With outboard engines, particularly Mercury Racing’s Verado 400R offerings, still holding fast as the hottest choice in high-performance powerboat power, go-fast catamaran and V-bottom builders have rightly focused on smaller outboard-powered models from 29 to 36 feet long for 2017. Almost all of the major go-fast boat builders, from Cigarette Racing Team to Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats, aren’t adding bigger, faster, and more expensive models to their existing line-ups this year.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not still offering and willing to build—for clients with the requisite deep pockets—their biggest and fastest stern-drive-powered models from 38 to 52 feet long. Here’s a look at the heaviest hardware from five of the most important players in the high-performance powerboat game.
Cigarette Racing Team
If you want the ultimate offering from the world’s most iconic go-fast boat builder, only the 50’ Marauder from Cigarette Racing Team will do. That’s why the company used the vaunted 50-footer in its latest marketing collaboration with Mercedes-AMG. The Petronas/Mercedes-AMG Formula One team-themed V-bottom with twin adjustable-power Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines and a top speed of more than 140 MPH reportedly stole the show at the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix. Of course, the Opa-Locka, Fla., boat builder still offers its stalwart 38- and 39-foot Top Gun models, but for those who want the ultimate smoking-hot Cigarette, the 50 Marauder is the only way to go.
DCB Performance Boats
Based in El Cajon, Calif., DCB Performance Boats presents the exception to the rule in this roundup: The custom catamaran and V-bottom builder is [ital] in the process of building a larger model. In fact, the upcoming M44 catamaran will be the company’s largest offering to date, and it will be available with Mercury Racing engines from 1,100 to 1,650 HP. Look for top speeds in the 160 to 180 MPH range, depending on the power option.
The M44 takes its roots from DCB’s M41 catamaran, at present the biggest catamaran in the DCB line. Make no mistake—these are coveted, rare boats. To date, DCB has built just four of its 41-footers and all have gone to longtime customers. The M44 is likely to be just as rare—and just as coveted—when it is released this spring.
Marine Technology, Inc.
With a new 34-foot catamaran and a 57-foot performance-oriented center-console the most recent offerings added to its line-up, Wentzville, Mo. based Marine Technology definitely has focused its development resources on diverse—to put it mildly—outboard-powered offerings. Still, the company is best known for go-fast stern-drive catamarans, particularly its 48- and 52-foot models.
With a first-place overall finish for Wake Effects, a 48-footer, and a third-place overall finish for CMS, a 52-footer, in the Unlimited class at the 2016 Super Boat International World Championships in November, MTI cemented its position as the top dog when it comes to offshore racing’s most exotic category. But the company also offers pleasure versions of those catamarans with either enclosed cockpits (like the raceboats) or open, with Mercury Racing engines from 1,350 to 1,650 HP. Top speeds range from 165 to 180 MPH.
Right now, Mystic Powerboats is the only go-fast boat builder than can claim to offer a 200-MPH model, as least in terms of officially recorded speeds. In 2016, a 51-foot Mystic catamaran with quad 1,600 HP piston engines reached 217 MPH at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Two years earlier, a 50-foot Mystic with a pair of 3,000 HP turbines hit 244 MPH—a record that will not be broken—at the same liquid-mile top speed contest.
Of course, those are far from “everyday” speeds for Mystic cats, which have become fewer and farther between since the manufacturer introduced its first M4200 luxury center-console at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show. A hit since its debut, the 42-footer has become the primary focus for the DeLand, Fla., company, and its 44- and 50-foot catamarans have taken a back seat. In fact, Mystic is so busy building centerc-onsoles that the folks at the company currently are accepting fewer and fewer catamaran orders.
Still, they can be had—for a premium price, of course. Missouri’s Slug Hefner took delivery of a Mystic C5000 with Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines at the 2016 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. And Tennessee’s Chad Collier will receive his Mystic C4400 cat, a specially built low-profile model with Mercury Racing 1350 engines, this spring.
Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats
For Outerlimits aficionados, the SV 43 and SV 50 are the ultimate prizes. With speeds in the 140- to 150-plus-MPH range, the sit-down cockpit sportboats are the fastest V-bottoms available. A true custom builder, the Bristol, R.I., company produces a handful of V-bottoms—typically less than ten—a year. On the SV 50 side, a stunner powered by Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines went to a family in Washington, while an SV 43 with Mercury Racing 1350 engines was delivered to a buyer in Wisconsin. Both customers were longtime clients of the company, as tends to be the case with this boutique outfit.
On Outerlimits’ SL model side (SL models have stand-up cockpits whereas SV model have sit-down cockpits) the company’s 41-footer remains the most popular choice.