Poppin’ The Limits At Lake Cumberland Poker Run

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Look for a stunning—and rare—refreshed Outerlimits 44 GTX at this weekend’s poker run in Kentucky. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

On Friday afternoon during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout weekend in Central Missouri, the Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats clan led by company principal Joe Sgro and key team member Dan Kleitz held an owners’ rendezvous party at the waterfront home of longtime Outerlimits owner Mike “Doc” Janssen. The custom high-performance V-bottom and catamaran hardware that filled Janssen’s docks was as good as it gets, but for some reason one of the boats—a big blue V-bottom I couldn’t immediately identify—caught my eye. So I asked Vinnie Diorio, the owner of a beautiful 2016 Outerlimits SV 43 sportboat about it.

“That belongs to ‘Popcorn’,” he said. “Follow me. I’ll introduce you to him.”

Within a few minutes, I was chatting to 32-year-old Evan Singer of South Lyon, Mich., about 30 minutes outside of Detroit, about his sit-down 2009 Outerlimits 44 GTX, one of two models built before the company transitioned to its SV series of sit-down V-bottoms. Singer purchased the 44-footer in the winter of 2016 from veteran Outerlimits owner Glenn Salyer, who runs a successful highway construction business and owns the Lake Cumberland Marine in Kentucky.

Singer runs his 44-footer with his wife, Danielle, and they're often joined by their children Enzo and Brody.

“What I liked about it when I first saw it was that it didn’t look dated—the interior looked just like what Outerlimits is doing today with the SV models,” said Singer.

Read More: Poppin' The Limits At Lake Cumberland Poker Run

First Impression: Factory Billet Bullet

Walking the docks yesterday at the Camden on the Lake Resort—the host venue for this weekend’s annual Super Cat Fest—in Central Missouri, Jason Johnson and I spotted Factory Billet, a 51-foot Outerlimits canopied V-bottom. The boat was built in 2008 and originally powered by Mercury Racing 1075 SCi engines with No. 6 drives, but we’d been told that owner Jim Schultz of Zurich, Ill., had not just completely renovated the well-known sportboat but had been working with Mike Faucher to develop state-of-the-art systems such as automatic (but override-able) drive and tab trim control, as well as automatic shifting for the 51-footer’s three-speed transmission.

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Slated to compete in the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout tomorrow, the 51-foot Factory Billet Outerlimits V-bottom will be the subject of an extensive feature in the next Speed On The Water digital magazine issue (click image to enlarge).

Read more: First Impression: Factory Billet Bullet

Restoration Tribute

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Thanks to a group of Brad Smith’s friends, the first aquatic hot rod owned by the famed engine builder has been given new life.

Stroll around almost any go-fast boating event and you’ll probably spot someone wearing a Smith Power shirt. A bright light in the high-performance marine engine world, Brad Smith, the 39-year-old Missouri-based engine builder who died in a boating accident in 2013, made a big impact with friend and customers, who more often and not were one of the same. Smith Power earned a reputation for building reliable products and providing exceptional customer service.

Smith died four years ago next month, and during the past three-plus years several of his former friends have been restoring his first go-fast powerboat, a 21-foot Liberator pickle-fork model built in 1987. Longtime Smith companions Jeremy Strup, who owns the 30-year-old boat powered by a 2.4-litre outboard engine rebuilt by Top Gun Marine in Nixa, Mo., and Ryan Branch led the restoration project.

For a closer look at the restoration of Brad Smith’s first sportboat, check out the slideshow above.

“It’s hard to believe we’ve been working on it for three years,” said Strup. “But everyone really wanted to get it done. It’s a tribute to Brad. We all spent so much time in that boat 20 years ago.”

Read More: Restoration Tribute

Related stories
Restoration of Brad Smith-Owned Sportboat Nears Completion
Restoration Continues On Brad Smith’s Vintage Sportboat
Friends Restoring Brad Smith’s First Go-Fast Boat

Project: Interior Makeover For White Outerlimits 39 GTX Complete

Forget unicorns—if you’re searching for something truly rare and exotic, try to find a white Outerlimits. Brian Mihelis of Massachusetts has what could be the only one in the form of a 39 GTX transformed by Stephen Miles Design late last year from its original red and blue colors to the one hue defined "as the absence of color." And now, thanks to a winter project handled by the Outerlimits crew in Bristol, R.I., the 39-footer built in 2005 has a brand-new “color-matched” interior.

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Built in 2005, this Outerlimits 39 GTX sportboat has new life thanks to the teams at Outerlimits and Stephen Miles Design.

Read more: Project: Interior Makeover For White Outerlimits 39 GTX Complete

Brand X is for Everything

Most everyone knows Jason Ventura of Brand X Hi-Performance Marine in Pompano Beach, Fla., as the hands-on, no-nonsense pro that he is. The guy who has been at the helm, by the side and behind the scenes of so many iconic performance boats campaigned at poker runs, races and other events over the past two decades has a remarkable reputation in the industry thanks to his attention to detail and vast amount of experience.

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After the repair work done by the team at Brand X Hi-Performance Marine, you’d never know Chris Ryder’s 36-foot Skater had a giant scratch down the side of it. Photo courtesy Jason Ventura

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Smallest Gone Again Skater Catamaran Makeover Complete

Never one to waste time, Rick Bowling of Alamo, Calif., has already run his repainted Gone Again Skater Powerboats 28 catamaran—the sister-ship to his canopied 37-foot Talon catamaran with Mercury Racing 1350 engines of the same name—twice since its new graphics were completed 11 days ago by Bullet Fiberglass in Madera, Calif. The 28-footer, which Bowling bought used in 1995 and is powered by twin 300-hp Mercury Marine OptiMax outboard engines, was in dire need of a more contemporary appearance.

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What a difference new graphics make, even on a 22-plus-year-old boat. Said Bowling, "I love the new look."

Read more: Smallest Gone Again Skater Catamaran Makeover Complete

Project Completion: Metal Flake Fountain Express Cruiser On Lake Of The Ozarks

Local and visiting powerboat owners who flocked to the Lake of the Ozarks during the Memorial Day weekend had the chance to see something a little unusual on the Central Missouri waterway. That’s because Chad Engel of Custom Image Auto Body finished the metal-flake gelcoat work (read the story) on his parents’ 2009 Fountain 38’ Express Cruiser in time for the holiday weekend and delivered it to them.

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Something you don't see every day, this metal flake gelcoat-finished Fountain Express Cruiser turned heads last weekend on the Lake of the Ozarks.

Read more: Project Completion: Metal Flake Fountain Express Cruiser On Lake Of The Ozarks