As part of Florida Powerboat Club’s 25th anniversary, owner/founder Stu Jones is pleased to announce a formal marketing partnership with Mercury Racing, which involves a full Mercury Racing Stern Drive re-power and restoration of a used Cigarette 38′ Top Gun. With the project now underway, the boat has been de-rigged from it’s old power, and is currently being stripped of its existing cabin interior, cockpit and soft goods.
“Celebrating 25 years with Florida Powerboat Club is a real milestone for us at FPC, and I felt it was time to engage in some type of exciting pace-boat project. Back when we started FPC in 1993, we had two very similar Cigarette 38 Top Guns that we used as our pace-boats on dozens of poker run events. One was the Venus Swimwear boat, the other belonged to a private member who supported FPC in the club’s early stages. I always loved the Top Gun’s ride in the rough water and traditional Cigarette design. It wasn’t hard to find this 2000 Top Gun from an FPC member, so I purchased the boat last fall.”
Jones knew he was only half-way there with the project, as the boat was still rigged with the original Mercury 540 Bull Dogs. “The motors were 18 years old and had limited shelf life, which made me realize it was time to get Mercury Racing on board as a marketing partner on the boat. I asked around to other club members about different stern drives, and decided the 540 Sterndrive package was the way to go…with Bravo One XR with the ITS upgrade. So that’s where we landed, and Mercury Racing was very pleased to get on board!”
The project involves not only an engine/drive re-power Jones concedes he is going to engage in a full cockpit, cabin, flooring and paint restoration. “I watch some of the custom car shows and auctions on TV, and the term Resto-Mod really stuck out in my head. I just felt like there would be nothing cooler than a classic, straight-bottom Cigarette, with brand new 2018 state-of-the-art hardware and power from bow to stern. This project is so exciting, I feel like a kid again!”
Mercury Racing’s Senior Marketing Manager Rick Mackie was a key player in spec’ling out the Top Gun with Mercury Racing propulsion and related accessories, along with Steve Miller, Director of Marketing, Sales and Service.
Mackie, who has worked at Racing for 30 years, stated, “We are excited to feature Mercury Racing 540 sterndrives in FPC’s official pace boat. We’ve been with Stu and Jackie throughout their 25-year run. We continue to back FPC for their emphasis on providing safe, organized events for our customers.”
Steve Miller said, “It’s become clear to me upon attending the Key West Poker Run on several occasions that Stu and his sta ff are front-runners in this sport, and they’ve done so much recreational performance boating. We are honored to be affiliated with such a quality organization.”