Once a well-known builder of semi-custom go-fast V-bottom sportboats, Sunsation Powerboats of Algonac, Mich., abandoned that segment and completely switched to production of its Center Console Xtreme line of 29- to 34-footers a few years back. Market demand drove the move. No one at the company wanted to see its sportboats disappear, but focusing on center consolesthe hottest segment in performance boats since 2009made far better economic sense.
So, too, did adding a larger model to the series, as the go-fast center console segment has moved toward larger and larger offerings in recent years. And though it took a little longera couple of years to be exactSunsation did just that with the release of its 40 CCX offering, which debuted in late August during the 30th annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri.
The 40 CCX is latest and largest offering in Sunsations line of performance-oriented center consoles.
With everything happening during the weeklong event that concluded with two days of top speed runs on the liquid three-quarter-mile course, 40-footers debut almost got lost in the shuffle. The 40 CCX at Sunsation dealer Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach just in time to turn heads Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Poker Run. But turn heads it did.
Sunsation hit it out of the park with this boat, said Brett Manire, who co-owns the full-service Sunsation Boats, Cigarette Racing Team, MTI and Wright Performance Powerboats dealership in Osage Beach.
While Sunsation sales manager Joe Schaldenbrand, who owns the company with his brother, Wayne, Kyle Miler and Jared Morris, wasnt able to make it to the event this year, no one was more delighted with the finished product. The week before the boat, which is powered by triple Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines, headed south he tested it on the St. Clair River near Sunsations facility in Algonac.
To be honest, it way exceeded my expectations, he said. When I drove it, I was ecstatic. Its very agile and nimble, and at 40 MPH when I hit the throttles if you werent hanging on when you were standing up I was sitting you down.
I have never run a big center console like this one, and Ive run a lot of them, he added. It was more like driving a sportboat. But its also a wave-crusher. In the stuff we encountered on the river, it was impressive.
Schaldenbrand was quick to credit consultant Tres Martin, the founder of the performance-boat driving school that bears his name, for the success of the project. Martin, he said, designed the boats hull from scratch.
Its all because of Tres, he said. He nailed the bottom on our 32 and he nailed the bottom on our new 40.
In the past, weve done designs in house and had Tres come in as a consultant, he continued. This time, we hired him and had him come in up front.
For both Schaldenbrand and Manire, the 40 CCX topped out at 75 MPH.
Its not all the way dialed in, but whether it runs 75 or 77 MPH, people arent buying these boats for top speed, said Schaldenbrand. Thats not even close to as important as it was back in the day when we were building sportboats. I am more impressed, and our customers will be more impressed, with features like the dive door and the bow thruster.
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Editors Note: This article originally appeared on boats.com. Republished with permission.