When Mercury Marine introduced its first supercharged six-cylinder Verado outboard engine—a 200-hp model—in 2004, rumor had it that next up was a 400-hp offering. Despite that Claus Bruestle, then manager of the Verado program, tried to dispel that rumor by saying the power output was “possible” but not “not needed at this time,” good gossip is hard to squash. So when the next Verado outboard turned out to be a 300-hp version, more than a few folks were disappointed.
Among the performance-boat owners who had hoped for more was Dale Rayzor of Discovery Bay, Calif. Rayzor, who owned a 28-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran with Mercury Racing 300XS outboards that topped out an impressive 120 mph, had ordered the first Skater 30 Prototype catamaran and had hoped to have the Douglas, Mich., builder hang 400-hp Verado outboards from its transom. When he learned that those outboards weren’t coming—at least anytime soon—he went in a radically different direction and had the boat equipped with twin naturally aspirated 800-hp Sterling Performance engines and Arneson ASD-7M drives.
“It turned into a beast,” said Rayzor.