In certain performance boat circles, Indiana-based powerboat enthusiasts Nick and Christi Evans are pretty well known and have been for several years. Thanks to their remarkable Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats 50-foot catamaran Recovered Money, which is powered by a pair of 1,150-hp H.P. Mafia engines, and the Recovered Money YouTube channel where they promoted a raffle for a 26-foot American Offshore catamaran that they gave away at the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run in June, the couple has become more well known in circles far beyond the Midwest. And all that is about to change in a hurry, especially after next week’s Performance Boat Center-supported Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri.
Indiana’s Nick and Christi Evans are excited about their new 44-foot MTI catamaran, a former Miss GEICO offshore raceboat, and plan to show it off at next week’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Photo courtesy Nick Evans
Nick Evans, who started the YouTube channel at the beginning of this year to document his poker run adventures as well as promote his sunken boat recovery business, recently added a distinguished canopied catamaran to his fleet and plans to have the boat—the former Miss GEICO 113 MTI—on display during the Wednesday evening Shootout on the Strip presented by Waves and Wheels. On Wednesday in the WIA Marine Insurance section of the street party as well as throughout the weekend at Captain Ron’s in Sunrise Beach, the host location of the top-speed competition, Evans and his crew are going to be on hand visiting with friends and fans and selling T-shirts featuring the new MTI and highlighting the Nor-Tech along with the Florida Powerboat Club’s 2022 Key West Poker Run.
Evans said he purchased the 44-foot MTI from Missouri performance boater Jim Darr and is working with the team at H.P. Mafia in Osage Beach, Mo., to install a pair of 598-cubic-inch big-block engines before next week’s event. H.P. Mafia founder Anthony Smith and his son of the same name maintain Evans’ Nor-Tech.
“The MTI has been sitting by my Nor-Tech at H.P. Mafia since last fall so I kept seeing it and Jim and I kept talking about doing a deal,” said Evans, who had Pro DeZigns in Eldon, Mo., design and install a new graphics wrap. “I’d always wanted a canopy boat so I sent him some money a while back and finalized the rest of it a couple of weeks ago. I’m super excited about the boat. It’s so cool. I sat in it for about an hour last weekend just looking it over and thinking about all of its history.
“It’s a little bit of a project boat, but we’re making sure to do all the proper updates to turn it into a proper pleasure boat,” he added. “Ryan Leifheit of Nautical Dek Designs is coming in this week to add custom marine mat and we’re planning to install a 48-volt marine a/c unit that will have its own battery supply. I have a feeling this is boat is going to get the attention we need to help us promote our plans for the next couple of years.”
The crew at Pro DeZigns finished wrapping the former Miss GEICO MTI (inset) with its new graphics last week.
Showing off the boat on Bagnell Dam Boulevard and selling T-shirts featuring the new Recovered Money MTI next week is one thing, but the canopied cat is part of a bigger plan that Evans has for 2023, which he’s calling the Recovered Money Poker Run Experience. Similar to what he did with raffling the American Offshore cat—entries were tied to T-shirt purchases at events and online—Evans is kicking off the concept with the Key West Poker Run Experience in November.
He said one lucky winner and a guest will be flown to Miami on Wednesday, Nov. 9 to stay the night in the Trump Plaza, attend the drivers meeting and have dinner with the team. On Thursday, the team will head to Key West by boat in the Florida Powerboat Club event with a lunch stop at Gilbert’s Resort. After checking in at the Pelican Landing in Key West, the guests will spend Thursday night with VIP access to the Speedonthewater.com Key West Bash.
During the next couple of days, the winners, who will fly home from Key West on Sunday, will attend more parties, watch some of the offshore races and go to Woman Key by boat with the team.
According to Evans, he plans to announce the winner on the evening of October 9. He added that every shirt purchased—or other items as tank tops and hats also are available—equals one entry so if you buy five items you get five chances to win.
And the good news is that you don’t have to be in Missouri next week to enter. Evans has a new website set up where Key West Poker Run Experience giveaway entry items can be purchased. He said the online platform is going to continue to grow as Recovered Money Poker Run Experience items are added for every event his team plans to attend in 2023, all of which will include a winner and a guest. Essentially if you’d like to join the team at a specific event, you’d buy said event apparel to enter that contest.
Check out the slideshow above featuring the Recovered Money team enjoying its time on Lake Havasu during the Desert Storm Poker Run in April. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos
For now, the Recovered Money Poker Run Experience has a dozen events on its tentative schedule for 2023, including four Florida Powerboat Club events—Miami Boat Show Poker Run, Bahamas Poker Run, Emerald Coast Powerboat Poker Run and Key West Poker Run. The team also is planning to attend the Gasparilla Pirate Fest on Florida’s Tampa Bay, the Desert Storm Poker Run in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., the Charleston Harbor Poker Run in South Carolina, the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run in Kentucky, the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Michigan, the Pirates of Lanier Charity Poker Run in Georgia, the Ray Nuchereno Memorial Poker Run in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
“This is a pretty exciting time for our team,” said Evans, who recently added two team sponsors—WIA Marine Insurance and Robinson Marine Finance—and is looking for more. “I knew it was going to take some time to get this rolling and pick up speed, but I can feel it coming. I’m looking forward to announcing our 2024 plans next year, too. I think the feedback will be incredible once people hear what we are planning.”
Thanking veteran powerboat photographer and graphic artist Kevin Johns for his assistance as of late with the Recovered Money brand awareness, Evans reiterated his excitement heading into next week’s Shootout-related events and that anyone interested in following the team can do so via its YouTube channel and other social media accounts.
Editor’s note: Speedonthewater.com plans to continue its coverage of the Recovered Money Poker Run Experience.
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