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Life in the Fast Lane

A young “water rat” turned performance boater, Ron Harrison exemplifies what can happen when you get a taste for speed on the water.

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Cigarette owners Ron Harrison

One of those talks led to a ride in the Cigarette 46 Inspired by AMG unveiled at the 2010 Miami Boat Show, with the first set of Mercury Racing 1350 engines. Harrison was sold on the smooth performance and comfort, and at the 2011 Miami Boat Show, his new 46, the first production boat with the 1350s, made its debut and then hit the Poker Run circuit.

There are lots of stories since then — like a friend’s wedding at the Lake of the Ozarks, when the bride asked Harrison to take her bride’s maids out for a ride. The bride donned a special dress for the occasion, and the girls did a thrilling lake hop before re-joining the rest of the wedding party on a yacht. There’s also a friend from kindergarten that Harrison convinced to take time off from his busy job as a hospital CEO to do a boat trip. Now, it’s an annual reunion. “I like to bring people and introduce them to this,” Harrison notes.

And “this” is a special Cigarette, exemplifying the company tag line, “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen only one!” Harrison is partial to bright colors, so his rainbow paint scheme includes an entire spectrum, along with ghosted Cigarette logos on the hull. A sun pad was important to Lori and the girls, so the engine hatch was made with an extra large one. On the underside of the engine hatch, covering the coveted 1350s, is Harrison’s own addition: a photographic reproduction of the infamous Cigarette ad from 2006, “Founded in ’69 and still on top!”

Harrison also added lighting effects to each of his Focal speakers, an extra cooler and some billet trim that he admired on the Cigarette 39 Top Fish. Customized upholstery became a joint effort by Harrison and Braver, both exotic car fanatics. Harrison chose upholstery to match his Ferrari: a 599 GTB Fiorano. (The style is now one of Cigarette’s options.)

Harrison enjoys being a part of the performance boat community, gathering with friends at his “stomping grounds” at the Lake of the Ozarks, where he has built many friendships around boating. When he arrived at the 2011 Key West Poker Run, it was with a caravan of 13 boats: six from California and six from Lake of the Ozarks. There were miles of smiles from Miami to Key West, where he docked at a private condo he’d rented for his entourage, so they could all enjoy the festivities. Just another week of boating for a man who loves life in the fast lane.

“We cruise at 98 to 102,” he smiles, “that seems to be the ‘sweet spot’ for this boat, and there’s no effort. It’s comfortable and I feel safe. That’s the thing about the ride of a Cigarette. I’ve been in every kind of boat, and I’m a Cigarette guy.”

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