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Posted by on Jun 3, 2012 in High-performance, Powerboat Racing, US |

Outerlimits SV29: Birth of a Rocket

Orders are strong for the new 29-footer with a Mercury Racing 600SCi powerplant.

At the 2012 Miami International Boat Show in February, the Outerlimits SV29 V-bottom made its public debut. More than two years in the making, the new model was the first single-engine V-bottom from the Bristol, R.I., company, which built is reputation on custom multi-engine V-bottoms and catamarans from 37 to 52 to feet long.

The day after participating in the Desert Storm Poker Run, the SV29 reached 102 mph in the top-speed shootout.

The day after participating in the Desert Storm Poker Run, the SV29 reached 102 mph in the top-speed shootout.

The SV29 was displayed just outside the Miami Convention Center, so the general public never got to see it run. But that all changed in late April when the stepped 29-footer with a 600SCi engine from Mercury Racing took to the water during the Desert Storm Poker Run and the top speed Shootout that took center stage the following day.

During the poker run, the participants and spectators got to watch the boat, which had been on display at the Desert Storm Street Party the day before, run with the pack. Thanks to a bright molten orange and black color scheme, the epoxy and carbon fiber boat was visible from a distance despite its lower-than-average profile. But a poker run is a rally, not a race, so no one got see just what the SV29 could do.

That happened the following morning during the Shootout. On its first run, the SV29 posted a top speed of 102 mph, which didn’t just make it “fast for the power” for a V-bottom weighing nearly 5,000 pounds; it made the boat the fastest V-bottom in the contest. The next-fastest V-bottom was a 28-foot-long Howard Bullet with an 1,100-hp engine that, like the 600SCi, was supercharged.

“We’ve been getting it over 100 mph consistently in testing,” said Mike Fiore, the founder of and owner of Outerlimits. “We actually got 102 mph at Desert Storm going with a one-mile-per-hour current, but everyone else had the same advantage, so we’ll take it.”

A single-engine V-bottom is a huge departure for Outerlimits, given its existing line of large high-performance models. But when the spiraling economy cut Fiore’s business by more than 50 percent, he felt he needed to add an “entry-level” model. Of course, entry-level is a relative term. In the case of Outerlimits, at least in the first SV29 with a Mercury Racing 600SCi engine, it means around $200,000. Bigger power and additional custom options will take that price significantly higher.

The first SV29 went to Buddy Thomas, a New England-based, multi-time Outerlimits customer who also owns a 50-foot catamaran from the company. According to Fiore, Outerlimits already has filled all of its production slots for the single-engine V-bottom this year. The builder is still taking 2013 production orders for the boat.

“With the eight orders we’ve taken—all with deposits—this is easily the most successful new-model introduction we’ve ever had by a factor of two,” said Fiore. “In my wildest, pie-in-the-sky dreams I didn’t predict this kind of response.”

- Matt Trulio