By Gregg Mansfield
MTI 42SC Catamaran: Powerboat Profile
MTI's 42SC is fine art that can run at nearly 150 mph,
Somewhere around 140 mph on Sarasota Bay, a passenger in MTI’s 42SC looked out the window and saw a streak of boats and personal watercraft watching as the boat scorched across the water. The catamaran had been an attention-getter all day long since it was hoisted into the water by crane and arrived at the Sarasota Hyatt docks. The attention comes with the territory for the canopied boat built for speed. The distinctive yellow and green boat owned by Rick Perthel caught our attention not only for its performance but for the high build-quality standards that Marine Technology Inc. has set.
From the full canopy to the rigging in the engine compartment, the 42′ boat was built with racing in mind. Perthel competes on the offshore circuit in the PX class and also takes the MTI to poker runs and special events, such as the Miami International Boat Show.
Fastidious would best describe the MTI’s engine installation and rigging. The two Sterling 1,300-hp motors were installed on a rail system and the Stainless Marine tailpipes vented the exhaust out the rear.
The flame arrestors, valve covers, dry sump tanks, spark plug wires and drive line covers to the Mercury Racing No. 6 drives were color-matched to the paint job. The bilge was finished in a shiny white epoxy, expertly done by MTI. About the only thing not custom in the compartment were the engine hatches, which lifted manually on stainless gas struts.
Two hatches on top of the canopy provided easy access into the cockpit. The boat had four seats and was surprisingly spacious. Each spot was equipped with a five-point harness from Lifeline and had onboard air equipment. Another safety element was the emergency escape hatch between the four seats.
Because the boat is used for racing and poker runs, the owner included only must-have gauges and equipment in the cockpit. The Monster series gauges from Livorsi Marine were in front of the left seat for the throttleman and the GPS speedo was mounted in the center. The gauges had orange and yellow bezels, which complemented the dash panels. The panels matched the banana-leaf paint scheme on the outside of the boat, work that was done by GeoGraphics in Canada.
The throttles and shifters in the center console came from Marine Machine. Every seat in the boat had elliptical grab handles for support if the water got bumpy. The custom color touches were carried into the panels on the gunwales, and the billet fire extinguisher holders were a nice feature.
A must on canopy boats during the summer months, the owner included air conditioning, which kept it significantly cooler than the 85-degree temperature on test day.
When it came to performance, the 42-footer impressed our lead test driver with the way it handled in rougher water. It turned nice and flat in the midrange, and leaned into turns at higher speeds.
Running a midrange acceleration drill, the boat went from 80 to 120 mph in 11 seconds. But the catamaran really came to life at 100 mph and higher. With the Sterlings turning 4,500 rpm, the boat sailed along at 110 mph. Add a little more fuel and the cat was running 124 mph at 5,500 rpm.
We ran the catamaran to 149 mph at 5,800 rpm but the engines still had more left in them. A combination of factors kept us from going for a higher number. On a Friday afternoon, Sarasota Bay was getting crowded with cruisers and personal watercraft, which kept us from running at top speed. The boat also was getting low on racing fuel and in the interest of bringing the engines back intact, we were satisfied with the speed.
MTI president Randy Scism said the boat can do speeds well above 160 mph. Based on the engine rpm at 149 mph, we believe him.
The 42SC is a sweet ride whether you’re watching from the inside or the outside.
Editor’s note: This article was part of a roundup that ran in the August 2004 issue of Powerboat magazine.
MTI 42SC Specifications
|Engine/Horsepower||(2) Sterling Performance 1300/1300|
|Propeller||Hering five-blade 16.8″ x 33″|
|Top speed at rpm||149 mph at 5,800|
|Price as tested||$941,000|
|Contact information||636-639-1166, www.marinetechnologyinc.com|