The 2016 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—an annual liquid-mile top-speed contest in Central Missouri—was particularly sweet for Mystic Powerboats of DeLand, Fla. Not only did American Ethanol, a 52-foot Mystic catamaran equipped with four engines making a combined 6,400 HP, take Top Gun honors with a blistering 217 MPH run, but the high-performance catamaran and luxury center-console builder delivered its first C5000 powered by Mercury Racing’s power-adjustable 1550/1350 engines (American Ethanol is the same model with an extended running surface).
In its first sea trial before it was delivered to Missouri-based owner Slug Hefner, the 50-footer reached 162 MPH with its twin engines in the 1,350 HP mode. Hefner and Mystic Powerboats founder and company owner John Cosker said they expect the six-seat, open-cockpit catamaran to run in the high 160- to low 170-MPH range with a taller set of propellers and the engines at the 1,550 HP setting.
A current drag boat and former offshore racer, Hefner has owned “more than 30 boats,” including 38- to 40-foot catamarans from Skater Powerboats and Marine Technology, Inc., two of the best-known and most respected high-performance catamaran builders in the country. He chose the 50-foot Mystic to handle the often rough conditions found on the Lake of the Ozarks.
“My last boat was a Skater 388 and I loved it, but I wanted a bigger boat,” said Hefner. “The Lake of the Ozarks is notorious for big cruiser wakes that come out of nowhere. I wanted more comfort. I wanted more boat around me.”
Hefner’s Mystic C5000 hull is No. 17. The 50-foot model has been in use in racing and pleasure applications—with turbine- and piston-engine power—and has fared particularly well over the years at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Counting American Ethanol’s achievement last month, which backed up its 2015 Lake of the Ozarks Top Gun result, Mystic catamarans have taken 12 of the last 14 Top Gun titles at the popular event.
Cosker said the new six-seat C5000 cat has the latest generation of cockpit layout and ergonomics based on Mystic client Mark Wetterau’s 50-footer. “It’s a dual-helm boat,” he said. “We kind of refined the seating and changed the windshield a hair. It’s the most comfortable helm station we’ve done yet in a 50.”
Though the boat left the Mystic plant with a pearl white paint job, Hefner has since added red and yellow vinyl graphic accents. In a humorous nod to his Dirty Duck-named offshore and drag boat racing teams, the catamaran’s nose has been fitted with a chrome duck hood ornament.
Said Hefner, “It’s the world’s fastest 50-foot Mystic catamaran with a hood ornament.”