Mercury Racing Powers New Southern California Speedboat Club Safety Boat
Speed and reliability are imperative when emergency medical technicians (EMT) are called into action on land or on the water. When the safety crew at a Southern California Speedboat Club (SCSC) race needs to reach a competitor in danger, they count on the performance of their Mercury Racing 300R outboard.
Based in Redondo Beach, Calif., the SCSC has been organizing boat racing in the Western states since the 1940s. This year it has seven events scheduled in Idaho, Arizona and California, with a number of different classes, from stock outboards and small hydros to the West Coast style Cracker Box inboards and Grand National Vee Hulls. It launched its new Mercury Racing-powered safety boat in April at the Lake Ming Regatta near Bakersfield, Calif. SCSC racer Andrew Games led the effort to build the boat.
“I had quite an accident in my Cracker Box race boat in 2014 on Lake Havasu,” explained Games. “That race was organized by Lucas Oil Racing and I was really impressed with the speed and professionalism of the Lucas safety team. They reached me in a matter of seconds. The SCSC safety crew is also very professional but I thought the safety boat could use an upgrade.”
Games says the Lucas crew used a modified deck boat that is very effective so Games started looking for a candidate and located a 22-foot Hurricane deck boat in Las Vegas. The front rails and seat were removed, a lifting cage was fabricated and added to the bow area, and the deck was covered with bed liner material to ensure good traction.
“We took the boat to Wide Open Throttle Marine and owner Kyle Lancon completed a repower that included a new reinforced transom, new rigging, a new Mercury Racing 300R outboard and Mercury Racing propeller,” said Games. “Kyle is a Mercury Racing dealer and he did a fantastic job making sure the boat was solid and safe.”
The safety boat just “sat in the water looking pretty” at Bakersfield, according to Games, as there were no incidents. But, soon after, the boat was put into emergency service at a National Waterski Racing Association event in early May at Havasu Springs, Ariz., where Games says it quickly rescued a pair of downed skiers.
Games races boat #P550 on the SCSC circuit. A Cracker Box is one of the oldest inboard competition boat types. Boats have a two-person crew, a minimum length of 15 feet 6 inches and minimum weight of 1,250 pounds. Games’ boat is powered by a small block Chevrolet V8 engine de-stroked to 314 cubic inches that puts out more than 700 horsepower and can push the flat-bottom inboard to speeds over 100 mph. That’s what we call Wide Open!
“There is a big social aspect to SCSC racing,” said Games. “I wanted to get the new safety boat built, to better protect all of the racers at our events. The racers and fans have stepped up with donations to cover the cost of purchasing and rigging the boat. We are very thankful for the support we’ve received from Mercury Racing in this effort.”
See an authorized Mercury Racing dealer to start you repower project and get ready for a Wide Open boating season.