We saw a quartet of the Herculean 627 HP Seven Marine outboard engines gracing the transom of a Hydra-Sports 53 Suenos center console fishing boat; we saw an Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht with quad 557 HP Seven Marine outboards; and we saw a Midnight Express 43 with a brace of outboards totaling 2,228 horses on its tail. Gigantic outboard engines—and lots of them—ruled the water at the Fort Lauderdale show, proving that in this day and age many kinds of boats can truly be called a speed boat.
The Fishing Boat: Hydra-Sports 53 Suenos With Quad 627 Outboards
The Hydra-Sports 53 Suenos has the current honor of being the largest center console fishing boat on the planet. So it’s only natural that it’s powered by the largest outboard engines on the planet. In fact, this model is the only one around that carries an official maximum power rating of “No Maximum”.
The Hydra-Sports is built with vinyl ester resin, Kevlar, Prisma and Megaform composite pre-forms, and orthotropic fiber reinforcement. And while many people who own this model will rarely despoil the deck with fish slime, it does have all the accouterments for a day of angling: twin pressurized livewells, a rigging station and tackle stowage, fishboxes so big you could sleep in them (literally—we climbed inside and closed the hatch to make sure), and dozens of rodholders.
But, does piling horsepower onto a fishing boat really turn it into a speed boat? You bet. Though this boat weighs in at over 14 tons, it can still break 70 MPH. The helm is raised to maintain visibility while coming onto plane, and joystick controls are an option for fingertip-actuated precision handling.
See Hydra-Sports 53 Suenos listings.
The Sport Cruiser: Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht with Quad 557 Outboards
The Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht has a two-stateroom cabin with additional sleeping accommodations forward, where the dinette can convert into a berth at the press of a button. A lot of emphasis is placed on the cabin, which has seven feet of headroom, a full galley, and an enclosed head with separate shower stall. The bridgedeck and cockpit have seating for a dozen-plus guests, and the bridgedeck itself is air-conditioned. Yet this is still most certainly a speed boat.
Stepping into the cabin may be stepping into the lap of luxury—but this is a high-speed marine machine. Tipped with the quadruple 557’s it hits 73 MPH and can cruise at over 50 MPH. Intrepid makes this possible with a stepped hull (watch Boating Tips: Stepped Hulls to learn how this hull design trait works) and high-tech construction that results in a displacement of just over 21,000 pounds. Highlights include PVC foam-cored vacuum-bagged construction (minimizing weight while maximizing structural strength) and the use of knitted fabrics, which increases tensile strength up to 20-percent over woven fabrics.
See Intrepid 475 Sport Yacht listings.
The Dedicated Speed Boat: Midnight Express 43 with Quadruple 557 Outboards
Just what makes for a “real” speed boat? Why, top-end speed, of course. The Midnight Express 43 is an excellent example. Looking at the topsides design one might call this a dayboat, with gobs of seating both around the helm station, along the transom, and in the bow. But seen from the sides the boat’s aggressive lines leave no doubt: the Midnight Express is built first and foremost for maximum top-end. This speed demon is another that incorporates a twin step into the hull, but it’s also extremely svelte for its length (beam is 12’6”) and since it doesn’t carry a significant cabin nor as much LOA as the other power-hungry boats we’re talking about here, it weighs in at just 13,000 pounds. Net result? An eye-watering top-end. While Midnight Express doesn’t publish performance numbers, in an off-the-record conversation we were told 90 MPH is not out of reach.
See Midnight Express listings.
Other boats gracing the show with a thousand-plus horsepower on their transoms included the likes of Boston Whaler (1,400 horses on a 420 Outrage), Freeman (1,114 HP on a 37 foot powercat), Nor-Tech (a 390 with 1,050 HP), Venture (39’ of LOA with 1,050 HP), and Everglades (the 435CC with 1,400 horses). And this isn’t a complete list; there were plenty more. In fact, if you looked at nothing but outboard-powered boats with 1,000 horsepower or more, it would have been quite easy to fill an entire day at the show. And we found several power-packed boats at the show that offered a lot more than mere speed—so naturally, we took the time to shoot some First Look Videos.
First Look Video: Scout 420 LXF
The Scout 420 LXF with quadruple F300 Yamaha outboards is one wild-looking fishboat. It also comes with creature comforts that are off the chart, like Seakeeper gyro-stabilization, a cushy air-conditioned console cabin, and an electric-actuated bowdeck/table. Check it out:
See Scout 420 LXF listings.
First Look Video: Regulator 41
Another stand-out boat with serious power was the Regulator 41. Sporting 1,400 horses it breaks 60 MPH, yet is still designed for serious offshore fishing.
See Regulator 41 listings.
Stay tuned for more First Look Videos, boat reviews, and news articles coming your way from the Fort Lauderdale show. No, it’s not quite as good as being there yourself, but it is the next best thing. You don't want to wait? Get a jump start by reading Top 10 Boats at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and 5 Hot New Boats Premiering at Fort Lauderdale, to see some more editor’s picks from the show.