Outerlimits owners Jason Moe and Burton Kirsten were swapping Mike Fiore stories over drinks a couple of days ago in Charlevoix, Mich. In town for the upcoming Boyne Thunder Poker Run this Saturday, they were joined by their immediate families and fellow Outerlimits owners Mark DiMichele, Mike Lucas, John Toker and their immediate families.
Kirsten surveyed the room and smiled. “Mike would have been proud,” he said.
Kirsten and Moe weren’t talking about the custom high-performance powerboats created by the Bristol, R.I., company founded by Fiore, who died three years ago next month. They were talking about the extended family of owners created by the man and his products.
Yesterday, those families headed on a daylong adventure from Boyne City to the famed Northern Michigan summer haunt of Mackinac Island. The Outerlimits fleet included Kirsten’s Outerlimits SC 39 canopied catamaran, Moe’s SV 50, DiMichele’s SV 40, Toker’s canopied SV 43 and Lucas’ SV 43 with 725-hp Ilmor Marine engines.
Jason Moe and his wife Laurie were joined by their 14-year-old daughter Katelin and 11-year-old son Colton—two of the most proficient young deckhands you’ll find on a powerboat—as well as a couple of lucky guests. Tending lines and fenders, securing hatches, stowing gear and so on isn’t something the Moe children just do when they’re in the mood to help. If they want to enjoy the boat, they have to pitch in.
Strike that. They have to carry their own weight and actually be useful to the point where lucky guests aren’t allowed to do much more than enjoy the ride.
When the members of the group, which included well-known Michigan-based performance-boat owners Kevin and Christy Kaczan as guests of the Burton and Yvette Kirsten, arrived at Mackinaw Island, they attempted to raft-up their boats along a seawall loaded with potentially paint-gouging points and edges. Between the shallowness of the water and heavy surge created by incoming and outgoing ferries, they opted to change plans, dock in nearby Mackinac, Mich., and return to the island by ferry.
And so they did, as an extended Outerlimits family. Despite the fact that they’d spent the better part of an hour trying to make the raft-up work, they cheerily untied when they could see it wasn’t going to and moved to Plan B. Sweaty smiles all around, a few good-natured, “What are you going to do?” shrugs and zero bitching. They were on an adventure, and this was part of it.
Several hours later, they departed Mackinaw Island and headed back as an extended Outerlimits family. The relatively calm Lake Michigan water they’d enjoyed on the way up to the bustling tourist destination had given way to the lake’s far more typical rough stuff. As locals are fond of saying, if you don’t like current conditions on Lake Michigan just wait an hour.
“There were some eight-footers out there,” said Moe, as he and his family—immediate and extended—neared the protected channel from Lake Michigan to Round Lake in Charlevoix.
By the time they arrived at the docks in Boyne City, it was past 9 p.m.
Kirsten was right. Mike would have been proud.
Matt Trulio is an award-winning journalist who has covered the high-performance powerboat world since 1995. He wrote for Powerboat magazine for 17 years and was the magazine’s editor at large until it ceased publication in 2011. Trulio is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site that covers the high-performance powerboat realm. He’s also the former editor of Sportboat magazine.