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When I saw the Outerlimits SV 29 for the first time, my reaction wasn’t typical. While most people ooh and aah — and for good reason — I breathed a big sigh of relief. This was the result of my taking a seat on the aft bench and realizing that I was in the cockpit up to my shoulders.
My 11-year-old son, Blake, joined Outerlimits President Mike Fiore and me on the test for Blake’s first 100 mph ride, and I was relieved by the security I knew he’d feel sitting this deep in the boat. Midcockpit depth measured 3 feet 1 inch, but to other parents considering the SV 29, here’s a more realistic measurement. Blake, who is 5 feet tall, could hunker down below the top of the acrylic windscreen and ride as happy as can be.
Of course, Blake was beaming as we flew across the water at 100.6 mph with the Mercury Racing 600 hp engine screaming at 5,350 rpm. I was happy because I knew that even in the conditions we had on test day, with a one- to two-foot chop with whitecaps stirred up by winds gusting 10 to 15 knots, the SV 29 handled more than capably. After coming out of a series of 50 mph slalom turns, I headed out into the open water. Within seconds the SV 29 was skimming effortlessly across the waves at 85 mph. Minutes after taking the wheel, I felt comfortable. Running with and against the chop, the four-step bottom rode smoothly on top of the waves. Even with the winds and seas on our beam, my test boat held its course and rode level. This is one sub-30-foot boat that can hang with the big dogs of the poker-run world.
Considering other boats in this size range? From the West Coast comes the Laveycraft 28 Evo ($145,000 powered like our test boat). It runs 95 mph with the Mercury Racing HP600 SCi, but seats only four and has no cabin. You’ll find another four-step bottom on the Frisini Motorsports 30 Vendetta, which retails for $192,545 and has one-quarter F-16 fighter jet canopies instead of the full wraparound acrylic windscreen on the SV 29. This means rear-seat passengers get less protection from the elements.
When you’re done for the day and pull into your slip, raise the engine hatch and wait for more oohs and aahs, but this time it’s about what you don’t see. The SV 29’s engine compartment looks like no other in the go-fast world. We’re used to seeing bright white gelcoat with colorful billet aluminum battery boxes and hoses and wires run in cushioned stainless-steel clamps. Aboard the SV 29, you don’t see batteries, wires or hoses, just the drive trim pump and a sea strainer. The batteries are hidden beneath removable panels in the bilge sole, and trim pumps are aft beneath similar hatches. Wires and hoses run to the dash and transom in PVC pipes. Remove the panels for the batteries and then you can pull out the plastic battery bins to get to the backing nuts for the aluminum L-bracket engine mounts.
The shiny black engine compartment bottom is part of a single-piece liner that Outerlimits calls the E-glass monocoque X-frame structure. This runs bow to stern and comprises the stringers, transversals, and cabin and cockpit soles, plus the seat bases. It bonds to the hull and deck with adhesive, resulting in a boat built primarily from three pieces. All three pieces of the boat are laminated with epoxy resin, E-glass, Corecell foam and carbon and are post-cured in a large oven for optimum strength. In addition to producing a strong, light boat, the construction process is efficient. Outerlimits can finish an SV 29 in three weeks.
If you’re a gadget person, check out the key-fob remote that powers up the boat’s batteries. No keys needed. An ignition switch on the billet aluminum dash panel fires up the motor. The helm features a Raymarine E7 GPS/chart plotter surrounded by Livorsi Marine gauges. The Livorsi throttle to starboard has individual trim switches for the drive and tabs on the lever. To port, an always appreciated glove box is in the dash. The Aero Marine wraparound acrylic windscreen fits the boat’s lines well. Driver and co-pilot travel in supportive high-back buckets that slide fore and aft.
While cockpit stowage on the SV 29 is limited to space beneath the bench seat and in the gunwale trays, there are two large boxes aft on each side of the cabin just inside the companionway. Just ahead are two facing jump seats that are just shy of sitting height for adults, but the V-berth, which hides a portable head, is comfortable so that two can overnight, boasting more than two feet of headroom above the cushions. No matter where you are on the Outerlimits SV 29, you’ll feel comfortable and secure.
Comparable boats: Laveycraft 28 Evo, Frisini Motorsports 30 Vendetta