As featured in the January/February 2019 issue of Speed on the Water Magazine, Jason Johnson goes out on the water with John Tomlinson, team test driver for Speed on the Water and throttleman for the Performance Boat Center offshore racing team, to give our MTI 340X Sport Catamaran a spin. His reaction might make you want to take our dual 300R V-8 outboard engines out for a run yourself. 

Side-By-Side MTI 340X Outboard-Power ShowdownOne of the perks of this job is getting to run boats with test team driver John Tomlinson, of TNT Custom Marine in North Miami, from time to time. Getting to sit shotgun with the world champion as he took control of the MTI 340X sport catamaran that served as Mercury Racing’s test bed and its Miami International Boat Show demo boat for its new 300R V-8 outboard engines, reinforced that, especially since the outing on Miami’s Biscayne Bay was the first time Tomlinson had driven a boat powered by the new naturally aspirated V-8s.

Tomlinson, who was impressed with the overall performance of the boat, which had previously reached a respectable top speed of 113 mph according to its GPS, was as close to giddy as he gets—he’s rather nonchalant most of the time.

“This 300 boat romps—it’s very impressive,” Tomlinson said. “The throttle response is great and I like the throaty sound of the engines. This is a fun boat to drive. I feel like you can run it hard all day long. It eats up the chop and powers through turns with ease. In fact, I think it feels better balanced than a 400R boat does. The new engines are lighter so that definitely helps. To me it doesn’t feel like you’re running a boat with 300s. I think Mercury has a winner with this engine.”


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