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      Published on 05-13-2015 09:56 AM

      By Eric Colby

      A few weeks ago, I went down to Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, R.I., for a test on the new SL41 for Boating magazine. When I walked through the door, it was weird to not see my friend of 20 years, Mike Fiore, the founder of the company, who passed away last summer from post-surgical complications after crashing at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.

      His father Paul Fiore, whom I’ve known for decades, greeted me and showed me through the new facility, which is about 100,000 square feet and has a larger autoclave, ...
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      Published on 04-15-2015 08:31 AM

      By Eric Colby

      Early last week, Mercury Racing decided to stop producing the NXT drive that was originally introduced with the HP700 SCi and the 662 SCi engines in 2006. It was described as a drive that took advantage of the best attributes of the Bravo One XR and the Dry Sump Six in a more affordable package.

      “No one has been buying the NXT lower so we’re going to change it out and use the Dry Sump Six drive,” explained Mercury Racing president Erik Christiansen.

      For those owners of boats with the NXT, Christiansen reassured that Mercury Racing ...
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      Published on 04-07-2015 09:37 AM

      By Eric Colby

      Early this year, I heard some news that left me with a heavy heart and will no doubt have the same effect on other fans of outboard-powered performance boats. John’s Custom Boats, in Stanton, Calif., manufacturer of Stoker powerboats, had closed its doors.

      “At this point, it’s an adjustment not going into work every week,” said Alan Stoker, who at age 57 has moved from the West Coast to central Florida to be closer to his fiancé’s mother. He had originally planed to buy a house on a lake, but instead wound up moving to The Villages, a retirement community.

      “They’ve got 42 golf courses that you can play for free,” explained Stoker. “I used to golf but I quit ...
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      Published on 04-01-2015 09:38 AM

      By Eric Colby

      When I first started covering Unlimited hydroplane racing in the late 1980s, my favorite boat was the Oh Boy! Oberto, owned by Jim Harvey and driven by George Woods Jr. I liked this boat because it was loud. It was powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin World War II-vintage piston aircraft engine.

      At that time there were a couple of other boats still running V-12 Allison piston engines, Miss Madison and Ed Cooper’s U-3. The rest were all turbines.

      Since that time, turbines have all but ruled the Unlimited ranks (Cooper’s boat makes some appearances, but hasn’t raced a full season in a while) ...
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      Published on 03-03-2015 10:43 AM

      By Eric Colby

      As reported recently by Speedonthewater.com, Douglas Marine is preparing Hull No. 1 of its new Skater 318 catamaran. The boat will be powered by twin Mercury Racing 400-hp Verado 400 R supercharged outboards on 12” setbacks. The motors were unveiled by the engine manufacturer at the Miami Boat Show in February.


      The new Skater 318 will be powered by Mercury Racing’s new Verado 400 R outboards, but the boat can also be built with stern drives or surfaces.

      The new model measures 31’ long with a 10’1” beam and the tunnel is 63” wide. It will have ...
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      Published on 02-06-2015 10:47 AM

      By Eric Colby

      Being a successful offshore powerboat racer takes a certain amount of confidence in your abilities to drive and throttle a boat at high speeds. It takes even more moxie to take a boat designed and built by one of the most respected manufacturers in the game and alter it without having any way of knowing if your modifications will work.

      Chris Schoenbohm has never lacked confidence in his ability to drive his 32’ Doug Wright catamaran that he campaigns in the Superboat Stock class in Super Boat International competition. Since he owns a successful performance-boat ...
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      Published on 01-30-2015 10:12 AM

      By Eric Colby

      Teams from the United States, Turkey, Australia and the Middle East will be competing for the first ever Qatar Cup in a series of offshore races being held the first week of February in Doha, Qatar.

      The Qatar Marine Sports Federation has teamed up with offshore racing’s newest sanctioning body, the Offshore Powerboat Grand Prix, to promote the event taking place from February 3-7 in Doha Qatar. The majority of the boats had already arrived in Doha by the end of January and the teams would start arriving by the end of January to begin prepping their equipment for ...
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      Published on 01-07-2015 02:28 PM

      By Eric Colby




      This finished boat is classic V-drive, equal parts art and machine.


      Dave Connolly is in a good place. After a solid career in the auto-body business in southern California, at the age of 55, he decided to get back into the profession he began in with his father Bob nearly 40 years ago when they started Connolly Boats. ...

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