The center-console segment has carried the high-performance powerboat market during the past four years. On that point there is little to no argument. That’s why custom go-fast V-bottom and catamaran builders such as Nor-Tech, Statement, Outerlimits, Sunsation, and others have added or are adding center-console models, most with outboard engine power, to their lines.
It’s why Cigarette Racing Team, which has been ahead of the curve in center consoles from custom go-fast builders, added two new center-console models—the 39-foot Top Gun Open and the 42-foot Huntress—just this year.
But Deep Impact of Miami has been making nothing but high-performance, custom center consoles since 1998, and its current line includes models from 33 to 39 feet long—the 39-footer was introduced at the 2011 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show—in fishing, pleasure, and sport configurations. And within the next two years, the builder will add a 42-foot model to its line.
With all the relatively new players in the high-performance game, competition obviously has increased. Jeff Huebner and Ed Champion at Lake Ozarks Marine in Osage Beach, Mo., know it, and that’s why they trailered a Deep Impact 36 center console with triple 300-hp Mercury Verado outboards to the weeklong Desert Storm event in late April. Considering that they picked up the boat, their first order from Deep Impact, in Miami on a Monday, trailered it to Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for an in-water boat show that weekend, and had it in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., for Desert Storm, the effort was substantial.
It was also worthwhile. The display area at the Desert Storm Street Party for the 39-footer —the only center console exhibited at the event—the day before the poker run was as consistently mobbed as any display in the mile-and-a-half-long group of exhibits on both sides of McCulloch Boulevard.
“We thought it would be a really good place to gain exposure for Deep Impact," said Champion. "Center consoles are catching on now, and there’s not a ton of them out here. We did the [Desert Storm] poker run last year and we were impressed with the event and its organization.”
During tests conducted by Performance Boats magazine the day before the Street Party, the 36-footer reportedly topped 70 mph. That kind of respectable top speed and the wide-open cockpit layout, ideal for hosting a crowd, had more than a few of thousands of attendees at the Street Party wondering aloud if a center console might just be the “perfect Havasu boat.”
“We have had a lot interest in it, and we’ve answered a lot of questions about it,” said Huebner. “It was definitely worth the trip out here.”