Boating Magazine Editor Kevin Falvey attended a Mercury Marine media event in Manhattan this month, where he got a ride in the fastest V-bottom boat on the water, a factory Outerlimits SV43. For this event, the boat was powered by a pair of Mercury Racing QC4 1350 engines good for about 160 mph. That’s short of the 180.47 mph record the boat set running Merc QC4 1650 motors, but still damn fast. Since I did not get this choice assignment — because I’m not the boss — I called Capt. Editor to get a download on the day.
What’s your personal speed record, and did you break it in the Outerlimits SV43?
My personal best at the helm is 110 mph in another Outerlimits. After that run I handed the throttles to Eric Colby and he ran 118, which is as fast as I’ve ever gone in a boat. So, I was hoping to bump that personal best up by 20 or 30 mph in New York, but had to settle for 103 mph. There’s just too much traffic on the Hudson to go faster responsibly.
Did you get to pilot the boat?
No. Again, with all of the commercial traffic, it was not a user-friendly environment. And if they let me drive, they’d have to let the Fox Business News reporter drive too.
How did the boat feel?
Seventy mph in this Outerlimits feels like 30 mph in a Sea Ray runabout. You are just loafing along. And with the canopy to break the wind, it’s quiet. But visibility is not great. The driver and throttleman have headsets and are in constant communication because it’s hard to see across the cockpit. Going really fast is a heart-pounding experience that is both physically and mentally demanding. It requires complete concentration and constant connection with the boat.
The boat looks very racy.
I would not call it a race boat, but it’s race-equipped. There’s no cabin. The instrument display is a single flush-mounted touchscreen, and it looks more like a jet cockpit than a boat. Here’s an interesting tidbit: You can get this boat with a rub rail, but most of them seem to have the hull-to-deck seam filled like a race boat. That’s a $15,000 option. And it takes a week of work to finish. The seats are equipped with a full harness, but they are also covered in leather. The boat is both brutal and sexy.
Would you like to own an Outerlimits SV43?
Yes! Imagine making the run to Block Island for lunch and coming back the same day. You could do that at 100 mph. And in this boat, the engines even have a warranty! But I’d get some boat-driving lessons. Then maybe I could be as fast as Colby.