Check out this awesome article by Matt Trulio of Offshore Only, providing a few updates and insights into how things are running at TNT Custom Marine!
After earning a Superboat-class world championship in a 38-foot Skater catamaran with Performance Boat Center teammate Myrick Coil last month in Key West, Fla., John Tomlinson took a well-deserved break — at least for him. That’s right, the best throttleman in offshore racing history headed back to Miami to work three 12-hour days before jetting to Abu Dhabi to defend his 2015 Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 world title. Sharing the cockpit of the Abu Dhabi MTI catamaran with Gary Ballough, Tomlinson returned to the states nine days later with a second-place overall finish.
“I don’t mind going over there but it’s much easier for four days at a time rather than what I just did with seven days in Key West, home in Miami for three days and then off to Abu Dhabi for nine days. Between racing and testing, we were in the water seven days in a row over there. “I like going over there and competing,” he added. “But at the same time you know there are things that are going to slip through the cracks when you’re gone that long and you’re as busy as we are.”
Not that Tomlinson, who’s seen his share of up and down economic cycles during his 30-plus years in the marine industry with partner Mike Thomas, is griping. “The marine industry right now is just wailing,” he said. “Business is rocking and rolling. People are spending money, that’s for sure. People are ordering boats. We just referred an order for a new quad-outboard MTI center console to MTI — we’re an MTI dealer but we sent the customer there because he lives closer to the company. We’re selling used boats like crazy, from a $20,000 fishing boat to a $600,000 Cigarette 42 Huntress.
“I have no complaints,” he continued. “We’re busy with storage, repowers, rigging projects and service. We just don’t have enough guys to get it all done.” Tomlinson said he’s on his third Skater 30 catamaran repower where the owner has opted to swap the cat’s original Mercury Racing 300XS Optimax two-stroke direct-injected outboard engines for Verado 400R supercharged outboards. Skater 30 repower No. 3 is going to an owner in Texas — the first two went to owners in Arkansas and Florida. The Verado-powered 30-foot Skater catamarans ran in the 106- to 109-mph range in hot and humid Florida conditions before delivery to their owners, though Tomlinson said both reportedly picked up “two to three miles per hours” in cooler conditions with their owners.