Testing the Top Sport Catamarans: Riding With Bob Teague
Speed on the Water released their November issue featuring the inaugural Sport Cat / Verado 400R Outboard Roundup, called “Killer Six Pack.” The article was important for several reasons. For one, it allowed some of the top builders to showcase their latest creations in one of the more exciting categories in performance boating. Another reason is that the event really highlighted what makes Speed on the Water special. In this day and age, it’s quite difficult to get that many people and companies together to do a large scale test, and do it with a certain quality. The crew at Speed on the Water has been doing that for a long time. Matt Trulio and Jason Johnson, along with a few others from their team, put it together beautifully. To me, it was extra special though. To be invited, was truly an honor. I had met Matt and Jason before, and enjoy their work, but more importantly, they are great guys that represent the industry in the most professional way. What was really special to me was being teamed up with Bob Teague, someone who’s articles, and work I have admired for decades.
Matt and Jason put together a great team of drivers, Bob Teague, Grant Bruggemann, and Shaun Torrente; to go along with Matt, Jason and I. Being new to the testing format and the team, it was only natural to be paired with the most experienced driver, Bob Teague. Growing up, I would read Teague on Tech, and read every test from Powerboat Magazine, most of which Bob was involved with. To be testing boats with him decades later, was almost surreal.
For those who don’t know, Bob is an incredible guy. His accomplishments go way beyond the boat industry. Bob was a Drill Sergeant and Infantry Combat Platoon Leader in Vietnam and Cambodia; among other distinctions, and has received several awards for valor for his service. Additionally, Bob was a firefighter with the city of Los Angeles for 23 years, retiring as a captain. He started Teague Custom Marine Inc, in 1972; the premier custom marine parts and engine builder in the industry. Bob was also instrumental at Powerboat Magazine, from technical editor, chief evaluator, as well as other titles under the esteemed publications duration. Needless to say, Bob has raced and won in many different powerboat racing classes over the years, holding many titles in multiple offshore classes. Bob was inducted into the APBA Hall of Champions in 85,88, and 2003. In person, he is one of the most personable, fun, and interesting people you would want to meet. He is often joking around, but while maintaining a professional standard anyone would aspire too.
When it comes to driving boats, Bob has spent more time going over 100 MPH than most of us have spent sleeping in our lifetime. I remember we were in the DCB M33R cruising along around 80 MPH, and we looked over to see a Wright Performance 360 coming up on our starboard side. Of course, the competitive side in Bob couldn’t resist, he planted the throttles, and we got one of our best runs of the day, with a little impromptu race. During the evaluations, Bob’s professionalism really stood out. If I missed the timing on an acceleration, we would do it again until we got it right. Of course, I don’t think Bob minds mashing the throttles whenever he gets the chance. Riding with Bob was not only fun, but a great learning experience.
During the evaluations, Bob and I shared a keen eye for any flaws, or details that were missing from some of the boats. Bob held every builder to a very high standard, regardless of the name on the hull, there was a fair and balanced approach. I really appreciated that.
What was my take on the boats? Well, the write up in Speed on the Water is a great evaluation. On a personal level, there were three class leading boats. The DCB M33R Widebody, MTI 340X and Wright Performance 360 each bring something different to the table, but what they shared was the highest level of execution in design and performance. Granted, we wish a few more manufacturers could have sent boats, but the timing is always a challenge.
Among the six we tested, DCB, MTI, and Wright Performance were the class leaders. In DCB you won’t find a better fit and finish, and it performs really well, no detail is overlooked. The Wright Performance’s hull design is not only incredibly fast, it is balanced and composed in rough conditions. With the MTI, you get one of the most well rounded cats, it can hang in rough water, and the design is exceptional.
Getting to spend the weekend with the Speed on the Water crew in Lake of the Ozarks was so much fun. After the Sport Cat Roundup, we covered the Shootout, and got to spend time with Matt, Jason and Ryan there. I got to meet so many people, and I don’t think the testing and the weekend could have gone any better. Thanks again to Speed on the Water, and Bob Teague for the incredible day.
If you haven’t seen the November Issue of speedonthewater.com, be sure and download it. Every year they publish a “Year in Review” glossy print magazine that is a must have as well. You can order the print directly from them. Speed on the Water Year in Review 2018.