No Fun Run? No problem

Not all boats boasted speed alone, as this intricately designed power boat demonstrated at the Fun Run last year. - Photos courtesy of
Not all boats boasted speed alone, as this intricately designed power boat demonstrated at the Fun Run last year.
— image credit: Photos courtesy of

While there may not be a Fun Run this year, a new door has opened to power boaters throughout the county and region.

This year, most of those same boaters will bring their high-powered, high-speed machines to the Bremerton Marina on Saturday, July 30 for the Puget Sound Performance Boat Rendezvous.

The former Fun Run, which ran in Puget Sound around Bainbridge Island, simply got to be to expensive to insure, Rendezvous organizer and power boat fanatic Caleb Reese said.

“The insurance for the event got to be too expensive,” Reese said. “It was about $12,000 to insure an event like that for just a couple of hours. It was just something where with the money we have available, it wasn’t feasible.”

The Fun Run, which had been running since 1986, started out as a group of friends just looking to have fun with their boats in the summer sunshine.

Originally, the race took place in front of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. It then moved inside Dyes Inlet. Reese said Fun Run organizers went to Whaling Days officials to see about incorporating the event into the annual festival. When Whaling Days representatives weren’t interested, Reese said the race moved to its Bainbridge locale.

“The Fun Run originated as a bunch of friends,” Reese said. “More people showed up and it just got really big.”

In fact, last year, the event took on close to 60 boats. Reese said he expects that while some people will likely do the Fun Run route anyway, the Rendezvous should have as large a crowd.

“As far as I’m concerned, I can’t have anything to do with (the Fun Run) because of liability,” he said. “We should have close to that many boats in the Rendezvous. We told everybody that’s been in it in the past.”

The Puget Sound Performance Boat Rendezvous, sponsored by Signature Auto Sales and Powerboats Northwest, will begin taking registrations from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Marina. Festivities will include door prizes, a stereo contest, awards and trophies for winners.

Reese said the day is loaded with festivities, which should help people get over missing the Fun Run.

“Oh yeah, a lot of people will miss the Fun Run,” he said. “But its the same people coming, the same boats will show up here. It’s a bunch of friends that we’ve met and hopefully more will show up. It’s like a car show.”

In fact, the loss of the Fun Run directly led Reese to spearhead efforts to begin the Puget Sound Performance Boat Rendezvous, he said.

“It feels pretty good,” Reese said. “We had a lot of people disappointed that the fun run wasn’t happening. We still wanted to do something.”

In terms of the machines themselves, Reese said the day will feature a boat capable of reaching speeds upwards of 130-plus mph. Reese’s own Spectre Cat, a 30-footer, tops at 107 mph.

“We’ve got at least one boat that will run in the 130-plus mph range,” Reese said. “There may be more. There’s quite a few Fountains coming from 29 to 42 feet.

“We’ll have anything from 18-feet, but over 100 mph, to a 42-footer over 130 mph.”

And while the speed is the main draw for the event (“It feels great,” Reese said of the 100-plus mph speeds), Reese said the social aspect provides another strong reason to attend.

“I’ve done a lot of boating,” Reese said. “It’s just been so much fun to be around all these people you meet over the years.”

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