Test-Driving A Cigarette Boat at 110 MPH At The 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami Boat Show – Forbes

Photo: Douglas Voison

Photo: Douglas Voison

The Cigarette Racing 50 Marauder GTR, launched last Thursday at the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, isn’t quite as fast as the world’s fastest torpedo – it just feels that way. (That honor belongs to Russian’s Shvakl torpedo, clocking in at 230 MPH.)

Photo: Douglas Voison

Photo: Douglas Voison

But at the 110 MPH we reached in the craft, there wasn’t much doubt that the one-of-a-kind, $1.8 million machine is in a world class of velocity all its own.

Photo: Douglas Voison

Photo: Douglas Voison

­“It’s the culmination of a 10-year partnership we’re got with Mercedes AMG,” says CMO Scott Preacher, who shook our hand and was soon a mile away as we blasted off as we eventually clocked 110 MPH on the speedometer.  “It started as a marketing partnership and moved into a technology partnership. They were instrumental helping us find ways to take weight out of the boat with carbon fiber, which the top deck, hatch and the console is all made of. That took about 1,300 pounds out of the boat, allowing us to run quicker and with a very high center of gravity.”

Photo: Josh Max

Photo: Josh Max

The ear-pinning boat we rode in weighs just over 13,000 pounds and has what’s known as “dual fuel” engines which will either run at a 1550 horsepower level or on pump gas, 91 octane, at 1350 HP making  1350 pound-feet of torque, electronically limited. It can reach a top speed of 135 MPH.

The Cost? $1.8 million. “It’s one of one,” says Preacher. “They won’t build a second one.”

The Cigarette Racing 50 Marauder GTR was surrounded by approximately 100 new yachts appearing in front of about 100,000 visitors at the show this year, its second at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin. Top yacht manufacturers from around the world exhibiting at the show included Tiara, Prestige, Carver, Riviera, Beneteau, Sabre, Jupiter, SeaRay, Viking, SV Yachts, Stamas Yachts, Marquis Yachts, Marlow Yachts, Bavaria Yachts, Azimut, and many more.

It’s not all yachts, either; 1,300 new boats, give or take, showed up as well and there were more new model debuts this year than ever before – everything from sport fishing boats and high performance boats to personal watercraft and wake sport boats and family cruisers.

Photo: Josh Max

Photo: Josh Max

Photo: Josh Max

Photo: Josh Max

In between all the mighty-mighty and Thurston Howell-ish crafts, too, lay an artful, exquisitely crafted 26-footer that kept catching our eye; it’s called the Minncraft.

Photo: Josh Max

Photo: Josh Max

We stopped, we chatted, we took its photo. It’s entirely handmade, with generous teak wood, Philip Cato upholstery, a motorized hatch cover, and an iPad controls all its electronics. It’s powered by a Mercruiser 5.7 litre, 330-horsepower engine. We’d buy one.

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