Brittany Dunn—also known as Miss Speedboat, and one of the country’s most high-profile female powerboaters—is preparing to join the Florida Powerboat Club’s poker run to Key West in her newly renovated 368 Skater, Mrs. War Party.
Dunn purchased the boat back in August from Steve Schuble, former owner of OffshoreOnly.com, but has kept it under wraps while Supreme Marine of Fort Lauderdale has been overseeing an engine swap and several other upgrades.
“I just wanted to make sure it was perfect,” Dunn tells Speedboat. “People ask me all the time, ‘Shouldn’t it be the guy who wants the go fast cat, not the wife?'” she laughs.
After picking up the Skater from Troy Hannon at Supreme Marine, Dunn plans to drive it to Haulover Marine of North Miami for the event’s Wednesday departure. Her crew includes fiancé Bubba Chrisco (former owner of the famous 39′ Cigarette center-console War Party), Brad Schoenwald, and Justin and Crissy Brown.
The 2017/18 model 368 Skater, originally built to accommodate I/Os, had originally been powered by Mercury Racing 400R outboards; it has now been upgraded to the 450R outboards.
The Key West Offshore Poker Run will take participants to hot spots in the Keys, including in Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, and Bahia Honda. (At press time, organizers are keeping a close watch on Tropical Storm Eta, which is threatening to douse South Florida with up to a foot of rain; but FPC remains optimistic that the worst conditions may pass through the Florida Keys and not have a tremendous impact on our poker run agenda for Nov 11-15.) Pace boats will be providing navigation through the winding backwaters of the Florida Keys, allowing the fleet to enjoy the ride in more protected waters, with the final 40-mile leg offshore and into the protected Key West Harbor. A four-day Key West Poker Run village acts as event headquarters, with entertainment every evening and great dining at the Conch Republic Seafood Company. Daily powerboat excursions and fun runs give participants a chance to explore local waters.
Dunn’s Skater is being serviced and maintained by Supreme Marine Inc. of Fort Lauderdale. “The boat had all kinds of electrical issues,” Troy Hannon tells Speedboat. “The wiring from the previous service center was all wrong, so we basically ripped all the wiring out of the boat, along with the battery cables, breakers, etc.” Supreme Marine replaced everything—put in the right size wiring, correct breakers and electronic battery switches. Hannon and his team also installed Shaun Torrente Racing jackplates and added carbon-fiber scoops to the 450Rs’ cowlings, which is expected to help the boat pick up some extra 2-3 mph.
“We believe that the problem some of these motors are having is that they’re sucking exhaust in when they’re running,” Hannon says. “It’s causing a little vortex behind the cowling, and exhaust is actually getting pulled back in it, which is obviously not conducive to making power. So these scoops pull clean air from the front of the engine, and it increases the horsepower on the engines. It actually makes the power it should make.”
Dunn says she will likely run the Skater in next year’s LOTO Shootout, and has been entertaining the thought of throwing her hat into new 450 class of offshore racing. If so, she says she’d consider building a new boat that’s race-ready. Meanwhile, Dunn and Chrisco also enjoy his boat, a 2014 Airship RIB called Lil’ War Party.