By : Dennis Stein
The Thousand Islands Poker Run was another full house event this summer, coupled with the ever-popular Ribfest. Many popular boats returned for the Brockville stop, including the area favorite, My Way, the aptly named 'King Of The 1000 Islands'. Owned by Bill Tomlinson of Rockport, this large 50 foot catamaran is always a spectacle of performance watercraft as it enters the waters of Brockville Harbour. People crowd around the immense boat as it docks, its twin turbine engines roaring like some kind of spaceship, snapping pictures and looking on in awe. My Way is truly an extreme machine.
It all begins with the hull. In this fourth inception of My Way, it comes from Mystic Powerboats in the form of the C5000-R catamaran hull. The previous version used a silver Outerlimits Powerboat hull, a design which although striking, was limited. The streamlined, stepped Mystic hull however, could take Tomlinson and Throttleman Ken Kehoe beyond 220 mph if equipped with the right engines. Those came in the form of T-55 Lycoming gas-powered turbine engines, which were purchased from the Miss Geico offshore racing team. They each produce a whopping 3000 Horsepower, almost double that of similarly equipped turbine boats. All that power is then transferred to BPM drives, through a special braking system and crashbox style transmissions, and finally out to custom made Propellers. GPS assisted speedometer, and tons of high-tech gadgetry adorn the full-canopy enclosed cockpit, complete with every safety option, right down to the HANS device worn around the neck, favoured by NASCAR, and five point seat belts. There is also an escape hatch on the floor in the cockpit, in case the boat goes wrong-side-up. All of this equipment was custom rigged into the boat by Mr.Tomlinson, Mr. Kehoe, and friend Jamie Auld.
Despite a couple of near disasters this season, the team has rebounded quickly, officially tying last year's speed record at Lake Of The Ozarks of 208 mph, and thrilling crowds there with 'unofficial' runs of over 221 mph!
With her bright red paint job, sporting the same logo as each of her three predecessors, My Way is truly a bullet with butterfly wings, and even after a devastating accident in the recent 1000 Islands Poker Run, I have been assured that the return of the King is... Imminent.
Now it is time for my own shameless plug. Bill, Ken, I would love a ride in that boat someday, but forget the lifejacket, I'll bring an extra pair of shorts!