Our Water Toys section is well into its second year and we are still amazed at how many hot customs are being put out by boat manufacturers. With gelcoat color availability in every color you can imagine and boat builders willing to lay out pretty much any pattern you can come up with, it's a total custom show on the water any given weekend.

We recently had the pleasure of taking a ride out to Lake Havasu for a little R&R time with Magic Powerboats. Magic had some of its boats out for demo rides and a lot of showing off. Just about every model was represented, and people were lined up to have a chance at a thrill ride. We chose a more sedate route for our story. Knowing we like speed and bringing the whole party along, Magic sent us over to its deck boats and we settled our happy selves into the speedy number seen here. Magic Powerboats' 280 Cat is the smallest of the line, but it's big on substance.

Exterior-wise, this high-speed water taxi is smooth. Sporting some clean strokes of color, brilliant reds give way to maroon swipes. Several shades of gray fading in and out make this boat stand out, on and off the water. All elliptical rails and recessed cleats are hard-anodized in bright-red, giving a nice contrast to the stark white. All this is perched atop a triple-axle trailer fitted with polished aluminum wheels and recessed lighting. While on the trailer, we landed a great view of the air entrapment ventilated step hull and the wraparound Euro-style swim platform.

Using the Ford F-250 Power Stroke diesel to get the boat to the launch ramp was a pleasure. Riding high on a ProComp lift and 35-inch Toyos wrapped around 18-inch Weld Dakars, we sure looked good with the boat in tow -- especially since the truck was virtually color-matched to the boat's stripes. and the billet grilles helped, too. After we received many thumbs-ups and compliments on the launch ramp, it was off to the dock for some interior photo ops. The layout of this boat is spacious and able to hold an easy 10 to 11 people comfortably -- try that in an 18-foot squirter. Creature comforts are aplenty, and this party on keels has style inside to match its exterior. Of course, white-marine vinyl is the dominant color, but maroon-red vinyl is elegantly stitched into the highlight portions of the seating areas. Contrast coloring was laid along the rear headrest, which flowed onto the rear deck in striped fashion, as well as the passenger and driver headrest side. The extreme front seating portion and backrest of the rear passenger area has a flame lick-inspired swoosh placed as background material. Driver and passenger seatbacks are fiberglass and were gelled to mimic the exterior scheme. All covers for the speakers and stereo head unit are billet and anodized aluminum with the cupholders, gauge trim, and vent covers following suit. You won't find any plastic in this top-of-the-line machine. The helm is clearly put together with form following function. A leather-wrapped billet steering wheel gives way to white-face gauges, providing more information than you could ever use.

Powering this water toy is a 425hp Mercury MerCruiser 496 MAG HO. The motor in our test unit was stock, but with that much power, we could fly. Hanging off the transom and delivering those V-8 ponies to the water is a Bravo 1x drive. Ninety gallons of fuel ensure smooth cruising all-day long. Magic offers performance motors with as much as 1,000 hp. The powertrain got us to 75 mph without a hitch. Even with family and friends, it'll still do 70.

Filled with ample storage and quality components, Magic Powerboats has created a larger-than-life 28-foot cat. Current winner of the Sport Cat category in Performance, you can't go wrong with this boat. Magic is a great company that invites the whole family to be part of the design process. The 280 Cat is sure to be a consistent winner for Magic.