From V-Bottom To Catamaran

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Transitioning from a big offshore V-bottom to a big offshore catamaran, seasoned performance-boat owner Mark DiMichele (pictured here with his wife, Joanie) made all the right moves.

Before he bought a 2017 Mystic Powerboats C4400 catamaran from well-known go-fast boating community member Ron Szolack about a month ago, Mark DiMichele was a devout V-bottom man. The Canton, Mich., contractor who does most of his boating on nearby Lake St. Clair, started out with a 27-foot Donzi sportboat and followed it up with three more Donzi V-bottoms—a 33-footer and two 38-footers—before stepping up to an Outerlimits SV 40 powered by twin Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines a few years ago.

DiMichele and his wife, Joanie, loved their burgundy-hued, open-cockpit 40-footer—they ran it in the Boyne Thunder Poker Run and several other events this summer—but were ready for a change. “It was a great boat,” he said. “And a really beautiful boat.”

For a closer look at DiMichele's Mystic C4400 catamaran, which he insures through Wozencraft Insurance Agency, check out the slideshow above.

That change came in the form of the Mystic C4400 cat with Mercury Racing 1100 engines owned by Szolack, who took DiMichele’s Outerlimits SV 40 on trade to make the deal happen. Suddenly, DiMichele found himself in possession of his first catamaran, and one capable of running close to 160 mph.

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Straight-A Student Driver


On the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe, one motorsports expert taught another how to handle a high-performance catamaran.

Chris Miller loves high-performance machines. When he isn’t driving his Cantina Racing Trophy Truck with an 870-hp engine and 32 inches of travel in SCORE International Off Road Racing competition, the 43-year-old Southern California-based businessman is piloting either his Beechcraft King Air or Learjet aircraft. A longtime V-bottom owner, Miller easily could have been overconfident in his ability to teach himself to handle the Skater 388 catamaran—powered by Mercury Racing 1350 engines—he purchased a couple of weeks ago from Karl Koster in Discovery Bay, Calif.

But then, Miller, and his wife, Jennifer, have five little girls from two to 11 years old at their home near San Diego. And even if he didn’t have a family to cherish and protect, overconfidence simply isn’t in the man’s vocabulary. But responsibility and humility are.

“These boats are very cool, but there is massive responsibility that comes with them,” said Miller, who is spending the summer—per family tradition—with his wife and children on Lake Tahoe’s north in Nevada. “You have to be humble when you approach it. You have to listen. You have to learn from the best people.”

In Grant Bruggemann of Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla., Miller found one of those people.

While spending summers at Lake Tahoe is a Miller family tradition, the clan has added a new wrinkle with a 38-footer Skater catamaran.

Read More: Straight-A Student Driver

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Prevention is the cure for most electricity-related near-dock swimming tragedies according to the BoatUS Foundation. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

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Piloting a powerboat requires undivided attention, which makes texting at the helm a dangerous practice. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Read more: BoatUS Addressing Texting Issue For Drivers On The Water