2016

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Story by Stu Jones Photos by Jerry Wyszatycki

TREK TO

Tampa T

Stu Jones of the Florida Powerboat Club gives us a first-hand account of his latest poker run.

his year marked the waterfront—an amazingly vibrant part icon—it’s basically the key visual referFlorida Powerboat Club’s of town that’s absolutely teeming with ence point of the entire waterfront. That sixth consecutive year tourists. Parks are everywhere; there are had been completely obliterated; I pre-

doing the Tampa Bay Poker Run. We used to do events there in the 1990s, but we took a hiatus from Tampa about a decade ago, after Hurricane Dennis mangled the docks at the Rennaissance Viony Resort. After the docks were all rebuilt, we decided to go resume our events there. All of the action takes place in downtown St. Petersburg

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about 20 city parks in just over a two-mile stretch. You can find all kinds of upscale shops, boutiques and nightclubs. This 12-15 block area is so energized with activity that having a poker run there makes perfect sense. The only thing missing from the landscape was the entire landmark St. Petersburg pier, which has been a local

sume that the people of St. Petersburg decided that they didn’t like it anymore and that it was time for something new. They have a massive project planned, so the entire pier was completely missing. It was kind of strange, because we didn’t have that reference point when we were out in the water. It always helped us to make visual contact with that pier—it speedboat.com

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Tom Tucci of Upper Saddle River, NJ, pilots his 51' Outerlimits.

Opposite: An aerial view of the Vinoy Place Condos in the North Yacht Basin of Tampa Bay. Right: the crew of the Lady Lisa expresses its delight in being aboard the mind-boggling 80' Nor-Tech Roadster.

was your signal to take the turn and go right in to the Vinoy Resort’s basin. But it’s no longer there for our reference point, and it definitely altered the format. We saw a tremendous growth in our attendance numbers this year: We’ve gone from about 40 registered boats last year to 57 boats this year, which is a 25% increase in just one year. Actually, the event started out small— less than 30 boats. It just seems like over the last two or three years, it’s doubled in size. Text continues on Page 53 speedboat.com

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Trek to Tampa John Lasky in his 36' Apache Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Below: Jim Archambault in his 34' Sunsation center console, Still Keepin’ It Real. Below right: FPC models Brooke and Loryn.

Bill Munyan’s 36' Nor-Tech, Two Face.

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Trek to Tampa

Bob Ladis in his 44' MTI

Below: FPC leader Stu Jones aboard his Ocean Hawk 33, powered by twin Mercury 300 outboards. This boat serves as the mascot for FPC’s new class, called Sport Twin. This 50-mph class is reserved for twin outboard boats that are under 35 feet and have an entry-level price of around $150,000.

Above: Jorge Arellano in his 32' Spectre. Below: Lane Christianson brought his 52' Outerlimits, Fast Lane.

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Tampa Bay Poker Run [Continued from page 50] Among the participating boats this year was the spectacular 80-foot NorTech Roadster, Lady Lisa, and its owner, Red Reynolds. He’s transplanted from Wisconsin to Florida, and is now a Sarasota native. He loves that event because he can take that big 80' from his dock in Sarasota, and it’s less than a one-hour ride to come up to Tampa. He has made the Tampa Bay Poker Run his annual event with Lady Lisa. In fact, I believe it’s the only poker run he does anymore. It’s one of his favorite events, and he always throws a huge party on the boat, with plenty of pretty ladies on board. I don’t know where he gets them all! Incidentally, Lady Lisa is powered by a pair of 2,000-hp twin-turbo charged diesels and can achieve a speed of 70 mph. It’s a pretty exotic ride. Also taking part in the poker run was the boat I drove—an Ocean Hawk 33 center console model powered by twin Mercury 300 outboards. It serves as a kind of mascot for Sport Twin, our new outboard class reserved for 50-mph twin outboard boats under 35 feet. This new class is our attempt to make poker runs more accessible for John Q. Public, who doesn’t have a half a million budget for a boat. The Ocean Hawk is a center console with a traditional vee bottom and a large forward cabin and vee berth, so it has the best of both worlds. It’s the same mold as the old Cigarette center console hull. It’s a good-running boat, so I brought it out. Also joining us on the Tampa Bay Poker Run this year were Jim and Lynn Archambault of Georgia in their 34' Sunsation CCX center console, Still Keepin’ It Real. It was the second year they’ve done this run. They won the poker run last year, came back this year and they won it again! We had good sponsorship representation, including the center-console manufacturers. Boats Direct USA had a brand new Deep Impact and a brand new Blackwater model. Statement had brand new boats from their factory, and we had about four owners with Statements. Bruce Carvalho, who has worked for Sonic for Continued on Page 82 speedboat.com

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legends

by Bob

Brown

In the fourth installment of our Hall of Fame series, we salute one of the most recognizable and famous of all West Coast speedboat legends—Bob Leach, founder of Eliminator Boats (Mira Loma, CA). Leach remains as much an innovator as ever; even today, nothing drives quite like an Eliminator.

BOB LEACH

N

early fifty years ago, a Kellogg’s cereal district sales manager in Southern California thought it would be cool to have one of those hot rod looking flatbottom inboard ski boats that were becoming so popular at local southland lakes and on the Colorado River. Little did Bob Leach realize then that his attraction to fast boats would lead to a lifetime immersed in the boat building business, setting standards, benchmarks and records establishing Eliminator Boats as an industry icon for more than five decades.

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Eliminator’s Mira Loma factory and the iconic boat in the pool is clearly visible to about 100,000 cars per day traveling the busy 60 Freeway.

Above: The overwhelming success of the 19' Daytona soon fostered the birth of the 21' Daytona seen here with twin Merc V-6 outboards. Right: If two engines are good, three have to be better. The 24 Daytona (right) was a rocketship with triples.

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Speedboat Legends

Eliminator’s step-vee Eagle XP line just got bigger and bigger. The 380 with integrated cockpit canopy windscreens became a popular model for the SoCal offshore market.

Eliminator teamed with the Daytona International Speedway to produce some awesome NASCAR-themed boats for the Daytona 500 race.

The full capsule cockpit option on the 36' Daytona makes it race or poker-run ready.

That first boat was a collaboration with George Verkamp, a fireman by trade with mad wood-working skills, who also happened to have a bottom mold for an 18-foot fiberglass flatbottom. Verkamp added his signature custom monkeypod wood deck and sold the blank hull to Leach for rigging and engine install. “The boat was a real attention-grabber,” recalls Leach. “Every time I took it out, people would ask where I got it and if they could buy one. It finally sank in that maybe I should be building and selling boats instead of working for Kellogg’s. It definitely seemed like boats would be more fun.” Leach initially approached Verkamp about going into the boat business with him, but Verkamp wasn’t really inter56

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ested, however he was willing to supply Leach with blank hulls that he could finish and then sell. That was 1969, and Eliminator Boats was born in a small Huntington Park industrial building. It was also a time of boat building renaissance in California with dozens of boat shops dotting the local landscape hoping to capitalize on the burgeoning demand for a variety of racy watercraft brands. The early 1970s was also a period in the Southwest known as the jet boat era. Water pumps manufactured by Berkeley Jet Drive and Jacuzzi were suddenly all the rage thanks to their affordable cost, relatively low maintenance and pinyou-to-the-seat acceleration and overall performance with big block V-8 Ford, Oldsmobile and Chevrolet engines.

Being a shrewd observer of what boaters wanted, Leach immediately turned his attention to developing several new models to capitalize on the jet boat craze. Admittedly, his first attempt at a jet model was only marginally successful since it was a shallow vee-bottom which was soon modified to a more compatible deeper vee that better suited jet drive applications. And then, 1973 was a turning point for Eliminator Boats. Leach teamed up with hull designer and tooling expert Ron Ehde on a hull configuration that would not only catapult Eliminator Boats to the top of the custom boat heap, but would leave an indelible mark on high performance hull design for the next half century. The introduction of the air entrapspeedboat.com

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ment twin sponson 19-foot Eliminator Daytona with a center pod changed everything. In a matter of months, conventional vee-bottom jet hulls were relegated to also-rans at the boat drags as 19’ Daytonas were virtually unbeatable. Greg Shoemaker of GS Marine, an early pioneer in the jet boat quarter mile drags with a 19 Daytona called Underdog, was among the first to achieve consistent 100+ mph speeds with an unblown gas engine, something only a year before was thought to be unachievable with a jet drive. Unfortunately, the dazzling success of the19 Daytona jet model was short-circuited by the end of 1973 when America’s first energy crisis slammed new boat sales to a near halt as lines for gasoline went around the block and the oddeven purchase plan was temporarily put into effect. Thankfully, the crisis ended nearly as abruptly as it started and boat sales slowly began to recover the following year. A couple of years later in 1976, the major outboard makers, Mercury, Johnson and Evinrude, debuted their new V-6 200 HP offerings. Always poised to be at the forefront of a red-hot market, immediately, Eliminator mated its 19 Daytona to V-6 outboard power on the transom with remarkable results. It didn’t take the American Power Boat Association long to see the potential of a production Mod VP class for the new two-stroke V-6 powerplants and 19 Daytonas, both jet and outboard, began rolling out of Eliminator’s Anaheim, CA factory in record numbers. Just to prove it was still king of the hill, Fred Bowden’s Eliminator 19 Daytona with an Evinrude 235 HP V-6 became the first Mod VP race boat to record an official 100 mph radar clocking at the Mod VP World Championships and Top Speed Shoot-Out in Alexandria, Louisiana in the early 1980s. So dominating has the Daytona design been since 1973 that Eliminator as built one in virtually every length from 19 to 36-feet (19’, 21’, 22’, 23’, 24’, 25’, 26’, 27’, 28’, 30’, 33’ and 36’). Obviously Mercury Marine recognized the potential of Eliminator’s Daytona line because in 2001 they teamed with Leach on a speedboat.com

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The new 36 Daytona Speedster is Bob’s latest and favorite creation. The Eagle XP 260: fast, family practical and comfortable.

This 36' Daytona was a familiar sight and dominating performer on the West Coast offshore scene.

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Speedboat Legends Boaters seeking step-vee hull excellence are never wrong when they select an Eagle XP 280.

special project to enhance the introduction of the new production 496 Mag HO Package (425 propshaft horsepower). A pair of the new 496 sterndrives were installed in a 30 Daytona with the express purpose to demonstrate the performance potential with stock Mercury power and Bravo 1 Drives. The goal was to become the first 100 mile per hour production boat with production power. It did that and then some. In fact, later a 33 Daytona was prepared with the same 496 Mag HOs and it was even a couple of miles an hour faster (104-106 mph) than the original 30. About that same time, Powerboat Magazine came up with the idea to promote a 100 mph Shoot-Out session on the Colorado River at the Parker Strip. Their test team would drive, evaluate and report on boats from manufacturers with the provision that they would reach or exceed a 100 mile an hour top end. Eliminator prepped one of their standard 25 Daytonas with supercharged Teague Custom Marine power and proceeded to take home single engine bragging rights against a stellar field of equipment with an eye-opening 144 mph radar clocking. And then what might be considered the most astonishing demonstration of pure performance awesomeness by a production hull ever occurred at the 2012 Lake of the Ozarks (LOTO) ShootOut competition in Missouri. Greg Olson 58

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pinned the throttles of his supercharged twin engine (GT Marine) 33 Daytona and shocked on-lookers and the entire boating world with a flawless 192 mph pass to take home the coveted Top Gun honors for that year. In retrospect, maybe Olsen’s remarkable speed run shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise. Leach, who thoroughly water tests every new model himself before it is available to the public, jumped at the chance in early 2000 to campaign a 33 Daytona in the newly formed Factory III APBA offshore class. Powered by a pair of stock Mercury Racing 500 HP engines and Bravo Drives, the 33 Daytona demonstrated it was much more than just a lake boat. In fact, with Leach at the helm, the 33 Daytona proved to be a dominating offshore combination, winning the first Factory III world championship title in Biloxi, Mississippi. There are lots of things that have enabled Eliminator to remain relevant as a top level performance boat builder for almost a half-century. Obviously incredible performance is one of them, but exceptional quality has also been a well-documented trademark of the brand. Powerboat Magazine editors probably said it best when one of their early Performance Reports stated, “Nobody builds a better quality boat than Eliminator.” And this ringing

endorsement was backed-up by multiple awards for Product Excellence under Powerboat’s highly regarded annual and much anticipated “Boats of the Year” issue. It also didn’t hurt the Eliminator brand when it teamed up with the Daytona International Speedway building, showcasing and demonstrating NASCAR themed boats on the in-field lake during America’s greatest race, the Daytona 500. The boat industry, however, isn’t without its cyclical swings, and in 47 years, Eliminator has encountered just about every type of economic condition imaginable. At its peak production in 2003 to 2005, the Eliminator factory in Mira Loma, California was building and selling approximately 250 complete boats each year with just over one-hundred full-time employees and pushed to its absolute capacity limits. “In those years, it was hard to imagine a downturn in demand would be in the foreseeable future,” commented Leach. That confidence prompted Leach to embark on an ambitious business plan, expansion to an attractive fifty-acre piece of property in nearby Perris, conveniently located off the 215 freeway in Riverside County, a hot bed of growth at the time. The plan not only included building a 100,000 square foot Eliminator production facility but an adjoining 400+ unit self-storage compound and over 300,000 speedboat.com

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square feet of additional commercial buildings. Given the economic temperature of that time, the plan appeared to be on solid footing and the land purchase, necessary permitting process and subsequent construction began in late 2003. What wasn’t in the plan was the late 2006 arrival of the deepest economic recession in U.S. history since the Great Depression and stock market crash of 1929. “Our annual sales plummeted over 90% in a matter of eighteen months and remained at about that level for the following seven years,” remarked Leach. “There was no possibility we could support the cost of operating the Perris facility. Fortunately, we still owned our Mira Loma plant and moved back there to weather the recession like the rest of the boating industry.” “Downsizing isn’t any fun. I was blessed, however, that many of my key employees stuck with me. Some have been here at Eliminator for 20, 30 and even 40 years. Without them, we wouldn’t be here today.” One might think that after 47 years, some of Eliminator’s energy and enthusiasm have been exhausted, but that’s not the case. “We’re actually in a pretty good place right now,” says Leach. “We’ve got a nice backlog of orders and a great workforce. I just wish we could find a few more skilled riggers and gelcoaters to accelerate the production process, but I think that will come. We’ll build 40 to 50 boats in 2016 and even more in 2017. Obviously the demand for certain models has changed. Boaters seem to want more comfort and practicality than they used to but they don’t want to sacrifice performance either. I guess that’s why our Fun Decks continue to be so popular. Our Eagle vee-bottom line remains steady and there’s always a demand for Daytonas, especially the newer Speedsters models.” “Someone asked me the other day if our Eliminators are as good now as they were in the past. That was an easy question to answer…..we’re building better boats today than we ever have, and the boats we build tomorrow will be even better than these.” speedboat.com

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New Products BRETT BAYNE

Aqua Lily Pad Expands Offerings Aqua Lily Pad, the Ohio-based maker of recreational floating foam pads, has added an array of fun new products to its growing lineup. The company was launched in 2010 with essentially one product—the Aqua Lily Pad, a revolutionary item for the marine market that soon became the water-recreation toy of choice for boaters and beachgoers. Unique in its offering, the Aqua Lily Pad simply unrolls for use—no inflation required. Since its inception, numerous copycat products have attempted to horn in on Aqua Lily Pad’s action. Buyer beware: Most of these knock-off products are not even manufactured by the companies that brand them. Only Aqua Lily Products manufactures and distributes its own products. That’s crucial for a number of reasons:

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Aqua Lily Pad’s expanded product offerings include: Personal pads: One- and two-person sizes are available. Giant Kickboards: In 2015, the company introduced its line of Giant Kickboards with patented “Coozle” cup holders. Cocktail Drink Caddy: New for 2016 is the personal Cocktail Drink Caddy / Flying Disk. For more information, visit AquaLilyPad.com. In addition to the new products, Aqua Lily Pad continues to innovate its existing product line and offer additional accessories. These include: FlexCore Technology: This allows a pad to be easily rolled and unrolled with no roll memory. Engineered Marine Safe Tether System: Warrantied for the life of the product, this system features no metal parts. Thus, there is nothing to corrode, cut or burn feet like metal D-rings. Accessory Storage Bag: Protect your investment year after year with this unique storage system.

Floating Roll Straps: Currently in the works. Watch this space for further details. speedboat.com

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New Products Commercial-Grade Pads: Aqua Lily Pad has developed and offers commercial-grade pads for large families, kids’ camps, and lakefront resorts. These pads are marketed under the Bull Frog and Big Kahuna brand names. With its superior products and reputation for excellent customer service, Aqua Lily Pad has enjoyed a growing customer base and distribution network in the marine markets. As a result, the company has attracted a variety of other brands looking for access to marine market channels: Floaty Pants: In 2015, Aqua Lily Pad partnered with Floaty Brands to introduce Floaty Pants to the market. This flotation device provides the buoyancy you need while kicking back in the water with a drink in your hand. New designs are being introduced for 2016. Visit FloatyPants.com for more information.

Aqua Ping Pong: Aqua Lily Products partnered with Just Add Aqua, LLC to manufacture and market the Aqua Ping Pong Table Set for 2016. This allinclusive professional grade floating table tennis set is for use at beaches and pools. Visit AquaPingPong.com for more information. To better service regional markets in both the Eastern and Western United States, Aqua Lily Products now manufactures in two locations: Phoenix, AZ, and Willoughby, OH. Foam is expensive to ship long distances, and with two strategic locations, freight costs are kept low, allowing the company to retain its price leadership position in the industry. Aqua Lily Products markets under the Aqua Lily Pad and Maui Mat brands. They’re manufactured in the USA and sold in 48 states, as well as in Europe, Dubai, Egypt, Australia, Canada, South Africa and Turkey.

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Brett’s DEWEY’S DAYTONA

ALSO: • The Skagen Society • Lucas Oil Drag Racing

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Dewey’s

DAYTONA

Story and photos by Brett

B

Bayne

ack on Page 26 of SoCalJetboats, of which he’s been a memthis issue, in our ber since the group’s inception. Previously the owner of a 1982 Eliminator Swimsuit Section, we gave you a sneak Bubbledeck, Dewey acquired the Daytona

peek at a 1978 19’ Eliminator Daytona jetboat. Now take a closer look at the entire hull, owned by tattoo artist Mike Dewey, who plies his craft at Empire Tattoo (Upland, CA). When he’s not inking freehand, Dewey enjoys outings with 64

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in 2015 after spending 10 years bugging his friend Danny for it. Ultimately, Danny gave Dewey a great deal on the boat, which is equipped with a 700-hp big-block Chevy coupled to a Berkeley jet drive assembled by Greg Shoemaker of GS Marine. The

454 hydraulic roller motor was bored 60 over and stroked a quarter inch to achieve 496 c.i.; dual 750 Holley carburetors and Bassett headers are among the features of the Daytona’s package. When Dewey bought the boat, the previous owner had already emblazoned the deck with the name Wet & Reckless; being an artist himself, it’s safe to say that neither the name nor the lettering would be speedboat.com

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Tattoo artist Mike Dewey gets his go-fast fix in his beautiful Eliminator tunnel.

caption

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Dewey’s #1 choice to represent his own personality. “I don’t really know what to say about,” he chuckles. “I was actually going to take the name off, but it had been there for 10 years and it wasn’t coming off very easily, so I thought we’d just leave it on for the photo shoot.” The boat does feature some very attractive pinstriping art on the scoop, courtesy of Bob Coslett. speedboat.com

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Dewey Daytona The Daytona’s Berkeley jet drive.

According to Dewey, the Daytona can achieve 95 mph at wide open throttle, but triple-digit speeds are in this hull’s future—just as soon as its owner does some work on the bottom and installs a nitrous system. “Next month it will probably go 100+,” Dewey says. For the time being, he says the ride is nothing short of astonishing. “Being a Daytona, with the rideplate it’s got, the boat rides amazingly well,” he says. Dewey enjoys using the boat with wife Bobbie and their son Wayne, with a favorite destination being Big River, located in San Bernardino County, CA.

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The scoop’s pinstriping was courtesy of Bob Coslett.

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Story by Brett

Bayne

The

SKAGEN Society Customers of the legendary Seattle shop gather annually at MarDon Resort.

T

he Skagen Boats drag and circle-boat racers, as well as the Bob Leach of Eliminator. “Jerry was a really nice guy and had a lot of customers who saga begins back in recreational crowd. This continued until 1974, when Jerry loved him as a dealer.” the 1960s, when Jerry

Skagen launched a family business in Seattle. He actually started building rowboats in his dad’s chicken house at age 15. Eventually, he partnered up with Don Whatmore to build flatbottom V-drives and outboards under the Marlin Boats monicker until 1971, when the two men parted ways. Jerry then started building Skagen flatbottoms for 68 6 8

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realized that he could buy other manufacturers’ boats cheaper than what it cost him to make them himself. So the paradigm shifted, and Jerry became an official dealer for Eliminator, Kona and other brands like Hondo, Hallett, Sleekcraft, Hawaiian, Baker and others. “Skagen was one of our biggest dealers through the 1970s and 1980s,” confirms

After several years, Jerry’s son Tony started working for Skagen Boats, and today, Tony runs the shop himself. “My father is the reason there are all these boats up here in the Northwest,” Tony says. “He’s the godfather of the performance boats up here—if it weren’t for him selling all these jetboats and building flatbottoms, the go-fast boating scene s edboat.com speedboat.com

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caption

Above: Cole Billings’ 1986 Cole, named Brewski. Right: Skagen Boats founders Jerry and Tony Skagen. Opposite: Will and Robin Carsons pop a wheelie in their 1978 Sleekcraft SST while Mike Muffet pilots his Ultralight aircraft above. would be nonexistent up here. “When jets got real popular, that’s the direction we went in,” Tony says. “We do more jets than anything else now. Very few V-drives, but we do still get a few.” Every year, Skagen’s team rounds up his customers for a big blowout at the MarDon Resort, an RV and recreation area on Potholes Reservoir in Othello, WA. It’s a popular destination in central Washington that offers a marina, restaurants, lodging and awesome lake views. speedboat.com

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“We have often taken over the entire resort,” Tony says. “We used to scare everyone away, so by 2007, it was arranged that we would have our own weekend just for our people, because we bring such a big crowd with us.” During such events, Skagen will bring in as many as 200 boats for some “grudge drags,” barbecues and live bands. Tony himself races a 21-foot Phantom by Tom Papp Racing. “It’s been one of the fastest 21s that I know of,” he says. “It ran 134 mph at 860 E.T. on pump gas using

through-the-transom exhaust. We’ve gotten quite a lot of publicity with that.” Tony reckons that about 75 percent of the event’s participants are his own customers, although “there are still a few of my dad’s V-drives that show up,” Tony says. “Those boats are still around.” Folks come to party from as far away as Illinois, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho and parts of Canada. “Every year, the event gets bigger and bigger,” he adds. You can see Tony himself at the MarDon in his own 21 TPR or his I/O-powered 26' DCB. S P E E D B O A T | JJune une 2016 20 016 6

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The Skagen Society Steve Knot’s DiMarco Hydro.

Ray Hadachek’s 1979 Nordic.

Jeff Bergquist in his 1973 Skagen (left) chats with Malcolm George in his 1979 Spectra.

Rydar Haugens’ 21' Eliminator Daytona, previously owned by Tony Skagen, reached a speed of 129 mph with a blown 632 engine.

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Dan Olsen throws a rooster tail in his 19' Hallett while the Ultralight aircraft soars above.

Fred Swartz and friend on his 1983 Caribbean.

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Chris Bennis make a rooster tail in his 1978 Rogers.

Jade Claar (driver) in his 21' Obsession.

Barry Paust catches some air in his 21' Eagle.

Mike and Laurel Morgan’s 21' Eliminator Daytona. William “Corky” Batts in his 1978 Centurion jetboat.

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The Skagen Society The Skagen crew beaches their craft on Pancake Dune, part of the Potholes Reservoir.

The event is typically held the weekend after Labor Day, so the 2016 bash is scheduled for Sept. 9-11. Most years, Skagen produces a video that he distributes among his group. At the time of Speedboat’s interview with Tony, his father Jerry—now 76—had just undergone surgery to remove cancer, and was recuperating at home. “He’s doing real well,” Tony says. “He’s in good shape now. Until this happened, he was still working six days a week. He’s the master when it comes to building boats or gelcoating up in our area, for sure. My dad is my best friend, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with him side by side,” Tony says of his father.

Steve Verdick in his 1975 Jetster.

Donny Stevens’ 21' Eliminator Daytona.

Tony and Tracy Skagen in their 21' TPR.

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Travis Wester’s 19' Eliminator Daytona. Pictured is girlfriend Nikki Lynn, who also drives the boat.

Above and below: Aeriel views of Pancake Dune, where boats hang out during the day.

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Photography by Mark

McLaughlin

PURE insanity The 2016 Lucas Oil Drag Racing season gets off to a bang with fierce competition in Chandler and Parker, AZ.

H

eart-pounding Top Challenge at Parker, held April 15-17. bruised up; the boat didn’t fare nearly as Fuel action, and a Ehrlich had gone up against his Evil Twin well.) Meanwhile, Nitrochrondriac (driven by series of spectacular Top Fueler, driven by Mike Robbins, in

crashes, have gotten the 2016 Lucas Oil drag racing season off to a typically breathtaking beginning. How’s this for starters? Problem Child owner Eddie Knox, having parted ways with his 2015 driver, Todd Plate, has reunited with World Champion racer Daryl Ehrlich—who took the win and went on to take home the first-place tro74 S P E E D B O A T | June 2016 phy at the wind-delayed Colorado River

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round one of eliminations. While wind was definitely a problem in Parker, fans enjoyed a full weekend of racing in Chandler as part of the seasonopening NAPA Spring Nationals. Top Fuel Hydro racing was every bit as exciting at this venue, particularly when Jarrett Silvey, driving for Lou Osman’s Speed Sport Special, blew the boat over, snapping in half and landing near the finish line. (Silvey checked out a bit groggy and

Bryan Sanders) started out the weekend in the #1 qualifying position in TFH and went all the way to the winner’s circle. Another nail-biter transpired when Dave Ferguson’s Big Trouble Top Alcohol flatty (with Cole Thurston at the wheel) corkscrewed twice before the engine came out of it. On the third flip, the boat landed upright, with the capsule still sitting in the boat. Fortunately, Thurston speedboat.com was OK, and the boat is probably fixable.

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Quick Eliminator Number 2 qualifier Jeremy Denny takes the win in the class at the NAPA Spring Nationals in Chandler, AZ, in March.

Steve Streeter’s Top Alcohol Hydro Untouchable had all kinds of problems on Saturday leaving the starting line. It went up, down, left, right, and then started coming apart before resting and slowly sinking, ending his weekend at the NAPA Spring Nationals in Chandler.

Seeing Double?

Are there really two Top Fuel Hydros here? Problem Child, with Daryl Ehrlich back at the helm in the near lane, goes up against his Evil Twin Top Fueler driven by Mike Robbins in round one of eliminations on Sunday. Ehrlich took the win and went on to take home the first place trophy in the wind delayed Colorado River Challenge at Parker.

Top Fuel Hydro Jay Haroutunian’s Whiskey River (left) had Mike Robbins shoeing the monster on Friday at the season opener in Chandler. Nitrochrondriac (right), driven by Bryan Sanders, started out the weekend in the #1 qualifying position and went all the way to the winner’s circle.

Top Eliminator

With an 11-boat field in the season opener, Bob Prigmore’s Abracadabra jet had to go 4 rounds on elimination day, only to fall in finals to Bill McGuinn.

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Pro Eliminator

Brian Schmidl takes the win at Chandler’s season opener.

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Pure Insanity

Second round qualifying on Friday put Eddie Knox’s Problem Child with Daryl Ehrlich driving in the near lane against Jarrett Silvey, driving for Lou Osman’s Speed Sport Special in Top Fuel. Right off the hit of the throttle, the SSS machine starting heading for the sky, blowing over, snapping in half, and landing near the finish line. Silvey was only a bit groggy and bruised up. The boat didn’t fare nearly as well. 76

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Pure Insanity

Dave Ferguson’s Big Trouble Top Alcohol Flat had Cole Thurston at the wheel, trying to harness this machine’s anger. The BT flatty corkscrewed twice before engine came out of it, and on the third flip, the boat landed upright, with the capsule still sitting in the boat. Cole was fine, and the boat is probably fixable.

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Mike Collins got his final license pass under his belt Friday at the Colorado River Challenge, then got his capsule dunk test completed before going into Eliminations on Sunday in the Top Alcohol Flat class. His very first round of eliminations put him up against Bill Miller’s Party To The Max machine. The Flat Bootleggin’ boat got ugly real quick and never recovered. The crew and Mike are already looking to put another TAF together.

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In Memoriam NJBA’s Jim Reeve, Quick Eliminator Long before he’d established himself as an NJBA competitor, folks knew Jim Reeves as Steele211 in the online forums. He made fast friends in the chat rooms as got advice from fellow hot-boaters. Jim was in his third year of racing when catastrophe struck during the NJBA race held at Lake Ming on Saturday, April 23. That’s when his #926 hydro crashed. The crack safety and rescue team got to him fast, but sadly, Jim never regained consciousness following the accident and he was taken off life support once his parents could be with him. As shock waves rippled through the heartbroken racing community, friends and relatives wasted no time celebrating Jim’s winning personality, his dynamic personality and passion for the sport. “From the time he was 2 years old, he was a some sort of a hot boater,” Jim’s

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wife, Selina Reeve, told Speedboat. “He just never could get away from it—it was his heartbeat.” Born in Washington State, Jim grew up in Burlington, where his Dad indoctrinated him into the world of fast boating with his Kona jetboat, named Makes Me Quiver. When Jim relocated to California, he suffered a major case of speedboat withdrawal, made especially acute because sunshine was in plentiful supply. So he acquired a Kona of his own, which he called Still Quivering.

Jim met Selina in 2004; they married in 2009. Mentored by his fellow muscleboat freaks online, he was guided to the hydro he would race in the NJBA circuit. Selina explains the meaning of his boat’s number, 926: “He said it was because he would never forget our wedding anniversary—Sept. 26,” she says. “I loved his passion for boating, and the camaraderie among all of his boating friends.” The entire staff of Speedboat sends its condolences to Jim’s friends, family members and fellow racers.

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Tampa Bay Poker Run [Continued from page 53] nearly 30 years, brought a new 36 center console with triple Verados and he ran it during the poker run. Historically, Sonic was very first company to sponsor FPC. The event format has always included a Friday fun run. We had a helicopter that day so that gave us a good opportunity to get good photos and video. But on Saturday, a huge storm system was moving very slowly toward Tampa Bay, so we sneaked out in the morning, right on schedule at 10:30, but did the poker run on a shortened course. We did not go into the Gulf waters for the first part—we kept everybody in the Bay waters and we were able to pull off the entire morning run, which was to go and leave the Vinoy and start getting cards. Then we went straight up into Tampa. Some of us, including me, got a little wet. But everybody made it to Jackson’s Bistro, our downtown Tampa checkpoint for lunch, with no problem. They had reserved the entire outdoor patio for us on Saturday afternoon; they rolled out the red carpet and we had a giant party with live entertainment, a huge barbecue, a buffet line, made-toorder food, drink specials…it was fantastic! The weather the next day was fabulous, so we did our Sunday fun run and we split the group up. Half the group went to Hula Bay Restaurant on the Tampa side. The rest of the boats went south out of the Bay into the Gulf, which was pretty bumpy, but just fine for us. We were one of the smallest boats on the run, and we handled the water with no problem. Because of the bad weather, it felt like we still missed getting photos of some of the boats. Our pilot, John Woodruff of Georgia—who operates a helicopter that matches his big 48' MTI Windship—texted me on Sunday morning and said, “It looks nice outside. Do you want to go out and do some more shooting?” So we did a mass text to everybody and said John said he’d fly again so meet us out here. He came out with our photo crew and we went and shot another 10-12 boats on Sunday afternoon. It was a fitting way to end the event. It’s nice to have members who own helicopters!

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