Commentary: And Joe Sgro Served The Pizza

“If dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts.”—Counting Crows, from “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby."

For years to come, people who knew and loved Joe Sgro, the 63-year-old Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats principal who died last Thursday from injuries sustained in a boating accident near Marathon, Fla., will tell stories about him. Not being a psychologist, I’d have to guess that’s one way we process grief. Storytelling keeps those we’ve lost alive—if only in our memories—forever.

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Shortly before heading to an unforgettable dinner in Washington, N.C., Sgro (in red shirt) struck a pose with the record-setting Outerlimits team. Photo courtesy/copyright Speedonthewater.com.

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The Passion of Yowaiski

If you didn’t get a chance to watch or listen to Friday afternoon’s broadcast of the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., I’d highly recommend paying the $4.99 to purchase the livestream replay at superboat.com. I did and I was there—sitting a row behind the Super Boat International broadcast team with my laptop open—when, after calling the dramatic crash between CT Marine and CMS in the day’s third race, announcer Mike Yowaiski made a joke that he’d have to call in the “B Team” following the Superboat Unlimited race that included the heart-stopping crash that ended up being replayed hundreds of thousands of times on TVs, computers and phones across the world.

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SBI announcer Mike Yowaiski will never forget calling this crash between CT Marine and CMS on Friday in Key West. Photo by Sam Jirik

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Commentary: Is Fort Lauderdale The New Miami?

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Positive reports from performance-boat exhibitors in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show beg the question.

To address the question posed in the headline of this commentary, the simple answer is no. The Miami International Boat Show remains the most important exhibition event for the entire high performance marine industry. On scale alone, the annual Miami happening at historic Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key makes the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show look miniscule when it comes to high-performance powerboats, engines and accessories displayed.

And then there is the perception that comes when a go-fast boat builder passes on the Miami show.

“If you don’t make it to Miami, everybody wonders what happened to you,” said Tony Cutsuries, the national sales manager for Skater Powerboats in Douglas, Mich. “Everyone wonders if you’re still in business.”

But business is, in fact, business, and here’s the thing I hear again and again from go-fast catamaran and V-bottom builders: They don’t do much of it at the Miami show.

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Commentary: Old School Made New

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New to the media-scape, Wave to Wave Performance Boat Magazine is a sharp new featured-based digital publication that addresses the single-engine sportboat market. (Click image above to visit the publication website.)

I confess: I cringed when I read the subject line, “Outboards: The Fall of Mercury Racing and the High Performance Opportunity” in an offshoreonly.com message board thread. Here we go, I thought, another expert opining on how the most successful high-performance marine engine company in history is somehow missing the mark. This ought to be good.

Turns out that the article linked to in the thread—save for its unfortunate headline—was good. Really good.

Properly labeled “Opinion,” the piece mourned the demise of the high-performance two-stroke outboard market while presenting lower-output, high-performance four-stroke outboards as replacements worth pursuing. Author Jared Powell, a 39-year-old New York City-based advertising copywriter who grew up around single-engine go-fast boats in Canada—his family even produced them—made a strong case. That his notions likely do not fit into Mercury Racing’s future product plans doesn’t matter relative to the point he was making.

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MTI Enjoys West Coast Swing

It was only a few weeks ago when I was interviewing Randy Scism, the founder and owner of Marine Technology Inc., in Wentzville, Mo., about his first trip to the picturesque Colorado River-fed Lake Powell, which borders Arizona and Utah.

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The MTI presence at the Lake Powell Challenge in mid-September was almost as impressive as the scenery. Photo courtesy MTI

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