Digging An Inside Look

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While there are more than a few folks willing to learn how to use a camera—with varying levels of competence and success—to capture the high-performance powerboating world, there are precious few willing to learn how to write about it. It’s not because anyone can take a professional quality photo, far from it in fact, but photography is a lot more fun and immediately gratifying than writing.

That’s why New York City-based Jared Powell, the publisher of Wave-To-Wave Performance Boat Magazine, an online publication, caught my attention for this column a little more than a year ago. Powell is a solid photographer, for sure, but he’s an even better writer, which makes sense given his day job of producing advertising copy.

Jared Powell (far right) chronicled his experience of working with speedonthewater.com test team of (from left) Jason Johnson, Pete Boden, Shaun Torrente, Grant Bruggemann and Bob Teague during the daily new site’s inaugural Sport Catamaran Roundup in August.

So when it came time to find a third co-pilot for the trio of test teams we assembled for the inaugural Speedonthewater.com/Mercury Racing 400R Sport Catamaran Roundup last August, Powell was an easy choice. Far from along for the ride, a test team copilot has to gather all data during the testing protocols and then interview the professional test driver he’s been paired with.

That’s the testing protocol my fellow offshoreonly.com columnist and speedonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson and I learned at Powerboat magazine and the one that works for us. But Johnson and I had years to learn it, whereas Powell had to learn it on the fly.

So we paired him with Bob Teague, our former colleague and longtime lead test driver at Powerboat. We knew Teague would get Powell up to speed in short order and we knew Powell could keep up with a guy who doesn’t like to repeat himself on the water, much less have to do things twice because his teammate wasn’t ready to capture test results.

Late last week, Powell wrote about the experience of working with Teague and the rest of our test team. It’s a great read, but I won’t spoil it here. Check it out when you have a moment—it’s definitely worth your time.

Powell’s joyful piece reminded me how privileged we are to do what we do. Testing boats is cool enough, I reckon, though like any job it has its share tedious moments that make us glad we don’t do it nearly as much as we once did. But the real thrill comes from the people we get to work with.

Powell, as noted, tested with Teague. Johnson shared the cockpit with test driver and recent F1 H20 World Champion Shaun Torrente. I paired up with my longtime friend Grant Bruggemann of Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla.

Can you say dream team? Powerboat test drivers don’t get any better.

Powell’s article also reminded me that talented new writers are few and far between in the high-performance marine world, and how lucky we were to find him. We only wish we could find a few more. As he chronicled so beautifully, the job does have its perks.

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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.

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