That's the kind of nightmare that keeps other boat manufacturers awake at night. There is little doubt that the 355's will cover more ground than any other boats at the "Lake Powell Challenge" this weekend, that's what Paul (Balls to the) Wallner is not only known for but is nicknamed after.
Paul's true passion in boating is the build, the dial in, and then flogging them like they owe him money (or in this case adrenaline) from Parker Damn to Davis Damn. It didn't take long for him to become known as "Bullhead Bully" from both testing products (props, propshafts, engines etc.) to their limits, but while doing so he's pretty laying all the other boaters to waste in terms of performance numbers from the day.
He is part of a notorious group on the internet known as "The Outboard Church" whom all of it's member share a similar mind set. Day trips are measured in miles and overall mph averages countered by fuel burn & mpg. These guys are literally turning it into a science of how much fun you can have at speed, and how much ground you can truly cover.
With the Lake Powell Challenge coming up and the late arrivals of Merc's new 450's, Nordic turned up the Heat and finish rigged the boat to get it in the water ASAP. Last weekend Paul flew out to Lake Havasu to give the new 355 it's first shake down run to start the dial in process.
The first day it went out they had grossly under propped the boat not knowing what numbers to expect. The boat was running a little over the hundred mph mark at less than 6K RPM. The next day they went out again with Mercury Racing's Johnny Bauer (Lead Calibration Tech) and the boat ran 112 mph again with the RPM #'s way off.
In a quick Q&A with Johnny B he told RDP - "the props were still the incorrect props for the boat and their is a lot more left in it." With Powell at 3,652' of altitude nobody is going to be setting any speed records up there this weekend.
Speaking speculatively, I'm sure Nordic's only concern at this point is that the boats will end up on the docks at some point for people to check them out in person, and hopefully get some demo rides. Other than that you are going to see a yellow and red blur go by followed by an Orange and white 355 trying to keep up!
Words : RiverDave
Photos : Austin Foley
Photos : Tom Leigh