HomeBoat InsuranceQuick Take—34 Victory Pleasure Boat ‘Comes Alive’ With 500R Outboard Repower

Quick Take—34 Victory Pleasure Boat ‘Comes Alive’ With 500R Outboard Repower

Regardless of which brand of catamaran he chooses, they are marketing vehicles for Devin Wozencraft. OK, so he does enjoy running them. Call it an occupational perk. But he owns them to promote his Southern California-based high-performance marine insurance and finance business.

Devin Wozencraft’s 34-foot Victory catamaran is a beast thanks to a recent repower with Mercury Racing 500R outboard engines. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

Wozencraft’s last cat, a 30-footer from Skater Powerboats, was powered by twin Mercury Racing 300R outboard engines with Advanced Mid-Sections. The Fond du Lac, Wis., engine accessories company used his ride as a marketing vehicle of its own when it introduced the AMS option for the 300-hp V-8 outboard in early 2021. And the 300Rs boosted the 30-footer’s midrange wallop and added a few miles to its top end.

But last year, Wozencraft moved up to a bigger catamaran in the form of a 2021 model-year 34 Victory powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R outboards. There are just four 34-foot pleasure cats in the United States from the Dubai-based builder, which makes his ride something of a rare find. Earlier this year, Manatee Marine Unlimited in Palmetto, Fla., repowered and re-rigged the cat with a pair of Mercury 500R outboards.

“The team at Manatee Marine did an incredible job,” Wozencraft said. “The rigging is immaculate.”

Last weekend, Wozencraft invited me to join him for the Fort Myers Offshore lunch run to Riviera Bar and Grill in Punta Gorda, Fla. He didn’t have to ask twice. Not only had I never experienced a 34-foot Victory cat, I’d never ridden in a Victory, period.

Plus, the guy is a boat driver I trust and, in the interest of full disclosure, a close friend.

More setup work is in the 34-foot cat’s immediate future, according to its owner.

I’ll get my one gripe about the 34-footer out of the way first: The rear bench is awful. The seat backs pitch forward in the lumbar area and upward-tilting bottom cushions are too short for most adult legs. The straps on the side of the bottom cushions are a feeble excuse for grab handles.

The best thing I can say about it? I only had to sit back there during the return leg of the run.

“So what do you do about it?” Wozencraft asked when I told him the cat’ bench was miserable.

“Tear it out and start from scratch,” I said. We both laughed.

Now for the good stuff. Midrange punch was extraordinary. The boat did not “hop on plane,” as the cliché goes, because it was always on plane. At least it felt that way, and once Wozencraft hit the throttle were gone. Reaching 100 mph didn’t take long.

Wozencraft leaned toward me from his bucket seat. “It’s really come alive with the 500Rs,” he hollered.

The Gulf of Mexico was mostly flat during the run, so we couldn’t find anything to challenge the cat’s rough-water ability. But we barely felt the few foot-high cruiser wakes we took head on.

Wozencraft treated the author (right) and a friend to a day in his latest marketing machine.

To showcase the boat’s handling manners, my host cranked slalom and full-circles turns at various speeds. They were perfect, extra-crisp with a moderate inward lean throughout.

“The boat feels so much more planted and connected than it did with the 450Rs,” Wozencraft said. “We still have some dial-in to do. It’s going to be more amazing.”

What it’s not going to be is at the Desert Storm Poker Run, which starts Wednesday, in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Wozencraft is leaving the cat at Manatee Marine so he can pick it for the next couple of stops—the Florida Powerboat Club Orange Beach Powerboat Week in Alabama and the Kuttawa Cannonball Run in Kentucky—on his annual event tour.

There is more marketing, and all right some boating, to be done.

Related stories
Fort Myers Offshore Saves The Best For Last In A Day Of ‘Firsts’
Fort Myers Offshore Returning To ‘Event-Saving’ Venue For Season Finale
Wozencraft World Tour To Notch ‘Firsts’ In Wisconsin
Wozencraft Making Finance-Side Push In Miami
Catching Up With Devin Wozencraft—Meeting The Challenges Of Performance-Boat Insurance Coverage
The Wozencraft World Tour Continues

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