Baja Partners with Truck Companies for 2008 Poker Run Tour

Split Decision go-fast boat and matching truck to appear at events around the country.

February 26th 2008

Baja Marine has unveiled its 2008 Split Decision Poker Run Tour boat and matching tow vehicle. Baja Marine and General Motors Corporation have brought together a customized 2008 Baja 40 Outlaw with a 2008 Chevrolet Kodiak pickup truck, both featuring all-new, one-of-a-kind graphics created by Baja Marine’s in-house design team. This formidable twosome will set out later this year on the 2008 Split Decision Poker Run Tour, making stops at numerous poker runs and events all across North America.

The tradition of creating poker run tour Baja boats goes back several years, and each new boat sets a higher standard for astonishing performance and style. Baja Marine’s 2008 poker run tour boat is no exception. Baja tuned this 40 Outlaw, dubbed Split Decision, with the finest high-performance options available from Mercury Racing and the most advanced instrumentation from Livorsi Marine.

“We can’t wait to see Split Decision get out on the water and hear reactions from the community of Baja owners,” said Barbara Grobicki, director of marketing at Baja Marine. “Beyond being a great source of pride for us, the poker run tour boats have really become centerpieces in the many get-togethers of Baja fans.”

Twin 700-hp Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines, introduced in 2007, will power Split Decision through its crisscrossing tour of North America. Mercury Racing also supplied CNC five-blade cleaver propellers and NXT1 drives. Corsa Performance provided pressure-activated exhaust tips that help reduce high-end noise without sacrificing a shred of performance. And Mercury Racing’s recently introduced SmartCraft VesselView Race Edition display makes its Baja debut on the Split Decision 40 Outlaw.

“Baja has incorporated the best Mercury Racing has to offer into Split Decision,” said Rick Mackie, senior marketing manager at Mercury Racing. “It represents a huge technical stride forward. Out on the water, no other boat can match the bold presence this Baja is sure to achieve.”

The Split Decision 40 Outlaw follows in the full-throttle footsteps of Lucky 7′s, the award-winning 35 Outlaw from 2007. Also powered by twin 700-hp Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines and featuring a host of high-performance features and upgrades, Lucky 7′s tore up its 20-plus-city tour and earned top honors at several stops along the way. Lucky 7′s won “Best Poker Run Boat” at the Daytona Poker Run and stole the show at Montreal’s Lac St. Pierre Poker Run, winning “Best Graphics” and “Best Overall Team.” With such decorated predecessors like Lucky 7′s, expectations are understandably high for Split Decision.

Rivaling its head-turning performance are Split Decision’s eye-catching graphics. This year’s design juxtaposes two opposing forces, lending the boat two distinct looks. “The main concept behind this year’s boat is the use of fire and ice,” said Steve Nelson, lead designer at Baja Marine. “The deck has been split down the middle — in a sense, creating two boats in one. Tying it all together is the Outlaw figure, who holds a royal flush in each hand.”

Livorsi Marine provided instrumentation and numerous electrical upgrades to the Split Decision Baja. The tachometers and engine-monitoring gauges, such as water temperature and oil pressure, are from Livorsi. In addition, a revolutionary multi-function gauge from DataTach displays GPS speed, tachometer readings, compass heading, and even performs a mathematical equation to measure propeller slip-similar to measuring a tire spinning on a car. Split Decision features keyless ignition controlled by a security keypad. All the gauges and switches have blue LED lighting, lending the entire dash a brilliantly striking presence. Lexan windows on the engine compartment lid that reveal the 700 SCi engines have been etched to feature the Baja swoosh and are lit with blue and red LED lights. The LED dash and cockpit lighting even continues underwater, with transom lighting from Ocean LED mounted between the drives. And all of the 200-plus custom lighting elements throughout the boat, in addition to the engine compartment lid actuators, can be controlled from a handheld remote.

The commanding sound system combines JL Audio components and Clarion electronics, all from Marine Audio. The six custom hand-wound sub-woofers are all-new from JL Audio, and speakers play through seven individually controlled amps. All the speakers and even the dash and transom audio remote controls feature custom blue and red backlighting.

Split Decision is the first Baja to feature all-new McLeod IV bolsters. A set of four, each custom-embroidered with the Split Decision moniker, offers secure and comfortable cockpit seating. A Baja-designed triple bolster rear bench also keeps aft passengers snugly in place.

Livorsi supplied Split Decision’s many hardware upgrades. The list of billet aluminum additions includes the throttles, dash gauge bezels, six in-cabin fender racks, six fender cleats and even small washers that highlight the stringer bolts. A pair of Livorsi hatch actuator covers show off the engine compartment, and Livorsi battery boxes and covers secure the Optima batteries. The two onboard chrome fire extinguishers with billet aluminum holders are also provided by Livorsi. And in the cabin are two innovative, custom-made life jacket racks. To create the racks, stainless steel jacket hangers were welded to polished stainless steel tubes mounted to the cabin walls. The Split Decision moniker has been laser-cut into the tubes, then backlit with LED lighting.

Among the most dazzling visual features of the Split Decision combo are the fully integrated graphics. The unique paint job covers the boat’s hull, cockpit, dash and even the cabin. The graphics continue onto dash gauge bezels and across dial faces, creating a seamless, unified design. And Split Decision even features a one-of-a-kind billet aluminum swim platform machined and painted to carry the boat’s name and signature graphics.

“The coolest part of our work was on the gauge dials and rims,” said Ed Mannion, general manager of Livorsi Marine. “We worked with Kustom Kolors to create a paint job on the dials that matches precisely with the whole color scheme of the boat.”

Between its on-water appearances, the Split Decision 40 Outlaw will ride in style aboard a tri-axle trailer courtesy of Heritage Custom Trailers. This specially outfitted trailer includes a drive guard to protect propellers and custom steps with handrail to aid boarding during boat launch. The Heritage trailer sports Alcoa rims, which match the wheels on the Split Decision tow vehicle.

The matching tow vehicle for the 2008 Split Decision Poker Run Tour is a 2008 Chevrolet Kodiak pickup truck customized by Monroe Truck Equipment, Inc. (MTE). The Kodiak MTE boasts a Duramax 6.6L Diesel engine that churns out 330 horsepower and 620 ft-lbs of torque through a capable Allison 2350 HS Series six-speed overdrive transmission. With this potent combination of engine and transmission, the Kodiak MTE achieves an impressive gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 30,000 pounds. The Split Decision tow vehicle rides on 22-inch wheels and an MTE Cab Air Ride Suspension. The exterior upgrades include three-inch tubular stainless steel step bars, stainless steel tubular bed rails and a three-inch tubular chrome bumper. For optimal navigation lighting, the Split Decision Kodiak MTE is outfitted with a three-inch chrome tubular front light bar with two PIAA driving lights and two PIAA fog lights.

The cab has also been decked out with the MTE premier upgrade interior package. It includes a 15-inch flip-down entertainment system and six MTX Thunder Dome axial speakers. The interior also comes equipped with a Pioneer Navigational Radio system including a rear- and side-view camera system. MTE custom carpet, floor mat and premier leather seat packages round out the interior upgrades.

For more information about Baja Marine’s events and to learn more about the 40 Outlaw and the rest of the full-throttle lineup, visit www.bajamarine.com. For more information about the Chevrolet Kodiak MTE pickup truck, visit www.gm.com and www.monroetruck.com. For more information about the Mercury 700 SCi engine, visit www.mercurymarine.com.