'Black Thunder' Powerboats

Sport Cruisers Boat builders

Company "Black Thunder" - Information/Models

Company Black Thunder - Powerboats founded since the early 80s by Don Jenkins - performance Boats built only for speed, and the cruiser.This Compant is a legend in the industry with unparalled comfort, ride and Luxury cabin headroom close to 7 feet.

Black Thunder Powerboats, most durable and finest designed and produced four distinctive, strictly high-end variations of their twin-step vee-bottom platform 43-foot vee-bottom platform, all of them big, fast and luxurious powerboats.

Boat Building: Black Thunder the following models


460 SC - powered by twin Mercruiser 8.2L 500HP EFI motors,Fuel Type: Gasoline

-LOA: 46ft
-Beam: 9ft-6in
-Horsepower: Twin 8.2L 500HP EFI
-Engine Hours: Under 50
-Hull Material: Fiberglass/Composite
-Fuel Type: Gas
-Fuel: 280 Gallons
-Holding: 15 Gallons
-Water: 25 Gallons

, 460 EC-

Fuel Gas/Petrol Hull Material Fiberglass
Beam 9 ft 5 in Engine Make Mercruiser
Engine Model 525 EFI,Horse Power: 531
Length Overall 46 ft Engine Hours 257
Number of Engines 2

, and 430 GT Model- 13.11m (42'11"); 2 x 500 hp MERCURY motor


tel: 573-348-6900




460 SC Model

430 GT Model

'Black Thunder' Publications and Magazines

Black Thunder

43' SC Triple HP500 EFIS/BRAVO ONE

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Black Thunder Powerboats produces four distinctive, strictly high-end variations of their 43-foot, twin-step vee-bottom platform, all of them big, luxurious and fast.

The Black Thunder

has steadily evolved since the early '80s. Now, when the big boys think about stepping up to goanywhere, rough-water luxury, this hull is on every serious short list. The poker run movement has thrust this offshore behemoth into the recreational forefront. Everyone who owns one raves about its ability to run hard in the rough.


Finally, we were afforded the perfect opportunity to test the Black Thunder's rough-water mettle. (Most of our tests haven't come close.) As we eased it out of the protective breakwater, we noted the prevailing small craft warnings and watched as the chop licked upward, high on the gunnel line. This 12,500-pound boat eased gracefully onto plane, with no bowrise whatsoever, and proceeded to tame the rough like second nature. At low to moderate speeds, the SC rolled across lumpy water with ease, and as we picked up speed, the hull design began to work in earnest. The bottom is simply outstanding at speed in rough water. We screamed through horrible conditions at 60-plus mph without jarring our cargo. Accelerate hard off cruising speeds, and the boat takes a couple of small hops, rears up, takes a set and delivers a spectacular ride. "Truly a pleasure to drive in rough water," wrote performance driver Jim Wilkes, and his mates concurred. The positioning of the seats enables you to drop down below the windshield line, and effectively diminishes wind buffeting. We also thoroughly enjoyed the extra power of the triple setup. The extra motor delivered a much harder kick than the twin setup, especially accelerating through the midrange. We cruised at a very easy-breathing 60 mph at 4,000 rpm. The hull was also highly responsive to trim. Even trimmed out, the boat held the line well, and movement below was minimal. We never physically felt the step-bottom working beneath us. As with any boat in this size class, turning required a substantial amount of water. The radius was shortened by working the throttle on the two inside or outside engines. At high speed, the Black Thunder was a full-on treat to drive. We hammered it continually through extremely rough water at 80plus miles an hour, and only grew more confident in its ability to thrive there. This remarkable machine stopped our Stalker at 86.5 mph.


What's not to like about a boat that feels like the Queen Mary in rough water, a Nascar entry when you bang the throttles and a high roller's suite when you go below? Those who step up to the plate—and at more than 300 grand, it's a big step-are living large while in the company of the Black Thunder. There's a lot of meat behind all the gravy: the rigging is tight and meticulous, the finish work is thorough and the hull is sound.


Lake of the Poker

Run Ozarks

travel & adventure

-full text below, or click on images

by Brett Bayne


The folks at Performance Productions know a special place when they see it. Lake of the Ozarks is one of those venues that refuses to be categorized—it's a sprawling, one-of-a-kind hot spot that each summer transforms into a stage befitting a liquid procession of the nastiest, tastiest, meanest, coolest, and most over-the-top perfor- mance boats on the planet, particularly on a very well-known expanse of water situated between mile markers 7 and 28.

In what has become a tradition over the past few years, Performance Productions has staged its Wild Card Poker Run on these waters, having been lured back by the dynamo of frenetic poker players, outrageous rigs, fun venues and friendly, hospitable locals. The region's torrid performance boating season was in full swing this past June, when the Wild Card team—accompanied by Hot Boat Magazinedescended upon the lake for another successful event, which drew nearly 80 boats and hundreds of participants anteing up for a chance to win a shot at the jackpot or any number of other prizes. As always, the event is staged to assist charity, in this case the local YMCA. And true to tradition, a great number of sponsors donated goods and services toward those efforts. Because the lake is absolutely littered with accommodations, participants were given a choice of 14 different poker-run stops. At each of these stops, at least one YMCA member was waiting to stamp each player's master card (to be exchanged for playing cards later on). At stake was a grand prize of $5,000 in cash, as well as a literal truckload of other awards and prizes. The poker stops included: • The Horny Toad (home base) • The Salty Dog • Backwater Jack's • Bayou Bill's • Captain's Gallery • Big Dick's Halfway Inn • Docknockers • The Big Easy • Dorsey's Pit Stop • Mariner Pier Stop • The Fish & Company • Franky and Louie's • Big Thunder Marine • Kelly's Port The water was choppy on Saturday, June 19, but skies were clear and the entire fleet was rarin' to go. Following a morning driver's meeting at[...]

Boat test:

Lake of the Hot Boat 2004


Hot Boat makes a return visit to Lake of the Ozarks, and puts some bigmotor lake rigs to the test,

by Mike Finnegan


Welcome to another highspeed edition of Hot Boat's performance evaluations direct from Lake of the Ozarks. This time we put out the call to boat builders residing east of Texas and wound up with boats hailing from Missouri, Florida, and North Carolina. High performance players from Spectre, Donzi, Fountain, Black Thunder and Sunsation arrived in style with hulls ranging from 32 to 46 feet long. Every single one of our test boats was propelled by MerCruiser powerplants and drives, once again demonstrating the ominous presence the company has on the industry.

Industry giants



Black Thunder

brought out the largest craft for us to test, while Donzi and Spectre served up 38- and 36-foot craft, respectively. Fountain's 42-foot Executioner ran a solid 80 mph behind a staggered pair of 525 EFI engines and had our team remarking how the boat handled like a much smaller craft. Black Thunder gave a repeat performance and once again showed off not only the performance potential of the 460EC, but also the userfriendly interior layout.

This was a boat that had our team lobbing accolades at it all day long. One of the more interesting entries of the evaluations came from Sunsation. We normally receive larger craft from the companies' extensive lineup, but time around, we were in of the 32 Mid Cabin Open. This 32 packed a pair of 6.2L MPI small blocks that provided a ton of punch out of the hole and great efficiency once the boat was in cruise mode. It was a nimble package that is sure to please those of you in the market for a midsized cruiser.

Spectre provided the only dedicated poker run hot boat for us to test. The 36-foot shark was a rough-water killer and invariably had us dreaming of smashing SBI and APBA records while behind the wheel and hammering the throttles.

With a pair of supercharged big blocks behind us, we reached cheek-flapping speeds and topped out at over 113 mph. This round of evaluations should provide a glimpse of nearly every type and level of high performance offshore cruiser that the industry has to offer. We've checked the hardware and compiled the stats, now it's your turn to drool.

news&notes -

seat time Black Thunder 46' sport Cruiser

A Tall Task The short and tall of Black Thunder Powerboats' new 46 Sport Cruiser.

For those of us who've shopped at a big and tall store or smacked their head on a doorjamb, it's refreshing to know there's a boat builder looking out for us tall guys. Black Thunder Powerboats' new 46' Sport Cruiser offers a cabin with an unreal 6-foot, 10-inches of headroom. All but one of the Los Angeles Lakers players could stand comfortably in the cabin. Sorry Shaq, but you are larger than life.

It's these kind of amenities that make the Black Thunder an appealing offshore boat whether it's an afternoon excursion or an overnight trip. For the $333,150 base price, Black Thunder's powerboat is equipped with twin Mercury HP575SCs with XR drives. The company reports the boat has a top speed of 82 mph with the base engines. The stepped-bottom V hull weighs nearly 13,000 pounds and is built to handle in the roughest of water conditions. The 46'-long, 9'6"-wide Sport Cruiser is as big as some condominiums. The extended cockpit offers five bolsters with a full bench seat in the rear. An acrylic windshield knocks down the wind and spray for the driver and co-pilot. Inside the spacious cockpit are neatly arranged gauges and standard Gaffrig controls. (Gaffrig gauges are an additional $1,500.) K-planes are standard, as are lights for the cockpit and engine.

Buyers can add Marine Machine for increased control for $7,650. Black Thunder also includes a swim ladder. Drop-in carpet in the cockpit makes for easy cleaning after all the swimmers come aboard. A canvas cockpit cover helps for storage. But the luxurious cabin is the biggest selling point for the Sport Cruisen Besides offering ample headroom, it's spacious for overnight stays. The cabin includes leather sofas, wood cabinets, a sink, a full head with a shower and an electrically-pressurized water system. An entertainment center offers a remote CD player (a 10-disc changer costs $425) and a TV/VCR. Though Black Thunder's Sport Cruiser has a lot of appeal for tall folks, anyone who loves offshore boating, might want to give this one a ride. For more information: Black Thunder Powerboats, 2244 Warren Barrett Drive, Hannibal, MO 63401, 573-221-3311, or visit the website at www.blackthunder.com.—GM



Three on three fast break

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Hot Boat | MAY 2002


The Miami Boat Show offers a unique wrinkle of accessibility to the many muscleboats that vie for the world's spotlight during this traditional introductory event. It is possible, if you're convincing enough and have demonstrated sufficient intent and resources to take your purchase to a serious level, to shift the comparative playing field to the adjacent water of Biscayne Bay.

We gathered three of powerboating's most accomplished step-bottom offshore boats in a show of force that made an impressive statement as to sport boating's state of the art.

We have made a tradition of embracing the hands-on spirit of this annual event by extending an invitation for a post-show encore to a smattering of the show's hottest and most interesting rides, which offer an annual culture check of the offshore, recreational-powerboating realm. We split this cast of six evenly between Cats and vee-bottoms and trained our focus on the upper end of the performance spectrum. Each of these machines is representative of front-line or emerging technology that is, or will, play a key role in driving recreational powerboating. We gathered three of powerboating's most accomplished step-bottom offshore boats in a show of force that made an impressive statement as to sport boating's state of the art. Black Thunder, the outrageously equipped and stratospherically priced pride of Hannibal, Missouri, showed off their low-slung 430GT, which picked at 90 miles an hour behind triple HP500EFI engines. Thunderbird's more conventionally directed twinengine Formula 382 Fas3Tech provided current reinforcement of this outfit's notoriously accessible performance, which ran in the upper-70s behind side-by-side HP500EFI power. For innovation, Fountain's 42- foot Lightning, a two-year project that has emerged with transplanted Yanmar 420 diesels and Arneson surface drives, with primary assistance of Twin Disc, a multinational company out to augment its $220 million a year military and industrial marine business with a slice of the performance market. After considerable development of the drive train, which focused on improving the diesel's initial throttle response and making it less offensive to our environmental senses, the 42-foot Lightning test bed has emerged an 80-mile-anhour warrior with acceptable planing capabilities and dramatic midrange pull. Our Cat-call went out to three hulls with proven, extreme-speed battle skills, and each of our airtrappers rose to the occasion, unfurling speed exhibitions at better than 100 miles an hour. American Offshore introduced us to double-edged demonstration of their factory talents, with a highly polished 2600 NSX installation and a smoothly matched blown and carbureted 650-horse Merlin 502. The Superchiller B&M setup filtered through one of Bob Teague's 1.36 XZ Platinum Series drive upgrades, which offered reassurance as we continually launched and loaded off nasty water that prevailed throughout our proceedings. We moved up two size classes with Motion's 30-foot Poker Run edition and Spectre's astounding 36-foot Poker Runner, both of which are based on designs that earned national and world championships in the offshore racing ranks. The Motion made commotion with Mercury 2.5 EFI outboards times three, building a combined 825 horsepower at the prop. Spectre drew on MerCruiser's spectacular new blown, injected 575SCis, a combined 1,100 horsepower that was delivered with the smooth driveability of a passenger car. The Spectre, one of the widest Cats built today at 122 inches, cruised at 87 miles an hour at 4,000 rpm and pegged a couple of 105-mph passes in the face of farcical conditions. For those of you who missed them dockside at the Miami Biscayne Bay Marriott, or in the aisles, the following firsthand reports offer a closer look at some of the best of show.

Big Fun

With twin Mercury Racing HP700 SCi NXT-1s, the Black Thunder 460 EC is a 90-mph boat that is large and in-charge.

source:Hot Boat- AUGUST 2008 • WWW.HOTBOAT.COM

The first impression most people will have of the Black Thunder 460 EC powered by twin Mercury Racing HP700 SCi NXT-ls .is, "Wow, it runs 90 mph on only 1,400 hp?" Make no mistake, that's an astounding top speed for a 46' boat and relatively ta-ne power; it's a credit to the boat's bottom design and construction. But there's another big benefit that comes as a direct result of the twin 700-hp engines; the price.

The lower-output motors provide dramatic savings over the next engine up in Mercury Racing's model tine, the HP850 SCi, because the 850 is paired with the more expensive DrySump Six Drive. For the extra power, you'd need to pony up another hundred grand, minimum. The 700s put this 90-mph, 46' boat within reach of a much broader audience. Our test model combines the best of all worlds for a person who loves to do some serious offshore running. It's got outstanding freeboard enveloping a cockpit that's large enough to accommodate four bolsters and an aft bench seat without feeling claustrophobic. All that freeboard translates into a spacious cabin that you'd feel more than comfortable weekending in. And it's equipped better than most hotels you'd stop at, so you save even more money.

port and a SmartCraft SystemView panel directly ahead of the driver.

Black Thunder was aware that placing the Garmin GPSMap 3006C off to the side would make it harderto see, so the manufacturer molded a vertical pod to make it easier to check your course heading. Livorsi Marine gauges surround the SystemView with speedometers and tachometer up top and the balance of the instruments basically in a square around the outside of the dash panel. Water temperature and oil pressure monitors are grouped by engine on each side with those for volts and fuel, plus a depth sounder, down low. The use of a dark-colored panel to house the gauges and accessory switches is a smart move to cut down on glare. Controls are separated in the traditional way with shifts to port of the wheel and throttles to starboard. Just ahead are separate trim switches for the drives and tabs, and the mechanical trim indicators occupy a perfect sightline. For the size of the boat, the optional Vetus Bow Thruster that was on our test model could be a worthwhile addon if you're docking skills are rusty. When we slid open the manual cabin hatch, we were instantly awestruck by the height of the belowdecks area. We measured it at more than 6'. In a slight departure from typical layouts, the galley was aft to starboard (usually the head is in this area to provide easier access to the helm rigging). On the aft bulkhead, the main distribution panel housed all the AC and DC circuit breakers in a panel that was easy to reach from the cockpit. Just ahead, the galley had everything needed to whip-up lunch or a quick breakfast, including a microwave, sink, and refrigerator. A flat screen TV is set in a panel at eye level, and there were numerous lockers for stashing snacks and other sundries. The fully molded private head had plenty of room for an adult with the toilet positioned for comfortable use and a sink with a pull-up faucet so an adult could shower without hunching over. Men and women of above-average height can relax on the lounges, which have four lockers above foroutstandingstowagecapacity. Forward, instead of just a plain, old, V-shaped mattress that conforms to the boat's shape, the 460 EC has a queensized island berth with a privacy curtain. As one of our inspectors commented, "It's the ultimate marine camper." True, except how many campers do you know of that you'd want to run 90 mph in? The 460 EC is smart in more ways than one.


Test conditions: Calm Centeriine: 46' Beam: 9'6" Bottom: Twin-stepped V-bottom Deadrise: 23-degrees Drivetrain: Twin Mercury Racing HP700SCi NXT-1 HP @ prop: 1,400 Overall weight: 12,500 lbs Base price: $494,000

Standard features: 20" flat screen TV w/DVD and remote, AM/FM/CD stereo w/speakers, battery chargers, hydraulic engine hatch lift, Mercury Racing K-Planes, Marine Machine hydraulic steering, engine compartment mirror, custom engraved and colored battery boxes, dry-cell batteries, kick-out breakers, automatic fire extinguishing system, engine compartment lighting, canvas cockpit cover, drop-in carpet, Livorsi Marine instrumentation and controls, handheld fire extinguishers, cable TV hookups, Azimuth digital compass, 30-amp shore power, stainless-steel pop-up cleats, bilge pumps, bilge blowers, navigation lights. Options on test boat: Electric flush head w/holding tank and macerator ($2,950), Cruisair air conditioning w/reverse cycle heating ($4,450), Westerbeke 5kW generator w/remote start ($8,830), 10-disc CD changer ($480), hot-water system ($1,500), sea-strainers ($1,500), freshwater flushouts ($690), stereo upgrade ($2,930), Garmin 3006C GPSMap ($2,865), Vetus Bow Thruster ($10,600), VHF Marine radio ($450). Price as tested: $531,095 Tested top speed: 90.1 mph at 5400 rpm Black Thunder Powerboats Inc. 2244 Warren Barrett Drive Hannibal, MO 63401 (573) 221-3311 www.blackthunderpower.com

Black Thunder

The Company has built a loyal following - while delivering a single 46' product -

One Customer at a Time...


MISSOURI | After seeing more and more Black Thunders around the country, the Extreme Team decided to take a visit to the Black Thunder factory. It's in the middle of the country you know - Hannibal, Missouri in fact - a place best known as the childhood home of Mark Twain. It's right on the Mississippi River. Hannibal is a very small town, less than 20,000 people. It's a place where the buildings date back hundreds of years - and all of the locals know each other... It's a place where you would never expect to find 46 foot Extreme boats!

The Black Thunder Team The company builcfs an impressive 46'product, with an amazing 6' 10" of head room in the cabin - one boat at a time!

EXTREME Black Thunder

HANNIBAL, MISSOURI | Black Thunder Powerboats was founded in 1987 to fill the void left between the traditional powerboat, built only for speed and the cruiser, which offered luxury but little in the way of performance. They offer performance and luxury in one package. Black Thunder is one of the few true custom boat builders still in operation. You would not own a house that was like everyone else's in your neighborhood, why own a boat that is exactly like the rest of your dockmates? The purchase of a Black Thunder eliminates that concern by allowing you to customize your boat to your individual taste. Mcleod interior colors, carpet colors, dash colors as well as your graphics are personalized exclusively to your distinguished taste. No two Black Thunders are alike, your boat is as original as your ideas. Black Thunder hand lays their components using only the finest materials available in the market today. Baltek AL600 is used to core the entire boat and both bi- and tri- directional glass to give you peace of mind in any seas you may encounter.

Unitized construction is further enhanced by through bolting the hull and deck every 6 inches, and the joints are then layered for four layers of glass. 2001 Black Thunder introduced the 460 Sport Cruiser. This Black Thunder features an unparalleled 6' 10" of headroom in the cabin, a 9' 6" beam and the ability to run in excess of 70 MPH using stock Mercruiser power in a twin setup. The new 460 has truly set the standard with an amazing 6' all the way forward as you enter the berth. The Sport Cruiser continues Black Thunder's tradition of innovative design, by offering an array of seating combinations in the cockpit. This includes an unprecedented five standup McLeod bolsters as well as a glove box and a full bench seat with storage space underneath. The spacious cabin will astound anyone who has ever been stooped over in the cabin of a boat. The 6' 10" of headroom as you enter and 6' at the entrance to the berth makes bending over a thing of the past. The luxuries found standard in this cabin will satisfy even the most discriminating of tastes.

Ultra Leather sofas, rich burled woodwork in the custom made cabinets, plenty of closet space as well as storage under the couches, v-bert and beds, beautiful vanity area with cabinet and 1 lOv plug-in, medicine cabinet, and the elegant entertainment center with a 20" HD TV including a DVD player and Sony compatible ipod adaptor are just a few of the many features of this incredible cabin. The new 460 offers two cockpit variations. The extended cockpit version has an additional 31 inches to accommodate a second row of standup bolsters, which allows for a total of five standup bolsters.

Black Thunder is the only offshore performance boat to offer this much room in the cockpit, with space for ten crew members to ride in comfort. The 9'6" beam gives ample room for the double bolster behind the helm complimented by a third bolster portside, all this while still leaving a 13" aisle.

The original cockpit affords room for a triple engine application or simply more space when needed. The custom dash includes Livorsi gauges and colored angled bezels allowing the buyer to incorporate the custom paint into the interior color scheme with their own personal flair. We spoke with Steve David, Hydroplane racer for the O-Boy! Oberto Team, who is also an un-official boat tester for Black Thunder.

Steve, how long have you known Bob Jenkins at Black Thunder? Steve : I purchased a 43' Black Thunder in 1999 with Triple 500's. I put some Whipples in and then it was Triple 700's. I've enjoyed working with them ever since.

And you help out with the testing? Steve : I do. If they have a new arrangement with drives, # 6 drives or the NXT setup, I'll work with them to find the right setup and X-dimension. They do a lot of testing in the Mississippi River and I help them out in Miami.

Will you be at the Miami Boat Show this year? Steve : Yes, I'll be at their on-the-water display, driving for them. I always enjoy doing that.

Do you attend the Black Thunder Regatta? Steve : I have. If I don't bring my own boat, I'll attend and help others get setup and prepared for the trip down to Key West.

So you enjoy working with them? Steve : Yes, It's a family owned business. They have always delivered what they say they will. They are nice guys and I enjoy working with them.

So if you make it to the Miami Boat Show, stop by the on-the-water display and take a ride on the Black Thunder (and maybe get an autograph from Steve David!)