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Pompano Beach, FL – Jason Ventura, Founder and President of the 12-year old, custom marine shop is proud
to announce his company’s accreditation by Mercury Racing as a Certified Mercury Racing Dealership.
Brand X earned its reputation as a top custom mechanical, electrical and rigging company among the most
discerning powerboat aficionados. Ventura’s extensive background in marine service, racing and with builder,
Outerlimits, where he worked for 8 years, together with renowned powerboat builder and founder, Mike
Fiore, provided the background to move to Florida in 2008 to create his own company.

His concierge service for exclusive powerboat racing and poker run teams has dominated the custom-marine
service industry and Ventura and his team work on all types of inboard and outboard engines. However, as the industry became more outboard dominant, Ventura recognized that Mercury Racing, as his clients’ top choice, required some additional designations. The program, started by former Mercury Racing President, Fred Kiekhaefer, was intended to protect boaters–owners, who wanted to be sure that all the subtle differences in installing and servicing the top-performing engines were completely understood and followed by their mechanics. The certification is costly and time consuming, including online, onsite and continuing education on new products, but to Ventura was worth the investment.

“We’ve been working on Mercury Racing engines for years,” says Ventura, “We’ve rebuilt, re-powered and
installed countless Mercs over time, but to earn Racing’s recognition as ‘certified’ to their specific standards,
now sets us above other shops.”

Brand X Hi-Performance Marine also handles paint, fiberglass and metal fabrication as well as drives, custom
rigging and set-ups to improve overall engine performance. Ventura’s experience with Outerlimits gives him
unsurpassed edge in service on that brand and his license with the State of Florida DBPR enables him to do
brokerage as well.

For more information visit www.BXPMarine.com or call (954) 366-1800.

ALFADAN, a new and upcoming engine company have developed a proprietary, marine-specific outboard engine design that they say will revolutionize the boating industry. Their engines are touted to have at least 50% more horsepower, 50% less moving parts and less weight which leads to better performance, less fuel consumption, and a much lower cost of operation. If you are looking for a new investment project check out their pitch here: https://www.startengine.com/alfadan

Fountain Powerboats—whose legacy as a builder of high-performance and race-proven musclecraft dates back to the 1970s—announced plans Tuesday to introduce the next generation of the Fountain 42 Lightning, widely considered as the most legendary vee-bottom ever built.

With the popularity of center-console boats exploding over the last decade, Fountain’s core business has become its center-console sport and fishing boats. Today, Fountain ranks in the Top 5 nationwide in market share for center console boats over 30 feet.

However, following the purchase of Fountain by Iconic Marine Group (IMG) in 2016, Managing Director Fred Ross and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Harris have gradually been beefing up its high-performance offerings within both its Fountain and Donzi brands. The goal is to reestablish the company as a major force in the high performance stern drive segment.

“Our legacy in the high-performance market is evidenced by the nearly 150 years of collective history between Fountain, Baja and Donzi,” Ross said. “I went on record two years ago about my ongoing commitment high-performance stern-drive boats. “I was serious then, and today with the announcement of an all new Fountain 42′ Lighting I’m even more serious now.”

IMG’s 2020 lineup of I/O-powered vee-bottoms spells out the story pretty clearly, with Baja’s 24, 27 and 36 models, Donzi’s 22 and 38 ZRC, and the Fountain 47. In addition to its go-fast vees, IMG has developed a line of outboard powered cats including the Donzi 44 Icon and the new Fountain 34 Thunder Cat. V-bottom or cat, today, IMG today ranks among the world’s largest buyers of high performance outboards and stern drives.

Yesterday, Ross and Harris, joined by Fountain Director of Dealer Development Fred Pace, laid out the details of the new 42′ Lightning to the staff of Speedboat Magazine. The boat’s new look honors the classic styling while sporting extensive changes in the deck and cockpit design. The goal: modernize the boat and make it more user-friendly.

“At first glance, this boat has been six months in the making,” Ross said. “But when you consider all the R&D, racing and customer input, it has actually been more than 40 years in the making.”

Harris said that company founder Reggie Fountain—who continues as a consultant with IMG—helped shape the project every step of the way. “Reggie was involved throughout the design phase,” Harris said. “He saw no need to change the running surface—it’s the same, because you really can’t improve on that.”

“The new generation 42′ Lightning incorporates everything I’ve learned over the last 40 years about high performance boating,” Fountain told Speedboat. “The 42’s performance is legendary and unmatched. No brag, just fact. Just look at the record book. Next you add in all the design and styling updates, and there isn’t a high performance pleasure boat that compares.”

Steve Miller, Mercury Racing‘s Director of Marketing, Sales and Service, said he was delighted to see IMG resurrect the Lightning.

“It’s such great brand, and Mercury has been a part of it for so long,” he told Speedboat. “With the 42 Lightning, modern technology meets those classic lines. I think it’s going to be a runaway hit. With the 1100/1350 dual-calibration engines, it’s going to be a rocketship. Even with the 1100s, it’s going to be a super-fast boat, running on the 89 octane. So we’re really excited to be part of the project, and in the presence of such great partners with Fred and the rest of the good folks at Iconic.”

Using several artist’s renderings, Harris took Speedboat on a virtual walkaround of the new 42′ Lightning. Here are some of the highlights of the boat:

Deck Features
• Seasmart brushed anodized cleats with the Fountain logo.
• Seasmart brushed anodized fills.
• Single engine hatch controlled via hydraulic hinges (a change from the old-style double hatches from years past).
• Sun pad with walkway on either side.
• Intakes feature a landing big enough for a step.
• Larger intakes.
• Frameless wraparound windshield.
• Raised foredeck for more cabin headroom.
• All-new fiberglass hatches.

 

Transom Features
• Easy access cockpit walkway.
• Optional jl audio speakers and remote.
• Transom shower.
• Pull out ladder with grabhandles.
• RGB swim platform lighting.
• Foam deck mat.
• Pop-up cleats.

Cockpit Features
(2) electric actuated bolster seats.
• Cup holders.
• Grab handles.
• Optional vessel view 502.
• seat back storage pockets.
• JL Audio sound system.
• 4x 7.7 speakers.
• 2×12” subwoofer.
• AMP 600/6 channel.
• MM100 head unit at starboard dash.
• USB outlets.
• Easy access cockpit steps.
• 3 person bench seat with large storage tub or cooler (insulated with drain plugs).
• Dash storage.

Dash Features
Optional livorsi gauges.
• 4x 2 5/8 gauges (2x fuel, 2x water pressure).
• 2x 3 5/8 gauges (tachometer).
• Standard dash vessel view 703.
• Standard garmin 8612.
• Garmin 8616 option.
• Trim tab indicators.
• Mil spec toggle switches.
• Dual throttle/shift combo (port or starboard).
• Two tier footrests – port and starboard dash.
• Optional removable steering wheel.

Cabin Features
Lounge seating.
Optional collapsible table with insert cushion.
• Forward storage compartment.
• Optional air-conditioning system.
• Optional audio upgrade.
• 2x 7.7 speakers.
• 1x mm100 head unit.
• Cup holders.
• GFI outlets.

Head Features
• Standard porta potti.
• Optional compact toilet with 9 gal waste tank.
• Towel holder.
• Robe holder.

Galley Features
• Port and starboard closet storage.
• Optional refrigerator.
• Pull out trash can.
• Storage cabinets below galley.
• Corian countertops.
• Galley sink(s) with optional fresh water faucet.

 

 

Spirit of Amazon, a 48' Cougar cat, catches some major air as owner/driver Eike Batista and throttleman Bobby Moore race to victory in the Superboat class with a 78.89 mph average at the 1991 OPT Offshore race in Chicago.

Offshore racing legend Bobby Moore—the man who virtually invented the job of throttleman—has passed away at age 80.

Moore’s health had been declining in recent years. He had recently been hospitalized, but was moved back to his home in North Carolina on April 22. He died at home this morning at around 7:40 a.m.

Until the late 1990s, Moore was the most winning throttleman in offshore powerboat racing history. His titles were earned at the helm of many different hulls, with a wide variety of drivers, and all over the globe.

Moore earned his reputation as the sport’s deadliest hired gun, winning 12 National and World Championships. His titles were earned behind the throttles of ten different boats, sitting next to ten different drivers.

He was the chief mechanic for Dick Bertram (Bertram Yacht Company) in 1964, and won some races before being recruited by Holman-Moody (of the big, bad Ford 427 fame). A year later, he was riding alongside Don Aronow and maintaining his race boats.

Moore’s first racing title came in 1970, alongside Bill Wishnick. He wrapped three more titles around a stint in the Vietnam War (his duty call was, of course, powerboat operation and maintenance) before retiring from racing in 1978. He set racing aside for 10 years to build up Bobby Moore Custom Marine in North Miami Beach, then staged an astounding comeback, winning eight more titles in ten years.

Among the boats he raced during this comeback:

PTM Express, a 47′ Apache deep-vee driven by Phil Meshinsky. Their first-place finish, with an average speed of 80.47 mph in Superboat Class, was one of the highlights of the 1988 offshore race in Bay City, MI. .

Eric’s Reality, a 48′ Cougar cat owned and driven by Charlie Marks. Their average speed of 97.12 helped them clinch numerous APBA races in Fort Meyers, FL, Grand Haven, MI, and Traverse City, MI, in 1989.

Spirit of Amazon, a 48′ Cougar cat owned and driven by Eike Batista. The pair took the boat to victory in 1991 at OPT Offshore races in Chicago, IL, and Cocoa Beach, FL.

Katana, a 46′ Skater driven by Kimitoshi Hosotani. The team won the 1994 Offshore World Championships in Key West, FL, in Open Class.

Moore’s son Billy has carried on his father’s legacy, throttling the 42′ MTI Team Qatar with driver Ali Al-Neama during the 2013 Super Boat world championships, as well as PersuCat Racing, a 44′ MTI driven by Paul Boudreaux in OSS 750 Class. In 2018, he throttled the 44′ Victory CT Marine with owner/driver Andy Strobert, and last year teamed up with Canadian Chris Grant to throttle the 42′ MTI CJ Grant/Graydel in Super Cat class for both the OPA and Race World Offshore circuits.

Moore is survived by both son Billy and his wife, Joanne.
Bobby Moore in 2016.

 

 

Among the companies that are continuing to thrive in the age of Coronavirus: Waves and Wheels, the marine audio, upholstery and fabrication company based in the Lake of the Ozarks, MO. Demand for their products and services remains unabated, according to company owner Justin Wagner. “We’ve been slammed,” he tells Powerboat Nation. “We’ve got a full house of projects, including seven or eight that we’ve cranked out in the last month and another half a dozen that we’re just wrapping up right now.”

One that they recently completed was for an Outerlimits owner who’s raving about his project boat. Andy Robinette of Georgia-based Synergy Refrigeration Inc., purchased his first Outerlimits, a 2010 SL44, last October from the former owner based in Akron, OH (when it was called She’s Gone). Robinette had previously tapped Waves and Wheels to install a stereo system in his previous boat, a Sunsation Dominator.

“They did such a great job with it—everything was just amazing,” he says. “And since they’re relatively close to where I live, I knew it would be the perfect fit to have them put a new stereo into the Outerlimits as well as to completely redo the interior and bring it much more up to date.”

Wagner and his crew worked on the boat over the winter, and when it was completed, Robinette was awestruck. “The first time I saw the interior in person, I was just blown away. They did a stellar job. Justin and Noah Estes were excellent to work with, and came up with some very cool designs for the interior. There were a lot of FaceTime videos and chats going back and forth as they were coming up with ideas and plans, and they just did a knockout job.”

Robinette loves to attend events like the Tickfaw 200, the Kuttawa Cannonball Run and the LOTO Shootout, but until the pandemic has passed, it’s anybody’s guess which poker runs he’ll be attending in 2020, if any. In the meantime, though, he’ll be enjoying the boat on the Lake of the Ozarks with wife Stacy Robinette and their five children. The boat’s new name, Fuelish Addiction, was added to the boat’s transom by Waves and Wheels.

Recently, Waves and Wheels had the opportunity to make parts for a local hospital to aid them with their efforts to treat victims of the pandemic. “We made about 600 parts for the hospital and, because we do electronic repairs and things of that nature, we were allowed to stay open. But regarding COVID-19, we were pretty much ahead of the curve before local officials mandated anything. We’re blessed with a having a big facility, so we’ve kept it to two people per department and have set up hand sanitizer stations in every department. We’re seeing our clients by appointment only so we’re not filling up our showroom. That’s worked out very well. We’re still working on getting people’s boats ready for summer.”

 

P1 Superstock entry Visit St. Pete / Clearwater.

Worldwide powerboat race sanctioning body P1 Superstock—which collaborated with OPA on the APBA Offshore Championship last year—is still planning on some version of the series when the season eventually begins. It’s still anybody’s guess when that might be, since the original kickoff dates of May 14-17 were postponed to Aug. 27-30 due to the global pandemic known as COVID-19.

Last year, the championship comprised six races, including Cocoa Beach, Lake Ozark, Sarasota, St. Clair, Michigan City and Fort Myers. The marine industry, like the rest of the world, has been taking a “wait and see” approach before life resumes a sense of normality. P1 Chief Executive Azam Rangoonwala told Powerboat Nation that the organization is committed to the APBA Offshore Championship and believes in the legacy of the APBA.

“The key is working together with all parties in the sport and giving the teams and spectators a solid series to race within,” he said. “At this stage, it is a global championship with international competitors such as Victory Team from Dubai and the Australian team, 222 Offshore. We will stage what we can in 2020, and P1 is committed to continuing to run offshore powerboat racing in 2021 and beyond.”

In addition to the APBA series, P1 SuperStock also has its own class racing around the world, including the USA. Last year, several Panther models were fitted with new carbon hulls a year ago, repowered with the new Mercury Racing 4.6L V-8 four-stroke 300R outboards. P1 then unveiled plans to revolutionize the championship and attract a new set of racers by converting the Panther to a canopy race boat. Four of these boats have been fitted with new canopies and the 300R engine from Mercury Racing thus far. They have been upgraded by Wilson Custom Composites in Fort Pierce on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, whose owner, Craig Wilson, has almost 20 years of powerboat racing experience. Sam Coleman and Daisy Coleman of Wales—the 2017 World Champions from the race event in Mumbai—campaigned the GEICO P1 SuperStock entry.

When the 2020 season eventually begins, P1 hopes to see the GEICO and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) boats return to the course, and Rangoonwala said that new teams would be racing them.

“Prior to COVID-19, we were planning to produce a further two boats, but it looks like this will now be for 2021,” he said. “We want to keep building the fleet up to six boats.”

The boats can race in all of the APBA Offshore Championship events that go ahead this year, plus St. Pete Beach.

“We mostly usually receive enquiries from people interested in getting into the sport who have not raced before,” Rangoonwala said, adding that P1 plans to race them within the Class 5 national championship.

Wentzville, MO-based Marine Technology Inc. (MTI), builder of luxury high-performance catamarans and center consoles, is looking for two qualified, motivated individuals.

The race/pleasure builder, one of the top brands in the always-evolving and highly competitive marine industry, is scouting for two people with individuals who have mechanical aptitude, good work ethics and integrity.  The two full-time Marine Technicians will be trained at the MTI’s factory in Missouri. Resumes may be emailed to careers@marinetchnologyinc.com. 

MTI offers a comprehensive compensation and benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, holidays and vacation pay. If you enjoy working in a challenging and rewarding environment building custom boats, then this may be an opportunity for you.

To perform these jobs successfully and proficiently, applicants must possess the skills, aptitude and abilities as described below.

1. MARINE TECHNICIAN

• Basic knowledge of marine rigging and electronics installation

• Troubleshooting and diagnostics

• Detail oriented

• Ability to multi-task in a fast- paced environment

• Passion for producing high quality work daily

• Mechanical aptitude

• Knowledge of basic plumbing

• Familiar with various power tools

• Familiar with hoist systems & forklifts

• Forklift certification is a plus

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your

whole body such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping and handling of materials.

SAFETY REQUIREMENTS:

• Must always be prepared to work safely and report any hazards to management.

• Must understand basic terminology such as OSHA and other regulatory authorities.

• Must be able to wear required personal protective equipment where designated, including but not

limited to safety glasses, ear defenders, gloves, respirator etc.

• Must be able to lift 50 pounds.

• Must be able to fully understand all company and work site safety requirements, rules and

practices, equipment operating instructions, and documented health and safety requirements.

2. MARINE TECHNICIAN

• Previous automotive/marine painting experience

• Detail oriented

• Ability to handle physical workload

• Deadline and detail-oriented

• Team player

• Willingness to learn

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your

whole body such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping and handling of materials.

SAFETY REQUIREMENTS:

• Must always be prepared to work safely and report any hazards to management.

• Must understand basic terminology such as OSHA and other regulatory authorities.

• Must be able to wear required personal protective equipment where designated, including but not

limited to safety glasses, ear defenders, gloves, respirator etc.

• Must be able to lift 50 pounds.

• Must be able to fully understand all company and work site safety requirements, rules and

practices, equipment operating instructions, and documented health and safety requirements.

 

Sunsation's 40CCX; Joe Schaldenbrand (inset).

The Sunsation Powerboats factory is in one of those states with a total lockdown. But Joe Schaldenbrand, who is president of the Algonac, MI-based firm, is single-mindedly focused on not just surviving, but “doing great.”

“We have a governor who wants to rule with an iron fist, and she has everything locked down,” he says. “You can’t put a boat in the water, and you can’t go fishing—you can’t even go buy paint! But you can go to the liquor store, and you can go buy marijuana,” he sighs.

Schaldenbrand is determined not to let these things bring him down. His factory may be closed for the short range, but “we’re actually in a very good position,” he tells Powerboat Nation. “Since being shut down, I’ve been  coming in every day—I’ve been unloading trucks and have been calling every one of the customers who have a boat on order. Amazingly, I haven’t lost a single order. As a matter of fact, I actually sold a boat during the pandemic. Took a deposit and everything. So we’re doing very well.”

Sunsation’s employees are complying with state mandates, staying at home, but are collecting full pay. “I think they’re getting a little bit of cabin fever,” Schaldenbrand chuckles. “They want to come back as soon as possible, but at least there’s no hardship going around. Financially, we’re doing very well. And we’re doing well part-wise and order-wise. We just need the governor to ease up a little bit and hopefully by the end of the month we can be up and building boats again.”

Meanwhile, some of Sunsation’s vendors continue to stay active, including Mitcher-T, Sunsation’s custom painter, as well as various upholstery shops. “I’m a little discouraged that we’re not open, but I’m very encouraged to see that other businesses are progressing. We’re making the very best out of a bad situation. We’ve taken advantage of a downturn like you’ve never seen before.”

Sunsation currently builds three go-fast center consoles, including the 32CCX, 34CCX and 40CCX, the latter of which is its newest model. And though it may not the the ideal time to think about expanding the line, Schaldenbrand admitted that a potential new model might materialize in the foreseeable future to fill the gap between the 34 and the 40.

Perhaps a 36?

“Yes, it most likely would be a 36,” Schaldenbrand says. “It might end up being an updated version of the 34—I’m not sure we would do a 34 and a 36, but a 32, 36 and 40 sounds like a pretty good lineup for the future.”
As for the idea of going larger than 40, though, he highly doubts Sunsation will go that route.

“I don’t believe we want to do that,” he says. “I’m going to let some of the East Coast guys run with that stuff. We’ll probably keep it at the 40, because we’ve got a good market share with the numbers that we already have. My guys love building the 32s and 34s, and the 40 takes comparatively longer to build. It’s a big boat. Plus, the way our facility is set up, it’s perfect for the 40 and below. I’m going to let the other guys have that big-boat market.”

Fountain's new 34 SC.

Big Thunder Marine, the mega marine retailer and full-service marina serving boaters on Lake Ozark, MO, is sending out positive vibes to the industry, and says it’s doing upbeat business during these challenging times.

“We’re open, and we’re doing really well,” says general manager Jeremy Anderson. “We’ve sold three new Fountains, including three of the new 34 and 38 Sport Consoles. And we are just about to deliver the one that sold at the Miami Boat Show, which is going down to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands next week.”

In addition, he says the crew has been on the water doing a video shoot of some of the new models they’re selling this year. “We’re taking drone footage of a Fountain 39 NX, Statement 35 and a Chris-Craft 34 Catalina. So we’re able to shoot video and practice social distancing at the same time.”

The dealership is adhering carefully to CDC guidelines and state-mandated rules. “We’re taking precautions,” Anderson says. “The showroom is open by appointment only. We are doing a lot of extra cleanings. Some of our employees are working from home, and everybody at the shop stays away from each other. We became proactive about all this from the beginning. We haven’t had anybody get sick. We’ve been very fortunate.”

Beyond that, Big Thunder Marine has been using this time to get some projects done, including the launching of our new website. “We’re doing very well. March was slow, but now that it’s warm and sunny at the lake, there are boats everywhere.”

Whether the staff is helping customers today or getting them prepared for the future, “We tell them, We’re ready when you’re ready,” Anderson says. “All of our inventory is online, so people can browse our website and check out our videos and online walk-throughs. When the summer hits, we’ll be ready for everyone to come back out to the lake and go boating.”

Anderson says that sales of Fountain, Donzi and Baja clothing has been spiking through the Internet at the following links: Fountain, Donzi and Baja.

 

 

 

 

Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion and technology, has been awarded a 2020 Red Dot Design Award for the V-6 and V-8 FourStroke and V-8 AMS Verado outboard engines.

The distinction “Red Dot” has become established internationally as one of the most sought-after seals of quality for good design. Mercury won the award in partnership with Designworks, a BMW Group Company, Mercury’s long-time product design partner.

“We are honored to be given a Red Dot Design award,” said Chris Drees, Mercury Marine president. “We know that Red Dot means that we belong to the best in design and business and our V-6 and V-8 engines are well deserving of this honor. Both platforms have been very well received by our customers and their success is a testament to extensive design thinking work that takes place within our product development and world-class engineering team.”

Mercury Marine launched the V-6 family during the 2018 Miami International Boat Show and the V-8 lineup in May 2018. Some of the many innovations that differentiate these outboards are many customer driven features that offer unparalleled comfort and convenience including a top cowl service door that provides easy oil check and fill (if needed) without removing the cowl—an innovation that has been praised by consumers around the world.

Red Dot stands for belonging to the best in design and business and appeals to companies who want to distinguish their business activities through design. The distinction is based on the principle of selection and presentation.

“Design continues to be part of our product development strategy and will continue to drive many of our new product development plans,” said Todd Dannenberg, Mercury Marine director of industrial design. “We know our customers love these engines, they have been very well received around the world and now to win another design award for this product is very exciting.”

In 2019, Mercury Marine was recognized with an International Forum Design (iF) award in the Discipline Product category, presented to the company for its V-6 outboard lineup. The same product also won an NMMA Innovation Award at the Miami Boat Show in 2018.

Headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Mercury Marine is a world‑leading manufacturer of marine propulsion systems. A $3 billion division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), Mercury designs, manufactures and distributes engines, services and parts for recreational, commercial and government marine applications, empowering boaters with products that are easy‑to‑use, extremely reliable and backed by the most dedicated customer support in the world with 10,000 service points globally. Mercury’s industry‑leading brand portfolio includes Mercury outboard engines and Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages. Mercury’s global parts‑and‑accessories offerings include propellers; SmartCraft electronics; Power Products Integrated Solutions; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick and Whale marine parts; Land ’N’ Sea, BLA, Payne’s Marine, Kellogg Marine and Lankhorst Taselaar marine parts distribution; and Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils. More information is available at mercurymarine.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iconic Marine Group—builder of Fountain, Donzi and Baja boats—is working to produce desperately needed masks and face shields during the age of the coronavirus.

“We were trying to fulfill a couple of needs that we saw,” IMG Chief Financial Officer Tom Vale told Powerboat Nation. “First, we wanted to ensure our employees had pedestrian masks for their own safety.  Soon after we started production of our masks, we were approached by our local government and health officials regarding the needs in our community.   As a manufacturer, there are things that were within our wheelhouse that, while having nothing to do with PPE, enabled us to quickly get prototypes together and start production of masks and face shields.”

As the pandemic began to worsen, Iconic partnered with the North Carolina Textile District to manufacture 5,000 pedestrian masks. The first 1,500 will be provided to IMG and Custom Truck One Source employees and 500 to local government agencies; the remaining 3,000 will be sent back to NC Textile to be distributed to local health care agencies.

“It’s a tremendous effort from the North Carolina Textile district-they sourced material and prepared kits for simplified manufacturing,” said Natascia McCraight, IMG’s director of Finance, Supply and Production Planning. “We have currently recruited and hired 12 part-time seamstresses to supplement our upholstery department. Our goal is to fulfill the 5,000 masks within two weeks, and then source another 5,000 mask kits and continue to manufacture them until we’ve fulfilled the demand.”

IMG has also partnered with East Carolina University (ECU) and Practicon of Greenville, NC, to manufacture plastic face shields for distribution to the local medical community. “We have delivered approximately 150 shields and are cutting another 120 shields this week,” McCraight said. “We have acquired additional material to cut 1,600 shields next week. ECU is then assembling the completed shields and distributing them to local hospitals and medical facilities.  In addition, we’ve been able to distribute shields to a local nursing home in Little Washington.”

The masks and shields have all been designed using the help and generosity of the local community. The initial head strap to hold the protective shield was initially created by Todd Jenkins on his personal 3D printer—when Iconic realized there was a bottle neck with production of the head strap, they were put in contact with Josh Pitzer, from ECU, who has acted as the liaison between ECU and IMG . “The entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to work together and help each other is remarkable,” Vale said.

“This has really been an incredible experience.  I’m super proud of Iconic Marine Group leadership and our employees,” McCraight said. “Our metal shop and upholstery shop jumped right in to develop prototypes and are continuing production of PPE. Fountain Powerboats is an American Iconic brand and our employees display true American spirit-it’s a great place to work.”

The crew at Iconic has continued to build boats at full capacity, while observing sensible distancing, wearing protective gear and using antibacterial gel. “We’ve never stopped, not for a minute,” said Iconic COO Jeff Harris. “We’ve implemented phone meetings when possible, introduced staggering breaks and lunches, and do temperature checks each morning. We’re observing CDC guidelines. Unlike a lot of factories, which cram a lot of people into a few bays, we’ve got almost 260,000 square feet here, and we can spread everybody out accordingly.”

 

DCB Performance Boats of El Cajon, CA, has just delivered a brand-new M28R to repeat customer Randy Waters, owner of the Oklahoma City-based ​firm Old World Hardwood Floors.

Waters’ first boats were performance catamarans from the likes of Advantage, Eliminator, Baja and Howard. A turning point came in the 1990s, when he was attending a shootout-style event in Parker, AZ, with his blown 22′ Advantage repowered by engine guru Leon Derebery (featured in a 1997 issue of Powerboat Magazine).

“Anybody who owned a boat that went over 100 mph was invited,” Waters recalls. “Bob Teague drove all the boats. At the event, I saw a guy wiping down what looked like a 21′ Daytona with a couple of eggbeaters on it. He introduced himself—it was [DCB founder] Dave Hemmingson.”

So impressed was Waters by the fit and finish of Hemmingson’s boat that he told him that when he’d saved enough money, he would commission Dave build his next boat. And that’s just what happened: “He built me a Mach 26, which was written up in the July 2001 issue of Hot Boat Magazine.” (See below). That was the beginning of Waters’ love affair with DCB.

Waters, 61, is a full-blown adrenaline junkie who has juggled numerous go-fast hobbies—he’s equally addicted to fast cars, fast motorcycles and stand-up Jet Skis (just check out some of his toys, below). “I’ve built a lot of crazy things that have been in a lot of magazines,” he says. “I love to design and build stuff, and love to watch it all come together.”

 

Waters’ 360-hp custom motorcycle, a three-year build put together by Sam Wills.

 

Here’s Waters’ T-REX, a two-seat, three-wheeled motor vehicle created by the Campagna Motors of Quebec, Canada.

 

Waters’ DCB M31 Widebody.

 

But he always finds his way back to the water, as you might well expect from a man named Waters. He has owned the gamut of muscleboats, including vee hulls and catamarans, closed-deck and open-bow models, I/Os, outboards and jetboats. His two most recent rides have been a DCB M31 and the just-delivered M28R, which is a full walk-through open bow model powered by twin Mercury Racing 400R outboards. It’s only the second M28R with a full open bow; Paul Loska’s, delivered last April, was the first. However, it’s the first M28R that DCB has done with a special fiberglass modification to give passengers ease of boarding.

He uses his boats primarily on Oklahoma’s Lake Eufaula, which covers 102,000 acres and comprises 600 miles of shoreline.

“It would shock you how much money’s on this lake,” he says. “When people think of big money and lakes in Oklahoma, they tend to think of Lake Texoma and Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees, period. But there’s a bunch of money on Eufaula. This is one of the biggest lakes in the United States. Years ago, the most custom thing out there might have been a Baja. Now the lake has some serious muscle—some of the biggest and baddest boats from all over the country. They are some real monsters out here.”

Waters enjoys his DCBs with his wife, Lori.

Some specs on the M28R:

• Beam: 9’
• Power: Twin Mercury Racing 400Rs
• Hull: Full walk-through open bow with customized (fabricated) bow entryway.
• Features: Billet foot shower at front, along with Fusion hard wired remote flushed into the inside front sponson for social distancing at the bow of the boat, flip-up lumbar seats in open bow for ease of storage and access at the helm area, two 55-gallon fuel tanks, Shaun Torrante Racing X-Act engine brackets.
• Interior: 50% Alcantara interior package, with 50% CHILL Cool Tech Marine Vinyl, custom carpet kit, brand new customized steering wheel from CP Performance (black on black, with contrasting stitch)
• Gelcoat: Phase III gelcoat scheme
• Half cap with black powdercoated SS rubrail
• Vacuum Infused Resin (VIR) process, foam-cored, with partial carbon-fiber layup
• Two Mercury VV703 touch screen monitors
• Interior Rigid LED lighting package (mood lighting, courtesy lighting, LED cupholders)
• 10” Shadow Caster underwater LED light, with Rigid tunnel lighting.
• Stage III stereo – Fusion head unit | Two (2) hard-wired remotes | Three (3) JL Audio amplifiers | Twelve (12) • JL Audio M6 midrange speakers with LED | Two (2) 13” JL Audio W3 subwoofers
• Mercury DTS controls
• Bimini Top
• 40” Billet swimstep with SeaDek lining and telescoping retractable ladder for easy boarding, Extreme Custom Trailer, tandem-axle with two-tone chrome & black 20” FUEL rims, black painted SS fenders and triangular drive guard, front courtesy ladder, under carriage LED mood lighting, etc.
• Estimated top speed: 102-105 mph
• Retail price with all upgrades and options: $313K

And check out this gallery of photos of the M28R: