Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats is building its first outboard-powered version of its SL41 performance V-bottom for a longtime customer of the manufacturer, Dave Burgess of Michigan. It will have a trio of Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboards on the transom.
“We were thinking about it in-house, just putting together a rendering when Dave called,” says Dan Kleitz, general manager at Outerlimits. “He didn’t want a center console. He wanted a performance boat, and we came together and built this thing.”
The outboard version of the SL41 will take advantage of the absence of the sterndrives, creating a cockpit with seating for seven behind a low-profile wraparound windshield that will keep the elements from affecting the passengers.
Kleitz says the boat will have a “signature contemporary Outerlimits back end.” He thinks that if the boat runs well, the company will get more interest in outboard-powered models. “A lot of the guys buying the center consoles are getting them because of the outboards,” he explains. “These guys aren’t fishing. If we can give them a cool-looking performance boat that runs on outboards, we think we’ll have a home run.”
“In addition to the elongated cockpit, it’s going to have the really cool, contemporary back-end design that’s an Outerlimits signature,” says Kleitz, the company’s production manager.
The boat runs 116 mph with Mercury Racing HP 700 SCis and NXT 6 drives, according to Kleitz. He expects it to top 100 mph with the trio of Verado 400R outboards. If you look at power-to-weight ratios, the outboards have the advantage. The Mercury Racing website lists the sterndrive weight at 1,548 pounds each for a total of 3,096 pounds. Divide that by 1,400 hp and you get 2.2 pounds per horsepower. The Verado 400R’s weight is 668 pounds. Triple that and you get 2,004 pounds. Divide that by 1,200 and you’re down to 1.67 pounds per horsepower. Because of the SL41’s 9-foot beam, going with four Verado 400Rs is not an option.
Kleitz hopes the boat will be finished in the time for the week of the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Florida, in November.