From the array high-performance hardware lining the docks at the Miami International Boat Show in February—the first big event of the season—2017 promised to be an amazing year in the go-fast powerboat segment from the start. And, at least from this longtime observer’s perspective, it did not disappoint.
Of course, any end-of-year, “Best Of” article is subjective by nature. The list that follows is by no means all-inclusive. In fact, I can guarantee I left off a few deserving stunners—and all apologies in advance to those slighted by the inadvertent exclusion—that will leave me kicking myself when this story goes live. But here goes—oh, and if you're looking for our most recent list, be sure to check out our Best Speed Boats.
Outerlimits SL 41
Mercury Racing’s Verado 400R outboard engine has set the performance-boat world on its ear since it was introduced a few years ago. From performance center consoles to sports catamaran, the 400 HP supercharged outboard as become the powerplant of choice. So it was only a matter of time before a trio of Verado 400R outboards found their way on to the transom of full-size offshore V-bottom, and that happened to wonderful effect on a Outerlimits SL 41 beauty.
For more information, read Outlimits Delivers Two Stunners.
Cigarette Racing Team/Mercedes-AMG 50’ Marauder
Cigarette Celebrated its 10th anniversary of collaboration with Mercedes-AMG this year, so naturally the Opa-Locka, Fla.-based boat builder had to work its luxury performance automobile partner to come up with something special. The result was a breathtaking 50-footer, powered by Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines, that took its new Mercedes-AMG—celebrating its own 50th anniversary this year—GT R automobile.
Skater 438 “Rockette"
With the outboard-powered 318 sport catamaran currently dominating production this year, it was easy to forget that Skater Powerboats still builds mind-bending full-size catamarans with stern drive power. No finer example of that this year could be found that Rockette, a 438 cat model outfitted with Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines.
Mystic C4400 “Habitual”
With luxury performance center consoles now the mainstay for Mystic Powerboats, the company simply doesn’t have much time in the production scheduled for its exotic 44- and 50-foot catamarans (learn more by reading Mystic Adding Smaller Luxury Center-Console). But the builder did squeeze in one C4400 catamaran build this year, and the low-profile beauty, which is called Habitual and powered by Mercury Racing 1350 engines, turned heads everywhere it went this season.
Wright Performance Powerboats 360
A collaboration between Doug Wright Designs and Performance Boat Center—the former builds the hulls while the latter does all the rigging, paint and interior finish work—the Wright Performance Powerboats 360 was the hottest new sport catamaran introduction of the late season. Powered by Mercury Racing Verado 400Rs, two are already on the water and more are on the way.
For more information, read our full review, Inside the First Wright Performance 360 Sport Catamaran.
Though Marine Technology, Inc., introduced is gorgeous V-42 performance center several years ago, an array of new outboard-powered 42-footers hit the water this year and reminded go-fast boat enthusiasts why the model remains a hit. From high-concept styling to exceptional performance, the V-42 is a true go-fast boat lover’s center console.
Still have a need for speed? Check out last year's Go-Fast Boat Roundup 2016.