When it comes to putting time in on the water, for us it's about the speed. To have speed, it takes power. To have power, you need a boat to hold it. To have a big enough boat to hold the power, then, of course, a truck big enough to haul it comes into the picture. So, full circle we come, back to power. You could say we need big boats, big trucks, and big power. Um, something like that anyway. For your viewing pleasure, this month's Water Toys feature is a big truck with big turbodiesel power and a big boat with big cubic inches under its hatch. Big time fun? You bet!
Since river destinations are what we live for here in Southern California, we need a truck to haul our toys to far-off aquatic destinations. In this case, that truck just happens to be an '05 Ford F-250 4x4 Super Duty. The all-new '05 models come equipped with the live axle coil-sprung frontend-a feature new to Fords. Right out of the gate, Fabtech picked up the new Ford to develop a new suspension lift system. The first production pieces were released for the '04 SEMA Show, which is where we found this bright, tight, boat-pulling hauler. The lucky yellow F-250 featured before you is sitting just a bit higher thanks to a Fabtech 6-inch suspension lift. Featuring all the bells and whistles available, this bad Blue Oval has dual reservoir shocks at each front wheel, single nitrogen shocks at the rear, a nitrogen steering stabilizer, rear track bars, and to give the truck a smidge more off-road persona, Fabtech saw fit to bolt up one of its pre-runner-style lightbar bumpers. For that big chrome look that dominates the truck scene, 22-inch Weld Velociti 8 wheels were mounted and balanced inside 325/50R22 Toyo Open Country tires. For the boat-matching colors you see on the truck, Master Graphics laid down a perfect reverse rendition in vinyl.
Speaking of the boat, if you want to have fun on the water, you have to have room for some friends. The 28-foot Magic Deck Boat is the perfect blend of style, performance, and room for a hot day on your favorite lake. But in case you weren't paying attention, we did mention that we are fiends for power, and as such, Magic blessed this party on keels with a 588ci big-block Chevy that thunders across the wakes to the tune of 650 hp at 5,800 rpm. This motor is based off a Merlin III block stuffed with serious power hardware. Internally, you'll find Scat forged crank and rods, JE pistons, Dart Pro I aluminum heads, a Comp Cams roller cam, and rockers. Externally, the 588 is topped with a Holley manifold and 1050 carb, MSD ignition, and CMI headers. Believe it or not, this sweet piece of work will run contentedly with 87-octane fuel. Putting the power in the water is a Mercury XR upper drive mated to an IMCO 1:35 geared lower drive spinning a four-blade Mercury 28 pitch prop. With the current setup, this Magic can easily reach 90 mph.
The rest of the Cat is designed around a user-friendly spread that can accommodate you and 10 of your friends. Seating is abundant, and ingress and egress are easily handled off the front or rear platforms. The 28-foot Deck Boat is a flat, open-deck design and can be equipped with a Porta-Potty, stainless sink, and even a blender to keep your party going strong all day long. The open deck areas of the boat are fiberglass flooring for easy cleaning, while high grade, 40-ounce marine carpet is laid in the storage compartments. The 28-foot Magic's list of standard features reads like an aftermarket equipment list: Everything from a custom tilt steering wheel to an electric engine hatch and stainless cleats and rails are included in the base price of this phenomenal machine.
Our particular test day was a cold and choppy one. The empty confines of Lake Havasu gave us some running room to really put the boat through its paces. Cat hulls really like a bit of chop to help accelerate, so running into the wind against chop netted us the best ride. The boat turns predictably, and it planed easily with minimal motor input. The overall fit and finish of Magic boats are above par, so we weren't disappointed by this production-built boat. Magic builds this particular boat with 14 different molds, making quality materials crucial. Our 28-footer was fitted with a polished billet accessory package and three-color gel scheme. Other options included a transom trim switch, aqua ladder, dual batteries, and a spine-tingling JL Audio sound system. This is definitely the kind of boat we can get on board with. With enough room to hold our entire Truckin' staff, you may just be seeing us at a river destination near you.