Marine Technology Inc 44 Pleasure Series Boats
Six seats and a 150-mph ride made MTI’s 44-footer unforgettable
Let me lay it out for you: We were screaming across Florida’s Sarasota Bay at roughly 150 mph in the Hammertime! 44 MTI when it became somewhat imperative— thanks to an upcoming sandbar—that we make a hard left turn. Bob Teague was on the Latham Marine throttles, John Tomlinson was driving and I was in the port bucket behind Tomlinson with my hair standing on end.
Having never carved a turn that hard at 130 mph, I can say three things about the experience: 1) G-forces are very real. 2) The 44-footer did it perfectly. 3) I’d rather not do it again.
Once through the turn, we slowed to a stop and shut down the catamaran’s twin Mercury Racing HP1075SCi engines. We needed a moment to compose ourselves.
Tomlinson broke the silence. “That’s the hardest I’ve ever turned when I wasn’t wearing a helmet,” he said deadpan, and we all broke out laughing.
OK, very obviously, this is nothing you should try at home. Teague and Tomlinson are professional drivers and our safety crew was nearby. But that turn was a testament to the stability and handling attributes of the 44 MTI. The catamaran’s high-speed handling manners proved to be nothing short of phenomenal.
With the engines turning 6,100 rpm and channeling their energy through Mercury Racing No. 6 dry-sump drives, the boat topped out at 150 mph. Coaxing it on plane took 7.4 seconds and in 20 seconds it reached 84 mph. Snappy in the midrange, the cat ran from 30 to 50 mph in 3.5 seconds, 40 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and 40 to 70 mph in 7.4 seconds.
The 44 MTI had no trouble with the 3- to 5-footers we found in the Gulf of Mexico. From all angles of attack, it rode and landed softly.
Workmanship was top-notch. MTI actually handled the engine compartment rigging inhouse, and the builder did an excellent job throughout. The boat’s hull and deck revealed no ripples or dimples. And the paint job from Visual Imaginations was flawless.
Single-touch switches raised the engine hatches. “You just hit a button and they know when to stop,” Teague said. “That’s very cool.”
Equally cool was the boat’s epic onboard video system for passengers in the six bucket seats to enjoy. Plug a video camera into a jack on the dash and real-time video can be displayed on all four Northstar screens—one on each side of the dash and two in the backs of the forward bucket seats.
In addition, the system had record capability. So if you missed watching yourself run next to your buddy during a poker run, you could replay the footage right there in the boat later that evening. Of course, the Northstar system also functioned as a GPS/chart plotter and provided engine-function readouts, but who really cares when you have video?
That video system wasn’t completely functional when we did our 130-mph turn, so we had to leave capturing the moment to our memories. But like the spectacular six-seat 44 MTI that took us there, it’s still vivid and breathtaking.—MT
Bruce Bullock Marine: MTI Marine Technology Inc Powerboat Authorized Dealer
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