You can't break it, and you can't sink it — that's the two-pronged message the folks at SeaHunter Boats, of Princeton, Fla., want to get out with their "extreme" promotional video. It shows a 35-foot center console being dropped from 20 feet onto concrete and later cut in half and dropped into the water.
"We knew we had a strong boat, but we didn't know exactly how strong it was," SeaHunter vice president Charlie Schiffer says. "We figured the boat would suffer some pretty severe gelcoat damage, but we had only some gelcoat separation and cracking ─ maybe about $500 in gelcoat repairs. That's it, though. It's really ridiculous how well it held up."
The drop test was carried out Sept. 20 at Plantation Boat Mart in Plantation Key, Fla., as 250 people watched and shouted out a countdown. The boat hit the concrete and bounced twice before coming to rest. The twin 300-hp Yamaha 4-strokes were removed for the test, Schiffer says.
Click play to watch the drop test, with Schiffer commenting.
The following day, SeaHunter carried out the second part of the promotion by cutting the same boat in half to prove it’s unsinkable — a la Boston Whaler's well-known marketing campaign. SeaHunter halved its vessel and then took it for a ride, bringing it up to 30 mph, Schiffer says.
"Originally we were just going to idle around out in the bay and take pictures, but the boat was so stable and floating so high and so well that we planed the boat off,” he says. “It looked like a landing craft from World War II."
Then, at the marina, they loaded it with 32 people.
SeaHunter's vacuum-assisted laminate technology utilizes Kevlar for the hull and carbon fiber for the hatches and console, Schiffer says. The builder uses vinylester resin in a vacuum-bagging process to sandwich Divinycell composite coring between the laminates, Schiffer says.
The boat will be on display at the Oct. 27-31 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Schiffer says. The company plans to use the footage for a television and Internet commercial.