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The eye-catching Pass Blocker MTI catamaran made a significant grand entrance in the fall of 2013. Its unique graphics and details made it something for the books. The machine hit new limits in terms of speed and has served as the stepping stone for other boat owners. To learn more about this catamaran and the story behind its success, continue reading.

Completed in the fall of 2013, the Pass Blocker MTI catamaran was hard to miss. First, it was a big boat, one of the first canopied 52-footers built by the Wentzville, Mo., company. Second, it had large—as in see-it-from-space—New York Giants football helmet graphics on its hullsides.

The helmet was a nod to owner Brad Benson’s career as an NFL defensive lineman, which included earning a Super Bowl ring in 1986 with the Giants. The Mercury Racing 1650 engine-powered beast actually was Benson’s second MTI to carry the Pass Blocker handle. His first was a 48-footer.

The boat topped out at 185 mph.

“Right now, Brad has the fastest poker run pleasure boat we’ve ever built,” said Randy Scism, the owner and founder of MTI, at the time. “We have a two-seat raceboat that might be a little faster, but that’s an all-out raceboat. This is a pleasure boat.”

In February 2015, I rode with Benson and the late Tom Healey of Marine Unlimited in Pass Blocker for the first leg of the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run. It wasn’t my first experience in a canopied boat, but it was my first in one with a roll cage, six-forward facing bucket seats—each with its own five-point restraint system—emergency oxygen and canopy and tunnel escape hatches. Everything about it was impressive, and Healey and Benson were consummate hosts.

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