Outer Limits 29
A few weeks after my 12-year-old son Blake and I went to the Outerlimits factory to test the company’s new SV 29, the same boat we tested (read about it here) rolled at about 75 mph in a turn with company president Mike Fiore and a friend aboard. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and Fiore said that a mechanical failure caused the problem.
Having driven the SV 29 and turned it at similar speeds, I believed Fiore. The boat never gave any indication that it had even a minor handling issue and I said so in response to the litany of rants against the boat on the popular enthusiast website **www.offshoreonly.com**, where I’m also a contributor. Still the keyboard throttlemen on OSO spewed their opinions on everything from the design of the boat to Fiore’s driving ability. What gets me is that the majority of those commenting on the subject have never designed or built a boat. And even fewer can match the thousands of hours that Fiore has logged at the wheel of a performance boat.
So when a racing version of the SV 29 absolutely dominated the Super V Limited class at the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Florida, last November, it wasn’t surprising that Fiore felt a sense of vindication.
“That just proved to the world what we already knew,” said Fiore. “It’s a fast stable design. It clearly out-performed every boat in its class in every aspect of the race.”
Doctor Michael Janssen, a spinal surgeon from Colorado, owns the racing version of the SV 29, which is a two-seater with a state of the art enclosed cockpit for racing. Janssen owns Snowy Mountain Brewery, which sponsors the boat. Brian Forehand, who has raced with Janssen in a number of boats for the past few years, drove and throttled the boat to victory while Janssen’s daughter Madison navigated.
“That’s why I wanted so bad for that thing to run good,” Forehand said in response to all the negative publicity that was heaped on the SV 29. He owns Marker 17 Marine in Wilmington, N.C., where he rigs and maintains the Outerlimits and Janssen’s other raceboat, the 30′ Fountain, Watch Your Back. Until the team bought the Outerlimits, the Fountain was the dominant boat in the Super V Limited class.
__ “I can turn that boat a lot harder than I can turn the Fountain,” Forehand said of the SV 29. “The Outerlimits is way more solid, too. It’s as solid as a rock. Nothing moves.”
Over the three races that made up the championship, Forehand said he made sure he stayed at least a half a lap ahead of the other boats in his class. In the closest and roughest of the three races on Sunday, Snowy Mountain Brewery finished almost a minute ahead of the second-place boat. The way the Key West racecourse is laid out, the competitors face a challenging combination of rough water in the ocean and calm conditions in Mallory Square, but once Forehand got out front, none of his competitors ever challenged him. Not surprisingly the other teams the class protested, but all technical inspections found the SV 29 to be legal.
As for sometimes outspoken Fiore, he preferred to let Forehand’s comments speak for him. “When Brian tells you the Outerlimits is 5 mph faster than the Fountain and that he can turn it harder, that’s the mouthful right there, the statement from the driver,” said Fiore.
MORE VIDEO: A HISTORY OF GO-FAST BOATS