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VOL 13 # 4

A MAGAZINE SHOWCASING THE FLORIDA POWERBOAT CLUB LIFESTYLE

T h e 2 1ST A N N U A L

KEY WEST POKER RUN FPC始s Signature Event Hosts 140 Teams!

SHOOTOUTS! Are they the solution to SAFER high speeds?

LIGHTING UP THE NIGHT

Winterfest Boat Parade Awakens the Holiday Spirit

Sponsor Spotlight

ACTIVE THUNDER BOATS

THE GIRLS

OF FPC

Heather Key West, 2013

WWW.FLPOWERBOAT.COM


t s e W Key Run Poker S

IA PEC

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WINTER 2014 Vol. 13#4 EDITOR/PUBLISHER Stu Jones stu@flpowerboat.com

OFFICE MANAGER

Jackie Jones jackie@flpowerboat.com

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Juan Carlos Grisales fpc.mag@gmail.com David Vaccaro fpc.art@gmail.com

PHOTOGRAPHY

Stu Jones Jim Wenger Ryan McCoy Jerry Wyszatycki

EVENT COORDINATORS Jackie Jones jackie@flpowerboat.com Robert Barry

MEDIA SALES

NOW HIRING stu@flpowerboat.com

TV & VIDEO PRODUCTION Stu Jones David Steele Ryan McCoy

DIRECT ALL INQUIRIES TO Florida Powerboat Club 1214 SW 6th St. Pompano Beach, FL 33069 Tel: 954.545-1414 Fax: 954.782-2452 www.FLPOWERBOAT.com

POMPANO OFFICE HOURS Monday - Friday 10 AM - 5 PM

A Magazine Showcasing The Florida Powerboat Club Lifestyle

CONTENTS

4 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Find out what’s in store for FPC in the coming year, as Stu introduces new events and outlines some of the FPC’s new media platforms.

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6 22ND ANNUAL KEY WEST POKER RUN 2013

FPC’s signature poker run event just keeps getting better! This 50-page feature captures all the highlights, and great editorial coverage by Jason Johnson.

58 GIRLS OF FPC

The poker runs and FPC parties just wouldn’t be the same without these lovely ladies to liven things up a little!

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80 BOCA GRANDE FUN RUN 2013

The highlight of the Key West Poker Run every year, this rendezvous in paradise just keeps getting bigger and better, with close to 200 boats in attendance!

88 BOOST POWER

Writer and performance expert Alexi Sahagian gets up to speed on fuel systems and how they can make BIG horsepower!

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90 SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

ACTIVE THUNDER: After celebrating twenty years in business, Pat Haughy, owner of Active Thunder Boats appears to have a clear focus on where this Pompano Beach-based performance boat brand is headed! .

102 WINTERFEST PARADE 2013

After 42 years operating in Fort Lauderdale, this festive holiday season event has new meaning for the captain and crew on the 40 Cruisers Yachts, CLUBHOUSE!

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112 SERIES SPONSOR SHOW CASE

FPC salutes the nine major corporate sponsors and the people behind these companies that have provided tremendous support to FPC throughout the year.

122 SHOOTOUTS 2013

Shootouts? What they’re saying! Pip Magazine feature writer Jason Johnson talks to participants and organizers alike, about the growing popularity of these speed contests and why they may be spreading into poker run events.

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128 FLORIDA FRACTIONAL CLUB

With more yachts present on the Key West Poker Run than ever before, it’s apparent that the romance with these palatial platforms is growing within FPC circles. FPC Pompano Beach Headquarters

All copyright laws apply. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of the publisher www.facebook.com/flpowerboat

Traveling? Need to lighten the load? Enjoy the digital version of this issue of Powerboating in Paradise Magazine on..

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ON THE COVER: FPC members Tom & Cheryl Sharp from Atlanta pulled all the stops, running thier Cigarette and Pershing yacht on the Key West Poker Run. MODELS: Heather Widle took the title of Miss Key West Poker Run and joined in on the fun.

SEE THE COMPLETE DIGITAL EDITION OF POWERBOATING IN PARADISE MAGAZINE AT WWW.FLPOWERBOAT.COM


Letter from the

WINTER 2014

PRESIDENT

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elcome 2014! By the time this issue of Powerboating in Paradise Magazine is in circulation, the Miami International Boat Show will be under full steam, followed by our first poker run of the year, the 19th Annual Miami Boat Show Poker Run. We’ve got plenty of exciting news and events as we go forward into the 2014 calendar, but let’s first take a quick recap of 2013. The previous year was certainly full of highs and lows, and anyone who reads this magazine regularly or is an active member with FPC would be aware of the roller coaster ride in 2013. The lows I’m referring to were the sudden and tragic losses of our helicopter pilot Mark Palmieri in April, and two powerboaters from Missouri Jeff Asbell and Brad Smith, who perished at a Kentucky event in September. These incidents have caused tremendous grief for their families and for the extended powerboating community, and will influence many of the changes we may see on poker run formats around the nation in 2014 and beyond. The Highs of 2013 were many. Solid parGOT A ticipation and fabuCOMMENT lous weather at our FOR ME? signature events proE-MAIL ME AT great experiSTU@FLPOWERBOAT.COM vided ences for thousands of participants, many of whom escaped cold climates for some boating fun in the Florida Sun. It goes without saying that the November Key West Poker Run came out on top once again, with 140 registered teams participating from around the globe. Most of the editorial coverage in this issue of the magazine is dedicated to this 21-year signature event, and it just keeps getting better! While on the subject of poker run events, I’d like to point out some very big changes to our schedule and some new formats for 2014. We’ve dropped two smaller events that weren’t getting participation numbers and added two new poker runs with unique formats. The first is the March Palm Beach Poker Run, which will be staged right from the

docks of the Palm Beach International Boat Show, March 20-23rd. We’ve had great success with a similar format for the Miami Show over the past 20 years, and this new format takes a little twist, having the poker run boats docked right at the show, just steps to great exhibitor displays, alongside an adjacent party barge, and a block from the vibrant nightlife of Clematis St., in downtown West Palm Beach. This is a fun show, with an exciting event format, and we urge everyone to get registered before the end of February to ensure accommodations and group rates at nearby hotels. In April, we return to the Vinoy Resort & Marina in St. Petersburg for the annual Tampa Bay Poker Run, where we’ll cruise the scenic Tampa Bay waters. Then in May the Sky is the Limit on our next poker run…literally! The new Key West Air-Land-Sea Poker Run offers a twist to the traditional powerboat poker run, opening the doors to luxury coaches, sports cars, motorbikes and private aircraft. This poker run is designed with the motoring & cruising enthusiast in mind, and welcomes all! The really fun part....all teams are competing on the same playing field, putting on a fantastic show for all who attend. We aim to create some great television coverage with helicopter aerials, a truck-mounted camera, and the new RC phantom helicopter drone! One final topic relative to events and poker run safety, is the possible addition of Shoot-Out style events, to enhance our weekend platforms. The purpose is entirely to put “speed” where it can be managed safely…on a closed, protected course, with proper patrols, calm water, and emergency response ready for action. At the 150+ mph speeds that many of the recreational boats in our sport are achieving, it’s time to change the format of events, to accommodate these super cool ultra-hi-performance machines, and keep our boating peers from loss of life or limb. In a feature written by Jason Johnson on Page 122 of this issue, I invite our members or would-be Shoot-

Stu & Jackie Jones

Out participants, to explore this concept further and share with me any ideas on how we can make this work best , with a positive outcome for everyone! Addressing the media side of Florida Powerboat Club’s 2014 plans…there’s plenty more great news! First, this magazine, which commenced publication in 1999, has just completed a two year run with four consecutive issues per year, steady circulation of up to 15,000 copies per issue and new distribution channels to over five hundred Florida marine-related locations! In the publishing world, those numbers qualify this pub to be certified as a national periodical and audited by an accredited agency. This move will take PiP Magazine to new heights in national recognition and readership, and we’re certain that this will benefit our advertisers and help us reach out to more boaters across the nation, serving a mutual objective of growing participation in this great recreational sport! It’s no secret that our television program, Powerboating in Paradise TV has also had a huge impact at promoting powerboating and participation on FPC poker run events. The 2014 TV series commenced Feb 5th on Sunsports, with plans for up to fifteen episodes over thirty weeks. In addition, the really big news is the launch of our entirely new Boat Show TV, featuring full HD coverage of Florida boat shows, with a focus on the five sectors of mainstream recreational boating...cruising, fishing, powerboating, watersports and yachting. The series kicks off in March 2014! Please enjoy this issue of Powerboating in Paradise Magazine, and I look forward to sharing a safe and exciting 2014 with all of you!

Stu Jones

President & Founder, FPC


Unforgettable

ABOVE: Scott & Lori Safranek ( center) trailered all the way from Nebraska to attend their very first Key West Poker Run, in their 29 Baja. Congratulations to the couple, who drew the best poker hand, winning the Offleaseonly.com Mustang Convertible. 6

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Adventures

FROM BEGINNERS TO SEASONED VETERANS, THE 21ST ANNUAL KEY WEST POKER RUN WAS ANOTHER MEMORABLE ONE FOR EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED. Story by: Jason Johnson STORY BY: JASONBY: JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHYl JIM BY: JERRY WYSZATYCKI l JIM WENGER l STU JONES PHOTOGRAPHY JERRY -WYSZATYCKI WENGER l STU JONES

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hether it’s in an offshore catamaran, a sportboat or a center console, the Key West Poker Run has—and always will be—the ultimate poker run for most performance boaters. Hosted by the Florida Powerboat Club, the 170-mile run from Miami to Key West attracts participants from across the country as well as Canada, Europe and South America. This year, the 21st annual event brought together hundreds of participants in boats of all shapes and sizes. Between show-stopping 52-foot canopied catamarans from the likes of Brad Benson and Derek Wachob, stunning V-bottoms such as Cody and Veronica Lovins’ gold 420 Monte Carlo from Nor-Tech, and twin-engine offerings in the 30-foot-or-less range, one of the most diverse fleets the run has ever seen came together in mid-November. Longtime club member and regular Key West attendee Mark Fischer was pleased to see the overall registration numbers up, but he seemed even more impressed with the variety of boats that made the run. Fischer, who owns Off LeaseOnly.com and BoatsDirectUSA.com with his wife, Eileen, drove his Lamborghini-orange 399 Deep Impact powered by four Mercury Verado 300 engines down with Thursday’s fleet. Not only was the boat a pace boat for the poker run, but the 39-footer also started one of the final Super Boat International world championship races on Sunday. “You want to know what I love about this run and this sport in general?” Fischer responded at the docks in front of the Conch Republic Seafood Company minutes before leaving for the fun run to Boca Grande on Saturday. “It brings people together from all over the country and everybody has such a great time. There’s just something about Key West that makes everyone so friendly. And it’s no big deal if you don’t have a real expensive boat—whatever you bring, everyone gets together and we all have a good time.” continued on page 11

Leading the Wednesday departure group for the start of the run in Biscayne Bay, Trent Fischer’s 43 Nor-tech Screws Loose III acted as the official paceboat for the Performance Class boats. POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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Florida Powerboat Club’s

11 ANNUAL FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL TH

BOAT SHOW BASH!

FEATURING THE MISS KEY WEST POKER RUN CONTEST Last year FPC made an historic change to the format for the annual Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Bash by moving from off-site venues to the cocktail barge on the HI-Performance dock at the Bahia Mar location.

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After all, what better place to gather all the fun-loving members of the Florida Powerboat Club with the key players in the per-

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formance marine industry than right there at the show!! The format was a big hit and for 2013 we returned to the same location where Nor-Tech, Midnight Express, MTI, and Sunsation, among others, were on hand to join the fun. The highlight of the evening, as always, was the Miss Key West Poker Run swimwear contest, which featured eleven lovely contestants.

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1. Greg Bent & Woody Bailey 2. Jackie Jones, Randy & Amy 3. Curt & Juju Vinson with Trond Schou 4. Our Miss Key West winner, Jenise. 5. Bonnie & Mike Gauthreaux 6. Miss Key West Poker Run 2013 Swimwear Contest line up 7. FPC Brittany signing her PiP magazine spread for a fan 8. Contestant Daniella with Elle Berg 9. Todd Werner & gal Kerri, Statement 10. Bob Berg (far right) with our guest judges 11. Brad Schoenwald of Powerboat Nation with Christina Ward and Kellie Hensley

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Gateway to Paradise: The Rickenbacker

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Causeway is perhaps the most noticeable landmark along Miami’s scenic skyline. But its true significance to powerboaters, is that the bridge marks the point along the ICW where drivers heading southbound, can push the throttles and get up to speed, with the pointy end of the boat headed for the Florida Keys.


The Venetian Causeway lift-bridge was a vantage point for FPC photographer Jim Wenger, who captured cockpit closeups.

It’s quite possible that Scott and Lori Safranek—Key West virgins, if you will—had a better time than anyone else thanks to a little bit of beginner’s luck. Completing the run in their 29-foot Baja powered by twin 700-hp engines from Pulte Performance, the Omaha, Neb., residents pulled a full house to win the 2013 Off LeaseOnly.com Ford Mustang convertible, which they took delivery of in early December.

Milling in Blackwater Sound, waiting for the paceboat to start the group through the scenic upper Keys.

“I have some friends who have done the Key West Poker Run and they’ve all told me how it’s one of the coolest things you can do in your boat,” said Scott Safranek, who won his class with a 95-mph top speed at the 2013 Lake of the Ozarks Shoot“out in Missouri. I’ve done runs near us in the Midwest but I never thought I’d take my 29 Outlaw in the Atlantic to the Florida Keys. I decided to finally try it this year so I joined FPC and Stu

The raftup at Gilberts went smoothly, and crews were soon enjoying a hearty buffet lunch.

continued on page 14

Miami’s SeaIsle Marina once again provided the perfect launch-pad for the poker run...with plenty of hotel rooms at the Miami Biscayne Marriott and adjacent Doubletree Grand. POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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Trent & Shawn Fischer (TX) Team Screws Loose III 43- Nortech Supervee Mercury Racing 1075’s Official paceboat Wednesday Group

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Bill Pyburn JR. (FL) Team PURE PLATINUM - 38’ Skater

continued from page 11

and Jackie Jones have been so awesome. They did a phenomenal job of making my wife and I feel comfortable about the run.” From the show in and out of the water to the Boca Grande fun run, Safranek said he enjoyed all aspects of the event, although he would have preferred calmer conditions on the way down Thursday. “My friends were right—that was one of the coolest things I’ve done from a boating standpoint,” he said. “I plan on doing a whole lot more of the FPC events, including the Miami Boat Show Poker Run, assuming I can get my buddy to tow my boat down to Florida again.” Another first-timer to Key West, Alberto Cruz trailered his boat from Dallas to Miami to do the run with his wife, Christina. Unlike Safranek, Cruz is a club member who has attended a few FPC continued on page 18

Christian McCauley (NH) Team FAIRFIELDS AUTO GROUP - 36’ Nor-Tech Supercat

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Jim Bradley (TX) Team Nor-Tech - Nor-Tech 39 Center Console

David Tievy (MD) Team SPEC-OPS IV - 48 Fountain Express Cruiser 2013 Sponsor: SCI- Superior Communications

Alberto & Kristina Cruz (TX) Team TAS LISTO - 28’ Pantera Editor’s note: Couple should be applauded for their offshore adventure in six foot seas, on final leg into Key West!

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Sharon Henley (FL) Team LIQUID ASSET - 38’ Cigarette-Top Gun

Mark & Holly Wilken (IL) - 30’ Donzi-Daytona ZX

Ron Panna (NJ) Team TWISTED CIGARETTE - 42’ Cigarette

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continued from page 14

events—the Emerald Coast Poker Run a couple of times— and has gone down to Key West several times to watch the offshore races and check out the poker run scene. Originally from Venezuela, Cruz decided this was the year he would tackle Key West in his 28-foot Pantera Boats V-bottom with a pair of MerCruiser 496 Mag engines— the smallest boat registered for the event. “My wife was a little worried as the winds were blowing pretty good on Wednesday, especially on the last leg,” said Cruz, who opted to run down the first day rather than wait until Thursday. “We figured we’d give it a try and if it was continued on page 26

Robert & Lisa Marsalona (NY) Team SILVERBACK - 39’ Cigarette-Top Gun

Troy Paul (OK) Team PAUL TRANSPORTATION - 48’ MTI-zr48

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Picking up the bonus poker card at Grove Harbour Marina, at the start of the run.


Randy Simpson (TX) Team TALKIN TRASH - 39’ Outerlimits

Paddy Sullivan (MD) Team CODE BLUE - 38’ Donzi-ZFX

Michael Maggio (IL) Team DRIVEN - 46’ Cigarette-US 1

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Miami Dade Fire Rescue’s FIREBOAT 1, stayed on position at the Featherbeds in Biscayne Bay, providing a helpful visual reference for poker runners as they pass safely through the shoal area, and a strategic vantage point for firstresponse in any direction.

Florida Fish & Wildlife officers (left) with Miami Dade Fire Rescue diver/ paramedics at the Gilberts lunch stop. This location also provides an exchange point from Miami Dade based FWC boats to Monroe County FWC boats...which continue the run to Islamorada.

Logistics for the FPC Strategic Safety Management Program would not be possible without the support of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). No less than four FWC boats and captains participate in each FPC run to the Florida Keys. 24

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continued from page 18

too much we could always stay the night in Key Largo. Overall the weather didn’t cooperate too much, but that made it fun at the same time, well, at least for me. My wife was a trooper. I enjoyed getting some airtime, but I had to make sure she was enjoying the ride. “I knew the boat could do it, but I was surprised with how well it handled in the rough stuff,” he continued. “We saw some 4- to 5-footers on the way to lunch, but after Gilberts we hit some 8- to 10-footers and we chugged along at 30 to 50 mph. We made it in at 4:30. We’re definitely going to do it again. I’m not gonna lie, we were tired. It took us the next day of pretty much just relaxing to feel better.” Cruz brought up a great point regarding the sticking point about the poker run being intimidating to first-timers and smaller boats. He believes any boater can do it as long as they are careful, know how to run their boat safely, understand provide is invaluable. continued on page 30

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David & Leeann Branton (LA) Team FLY BYE - 52’ Skater With Son Jim, on his first Key West poker run on the new Skater


Jorge Arellano (FL) Team BEAST - 36’ DCB

Greg & Brenda McCauley (MO) Team MTI SV42 Center Console

Larry Vincent (Ok) Team EL GATO - 36’ Skater

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Danielle Bloom - Frank Lindaberry (NJ) Team TRASH TALKIN - 37’ Cigarette Editor’s note: 37’ not a typo- this is a classic 1987 Cigarette in amazing condition.

continued from page 26

LOVIN’ THE LIFE: The Lovins from Houston, Texas, did the event for the first time in their new Nor-Tech 420 Monte Carlo, which has twin Mercury Racing 700SCi engines. And boy did they have a blast, bringing the party with them in the form of DJ Ryan Coxx, who spun tunes aboard the boat when it was in front of the Conch on Friday night and rafted off at Boca Grande on Saturday. “The whole thing was awesome … we had so much fun,” Cody Lovins said. “It helped that Scot Conrad and all the guys from Nor-Tech were there to help us with everything. We can’t wait to go back next year.” continued on page 38

Jeffrey Bognolo (FL) Team GOOD NEIGHBOR - Donzi 38’ ZR

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Lunch under the enormous Tiki Hut at Gilberts...one of the largest Tiki huts in the Florida Keys.


Ronald & Robbin Selway (OH) Team ZIP AND BOB - 37’ Outerlimits-STILETTO

Warren Foreman (TX) Team X RATED - 47’ Fountain - Inset: Warren with gal Amanda Holder

Jeff & Kim Howell (IA) Team WEIGH FASTER - 42’ MTI

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istoric eet from the H o tr S e en re G g d over tw lock, alon upied a city b ny as our host restaurant, an plays provided cc o E G A L IL V lorful dis d Compa KER RUN KEY WEST PO the Conch Republic Seafoo with activity. Vibrant and co curious tourists who E H T IN A G A ONCE cers to With stling onton Street. village was bu sitors passing and offshore ra Seaport to Sim companies, the poker run sited. From poker runners stive. With thousands of vi . g fe vi itors dozen exhibitin arged backdrop for all who cident, the atmosphere was sors and exhib n o sp r fo re h ac su -c y quite b ous expo a horsepower ker run village ugh Sunday it was tremend o p e th n o d le stumb ay thro rounds Thursd through the g POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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John Woodruff & Nancy Hancock (GA) Team WINDSHIP - 48’ MTI

Tim & Treva Irwin (OH) Team T-N-T - 38’ Cigarette-Top Gun

Editors note: Justin participated on the Key West event in honor of his late father Bill Beischel, who passed away a year earlier. Bill was active and well-respected participant on the Key West poker run, dating back to 2003.

Justin Beischel (OH) Team SHORT CIRCUIT - 36’ Spectre

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continued from page 30

That sentiment was shared by Michael Alexander of West Islip, N.Y., who drove his 32-foot Skater catamaran—a former raceboat powered by triple 300-hp engines—to Key West with a half-dozen friends. Alexander, who used to race 24- and 26-foot Skaters before turning to poker runs, said he comes back each year because of the friendships he’s developed. “The town of Key West is a wonderful place to let your hair down,” Alexander said. “What draws us in each year is the fun. We come to celebrate the friendships we’ve made over the years. Obviously we love using the boat—and being able to use the boat for that type of distance is awesome. Then, after the entire-day run, the fun rolls into the parties, down Duval Street, into poker run village and beyond. “I think this year’s run to Key West was one of the best, if not the best, poker run I’ve been on in the past five years,” continued Alexander, who missed the 2012 Key West Poker Run after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on his neighborhood. “The way I see it is that if you can’t have fun at the Key West Poker Run then maybe you shouldn’t be boating.” No stranger to the Key West Poker Run, Ray Aquit of Miami said he always has a good time, although this year was even more special as he took his new Deep Impact 36 Cabin with triple Mercury Verado 350s with him. Wrapped with an E-FlameVapor.com logo—Aquit’s new business—the Lamborghini orange boat had no problem making the journey along the Keys. continued on page 43

Matt & Tara Willman (IA) Donzi - 38’ Donzi-ZX Daytona Joined by friends Scott & Heather McGill

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Derek Wachob (OK) Team HUNTRESS - 42’ Cigarette-Huntress

Dr. Chris Deloache (OK) Team Cigarette - 39’ Cigarette

Derek Wachob (OK) Team BLACK DIAMOND - 52’ MTI

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A group of boats from the Performance class gets up to speed as they depart Grove Harbour Marina, for the Thursday start. Joining the action in hot pursuit of the “money shot”, the FPC photo & video crew flew in the Robinson R44 from Florida Coast to Coast Helicopter.

ABOVE: The all-new remote-control DJP Phantom drone made its FPC poker run debut, equipped with an HD Gopro camera and piloted by Bill Ciani, the newest member of the FPC video team. LEFT : Scenic Miami, as the 90-boat Thursday group begins the long parade from SeaIsle Marina through the Venetian Causeway. 42

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“I had a blast running with the pack in my center console, and I used to have a much faster boat,” said Aquit, who sold his 36-foot Nor-Tech catamaran with twin Mercury Racing 1075s to another FPC member, to get the more reliable outboard-powered-powered and versatile Deep Impact. “It was nice not to have to worry about breaking down either. I had four people on board for the run, and I think we took 10 people out to Boca Grande. And thanks to all the amenities the boat has to offer, it’s even better for entertaining.

ABOVE: Offleaseonly.com returned as the Grand Prize sponsor for the Key West Poker Run, providing a Mustang Convertible to the team with the best poker hand....for the fifth year in a row. RIGHT: Rafting up at Gilberts always provides a colorful show for all spectators and participants...an image that can best be appreciated from high above. POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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continued from previous page

“Off the water, I like everything about Key West,” he continued. “It’s so cozy compared to Miami. There are a lot of things to do, plus there are a ton of bars and restaurants. There’s just a lot going on.” ODE TO DAD: Although his father, longtime FPC member Bill Beischel, shared stories about Key West and was a regular on the poker run, Justin Beischel hadn’t made the run to Key West for more than 15 years. So, after his father passed in 2012, Justin and his wife Johnna, decided to tow Bill’s 36foot Spectre Powerboats catamaran Short Circuit from Cincinnati to Miami and do the poker run in Bill’s honor. Powered by twin 675-hp engines from Chief Performance, Short Circuit—named for Bill’s short stature and his business in the electrical industry—handled everything the Atlantic Ocean dished out during the run to Key West. Justin, who does most of his boating on Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland, said he hit all of his dad’s favorite spots, including the World’s Smallest Bar. “Everything went well during the run down on Wednesday,” said Justin, who opted to trailer the boat home from Key West rather than make the return trip to Miami on the water. “It was so much fun to see everyone and see all the boats. We had a blast when they shut the street down and we got to see all the race boats. We also enjoyed sitting in the pits watching the races. It’s just such a cool trip.”

Arriving at Grove Harbour Marina for the bonus poker card, captains safely bring their craft off plan for safe passage through the congested “seaplane channel”, a name that carried over from the early days when Pan Am’s commercial seaplanes taxi’d to and from the land-based passenger terminal. (now Grove Harbour Marina) 44

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When asked if he’ll be doing the poker run again, Justin said his reservations have already been made for the 2014 event. Like father, like son. continued on page 46


continued from page 42

Speaking of fathers and sons, David Branton was able to share a cool experience with his son, Jim, who is a professional wakeskater. Taking the wheel while his dad controlled the throttles, Jim ran the 50-foot catamaran from Skater Powerboats, which is owned by David and Leeann and their good friends, Walter and Donna Molosh from New Jersey, all of whom did the poker run. “It was fun seeing the father and son drive the boat together,” said Molosh, who said the boat ran flawlessly on the way down. “We have such a great time in Key West. We like to watch the races and see all the boats lined up on Duval Street. We always come in with the poker run group, which definitely brings in more people than the race teams. The poker run village now is like going to the dry pits—you get to see all the latest and greatest from vendors all in one place.” It’s pretty easy to see why everyone who comes to Key West has to come back. It’s pretty easy to see why everyone who comes to Key West has to come back. It’s also easy to see why the club and the poker run received so much attention from the media and city officials when the threat of the world championships moving from Key West was looming. Although it seems hard to imagine that the community didn’t already recognize the impact the poker run provided, it does now. And if nothing else, what came of it was a welldeserved pat on the back to the FPC staff and mostly likely a little more clout when it comes future events— including the new Key West LandSea-Air Poker Run coming in May. JJ Brad Benson (NJ) Team PASS LOCKER - 52’ MTI. On board: Sons Tyler and Clint Benson and crew chief, Tom Healy It was the maiden poker run voyage for the new MTI, which replaced Brad’s 48 MTI that he campaigned throughout most of 2013. 46

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Bob Eppl (IN) Team VELOCITY - 39’ Velocity

Benoit Primeau (Canada) Team EL TAUR’EAU - 47’ Fountain Lightning

Mark Stoddart (Canada) Team OFFLIMITS - 50’ Outerlimits

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Thomas Calabro (RI) Team LIQUID COURAGE - 36’ Spectre

Karl Koster (CA) Team SPECIAL K - Skater-388

Henrik & Jan-Erik Margard (NORWAY) Team POKERRUNEVENTS.NO - 40’ Nor-Tech Roadster Editors note: Nor-Tech Co-owner Trond Schou at the helm

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Rex Runzheimer (FL) Team RHETT’S RIDE - 42’ Cigarette Huntress

Editor’s note: Passenger on board, Fred Kiefhaefer, former President of Mercury Racing.. enjoying the ride as a participant.

Michael Attkiss (FL) - 42’ Cigarette-Huntress

Gregg G. Williams (MI) Team FIVESOME - 42’ Cigarette-HUNTRESS

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Cody & Veronica Lovins (TX) OUT OF COMPLIANCE - Nor-Tech-420 Monte Carlo

Gary & Rosemary Colledge (CA) Team COLLEDGEWOOD- 40’ Skater

Oystein Tenold (NORWAY) Team NOR-TECH - 36’ Nor-Tech Supercat

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Ken Armstrong (TX) Team PHANTOM - 48’MTI

Dennis Raia (NY) Team OUTRAIAGIOUS - 48’ MTI

Scott & Anita Murray (ON) Team OFFSHORE ACCOUNT - 40’ Nor-Tech

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John O’Loughlin (NY) Team TERMINATOR - 48’ MTI

Jack Villars (Switzerland) - 44’ MTI

Vince Foglia (IL) Team VINNY’S BOAT - 44’ MTI

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GIRLS OF FPC

Brittany

Heather

Miss Key West Poker Run

Girls of Team Screw

s Loose III (TX)

Girls

Pure of Team

m Platinu

Girls of Team Rainmaker (TX)

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Girls of Team Artemis (FL)

(FL)

Beth Ann


Mark & Eileen Fischer (FL) Team OFF LEASE ONLY - 39’ Deep Impact

Celeste Segredo /Jason Ventura (FL) Team BRAND X - 36’ Cigarette-Gladiator

Eric Glaser (FL) Team MIDNIGHT EXPRESS - 39’ Midnight Express

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George & Shannon Argyros (FL) Team DONZILLA - Donzi-43 ZR

Michael Merritt (OH) Team MERRITTORIOUS - 45’ Cigarette

Karsten Melcher (GERMANY) Team GERMANY II - 32’ Advantage

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Geoff & Sue Wanamaker (MD) Team ARMED AND DANGEROUS - 38’Cigarette-Top Gun

Dan Kurzejewski (PA) Team RIDE THIS - 38’ Cigarette - Top gun

David & Jenny Landsman (MD) Team GOLDDIGGER - 50’ Outerlimits

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Terry Sobo (FL) Team NOR-TECH 39’ Nor-Tech 390

Brittany at Gilberts

Michael & Nicolle Pierce (LA) Team MAXED OUT 45’Cigarette Maximus

Tom & Rachel Regan (TX) Team HALL PASS - Nor-Tech-3600 Supercat

Glenn Salyer (KY) Team RED RIVER RANCH (MY WAY) - 50’ Outerlimits

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Gary Goodell (FL) Team MISS GEICO - 38’ Cigarette-Top Gun

Todd Werner / Nick Buis (FL) Team STATEMENT - 50’ Statement! Passion cat

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Jens Müller (GERMANY) Team GERMANY III - 43’ Nor-Tech

Dr Ino Halegua (FL) Team GREECE LIGHTNING - 38’ Cigarette

Jeff & Jennifer Corbel (IL) Team OUTA MY MIND - 39’ Outerlimits

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Joe Calvanese (CT) Team DE CAL- 46’ Skater

Patrick Bedard (FL) Team GO-FAST - Outerlimits-43 Vee

Tom & Cheryl Sharp (GA) Team MILAGROS - 50’ Cigarette-Marauder

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Kevin Kurkowski (TX) Team GRASSY ASS 2 - 35’ Fountain-LIGHTNING

Matthew Gordon (CT) Team HUSTLER - 37’ Hustler-377 Talon

Michael Alexander (NY) Team TJA MOTORSPORTS - 32’ Skater-Outboard

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BOB ROSENBERG (IL) Team LABOR INTENSIVE - 38’ COUGAR

James & Audra Bohannon III (TX) Team HAMMERTIME - 44’MTI

Albert Haynesworth (FL)Team THE GOOD LIFE - 39’ Cigarette

Tom Abraham (NY) TEAM YEAH I KNOW - 40 PERFORMANCE

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Join the club. Join the fun. Six levels of membership to suit your boating lifestyle. PLATINUM MEMBERSHIP

tAccess to all FPC events and parties. tPowerboating Video. (Dozens of titles to choose.) tPowerboating in Paradise Magazine subscription. tEmbroidered Club T-shirt in your choice of colors. tAccess to all Membership discount programs. PLUS tPremium Outer Banks club polo shirt. (Ladies tops available.) tPremium embroidered club hat. tAdditional Powerboating video. tVenus Swimwear gift voucher. ($75-$100 value.) PLUS Premium Concierge Services tPriority booking status for rooms and dockage on all FPC Events. tMarina and marine service referrals for your powerboat. tNautical assistance to a variety of marine resorts and boating destinations. tPlanning and hotel/slip reservations for your Florida boating weekends. $449.00/year*

GOLD MEMBERSHIP

Membership Includes all of the Standard Membership benefits, PLUS: Premium Outer Banks Club Polo Shirt. (Ladies tops avail.) t Premium embroidered club hat. t Additional Powerboating Video of your choice: t Venus Swimwear gift voucher. ($75-$100 value.) t $349.00/year* STANDARD MEMBERSHIP

Membership Includes: tAccess to all FPC events and parties. tPowerboating Video. (Dozens of titles to choose.) tPowerboating in Paradise Magazine subscription. tEmbroidered Club T-shirt in your choice of colors. tAccess to all Membership discount programs. $249.00/year* VIDEO MEMBERSHIP Membership Includes all of the Social Membership benefits, plus: DVDs as they are released. (10-12 per year.)

Key West Poker Run, Emerald Coast Poker Run, Bahamas Poker Run, Sportboat Poker Run, Jacksonville Poker Run, Tampa Bay Poker Run, Fort Myers Poker Run, Miami Boat Show Poker Run. Events may vary.

$169.00/year*

COMMERCIAL MEMBERSHIP

Membership Includes: tBusiness card ad in our magazine tAccess to all FPC events and parties. tListing on our website affiliate section. Commercial Members also have the opportunity to run promotions and discounts through FPC events. $249.00/year* SOCIAL MEMBERSHIP Membership Includes: tClub T-shirt in your choice of colors. tPowerboating Video of your choice (Dozens to choose.) tPowerboating in Paradise Magazine subscription. tAccess to FPC parties tDiscounted Boat Show tickets. $69.00/year*

*Overseas and international memberships will have a slightly higher rate to compensate for mailing/shipping costs.

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James Leonardo (NY) Team PURE INSANITY - 112’ BAGLIETTO

Tom & Cheryl Sharp (GA) Team MILAGROS - 88’ Pershing

Bill Tomlinson (Canada) 82 Sunseeker Predator

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David & Lori Postill (MI) Team OHANA - 55’ Azimut

Editors Note: It was their maiden poker run with the new luxury yacht, which they purchased from Marinemax.

Ladd Spring (LA) Team SPRING BREAK II - 42’ Cigarette 80

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The Ultimate Rendezvous in Paradise It's one thing to take the scenic 170 mile ride from Miami to Key West, but the experience isn't entirely complete, until one takes the short 9-mile ride from Key Wst Harbor to a little piece of paradise, Boca Grande Key. The small island falls within the boundaries of the Key West National Refuge and is the largest in a series of islands knows as the Mule Keys. There are federal restrictions that do not permit any access to the uplands....but staying down on the sandy beach is pretty much accepted by park officials. That said, having close to 200 powerboats and yachts visit all at once over a three hour time frame certainly raises their eyebrows just a little, which is why FPC often has engaged in occasional talks with park officials over matters of park visitor etiquette and environmental impact. Among the obvious concerns..littering and disturbance to the natural wildlife, primarily nesting birds. From all reports post event, we're quite happy to hear that everyone was on their best behavior, with no negative impact on the park! Good going, lets keep it that way! In future year, with this rendezvous now reaching epic proportions, it is quite likely a special permitting process may be imposed for future visits during the Key West Poker Run. We'll keep you posted! SJ

Pat & Diane Haughey (FL) Team ACTIVE THUNDER 37’ Active Thunder

Chet & Cindy Huffman (CA) Team WAY NUTZ - 43’ Nor-Tech POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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Denny Linehan (DE) Team NORTECH - 36’ Nor-Tech

Mark Planchian (FL) 90’ Eagle Yacht MIA Sponsor Team NEXTERA ENERGY POWER MARKETING 82

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ADVERTISE WITH US

Contact us now! For more information. (954) 545 1414


Kenny & Myna Mungle (TX) Team Gone Again Skater

Keith Merritt (OH) Team MERRITTROPOLIS 48’ Fountain EXPRESS CRUISER

Randy & Denise Cochran (SC) Team WIRELESS FUNZZ - 42’ Fountain

Beaching the boats along the sandy shore is easy when you’re first to arrive...not so easy if you’re shooting into a tight spot with swift current pushing on the sides of the boat. Once settled, it’s important to pay close attention to the tide, making sure your boat doesn’t float away or worse...gets beached for the night! Carl & Tammy Hansen (FL) Team BOATSDIRECTUSA.COM - 36’ Black Water 84

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When the beach fills up, it’s time to Raft-Up! Several boats pulled out the anchors and fenders, and soon a long line of colorful powerboats formed... stereos cranked, coolers opened, sun screen applied! Party time!

Kelly Sills (LA) Team Asphalt BABE - 36’ Skater

Jeff Campbell (TX) Team Nor-Tech 43’ Nor-Tech Bruce & Jenni Easmunt (NJ) Team WHERE THE BLACKTOP ENDS - 48’ Fountain Express

Ray Aquit (FL) Team G-SEA - 36’ Deep Impact

John & Connie Fahmy (GA) Team EVERDRY 38’ Baja Special POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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KEY WEST

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18 1. Nick Buis, Statement Marine 2. Jeff Gunther, Conch Rebublic Seafood Company 3. Jim McIntire and John O’Loughlin, Best Catamaran 4. Trent Fischer, Best Engines and Riggings 5. Jeff Campbell with Bubba, Heather, Nicole and Wendy, Best V-Bottom 6. Clint Benson, Fred Keikafer and Tom Healey, Best Paint and Graphics 7. Dave Hein, Broken Propeller Award 8. Cody and Veronica Lovins, Best Poker Run Boat 9. Kenny Armstrong and Crew, Most Outrageous Boat 10. Bob and Elle Berg’s Team Artemis and Girls of Freedom US1, Sexiest Crew 11. Skip Braver, Cigarette Racing Team 12. Mike and Nikki Pierce, Team Maxed Out, Second Place 13. Oystein Tenold with Team TJ Vikings 14. Rex Runzheimer, Team Rhetts’ Ride 15. Alan Sasson and Farah accepting Third Place for Mark Palanchian, Team Nextera Power Marketing 16. Team Germany, Best Dressed Crew 17. Sherell and Randy Scism, Marine Technologies - MTI 18. Eileen Fischer of OffleaseOnly.com, Jackie Jones and the FPC crew present First Place Winner Scott and Lori Safranek with the Ford Mustang convertible. POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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FPC TECH

WWW.FLPOWERBOAT.COM: LOG ON FOR VIDEOS, PHOTOGRAPHY & UPCOMING EVENTS \\\\\\\\\\\\\\

BIG EFI’n HORSEPOWER! FOLKS STAND ON THE DOCK AND GAWK AT THOSE BIG TWINENGINE BOATS WITH THEIR HATCHES UP TRYING TO GET A PEEK AT THE POWER PLANTS THAT PROPEL THEM TO NEARLY THE 200MPH MARK. WELL, IF YOU’RE AN ENTHUSIAST, LET’S GO ON A TOUR OF HOW THESE DESIGNS EVOLVED AND SEE WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON UNDER THOSE HATCHES!

T BY ALEXI SAHAGIAN

he boats of today have become more efficient by design and seem to go as fast as anyone cares to push them. It almost seems like there is no limit with the people and equipment. Breaking 100 mph was the first challenge, then 150mph. Now power plants are creeping up on 200mph with just pistons and even faster, in some cases, with both pistons and turbines. The advances are pure amazement. But it takes both the hull and the power train along with a calm, bold mind to handle this feat! EARLY ON, IT WAS COMMON for an owner to have his local engine builder whip up a big block Chevy 454-502 cubic inch engine, install a hi-po cam, 6:71 supercharger, a pair of big predator carbs and go! That was a big HP package back in the 1970’s and was likely under 12k. What has changed? Boats changed designs, composites advanced, drivetrain manufacturers changed hydrodynamic design for less drag yet maintained the ability to install proper gear sizes. All of this to accommodate the ever evolving big power!

Old big power 88

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Engines that were once 454 cubic inches grew to over 800 cubic inches by design changes in engine blocks, sleeves, and crankshafts. Superchargers and turbochargers grew to match them with the introduction of screw compressors, larger designed roots blowers and turbochargers for large trucks converted for v8 engines. The largest engineering marvel to make this all work was the perfection of Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI). The ability to control these huge changes was a marvel in itself! It’s like life, always evolving! IN TODAY’S WORLD, it is common to see engines 540, 552, 565, 572, 598, 632800 plus cubic inches. The superchargers available today have different designs such as Whipple with a screw design vs. a standard rotor (paddle) design of a typical roots charger. Turbochargers were small Rajay e-10 design and now they have evolved into Turbonetics Midframe design which are giants. The new style chargers create less heat,

compress the air much more efficiently and the net result of that is more power. The technology within the evolving intercoolers has made intercooling step up to a new level. Builders have material tested for maximum heat dissipation. The standard intercooler cores were aluminum, then evolved into coated aluminum, and now Cupronickel for maximum dissipation, (supercooling effect.) This design, size increase and ability to supercool the supercharged intake charge temperature allowed engine builders to push the limits of timing, boost and all-out durability for these engines that run wide open for hundreds of miles. CYLINDER HEAD DESIGN evolved from a conventional barn find big block square port head, to now 24-18 degree straight flowing pair of aluminum masterpieces! The camshaft designs started from basic grinds to now some of the largest cam lobes we have ever seen. With the help of valve spring design and components, we now can run what would have broken at the dock combinations with ultimate reliability. The ignition systems have gone from a bigger round coil, to amplified computer controlled heavy duty coils, options for coil per cylinder (coil on plug) and much more. Crankshaft design became better over the years. Originally a steel Chevy truck block crank was the best deal ever, and then it evolved into custom billets which have knife edges built into the design to reduce the windage. Oiling systems went from an adjusted clearance big block Chevy Melling pump to an internal billet G-Rotor design or a 4, 5 and 6 stage dry sump system that creates more vacuum in the crank case and allows all other systems to work more efficiently. The oils and lubricants have more science involved into the formulations creating less drag and more protection for the parts.

Compound supercharged and twin turbo charged fuel system components


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Pair of Boostpower 1000sci engines LET’S TALK TRANSMISSIONS. Back in the day, folks would modify an old turbo 400 Chevy trans to put the power down in the boat. Interestingly enough, they still do. Now they have redesigned the internals to deal with the huge load changes from the 70’s till now. In the offshore boat, they went from the standard Velvet drive, to the modified Velvet drive to what is now considered the fleet leader, the new Velvet drive. Funny how certain things don’t change a whole lot in some categories. The newer transmissions have more clutches, larger internal parts and the ability to output to an ECM via sensors that keeps everything in order. DRIVES SEEM TO have come a long way… but have they? Speedmaster drives have been the commonplace for years. I remember going from a wet sump to a dry sump and now to the leader, the M8 Mercury Racing Drive which is their strongest. Some have ventured into the BPM drives and Trimax design shaft drives to avoid more moving parts and less directional loss. The drive category will evolve more and more as boat and drive manufacturers spend more time collaborating. PROPS, OH THE PROPS! What a science they are. They still kind of look the same, however, the ever-changing debate on rake, diameter and blade design will continue. My take is it will be trial and error forever! Perhaps CNC and evolving materials will solve this science to make for more consistency? ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION. Let’s review for a moment the biggest contributor to keep all of this alive. EFI! Electronic fuel injection has been the most powerful modification for the ultra elite powertrain systems. Early on folks would use Holley or other carburetors which worked well, however certain processes were not available.

For example, how would you meter each cylinder or make air fuel changes on the fly due to conditions? How many times have you been driving along when all of a sudden it gets like 20 degrees hotter for a mile, then cools off again? It is common on the West Coast. The electronic fuel injection can immediately adjust for that, making things more efficient, reliable and allow for better fuel consumption. Electronic Fuel Injection has the ability to set the air fuel ratio in each cylinder and timing in each cylinder and the net result of a properly tuned engine with these features on board is huge power increases and engine balance! LET’S REVIEW THE most important category—the machinery that makes it all possible. The equipment to machine, dyno, flow test and assemble parts in the early days was somewhat crude and not readily available. The dyno machines only gave you a ball park HP and torque number and were only able to do acceleration pulls. That has all changed. Today, the equipment is

Big screw charger and big intercooler

Complete engine on stand in dyno room widely available and you can dyno at wide open throttle as long as your pocket book allows! Machining processes were once all done by hand and now they have evolved into hand assisted CNC formats that make for more consistent machine work and a much better engine. I REMEMBER WHEN I purchased my first dyno. I asked myself how a small builder could possibly afford the expense! Today, almost anyone can finance one and therefore more talent is available and more builders are discovering what makes significant improvements in power. The world is getting smarter and more efficient in the field of high performance marine. Due to better test equipment, electronics and the fact that people themselves have evolved, the outcomes of these marine engines and designs are much improved. Pay close attention to how fast the next 30 years of marine engine design evolves right before your eyes. POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

89


SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

Riding The

WAVES OF TIME BY STU JONES

C

onsidering the roller coaster ride that most companies have endured in the performance marine industry over the last two decades, Active Thunder Po w e r b o a t s o f Pompano Beach, Florida has certainly ridden some big waves, both literally and figuratively. Moreover, company owner Patrick Haughey, now 54, has kept his performance company closely aligned with Florida Powerboat Club since 1993—the very same year that both companies were formed. It was early fall 1993, when Sonic USA enlisted the support of Florida 90

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Powerboat Club to assist with the planning and logistics of a Sonic owners rally to Marathon, adding a day trip to Key West to watch the 1993 World Offshore Championships. Out of the twenty two registered powerboat teams, I met a couple named Pat & Diane from Boca Raton, who attended in a 30 Sonic, named Ultra Sonic. By the second day, I found myself talking with the couple frequently, and it appeared that Pat was more than just a willing participant. He truly loved powerboats and made it clear that he had some big plans to get more involved with the industry. Within months, Pat had acquired the molds of Chicago-based Thunder Powerboats, which amounted to a 25

and a 32 v-bottom. He soon began construction of two new boats in a Pompano Beach warehouse adjacent to his successful and growing auto body shop, B &R Auto. By early fall 1994, Pat had both boats complete and was looking for a good outlet to show them off. His timing couldn’t have been better. The factory-sponsored Sonic Rally was not going to proceed, so under the Florida Powerboat Club flag, the 2nd Annual Key West Offshore Rally was planned for early November. The only problem was, FPC needed a pace boat and Pat was quick to offer a solution. I could take the brand new single-engine 25 Active Thunder, while he ran alongside in his new twin engine 32. We were locked and


FOR OVER TWO DECADES, POMPANO BEACH CUSTOM BUILDER PAT HAUGHEY, OWNER OF ACTIVE THUNDER POWERBOATS, HAS HAD GREAT SUCCESS RIDING THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE PERFORMANCE MARINE INDUSTRY. HE HAS EMERGED FROM THE RECENT RECESSION WITH A FIRM GRASP AT THE WHEEL AND A STEADY COURSE TOWARDS AN EVEN BRIGHTER FUTURE. ABOVE: LEADING THE PACK. One of the first production Active Thunders, a little 25, leads the big boys through the rough and tumble of the middle keys. LEFT: The 32 Active Thunder with Pat and wife Diane aboard.

loaded. We departed Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach, first to Fort Lauderdale, then to Miami, picking up boats along the way. What was truly ironic was that our pace boat combo of 25 and 32 foot v-bottoms was leading an eclectic pack of very big powerboats. Included were two 42 Sonics, two 45 Sonics, a big power 40 Fountain, a 38’ Cigarette Top Gun and even a performance catamaran. We were in the lead all the way from Miami to the Florida Keys. It wasn’t long, though, before the over-zealous drivers passed our pace boats, and one by one—as they tried to navigate the upper Keys—all began to run aground. Oh the stories that can be told from the early FPC archives. In the dark of night and unassisted by any GPS

chart plotters, the little 25 foot Active Thunder lead the pack into safe harbor at Hawks Cay Resort in the middle keys. It’s a story, and an experience shared by Pat, myself and a handful of others that’s locked away in the archives of Florida Powerboat Club. Over the next few years, there was plenty more to come from Active Thunder. Pat grew his staff of knowledgeable boat builders and expanded his shop facility by acquiring a building just a block away, where he could keep tabs on production and still remained focused on his successful automotive collision business. He brought in new talent, and recruited south Florida naval architect Harry Schoel, who had many years of experience in the design and construction

of stepped-hull bottoms. The 25 vee became a 28 foot model, and eventually, the 32 got a big brother, the 37 AVS, which featured a radical mid-ship step and performed well with factory stock engines. Pat’s powerboating friends, many of them former Sonic owners, and folks he met through the poker runs, began to buy Active Thunders. The popularity of the 37 AVS grew rapidly. It had proven itself not only in poker runs, but also on the offshore race circuit, where a handful of Active Thunders were pounding the rugged seas and bringing home trophies. But the waves of time fell hard on Active Thunder’s forward motion. As Pat recruited more people to manage the production and sale of continued on next page... POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

...continued from previous page

FPC MEMBERS WHO HAVE OWNED ACTIVE THUNDER POWERBOATS: 1. Bill Eckler, 2007 Daytona Poker Run 2. Rick Kolander, 2006 Emerald Coast Poker Run 3. Clark Beecher, 2008 Miami Boat Show Poker Run 4. David George, 2007 Miami Boat Show Poker Run 5. TJ 1 Bailey, 2007 Jacksonville River Rally Poker Run

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new boats, he seemed to lose touch with the day-to-day operations. Overhead and expenses skyrocketed, and a sudden death of his production manager, cast a dark shadow over the small company’s future. As the economy took a sharp downturn in 2008 and 2009, Pat was forced to make some hard decisions. Of the few options available to him, Pat was determined that closing the doors would not be one of them. Instead, he made a decision with only one simple word—adapt. Today, Pat runs his boat building operation the old fashion way, hands on. While the basic hull and deck of any new Active Thunder is laid up with the very best production materials, every build is custom. Customers walk through every step of selection for their own personal boat. From the engine and drive, to the custom interiors designed by Pat’s wife Diane, and the colorful graphics designed by Chris Dilling of Graphic EFX, every boat is a signature of its owner, Never are any two alike. While the total count of all Active Thunder’s produced in the more than twenty years of business amounts to approximately 300, it’s impossible to attend ANY poker run around the nation, and not see one, two or even a few models present. One thing is certain, every Active Thunder owner always has something good to say about their boat. Q& A WITH PAT HAUGHEY: PiP: Did you ever dream or hope that Active Thunder might one day flourish enough to get you out of the car biz? PH: Actually, it has. Building 12-15 boats per year was always my target. At one point we were up to 40, but that was no fun and really just turned it into another job for me. A dozen custom built boats per year is just perfect. My collision business runs on auto-pilot. PiP: We know the economy tanked in 2008/2009 and it took down many boat companies. What made you decide to downsize and stay in the game? PH: Money. It took until the end of 2010 to realize that the light at the end of the tunnel was the oncoming train. When you funnel enough money from one company into the other to keep it running, the light bulb comes on and you make a change. My light bulb came on in the nick of time! Downsizing was the only answer. continued on page 94

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Florida Powerboat Club

1. ROYAL FLUSH

POKER RUN RULES OF THE GAME

2. STRAIGHT FLUSH

t Qualification: Poker Run players must all be registered poker run participants, and must maintain an active status membership program, at a level no less than “Standard” membership. tOne “Poker Run Hand” is assigned to every registered poker run Team, including any Sponsor Team that is participating in the event. 3. FOUR OF A KIND

tExtra Hands may be purchased by bona fide event participants, including crew members on any registered poker run boat. Any winnings associated with these extra poker hands are assigned to the Registered Owner or FPC member of record for that given team. Distribution of prizes to “crew” members is at the discretion of the registered club member.

4. FULL HOUSE

tYou-Pay-You-Play Rule: All registered teams are entitled to play out their poker hands regardless of whether cards were picked up at any of the designated checkpoints on the poker run course. 5. FLUSH

t Present-to-Play: A registered team owner/member, spouse or designated crew member must be present to play out poker cards at the poker run party. If a team or member is unable to complete the poker run and be present at the function, he/ she may contact FPC management to designate an individual to play out the team cards.

6. STRAIGHT

tPrizes & Awards: Winners typically receive cash and prizes AT the event and depending on prize valuation may be required to sign 1099 tax forms and/or pay Florida state sales taxes on winnings. Some poker run prizes are announced AT the event and later delivered to the winner. 7. THREE OF A KIND

tStorage & Shipping: Winners who elect to NOT take their prizes with them at the time of the winnings, may opt to have FPC management store and later ship the item(s) to the winner. A small shipping/handling charge may apply in some cases.

8. TWO PAIR

tPhotos & Media: All winners are required to pose for photos and/or video coverage that will be used in FPC website galleries, magazine coverage, video productions and television programs, and names will be announced in conjunction with these media outlets. 9. PAIR

GOOD LUCK ON YOUR NEXT FPC POKER RUN!

10. HIGH CARD

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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

...continued from page 92

FPC MEMBERS WHO HAVE OWNED ACTIVE THUNDER POWERBOATS: 1. Craig Cornell, 2008 Miami Boat Show Poker Run 2. Christopher Philindas, 2009 Winter Rally Poker Run 3. Laszlo Lukacs, 2011 Key West Poker Run 4. Mike Case, 2013 Miami Boat Show Poker Run 5. Michelle Sommer, 2012 1 Key West Poker Run 6. Mark Shackelford, 2011 Miami Boat Show Poker Run

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PiP: The 37 has been a wildly popular boat. Will this remain the staple of your production in years to come? PH: I believe it will. The 37 really has been a great all-around boat that performs well but will run nice cruise and top-end speeds without having to go crazy with big power. I think that’s what makes it so attractive. Plus, of course, amenities unlike any other in it’s class. PiP: Your interior designs and colors are created by your wife Diane. Is this a relatively new thing or has she been involved (secretly) in this role for many years? PH: Diane picked up the baton and started running with it for a little over 10 years now. I think her attention to the interior and color details is what took us to the next level. And the clients enjoy working with her, which is important. PiP: You are really the only boat builder that has stood the test of time and been right there, alongside FPC from the beginning. How much have poker runs helped your business? PH: Poker runs are key. Back in the late 90’s we had 4 boats running the race circuit. While people thought those boats helped sales, it never held a candle to the poker runs. Let’s face it, at poker runs everybody has a chance to interact and see each other’s boats close up. I always have somebody say to me “ Well, that’s an Active Thunder. Mind if I look inside?” It is always satisfying to me at the end of a poker run because we always end up with a positive comment. Without poker runs this would never happen. FPC poker runs are even a bigger venue than boat shows, in my opinion. PiP: You are obviously not going away or planning to retire anytime soon. What’s in store from Active Thunder over the next decade? PH: As a grass roots company with what is commonly referred to as a cult following, I plan on going back to some basics. This boating thing has gotten away from the average guy as far as expense. Currently I’m tooling the new 29 Savage and hoping to keep it in the $125k price range with less excessive options, as a starting point. Also I am tooling up a new 22 Banshee deck to go on the existing DDC hull. There has to be an entry level boat again. My last thought is to bring back the 25 Tantrum. But that won’t be this year.


PERFORMANCE SPOTLIGHT

The 37EXCESS

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s%XHAUST THRU TRANSOM s%XTERNALTIEBARS STAINLESSSTEEL s&UELlLL mUSHMOUNTEDSTAINLESSSTEEL s.AVIGATIONLIGHTS &LUSHMOUNTED s0ROPELLER 33"LADETOMATCHPOWERPACKAGE s(IGHIMPACTRESISTANT2UBRAIL s&ULLHYDRAULIC-ARINE-ACHINESTEERING HULL SPECIFICATIONS s,/!WOALUMINUMPLATFORMv s"EAMv s&UEL#APACITYGAL s7EIGHT COMPLETEAPPROXLBS s"OTTOM$$#VENTILATEDSTEPBOTTOM COCKPIT AND HELM s"OLSTERS RACESTYLEWITHELECTRICSEATBOTTOMS s#OCKPITCOVER 3UNBRELLA s$ASHPOTIONS SIDEORCENTERCABINENTRY s$EPTHlNDER INDASH s%NGINEHATCH PADDED s&IREEXTINGUISHER s&LOORING PERETNON SLIP s&OOTREST MOLDED s&UMEDETECTOR ELECTRONIC s'AUGERIMS ANODIZEDTOMATCH s'RABBARS DASHMOUNTANDREARSEAT s#OMPLETE,IVORISCOMPETITIONGAUGES s,IGHTINGCOCKPITILLUMINATION s2EARSEATING WITHUNDERSEATSTORAGE

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'%4"%().$4(%7(%%,/&4(%.%72!#% 02/6%.!#4)6% THUNDER 37 EXCESS AND YOU WILL APPRECIATE THEIR REPUTATION FOR A PATENTED HULL DESIGN WITH ALL THE #/-&/243/&(/-%!.$!/.% /& ! +).$2)$%

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he 37 Excess amenities are second to none. The plushest of leathers and carbon ďŹ bers accent the cabin’s full inner liner. An enclosed stand-up head is to the starboard complete with vanity sink, shower. and electric ush. With optional climate control it is cooled and heated as well. TO THE PORT is the culinary prep station with your choice of either an AC/DC refrigerator or built-in cooler for holding the weekend’s drinks and groceries. You will be pleasantly surprised by the spaces we have carved out for storage. With standard twin Mercruiser HP 525 EFIs, there is power enough to cruise at a fuelefďŹ cient 60 mph or push it all the way to 90mph when you need that adrenaline

rush. This 37 foot offshore performer has the most satisfying ride of any boat in it’s class. There’s that patented hull technology for you! With a great running attitude, she comes down soft and controllable every time. No ‘white knuckle’ rides here! The cockpit is huge and deep giving you a total feeling of safety to go along with the ride. The large, side-entry dash houses all the Livorsi gauges as well your choice of GPS. Standard dual drink holders and grab-bars, a molded 2 level foot rest and electric bolsters position you to go offshore in comfort. 4(% %!39 !##%33 engine hatch lifts the rear portion of the back seat to allow for even easier access to the bilge and engines making service on the power and optional generator a breeze. Storage is plentiful in the cockpit combing panels and under the rear seat where you have

plenty of room for stowing bumpers, lines and an anchor. The full walk-around, non-skid deck, means that you don’t have to be twinkletoes to get up on the deck! No little steps on the dash either. Its rocksolid construction utilizes full urethane composite stringers and transom. The hull and deck are carefully glassed together 180 degrees making a unibody construction that will never come apart. Pure vinylester resins, bi and tri-directional glasses and full vacuum bagging with Divinycell coring are the backbone of the Active Thunder build process. THIS COMBINATION of materials and technology is why they have an unsurpassed reputation with virtually no warranty issues and the ride you expect from an offshore boat. Just one ride will leave you knowing what a truly perfect boat feels like.

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he Powerboat P1 Superstock Racing season will be underway this spring, led by an AquaX personal watercraft race in Daytona, April 26-27, followed by a five race Superstock season to feature the P1 Panther, single engine Vbottom—akin to the “old school” IROC series which pitted driver against driver in a single model race. The recreational 4-passenger boat was designed to double as a race boat with a hooded cowling over the rear passenger seats for races. The race series combines the Super-

stock boats with the AquaX to add elements of speed and excitement for family-oriented racing entertainment. Several father-son and husband-wife teams compete with seasoned racers while the venue invites new racers as well.

and Paula really took to driving the boat—it’s like a hot little race car!” said Gene Weeks, “We look forward to another year in our CL-Alpha, competing against other racers and finding new fans!”

The P1 Superstock series begins in Stuart, Florida at the Sailfish RegatCheoy Lee fielded a team last season, promoting its new Alpha Ex- ta, May 16-18, followed by two race press Yacht models, piloted by Ex- dates, June 8 and July 13 with locapress project manager Gene Weeks tions still being determined. August and his wife, Paula. The duo made 22-24 will take place on Florida’s its debut in the 2013 season with Space Coast in Cocoa Beach and Paula as a rookie, joining the veter- the season will wrap up in St. Cloud an Gene at throttles. “It was a great September 19-21. o p p o r t u n i t y Martin Sanborn and Azam Ranfor us to raise goonwala have developed the P1 Suthe visibility of perstock race series based on the the Cheoy Lee Powerboat P1 Series that started in brand among Europe in the mid-2000’s; the venue the perfor- was then changed to a single model mance enthu- boat so the series could be orgasiast audience nized in both Europe and the US.

Visit www.P1superstock.com or www.CL-Alpha.com for more information.


NOT A MEMBER? Check page # for more information...

Do not miss another event!


Member Marketplace Bent Marine is a premier boat dealer with one of the largest selections on the Gulf Coast of new and used boats from top manufacturers. www.bentmarine.com

Electronics Unlimited has a reputation for providing premium quality marine electronics. Our staff is dedicated to providing you the highest level of quality and service. www.elec-unlimited.com

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P&L Marine Services Inc. is a certifed Arneson dealer for Twin Disc. We also specialize in Marine Systems and Inboard Engine Services. 305-343-5293

Sea Bagz are for boaters who want comfortable, lightweight, marinegrade bean bag chairs that can be fully customized to the upholstery of their boat. Also great for other outdoor/indoor uses. www.seabagz.com

Midnight Express strives to achieve high quality, stylish performance boats that revolutionize the marine industry. Our boats bring quality, style, and performance to a new level of excellence. www.midnightboats.com

Security Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram’s Our goal is to exceed expectations from the moment customers walk into the showroom. www.securitydodgechrysler.net

MTI After nearly a decade of recordbreaking performances, World Championships, and design awards, MTI continues to bring radical new ideas to the world of performance powerboating. www.marinetechnologyinc.com

Snake Creek Marina: Whether you’re looking for short term vacation storage or permanent annual rack storage, our marina is for you. snakecreekmarinakeys.com

No Coast Design specializes in custom paint and graphics for offshore powerboats, aircraft, motor coaches, tour buses and RV’s. We’re available for design consultation or full project management. www.nocoastdesign.com

Stock Rack & Shelving, Inc. buys and sells new and used pallet rack and steel shelving. We also purchase excess rack and shelving inventory, as well as complete warehouse liquidations. www.stockrack.com

Paul Transportation is a dependable and innovative trucking company that strive to provide its customers with continuous service with integrity. www.paulinc.com

Unique Custom Marine serves the US and Canada, specializing in transport, concierge services, brokerage and a distributor for North Star AGM Batteries—The most advanced AGM Technology in the world. www.uniquecustommarine.com

POWERBOATING IN PARADISE


PHOTOS BY: HOWIE GRAPEK

With years of experience shooting weddings and other major events, Howie brings a unique mix of technical expertise and a friendly, down-to-earth working style to every engagement. He is a pioneer of the shift to documentary-style event photography and is also an expert at bringing a wide range of occasions to life through artful images. In addition to photo journalistic coverage, he also offers on-site portraits and formal studio portraits. For more information please visit his website at www.grapek.com.

EVERYONE LOVES

A PARADE! BY STU JONES

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WHILE MORE THAN HALF THE NATION’S POPULATION BRACED THEMSELVES FOR A COLD HOLIDAY CHILL AND RECORD AMOUNTS OF SNOWFALL, SOUTH FLORIDA PULLED ALL THE STOPS FOR THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST HOLIDAY PARTY ON THE WATER, THE ANNUAL WINTERFEST BOAT PARADE, WHICH FEATURED EVERYTHING AFLOAT FROM PADDLE BOARDS TO MEGA YACHTS DRESSED IN HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND FESTIVE CREW!

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tradition that has been popular for more than four decades, the Fort Lauderdale Winterfest Boat Parade has evolved into a community event that brings thousands of staff, volunteers, sponsors, and spectators together every December for a full-scale event of staggering proportions.

It all happened just a couple weeks The amazing discovery of the sheer size and scope of this event came twenty years prior to the parade. First, I received a call after I attended my first Winterfest Parade from Winterfest volunteers, Bobbeye in 1992. What initiated this eye-opening and John Kenyon. It seemed the Winexperience was the casual decision to not terfest goody bags for all the boat captains could use a little stuffing. Easy enough, I just watch the parade, but to enter it. “Oh…enter the parade?” I thought to thought. By the next day we had magamyself in the past. “That’s too much effort. zines, poker run tees and DVD’s all nicely I’ll need to buy thousands of lights for the tied in little holiday bundles ready to go. boat. Decorating is a job for pros. It’s too “Wow,” I thought, as the boxes of cheer out the door, “We kind of Seeing the hundreds of thousands of much time. It’s too much work. It’s blah blah disappeared continued on next page took part in Winterfest.” We didn’t refans, boaters and grand-stand spectators blah...” There it was—a typical Grinch ally do anything—just gave away some first-hand took my appreciation of the rationalization. I simply talked myself out free stuff —but something had taken hold. magnitude of Winterfest to a level beyond of it for twenty years. But that was about ABOVE: Keeping in tune with the performance marine to change. all my expectations. continued on next page... market, Ilmor goes to where the customers are, namely safe, well-organized poker run events like POWERBOATING IN PARADISE

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Clubhouse, the Jones family 40’ Cruisers Yachts was decorated with over four thousand lights and an eight foot video screen playing FPC poker run videos. Jackie and her friends spread holiday cheer from the front deck for three solid hours. ...continued from previous page

Gary Goodell entered his 38 Cigarette, Team Geico

WINTERFEST FACT

1987: Bob Hope airs Winterfest Parade on national television, as part of the Bob Hope Television Special, garnering national recognition.

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Two days later, the Pompano Boat Parade, took place which organizers had wisely positioned one week prior to the much larger Winterfest Parade. Jackie, the kids, and I jumped on board the family cruiser Clubhouse, and moseyed up the intracoastal to Mark and Eileen Fisher’s house in Lighthouse Point. It was right in the middle of the Pompano parade course so we just lounged on the boat while watching the parade pass. For some reason, I was paying a lot of attention to the decoration details. I found myself inspecting each passing boat closely. I even began to analyze the light count and the amount of work that it might take to decorate the old’ 40 foot Clubhouse. Towards the end of the parade, a small Boston Whaler, not more than 20 feet in length, cruised by. It was decorated with only the simplest array of colored lights and occupied by just the captain. All by himself, he waved joyfully to the fans. He was having fun! That image inspired me, and it was that very moment after twenty years of just thinking about it, that I announced to my wife, “Honey, we’re entering the Winterfest Parade!” Of course, I couldn’t just say, “I’m doing the parade,” and show up. You have continued on page 106


WINTERFEST BOAT PARADE

WINTERFEST FACT

1999: Winterfest is named the 20th Best Parade In The World, by International Festival and Events Association (IFEA) continued from page 104

WINTERFEST FACT

2001: Post 9-11 tragedy, Donald Trump hosts Winterfest Parade as Grand Marshall

to pre-register and pay the entry fee which is determined by the type of theme you display. Most recreational boats that have just a holiday theme pay only a very token entry fee of $100. But for anyone who owns a business, the commercial entry fee is $250 which entitles you to pretty much promote the hell out of yourself any way you want. I liked that about the organizers. They were pretty easy to get along with. Over the phone, a very pleasant and courteous gal named Kathy said, “Hurry down here and let’s get you set up. We still have one opening!” By the end of the day, I had my registration receipt, parade staging instructions, and my boat signage (#46) in hand. Time to decorate! It’s been a long time since I’ve shopped for Christmas lights, and I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t really taken the house decorating thing very seriously over the past several years. That said, I knew if we were going to be accepted among our Winterfest Parade peers, we’d need at least a few thousand lights to string in various patterns. I wasn’t going for any color-coordinated theme, nor was there time for fancy, lightsflashing reindeer shaped plywood cutouts. continued on page 108

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WINTERFEST BOAT PARADE

WINTERFEST FACT

2003: Winterfest ranks as Worlds Most Watched Boat Parade by IFEA continued from page 106

WINTERFEST FACT

2007: Parade course moves starting point from Port Everglades to Downtown Fort Lauderdale, taking spectator numbers to over One Million viewers along the parade course.

But I did have something up my sleeve. Something that would be very different and quite likely had never been done before! I immediately enlisted the support of anybody who would pay attention. First my wife Jackie. “Honey I need you to go buy Christmas lights wherever you can, anywhere you can!” Then I hunted down my poker run set up guy, Robert Barry. His mission would be to gather all the big studio and audio equipment that we use for our poker run parties (extension cords, wiring, sections of aluminum display trusses) and transport them to my backyard, where Clubhouse was ready to be dressed up like never before. Next on the call list was my mechanic Jon Bukaty—a marvel at marine repairs and an electrical wiz. When he arrived, I confessed that I was a little panicked about all those Christmas lights; four big audio speakers; a sound system; and whatever else would require a plug-in, drawing power from my boat’s generator. Jon gave me that wise and patient look like he sometimes does and said, “Relax. You have an 8kw generator that runs great. You’re fine!” What a relief! We piled on the lights with a spaghetti maze of 15 extension cords and five power bars. We used precision rigging continued on page 110

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WINTERFEST BOAT PARADE

WINTERFEST FACT

2009: Globally famous diva Kim Kardashian accepts role as Winterfest Grand Marshall...Winterfest internet and social media activity soars to new records.

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continued from page 108

that included chicken wire, zip ties and lots of duct tape! There were chunks of duct from bow to stern. Thank God the parade’s at night! Finally, after three days and dozens of man hours, Clubhouse was finished and ready for duty. Now, with all the scurrying around I had to do to get the boat decorated, it was up to Jackie to recruit the crew. The kids weren’t on the roster— they were spending a night of “Christmas with Grandma” in Coral Springs—so it was going to be a grown-ups night! I got a little worried though when, just a few hours before our departure, my wife began to list the names of people who had called to say they couldn’t attend. But somehow, it all came together, and, just a little after 7pm on a beautiful Saturday evening, the signal came from our parade coordinator, “Boat #46, time for departure.” Haul up the gangway! Bring in the lines! Crack open the rum barrels! We’re in the Winterfest Parade! The rest, I can say, was a mind-blowing three and a half hour adventure in paradise as we averaged about 3 mph up the eleven mile intracoastal route from Downtown Fort Lauderdale to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. To say that there were thousands of spectators, wouldn’t do this event justice. To say there were hundreds of thousands might be a little more on target. Just imagine a person at every conceivable vantage point for miles around sitting, standing and climbing to watch the decorated boats cruise along the scenic waterway. From balconies, from bridges, from back yards and bars. Parties at homes with hundreds of guests. Live bands. Floating parties in yachts, cruisers and runabouts all rafted up along every nook and cranny of the course. Everyone screaming with joy and waving with passion. So, what was the one unique feature of our Winterfest entry that I pulled from my sleeve? Standing ten feet high on the aft platform of Clubhouse was an eight foot wide movie screen playing the Key West Poker Run video! How cool was that!? While Jackie and her all-lady crew waved to the festive crowd, I yelled over our PA system, “Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays from the Florida Powerboat Club!” Attending the Winterfest parade for our very first time was an experience we will cherish for a very long time. Will we do it again? Absolutely! SJ


BOATSDIRECTUSA.COM HAS evolved and matured gracefully since its inception during the economic recession, when FPC members Mark Fischer and Carl Hansen created a business model that was designed primarily to sell repossessed boats and distress-sale products at great price savings to the consumer. Unlike many other boat dealers that emerged with a similar purpose during those hardened times, only to vanish into obscurity, their growing Key Largo-based company had expanded into new boat sales offering premium brands such as Deep Impact, Nor-Tech, Fountain, Contender and Statement to name a few. With its continued focus on fishing boats,

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which are by default the most popular boats in the Florida Keys, Boatsdirectusa more recently purchased molds and revived production of purpose-build fishing boat lines, including Blackwater and Ocean Hawk. Today, their huge lot is strategically located at MM98 in Key Largo with frontage on both the southbound and the northbound lanes of US1. On average, there are anywhere from 7080 boats ranging from 15 to 45 feet in their used inventory and occasionally a performance boat trade will come in on a new boat purchase, which is why we always urge our performance boating fans to visit www. boatsdirectusa.com frequently to check out their constantly changing inventory.

You can be certain to see Boatsdirectusa’s best new deals on display at FPC poker run events from South Florida to Key West. And of course, they display new boats at all of the major boat shows. At the 2014 edition of the Miami International Boat Show, you can visit with Boatsdirectusa staff at the following manufacturer locations: Actioncraft: Booth 3999, Convention center outdoors Blackwater/Ocean Hawk: Booth 3024 Convention center outdoors Contender Boats: Booth M30-M37 Deep Impact: Booth B72 Inside Convention Center Statement Marine: Booth 113, 206,208 Convention Center


ON A GLOBAL SCALE, Michigan-based Ilmor Engineering has developed highly advanced performance and racing engines for the likes of Formula One, Indycar and Nascar over the last two decades, earning a pedigree un-matched by any other USAbased engine-building company. As part of its expansion into other sectors of motorsports and manufacturing, Ilmor first entered the high-performance marine world in 2002 with the MV-10, a unique engine based on the exciting V-10 powerplant found under the hood of the Dodge Viper. During the following years, the Ilmor engineers continued making refinements and advancements to deliver more horsepower and torque, from the same lightweight package. By 2009 the MV10 650HP and 725HP powerplants

were introduced, and soon afterwards the Ilmor “Indy” Stern Drive and transmission system completed this performance marine package. Seeking strategic marketing partnerships to promote this relatively new line of engines to the recreational performance boater, Ilmor’s senior marketing personnel, including then sales manager Bob Mason, Ian Hawkins and company president Paul Ray, forged a strong alliance with Florida Powerboat Club and began to provide factory sponsorship support of FPC’s signature events, such as the Key West Poker Run. Corporate marketing manager Jessica Gamarra, later explored a more multi-faceted marketing alliance between Ilmor and FPC, which has lead to no less than four consecutive years of Series Sponsorship sup-

port and a growing awareness of the Ilmor brand throughout the recreational marine community. Even the smaller V6 and V8 marine platforms have had tremendous success, with Ilmor reaching the status of exclusive powerplant provider on all Mastercraft Boats, for three consecutive years. Florida Powerboat Club thanks the Ilmor Team for their continued support, including their recent 2013 Series Sponsor program participation. With their new mobile marketing trailer, the Ilmor Marine poker run support staff has been visiting poker run events across the nation. Their team of dedicated professionals continue to enforce the quality and integrity of the Ilmor brand. For more info visit: www.ilmor.com, or stop by the Miami International Boat Show, booth #R99-101 Convention Center, main hall.

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THE ROMANCE WITH the Florida powerboating lifestyle thrives throughout the national boating community, and noticeably, Texas boaters have displayed a substantial increase in their participation on Florida Powerboat Club events in recent years. As one of the leading powerboat dealers in the Lonestar State, Legend Marine Group from the Dallas area has their finger on the pulse of the Texas boating scene, and has been very instrumental in supporting their customers who actively seek boating adventures in Texas and neighboring states, even if it requires traveling hundreds of miles to attend. In particular, Legend Marine Group and its customers have focused much of their boating agenda on FPC poker runs from the Florida Panhandle to Key West. Company owner Greg Connell and his sales team have participated in numerous events 114

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and have provided continued sponsorship support to Florida Powerboat Club, utilizing many of the club’s marketing platforms to promote their line of new boats and extensive inventory of high quality, preowned powerboats. Along with website banners at www.flpowerboat.com that direct visitors to Legend Marine’s current listings, full page advertising can be found in every issue of Powerboating in Paradise Magazine, with detailed specs and pricing on the latest inventory, including top brands like Cigarette, Baja, Donzi, Fountain, Formula and Monterey. Many of the inland lakes and rivers in Texas have experienced a tremendous drought over recent years, forcing Texas powerboaters to load the boats up and head for coastal regions or eastbound to Loui-

siana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. What has presented itself as an unfortunate climatic trend in Texas, has created more trailer-boating to the Sunshine State. This has been a postive experience for all, as we fine the Texas boaters to be good-natured, highly-spirited folks that place a big priority on having FUN! We would like to thank Greg Connell and the Legend Marine Group, as well as all the Texas boaters from the extended LMG family, for their tremendous 2013 support of Florida Powerboat Club! We hope to see plenty more of you in 2014 as well! At the Miami International Boat Show, Legend Marine will be present at the Cigarette Racing display, Booth B23 in the Convention Center. For more information on Legend Marine Group, see their ad on page 53 or visit: www.legendmarinegroup.com


OFFLEASEONLY.COM HAS continued its sponsorship support of Florida Powerboat Club events and media programs as it continues to grow and expand every facet of its business. Once a small car dealer located in a Lantana industrial complex specializing in used Ford products, (formerly Fordsofflease.com,) the company exploded in the last decade and now operates two superstores in Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade. With close to 2,000 vehicles in its inventory on any given day, the auto dealer has ranked in the top five selling dealers in the nation for several consecutive months. With the addition of extensive makes and models of high-line imports, Offleaseonly has caught the attention of many FPC members who see fabulous

prices on top selling brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Range Rover, Bentley and even the occasional Ferrari or Rolls Royce. Company founders Mark & Eileen Fischer started with just two employees. Today, they remain hands-on in every aspect of the 250-employee company that sells over 1500 vehicles per month. Mark uses a simple yet effective pitch with his advertising campaigns, telling prospective buyers three easy-to-remember words, ”Don’t Pay More!” The Fischers have been avid boaters with FPC for over thirteen years and have shown tremendous support to the club in so many ways. As pace boat provider, as corporate sponsor, and as great friends to so many fellow members they have met through

their Florida boating lifestyle. Since 2008, Offleaseonly.com has donated a currentyear Ford Mustang Convertible as Grand Prize for the Key West Poker Run. It has been an exciting 2013 for Offleaseonly, as their Miami superstore is up and running strong, helping to boost the company’s monthly sales to new heights, as more and more buyers are discovering the great savings and tremendous selection of luxury cars, SUV’s, crossovers, trucks and exotic imports. You can view the latest vehicle inventory on their easy-to-use website, www.offleaseonly.com, and we can expect to see some high-line imports on display at the upcoming FPC Key West Air-Land-Sea Poker Run taking place in May 2014.

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ONE OF THE YOUNGEST and newest entries to the modern-day performance boating industry is Statement Marine. Now in their eighth year of operation, they have somehow managed their way through stormy seas and a bad economy to emerge with a strong focus on what they clearly do best— build performance boats of the highest quality possible. But that wasn’t an easy ride. Their entrance into the performance boating marketplace came on like gangbusters in 20082009, when many boat dealers were getting unwanted visits from bank floorplan execs and marine manufacturers were handing out layoff notices by the dozens. It was just a bad time to be in the marketplace with custom built, ultra high-performance boats like their Ultimate 42 V model, and the turbine-powered 50 foot Passion catamaran. Indeed, they were jaw-dropping, eye catching marvels of technology, and Statement owners Nick Buis and Todd Werner 116

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were determined to visit every poker run in the nation to demonstrate the patented air-cushion cockpits and give thrill seekers and would-be buyers the ride of their lives! That certainly got some well-deserved attention and eventually a handful of buyers emerged to order their very own dream machine. After the first 42 Ultimate, there came a striking blue Mercury Racing 1075 sister-ship, then a bright green 42 Ultimate powered by Mercury Racing 700’s, and later a bright orange Invitation Only, rigged with the new Mercury Racing 1100HP twin turbos. All the while, Statement had plan B in motion, which was to adapt production to the new wave of market demand and build what the people want, i.e., luxury center consoles. Werner and Buis never lost sight of their original mission to build custom boats and deliver the very best quality. With Craig Barrie heading up production, they are doing that with two popular console

models (SUV’s) a 350 and a 380, 35’ and 38’ foot respectively. Both are still customized to a buyer’s specific desires. As for the big, fast Passion Cat and Ultimate V, oh, they’re still very much in the picture for the buyer who is willing and ready! Look for some big changes from Statement at the Miami Boat Show 2014. But don’t wander around the Convention Center looking for the helium balloon highabove the 5,000 square feet of premium display space: You will be going in circles. Instead, head straight for the SeaIsle Marina in-water show where Statement is proud to display four new center console SUV’s, including one very unique diesel-powered model at the Mercury Marine inwater display. FPC thanks Statement Marine for their continued sponsor support throughout the 2013 calendar, and we wish the entire Statement clan the very best…going forward in 2014. For more info visit: www.statementmarine.com


MARYLAND NATIVE David Tievy arrived at Everglades Marina in Fort Lauderdale, back in 2002, ready to attend his first Key West Poker Run with his 42 Fountain Lightning, Spec Ops II. Little did we know at the time, that the boat name was somewhat connected to his family communications and electronics business, which had one very significant customer—the United States military. Over the years David became more active with Florida Powerboat Club, not just as a participant, but also as a major supporter and sponsor. With direct ties to electronics suppliers such as Garmin, Standard, Icom and David Clark Company, Superior Communications (SCI) was soon supporting FPC poker runs with sponsorship and great prizes for poker run winners that included Garmin chartplotters, VHF radios, and even a David Clark Intercom system (which

became very popular as powerboats became faster over recent years.) When FPC commissioned the build of the 39 Nor-Tech King of Clubs in 2007, David Tievy was there to supply the best-of-the-best for the fully equipped 39 foot vee. When the writer (Stu Jones) needed a better way to communicate with the helicopter and other poker run teams from the pace boat, it was David and his SCI staff that designed and assembled a system that accommodated 3-way communication (Marine VHF, cellular, and Aviation VHF) into one compact portable system that was clear and audible, even in the windy cockpit of a pace boat traveling 80 mph! Most recently, Superior Communications supported FPC’s new safety management initiatives by donating 125 Garmin eTrex portable GPS units used

to gather vital poker run boat speed data that helped FPC monitor existing trends and plan ahead for new entry classes and safer event management. As far as David’s boating lifestyle, the original 42 Lighting is long gone and has since been replaced by a Sterling-power 42 Lightning, Spec Ops III. However, most FPC Key West attendees will remember David from his favorite and most-often used ride, a colorful 48 Fountain Express powered by triple Yanmar diesels and often hosting as many as 20 passengers! The large name emblazoned on the side of the hull? You guessed it....Spec Ops IV! FPC thanks David Tievy and all the staff at Superior Communications for their fantastic support in 2013, and we look forward to an exciting year ahead! For more information, see the SCI ad on page 21 or visit www.scicommo.com

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NOBODY WOULD EVER dispute the fact that poker runs have been the driving force behind the growth of today’s performance boating industry which has become a bona fide and measurable segment within the nation’s multi-billion dollar recreational marine industry. Taking that one step further, with a national poker run circuit that spans thousands of miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Florida to as far north as Canada, it is easy to understand why the growth of boat trailering has reached staggering proportions as well. Anyone who has hauled a big powerboat for thousands of miles over the nation’s interstates will agree that having a heavy, solid hauler—with brute diesel power and stellar braking—is the only safe and logical way to pull their high-priced toy. The growing demand for big custom haulers was something that Chris Walker and George Stickler at F650 Supertruck were able to identify, and soon they were building ve118

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hicles that were often beyond anyone’s wildest expectations! For Walker, Stickler and their employees at the Georgia factory, it’s customary to strip down factory stock Ford heavy-duty pickups and F650 commercial trucks and begin with a clean pallet. From stretching 2-door cabs to 6-door custom upholstered cabins that rival luxury limousines, installing electronics and a/v systems that would power a small nightclub, to painting multi-colored custom exteriors that satisfy even the most flamboyant personality, these haulers take comfort, bling and WOW! to a whole new level. In a word, they are Extreme! The company has been around for just over a decade, and has had a growing presence at poker runs all over the country. Walker, an avid powerboater who now owns a 36 MTI, attends a few FPC poker runs annually. His favorite is Key West, where Supertruck displays up to four of their newest creations at the Poker Run

Village. Along with their popular F650 custom creations, Supertruck has done their magic on F450’s, F550’s, Excursions, and even International Sport Chassis’, CXT’s and Dodge pickups. There are more options than ever for the custom truck buyer. But beware! This “kid-in-the-candy store” scenario might create just a little bit of anxiety for some buyers. (Hey, we know these guys!) The sky is the limit. If you can imagine it and are willing to write the check then you won’t hear the word “no” at Supertruck! It’s a word that’s not allowed in the world of truly custom fabrication! Florida Powerboat Club thanks F650 Supertruck for their 2013 Series Sponsor Support and we very much look forward to seeing Chris, Christine, and George along with all the Supertruck crew on more poker runs in the coming year. For more information, visit: www.F650pickups.com


WHEN FPC MEMBER Joe Amodio purchased the Tilted Kilt franchising rights to much of the Southeastern United States (including Florida,) it was only a matter of time before FPC members would be visiting Tilted Kilt Restaurants to enjoy the Celtic themed menu and friendly service from plaid-skirted servers. Like many FPC members who are creative in the ways in which they market their brands, Joe began taking to the world of recreational powerboating and offshore racing as viable promotional platforms. When a restaurant franchise was purchased from a sales lead generated by the Powerboating in Paradise magazine two years earlier, it prompted Joe

to take a closer look at the multi-media platforms offered by the club. The Tilted Kilt dining experience often draws many comparisons to other restaurant chains, but that has more to do with the abundance of pretty servers than anything else. At any Tilted Kilt Restaurant, the culinary experience is truly unique. Sure, the standard beer drinking comfort foods like loaded nachos, wings and burgers remain a staple, but TK offers many unique selections on their Pub Fare menu, which includes Classic Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Old Dublin Irish Stew. Or browse the Classic Entrees menu that features the Blackened Fish Taco, Chef ’s Choice Steak,

and Gaelic Chicken. Wash it all down with a selection of over fifteen draft beers and a fully stocked bar while enjoying multiple arrays of HD TV’s playing all the major league sporting events. It is a perfect setting for family, friends or business outings. Tilted Kilt franchises are growing rapidly across the nation, and we now enjoy over eight locations in Florida that include Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando (3), Clearwater, Fort Myers and Hallandale Beach. Florida Powerboat Club thanks Joe Amodio and the Tilted Kilt Franchising organization for their 2013 Series Sponsor support. For more info see their ad on page 69 or visit: www.tiltedkilt.com

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TOTAL DOLLAR INSURANCE IS a fullservice insurance agency based in New York with a Fort Lauderdale office that is operated by insurance specialist Buzz Fyhrie. If you haven’t met Buzz or have never heard his name through FPC or through industry dealings…well chances are you are paying too much for your boat insurance. Th e reason we dolor can make this statement Lorem ipsum sit amet, consect- is because Total Dollar Insurance, for the last etuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy three years, has off ered a legitimate 10% nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore discount from their insurance premiums, magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi for allad FPC Goldveniam, and Platinum level memenim minim quis nostrud bers. Th at’s right, 10% off the total annual exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis premium. $10,000 policy? Do the math: nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo conseyou’d save a $1000 bucks! Th at’s enough quat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor into pay for aninentire pokervelit run or the boat hendrerit vulputate essefillmolestie up with fuel for the whole weekend! consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiatThis exclusive program haseros saved members nulla facilisis at vero et FPC accumsan et thousands of dollars since it was iusto odio dignissim qui blandit. implemented. Praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue Thdolore e cost of premiums is certainly duis te the feugait nulla facilisi. Nam a good place tocum startsoluta whennobis comparing liber tempor eleifendone insurance company another,doming but in the option congue nihil to imperdiet id world of performance boating there isn’t quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. exactly shopping choices. FurtherLorem aipsum dolormall sit of amet, consect120

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more, what makes one company better than another, begs the question, how DO you compare one go-fast policy against another? Are you comparing apples to apples? Or does the fine print in the list of “exclusion clauses” make a policy not even worth the paper it’s written on? Without getting into the hard facts about how to insuranceshop, let’s agree that the discussion about etuer adipiscing elit, sed diamannonummy powerboat insurance is never easy topic nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore to explore. Face it, insurance, in general, magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi whether home, auto, life or boat, is not enim veniam, quis nostrud exactlyada minim fun topic for anyone because we exerci tation ullamcorper lobortis all carry extensive forms ofsuscipit insurance. We nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. all NEED insurance...and we all PAY dearly forDuis it. But the statistics reportdolor that 99% autem vel eum iriure in of Americansinnever ever fivelit le a major claim for hendrerit vulputate esse molestie a catastrophic due to fire, consequat, vel loss illum dolore eu windstorm, feugiat theft or accident, so eros all that money spent nulla facilisis at vero et accumsan et on premiums is…bye-bye! Or is praesent it? iusto odio dignissim qui blandit luptatum zzril delenit augue duis doForte those us who haveNam filedliber a catalore feugaitofnulla facilisi. strophic claim for major loss, we don’t tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option need a sales when itdoming comesidtoquod insurcongue nihil job imperdiet ing our placerat prized possessions. one had a mazim facer possimI for assum. $150,000 cruiser sink my dock when I Lorem ipsum dolor sit at amet, consectwas away on a summer in 2006. etuer adipiscing elit, sedpoker diamrun nonummy

Pretty bad ordeal I have to say,. With a bank loan on the boat and over $100,000 in repairs, I was up the creek without a paddle. Except for one saving factor. The boat was insured by Zurich Insurance, a policy which was written by Total Dollar Insurance. After complying with the entire process of reporting the incident and filing all the estimates for repairs, a check for abouteuismod $105K arrived, to me and nibh tinciduntpayable ut laoreet dolore to my repair facility, Performance Marine magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi in FortadLauderdale. After several months of enim minim veniam, quis nostrud hull repairs a Yanmarsuscipit diesel repower, exerci tationand ullamcorper lobortis the boat was back the water, and has nisl ut aliquip ex ea in commodo consequat. been running strong ever since. Feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et Anotherettopic be explored, accumsan iustothat odioshould dignissim qui is liability coverages on powerboat blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit insuranceduis policies. a subject we’ll puraugue dolore It’s te feugait nulla facilisi. sue further, in an upcoming Nam liber tempor cum solutaissue nobisof PiP Magazine. Meanwhile, to thank eleifend option congue we’d nihillike imperdiet Art Buhridand Buzz Fyhrie for their doming quod mazim placerat facer2013 Series Sponsorship withsitFPC, possim assum. LoremSupport ipsum dolor and weconsectetuer very much adipiscing appreciateelit, the sed special amet, discount program thateuismod was designed for diam nonummy nibh tincidunt FPC and dolore a few magna other recognized ut laoreet aliquam eratboating associations. For ad more info, visit: volutpat. Ut wisi enim minim veniam, www.totaldollarinsurance.com quis nostrud exerci.


SHOOT A Time And A Place

T

BY JASON JOHNSON

MORE SHOOTOUT-TYPE EVENTS APPEAR TO BE ONE SOLUTION WHEN IT COMES TO KEEPING POKER RUNS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE.

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here’s something about running your boat in a top-speed, run-what-youbrung, shootout-style event like the popular Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last August, that you can’t replicate any other way on the water. And it doesn’t matter if you’re Bill Tomlinson running 224 mph in his turbine-powered 50-foot Mystic catamaran, Florida Powerboat Club member Scott Safranek reaching 95 mph in his 29-foot Baja or Mark Hanson running 67 mph in his 28-foot Checkmate—the exhilaration will remain etched in your mind forever.


TOUTS ABOVE: Kenny Mungle in Gone Again

Trust me. Not only have I taken a backseat ride with Dave Scott and John Tomlinson at 166 mph along the old course in front of Shooters 21, I’ve also made a 64mph pass on the Captain Ron’s course in a P1 SuperStock race boat with respected racer and promoter Martin Sanborn. Both were quite thrilling as we ran wide open down the one-mile stretch in front of thousands of spectators. I’ve also been a spectator several times at said shootouts and kilo run events, and I’ll never forget watching Greg Olson run 192 mph in his 33-foot Eliminator Boats

catamaran in 2011 or Brad Rowland topping 100 mph for the first time in his triple-outboard pontoon boat. I remember thinking those guys had to be a little senseless to run their boats like that, but that was their choice and they were doing it in the safest way possible. So when Stu Jones, founder and president of the Florida Powerboat Club (FPC), informed me that he was going to attempt to bring a shootout to a couple of his larger events where there’s an influx of highperformance or ultra-high-performance boats, I thought the idea was a no-brainer.

Although a bit reluctant as he never envisioned club-organized shootouts, Jones believes they are the most logical solution to providing an alternative and safer venue than running exceedingly fast during a poker run. To find out if his instincts are right, Jones asked me to interview a handful of organizers and participants with Shootout experience. Ultimately every one of them agreed that there’s a time and a place for going fast—and a closed-course, safetycontrolled top-speed event provides exactly that. Here’s what they had to say. continued on next page...

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SHOOTOUTS continued from previous page

RON DUGGAN “I applaud anyone who wants to include an event like the Shootout along with a poker run,” said Ron Duggan, who owns Captain Ron’s, which has hosted the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri since 2008. “We certainly support the idea of getting people to slow down at poker runs and make them more about fun and Ron Duggan, Bill Tomlinson recreation, not high and Ken Kehoe speeds. I think a shootout-type event is an excellent way to give a guy the opportunity to go for that top speed so the poker run can be more for pleasure. “The advantage of doing a shootout, especially for our boaters here on Lake of the Ozarks, is being able to control the environment,” Duggan added. “We are able to provide a safe area where the water is calm and the spectator crowd is controlled and away from the participants. The Shootout is really the only chance for someone to run all-out on Lake of the Ozarks, and do it in the safest possible way with rescue teams on hand. Between trying to find the right water and the significant amount of traffic on the lake on any given day during the boating season, it’s just not safe to run your boat wide open.” GRANT FREEMAN “I’ve done the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout several times and I have to say that I enjoy the friendly competition the event breeds,” said Freeman, who owns a Donzi 38 ZR with twin Mercury Racing 700SCi engines that he keeps at his home on Lake of the Ozarks. “The event gives you a chance to stretch your legs and put your racer hat on without endangering anyone else in the process. “What I really like best about the shootout concept is that it happens on a controlled course,” continued Freeman, an FPC member who said he’d participate in more shootouts if they were offered at other events. “A lot of times in a poker run, or heck just running around the lake, finding the right water to be able to run a boat at or near top speed is almost impossible, especially when you’re talking about a boat that runs over 100 mph. It’s also cool to get the notoriety. If you win your class you’re kind of king of the hill for your type of boat. On a different note, being part of the spectator fleet that gets to watch the boats compete is a lot of fun as well.” KENNY MUNGLE “To me, it’s more about the performance part of performance boating—that’s what I enjoy about shootouts, kilo runs, what have you,” said Kenny Mungle, who owns the former raceboat Gone Again, a 32-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran that he ran 171 mph to win the Gunslinger GPS Shootout at the 2013 Texas Outlaw Challenge and 177 mph to win his class at the 2013 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. “A lot of people I know are just poker run guys. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I like to line up with the other guys and see where I’m at and what they’ve got. 124

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Grant Freeman, 38 Donzi

Bob Bull, Lake Of The Ozarks, 48 MTI Even if I didn’t have a 170-mph boat, I’d still be out there running whatever I had as fast as I could. That’s the cool part about a shootout—anyone can do it. You can run a stock boat and have just as much fun as someone like me running 170 mph. “The other thing I like about a shootout is that it’s in a controlled environment,” continued Mungle, who lives in Seabrook, Texas. “I truly believe there’s a place and a time to go fast. No one loves to go 100 mph any more than me, but there’s a correct time and a correct place to do so. If you want to see what your boat can do, let’s do it where we have divers, fire rescue and the means to control the waterway as much as possible.” JIM NICHOLS “We’ve had some ups and downs with the shootout we added to the Desert Storm Poker Run in 2008, but it seems to be gaining momentum after some impressive runs in 2013,” said Jim Nichols, the president of LakeRacer LLC, which organizes the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. “For a while, the shootout didn’t even pay for itself, but thanks to sponsors such as DCB and Skater that wasn’t the case last year. We originally added the event because we decided to move the poker run to Friday since weekend traffic on the lake was too congested. A shootout made the most sense, since it provided something else for our participants and the possibility of getting them to slow down during the actual poker run. continued on page 126


Open to all Boats, SportCars, Custom Coaches, Motorbikes And Private Airplanes!

Sponsorship options now available! Register by phone 954-545-1414 or online www.flpowerboat.com Registration Forms Available at the FPC booth! C102 - Miami International Boat Show 2014


SHOOTOUTS continued from page 124

“Where we ran the shootout originally, right off Rotary Beach, was such a fantastic course, but we couldn’t control the people coming up from the lake and into the course area,” Nichols added. “So we moved the run to Site Six a few years ago and it’s worked well on that side of the island. There’s generally less wind over there as well, which is better for the drivers.” PAUL ROBINSON “I think shootouts are great because they give boaters that release of adrenaline,” said Paul Robinson, the organizer who started the Texas Outlaw Challenge in 2008 and added a GPS-monitored shootout the day before the poker run the following year. “We all like the throttles and (going fast) is discouraged so much that it’s refreshing to know there is a place where you can go conduct yourself safely. And while you are running all-out, it’s nice to know there is full emergency support there to take care of you if you do get into trouble. “From my experience our Outlaw 100-plus-mph club has curbed excessive speeds at our event,” Robinson continued. “For some guys it’s about doing it one time and then saving their equipment for the rest of the weekend. Often, once people have the chance to run for that top speed, it gets it out of their system and the poker run becomes more about cruising and having a good time. And that’s really what we’re all about here—good, old-fashioned Randy Scism Texas hospitality.” RANDY SCISM “Personally I think shootouts are nice because you have a closed course and there is safety involved from wearing helmets, life jackets, kill switches and more,” said Randy Scism, the owner and founder of Marine Technology Inc. (MTI) who was the very Top Gun winner at Lake of the Ozarks Shootout with a top speed of 101 mph in 1989. “As far as anyone adding a shootout to an event, I’d love to see more of them happen. If done correctly, they can be very positive. I just don’t know how many people realize what a large undertaking it is if you want to do it right. “I’ve always enjoyed the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and some of the others we’ve done like Desert Storm and Texas Outlaw Challenge,” Scism continued. “I’m fortunate because I have a few customers who enjoy doing them too. You just have to know that you’re not going to get a ‘true’ top speed in a shootout because the courses are never long enough, but at least it’s the same for everybody. And the bigger the boat, the tougher it is to reach top speed on a one-mile course. Still, we always have a good time at shootouts—they offer an experience unlike anything else.” FINISH LINE As Scism said, the experience is ultimately what it’s all about— that’s the reason any of us go to poker runs, regattas and anything 126

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Brad Rowland, South Bay Pontoon

Greg Olson, Eliminator 33

Don London, Desert Storm else on the water in the first place, right? More importantly, the purpose of top-speed events is to provide performance-boat enthusiasts the experience of running as fast as possible in the safest environment possible. Stay tuned for updates on the club’s upcoming shootout opportunities. Jones is clear that his goal in producing any future top-speed events is to give club members a chance to get the maximum performance out of their boats outside of the poker run environment—he’s not looking to turn them into a large spectator deal like the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Either way, the addition of shootouts at FPC events or other poker runs across the country should help bring a fresh spin to our sport. JJ


FLORIDA FRACTIONAL CLUB

D N A T S A F E H T

! S U O I R U X U L

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W

e’ve seen a growing presence of striking performance yachts and luxurious motor yachts on Florida Pow e r b o a t Club events iin n recent years, and the 2013 edition of the Key West Poker Run took it to new levels. From the 86’ Lazzara flybridge yacht, Living the Dream, chartered by FPC for a group of Norwegian participants, to motoryachts like the 150’ Richmond Excellence, and the 164’ Christenson, Remember When, a spectacular fleet of over a dozen yachts provided an impressive

backdrop in-and-around Key West Harbor during the week-long poker run. It was an impressive sight on the Saturday fun run to Boca Grande, where several of these yachts gathered for a rendezvous in paradise. To satisfy the growing demand within the Florida Powerboat Club member circles and gain access to these palatial platforms afloat, FPC has become more involved in yacht sourcing and chartering for its members. Whether it’s a yacht to compliment a poker run event, giving the attendee a rock-star headquarters for his family and guests, or a private charter to the Florida Keys or Bahamas for a special occasion, FPC has developed strong affiliations with yacht owners, brokers and captains, covering a wide variety of yacht inventory from 50 to 150 feet!

Beyond the chartering scenario, the most practical solution to meeting this growing demand for the use of luxurious yachts, lead to the creation of the Florida Fractional Club. This innovative approach to yacht ownership and management is certainly not new, having been proven to be an effective model in the ownership of private aircraft. Florida Fractional Club is now focusing on late model express and flybridge yachts, in the 70 to 90 foot range, offering attractive programs that make it easy for powerboat owners to enhance their Florida boating lifestyle beyond their wildest dreams, at a mere fraction of the cost of sole ownership. Contact Stu Jones to find out more about this exciting new program! Stu@flpowerboat.com / 954-545-1414

Team Milagros: Tom & Cheryl Sharp from Georgia pulled all the stops for the Key West Poker Run, running their 50 Cigarette Marauder and Pershing 88 performance yacht on the Thursday run. This photo was captured at the start of the Thursday departure, near Key Biscayne.

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2014 CALENDAR FEBRUARY 14, 2014

MIAMI BOAT SHOW BASH

Raleigh Hotel, South Beach, Fl. Official Kick-Off of the Miami Boat Show Poker Run FEBRUARY 20-23, 2014

MIAMI BOAT SHOW POKER RUN Miami to Islamorada MARCH 21-22, 2014

PALM BEACH BOAT SHOW POKER RUN APRIL 10-13, 2014

TAMPA BAY POKER RUN MAY 15-18, 2014

1ST ANNUAL KEY WEST LAND-SEA-AIR POKER RUN Fort Lauderdale to Key West MAY 22-27, 2014

BAHAMAS SPORT BOAT POKER RUN Grand Bahama/Bimini JULY 24-27, 2014

BAHAMAS POKER RUN Grand Bahama/Bimini AUGUST 14-17, 2014

EMERALD COAST POKER RUN Destin / Ft. Walton Beach NOVEMBER 4-10, 2014

22ND ANNUAL KEY WEST POKER RUN Key West, FL

Please confirm with FPC office before making travel plans. Dates subject to change. Visit our website www.flpowerboat.com for updated information.

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ASPIRE AUTOSPORTS .......................13 BAM MARINE ....................................57 BLUE OCTANE GROUP .......................71 BOATSDIRECTUSA.COM ....................61 BOOST POWER ................................131 BUKATY........................................... 111 CHEOY LEE YACHT...........................107 CHIEF PERFORMANCE.......................95 CIGARETTE RACING ............................5 CUSTOM MARINE ..............................79 DENISON YACHT..............................105 DIMMITT AUTO..................................37 DOLLER OFFSHORE...........................41 DUPONT REGISTRY ...........................67 ELECTRONICS UNLIMITED ................29 FAIRFIELD TRUCK CENTER................15 ILMOR HIGH PERFORMANCE ...............9 KEY WEST LAND, SEA & AIR PR ......125 LEGEND MARINE ...............................53 LIVORSI .............................................79 MEMBER MARKETPLACE ................100 MARINE UNLIMITED ..........................83 MIAMI INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW..27 MIAMI BROKERAGE BOAT SHOW.......63 MYSTIC POWERBOATS ......................75 NAUTICAL VENTURES .......................47 OCEAN LED .......................................99 OCEAN ROADS TRANSPORT .............99 ODYSSEY BATTERIES ......................101 OFFLEASEONLY.COM ......................121 PAUL WEXLER /SONIC.....................105 PERFORMANCE BOAT CENTER.... 19-59 PIER 57 ..................................22-23-33 PIRATES OF LANIER POKER RUN ......45 POWERBOATING IN PARADISE TV ...127 PREMIER REALTY HOMES .................49 REVOLVER 42 ......................................2 SMOKIN’ THE SOUND POKER RUN ....51 SONIC POWERBOATS ........................73 SPEEDWEAR ....................................... 99 STATEMENT ......................................25 SUNCOAST POWERBOAT ...................65 SUPERIOR COMMUNICATIONS (SCI)..21 SUPERTRUCK ..................................109 TEAGUE CUSTOM MARINE ..............132 TEXAS OUTLAW CHALLENGE ............39 TILTED KILT .......................................69 TNT MARINE ...................................101 TOTAL DOLLAR .................................31 WOZENCRAFT INSURANCE ...............83

ADVERTISING DEADLINES: SPRING 2014 ISSUE

AD MATERIALS: APRIL 10, 2014


Powerboatinginparadisevol13#4  

The Key West Poker 2013, Shootouts, Winterfest Boat Parade, Series Sponsor Showcase, Active Thunder Spotlight, Florida Fractional Club

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