In an era where almost all the performance boat manufacturers are tooling larger and larger boats, Eliminator went a different direction. Jake Fraleigh took a hard look at one of the core market places right here in their backyard and asked a simple question. "What would be the ultimate boat to run the portions of the Lower River, Parker, Havasu, and all the way up to Needles?"
The answer comes back an outboard cat. They don't draft much water when on plane, they can carry 5 people with ease plus coolers, and they can cover quite a bit a ground extremely efficiently. Factor in that most handle cross chop and moderate wind chop with ease, and it's a really easy combination to fall in love with for that criteria. Now it's time to take a look around the asset list (molds in the yard) and determine which one is going to fit the bill as their new model to penetrate that core market.
The 25 Daytona has one of the most proven bottoms of all time, and was one of the boats that really helped to shape the industry into what it is today. It was one of the driving forces that made people realize that the blown 19' Daytonas and 21 Daytonas (while still very cool) could be scaled up into something that is a great combination for "Hot Rod" and "Functionality." If you grew up on the Parker Strip like I did, in the mid 90's the 25 Daytona with a blower motor was "The Boat to Have."
Jake worked after hours tooling the new deck with some help from other employees. The goal was to update the deck into a "Speedster" model meaning it would have a wrap around windshield and some styling cues. The second goal was to design an "Outboard First" deck meaning they can push the rear seat back with this design to maximize interior room into the boat.
I can't help but smile when I think about how the original 25 Daytona helped to blaze a trail in the performance boat industry, and here it comes full circle to do it again. The boat is the perfect size to take advantage of Mercury Racing's new 300R's.
This first one was built with twin 300R's and it ran 106 with four people in the boat. At first you might say "106?" The Outboards currently have 1.75 gears in the lowers and that was on the rev limiters with a set of 34 Cleavers. The cool thing about it though is it got there "right now." Everyone that rode in the boat agreed that they would leave it short geared because it is incredibly fun and "snappy" to drive, a quality usually Outboards are lacking when it comes to top end.
Unfortunately marketing dictates that the boat is going to have to put up a top end "number" that is more inline with where it should be. They will change the gearing in the lowers to a more traditional 1.61 and spin 31's or 32's. That should up the mph quite a bit in a big hurry. It's guesstimated that the boat will end up running 115 - 118 mph with that setup.
This is a pretty cool video that Eliminator made of the maiden voyage!