This is one of those boats that you have to kind of think outside the box to appreciate. It is pretty easy to get caught up in our West Coast scene and dialed in to what is cool, and what isn't, all the while forgetting the world is a big place and a lot of people are doing exceptionally cool things in it! This boat was recently purchased by a friend of mine Tim McDonald from OCM. When he told me about it I had to go down and see it for myself.

I'd like to start with the boat itself, it is 24' with a fiberglass bottom with an African Rosewood top. The boat sports an exceptionally aggressive entry which tells me rough water and even ocean running wouldn't be a problem. The wood top (while it will take a little work to restore it to it's former glory) is still stunning, and the craftsmanship that went into building this boat is mind boggling.



The boat is a 1994 "New Era" that was built in Malta Italy. Now before I got any further I'd like to state that one more time, the boat is a 1994!! Back then If you have a 486 computer you were the man. A 24' boat with fly by wire shifting and throttles and a complete digital dash weren't on the menu unless you were building something truly exotic. As you can see in this picture the boat is a walk through open bow. The Steering wheel telescopes in and out electrically for driver comfort as well. (Note the slot in the gunwhale)



While the main purpose of this picture is to show the digital dash, I would also like you to look at the background now that the interior has been removed. You will see panels tucked away in the front and lots of hydraulic lines and pumps in the side panels that I will explain next.



This boat is actually a "Convertible" on two fronts. With the touch of a button the interior folds down, and panels will slide out the front and the open bow now becomes a near seamless closed bow. The boat also has a top that comes out of the gunwhales to offer shade or weather protection. (The top was out of the boat at the shop when I took these pictures so I wasn't able to show it in this article.)



Tim has had his crew taking the boat apart and figuring out the extensive electronic and hydraulic systems on the boat so we had to stage this pic. As the pics continue you will see the boat being taken further and further apart.



Wind Screen panel inserted to make it a complete closed bow.



Further forward of the open bow section there is a small square that electrically lifts out of the bow. You wouldn't notice it unless you were looking for it when it is all the way down. I asked Tim what it was and he pushed a button and out came a spotlight that can be controlled from the cockpit. (You can see in this photo some of the wood work that will be undergoing repair)




As we made our way back to the cockpit I jokingly asked Tim "what other features this boat has, because clearly it wasn't loaded from the mfg." He laughed and said how about a refrigerator? He flipped a latch and sure enough there was a cooling element, and an insulated wood lined refrigerator right there in the dash.



Here you can see the main electrical panels of the boat in the dash and down on the gunnel.



As we head towards the back of the boat you will see there is the back seat and a small space with gauges. I am assuming that space is where the top lays into when it's in the down position.



The gauges are redundant to the Electronics. The Billet center handle turns and pulls a steel cable system will actually pull the pins on the Hydraulic rams allowing you to lift the hatch in the event of an electrical failure, or a ram failure.



Finally we have made our way back to the Engine room, and it's time to drop the bomb.

Two TWIN TURBO V6 MCLAREN'S!! If the boat wasn't exotic enough before I would say it certainly qualifies as an exotic now!




One of the trim pumps (I won't pretend to know for what) and a gauge that I also wouldn't pretend to know what it goes too.



I thought the hidden vents and blower tubes were pretty cool.



There is another bulkhead and a small space that the driveline and exhaust runs through. I'm not sure the purpose of this, but I'm sure there is a reason they did it this way.



This is the transom of the boat. It is subtle and doesn't give you the impression that there are two monsters under the hatch. The downward facing exhaust pipes even play it down more to the idea of just a "cruiser."



The Arneson Drives (note the small silver tubes that are aerators to break the props loose while getting on plane). Something I didn't notice until right now is the single ram hydraulic steering for twin drives that are mated together with a tie bar. That is actually pretty cool, and I would imagine would work better then dual rams that sometimes fight each other.



Close up of the Aerator that ends just ahead of the prop.



It's easy to forget how far ahead of the game this boat is, but many of these features (fly by wire shifting and throttle, hidden retractable bimini, aerators on the props) made their way to our performance seen as late as just a few years ago! This boat was completed and on the water and letting people know who's boss over two decades ago!

The guys down at OCM are working on the boat in their free time for Tim, but as you can expect this boat is extremely complicated with all the electronics and hydraulics, and servos. To add to that complexity a twin turbo motor always has a ton of plumbing, putting two of them side by side, and then having the engines be exotic MClaren's you need to really take your time and make sure everything is good to go before you go out and run the boat especially if you plan to run it hard. So the final question "Is it a Performance boat?" The boat is reported to run in the mid 80 to low 90 mph range with the power that is in it, so yes this boat is "Giving me Wood."

Thanks Tim for taking the time to show it to me and we look forward to updates, and seeing it out on the water at some point soon!

written by RiverDave