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When I first set eyes on the new Outerlimits SL 41, I felt like I was looking at a classic offshore boat from yesteryear. The Bristol, R.I., manufacturer said its buyers haven’t been asking for boats with substantial cabin headroom so the SL41 has a low flat deck.
While the deck is old school, the helm is modern high-tech. There are no individual instruments on the SL 41. Everything runs through the Mercury Racing VesselView 7 screen and Garmin 8212 GPS/chartplotters. Keyless ignition powers up the engines and the throttle levers have integrated trim buttons for the drives and tabs.
Speaking of the tabs, they’re installed horizontally at the waterline rather than in-line with the V-shape of the boat’s bottom. Having the tabs in this position requires less tab adjustment to affect the boat’s attitude. When I ran the SL 41 powered by staggered Mercury Racing 700 SCis with NXT Six drives in in strong crosswinds, I put the trim tab theory to a good test. Lowering a tab to counter the wind leveled the boat and we ran 116 mph. A key feature on the SL 41’s five-step bottom is a small pad in the running surface at the stern. Outerlimits found that the pad generated so much lift, the boat ran better with a 1” spacer in the drives to put the props a little deeper in the water. Other bottom-design updates on the SL 41 came from what Outerlimits learned when it set the current V-bottom kilo speed record at 180.470 mph in April 2014. The large air intakes at the chines have been removed and the angle of the steps from the chine to the keel isn’t as pronounced.
Outerlimits builds the SL 41 with epoxy resin, E-glass and carbon and Kevlar reinforcement. The stringers and transom are cored with composite Penske boards. Outerlimits is the only manufacturer to cure its boats in an autoclave to get the optimum combination of strength and weight.
Even with the low-profile deck, the SL 41’s cockpit has 45” of depth. The driver and co-pilot travel in standup bolsters with fixed bottom cushions. Ahead are two footrests so you can sit by using the higher one and lean with the lower one. Four individual buckets with hold-down straps comprise the bench seat.
Aft in the engine compartment, the 700 SCis are in a staggered installation with the port motor forward. All the rigging is hidden beneath the one-piece compartment liner and there are removable panels to access the batteries and engine mount backing bolts.
A roll-up-style aluminum door opens the cabin. Aft to port are a large locker with a zippered cover and a drop-in cooler with a hatch that opens on a gas strut. Across to starboard, where most people would expect to find the head is another large locker that zippers open to reveal the stereo amplifiers. The portable head is forward beneath the V-berth. Push a button and it slides out on stainless-steel tracks. There’s good seated headroom on the facing berths and space for two adults to relax on the V-berth.
Look for the full test of this Outerlimits coming soon.