Ballough’s Golden Ticket

I’m still in a little bit of la-la land is how Gary Ballough described his frame of mind after receiving the news early Tuesday morning that he’ll be the throttleman for the Dubai-based Victory Team’s No. 33 boat for the 2018 Union Internationale Motonautique XCAT World Championship season.

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Gary Ballough and Ahmed Al Hameli celebrate their victory at the Dubai Grand Prix to close out the 2017 XCAT World Championship. Photo courtesy Raffaello Bastiani/XCAT World Championship

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Big Thunder Marine Customer Eager for New Baja 27 Outlaw

In the next month or two, Houston boater Chris Lutich is going to be eagerly awaiting the delivery of a boat that was just a pipe dream many years ago. That’s because Lutich, who had always wanted to own a new Baja Marine sportboat but thought it unlikely given the volatility of the brand before and after the last economic depression, recently ordered a 2018 Baja Marine 27 Outlaw from the team at Big Thunder Marine in Gravois Mills, Mo.

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Erin and Chris Lutich are excited about the new Baja Marine 27 Outlaw they ordered from Big Thunder Marine.

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The MTI Madness Continues with Consistent Holiday Deliveries

Early last summer I wrote a column on how busy the team at Marine Technology Inc. was with its deliveries (read it here). Six months later, the Wentzville, Mo., company is still at it. A peek at the schedule of Tim Gallagher—MTI’s sales and marketing manager—over the past two weeks—a time when many people step away from work—proves it.

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Eric Belisle and Doug Comrie and their families enjoyed their new 48-foot catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

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Pete Boden Goes 41 In 365

By the time Sarasota, Fla.-based chief photographer Pete Boden finishes shooting today’s Fort Myers Offshore New Year’s Fun Run to Marco Island, Fla., he will have captured 41 events this year. Then Boden can step away from his camera for a generous, richly deserved one-day break before restarting the cycle with the Joey Gratton Memorial New Year’s Day Fun Run in Sarasota on Monday.

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Boden’s work this year took him all over the country—and even out of it to cover Offshore Powerboat Association Resorts World Bimini Grand Prix (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

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Waiting (And Waiting) To Make Movie Magic

From fans of the original television show to movie critics, the 2006 "Miami Vice" motion picture based on the wildly popular mid-1980s TV program managed to disappoint pretty much everyone who saw it. That was especially true for high-performance powerboat enthusiasts who expected long sequences of go-fast boats in action from the Michael Mann-directed film, as Mann is known for delivering nonstop action in his projects.

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TNT Custom Marine's John Tomlinson (right) as Don Aronow struck a pose with actor/stuntman Mike Mass as offshore racer Knocky House at recent movie shoot in Puerto Rico (click image for full frame).

But not so with Miami Vice—the film flopped, though in all fairness the greatest boating sequences imaginable couldn’t have saved what was for all intents and purposes a cinematic disaster.

Why this stroll down bad movie memory lane? John Tomlinson, who co-owns TNT Custom Marine in Miami with his longtime business partner Mike Thomas, spent four months of his life working on the “Miami Vice” set. More recently, last week he worked for a day—and into the early morning hours—teaching actor Matthew McConaughey how to drive a boat for his leading role in The Beach Bum, which was shooting up the coast in Hollywood, Fla.

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