No matter how loyal you may or may not be to a given go-fast powerboat brand—and go-fast boat enthusiasts tend to be fiercely brand-loyal—you have to love or at least appreciate what’s come out of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, RI, so far this season.
“We’re almost on a boat-a-week program right now,” Mike Fiore, the founder and owner of the company, joked to me during a recent interview. “I don’t know how we’re getting it all done. We’re a little nuts around here.”
Since late June, Outerlimits has delivered three new custom high-performance models. Among the three, the builder’s all-carbon-fiber 46-foot catamaran is the most noteworthy for two reasons.
First, it’s a brand-new model. Second, it’s the first product of the collaboration between Fiore and Steve Curtis, a world-champion offshore racer and current manager/lead throttleman for the Spirit of Qatar team, which runs only catamarans in its offshore racing program. What’s more, Curtis is a “legacy” catamaran man whose father founded the famed Cougar line of cats that dominated offshore racing in the 1970s and 1980s.
The 46 cat is outfitted with twin 1,350-hp quad overhead cam turbocharged engines from Mercury Racing -- engines that seem to be powering almost everything in the serious go-fast boat realm these days. The first 46-footer is one of two that the Bristol, R.I., boat builder has had in production since the beginning of the year. Both cats are going to existing Outerlimits customers.
"The boat is pretty amazing," said Fiore, who personally delivered the boat to his customer Canadian client. "Steve and I ran it back in Rhode Island on a rough and windy day that wasn't exactly optimal for speed runs, and it ran just under 170 mph. The acceleration was pretty close to that of one of our V-bottoms—it gets with the program pretty fast. To say I am extremely pleased would be an understatement.
"One of the most impressive things I saw when Steve and I tested it was the handling," he added. "We were running about 155 mph and had to turn to find clearer water, and the boat turned perfectly. It didn't skip or hop. We're running a very conservative setup with inboard propeller rotation and the boat does everything extremely well."
Fiore plans to run the 46-footer at the upcoming Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. "With calmer water and bigger wheels, this thing will run deep into the 170s—we have some bigger propellers being made now because after our initial test run we knew the boat would exceed our performance expectations," he said. "We need to do some more calm-water testing. In calm water, I would not be shocked if it ran 180 mph."
While neither the SL 52 nor SV 43 V-bottoms delivered to buyers so far this summer are “new" models, they are impressive to say the least. A longtime powerboat owner in New Jersey purchased the 52-footer, which has a traditional stand-up cockpit and a full-size cabin. A buyer in the Southwest nabbed the 43-footer, which has a sit-down cockpit and a more limited cabin thanks to its lower-profile deck. (Cockpit style—standing or seated—and deck height are the primary differences between the Outerlimits “Super Leggera” SL and “Super V” SV lines.)
Both boats were fitted with major power, as in twin Mercury Racing 1350s in the 52 SL and Teague Custom Marine 1200s in the SV 43. The 1,200-hp supercharged Teague engines actually came from the buyer’s previous boat, and performed so flawlessly that he simply chose to have them refreshed and installed in his new ride. Given that the new buyer could have afforded brand-new mills in his brand-new boats, that he stuck with Teague power makes a significant statement.
As do all three of these amazing boats from Outerlimits. Without question, all three new owners are in for a great time on the water. And Outerlimits? Its season is already rolling in blockbuster fashion.