When the Batman Boat rolls into town, you don’t have to send the bat-signal to find the Caped Crusader: just follow the crowds.
“Everybody loves it! There can be a $2 million boat sitting right next to us, but fans swarm to the Batman Boat,” Batman Boat Crew Chief Dan Dickman said. “It’s the most photographed boat in the world!”
The boat has $250,000 in custom artwork and fabrication alone. It is some of the most impressive custom work to be found, and you really have to see it to believe it. The comic book marvel (…er, DC) took three-and-a-half years to build, and ended with a $1.2 million final price tag.
The hull of the Batman Boat boasts an air-brushed, muscular Dark Knight spying the bat signal, which summons him to Gotham City as a skyscraper burns. The superhero’s cape spreads out to the back of the boat, ingeniously forming massive back wings that protrude from the stern, giving the illusion that both Batman and the Batman Boat are taking flight.
Mark Morris, with Visual Imagination out of Peculiar, Mo. was the mastermind behind the paint job. He has also worked on the Looney Tunes, Speed Racer, Lamborghini and Ferrari powerboats. For the Batman Boat, his team devoted approximately 1,500 hours on the optical sensation.
The intricate detail depicts fire rolling out of the burning Gotham City building. There are even tiny exit signs on Gotham’s parking garage.
The boat itself was designed by Marine Technologies, Inc. (MTI) out of Wentzville, Mo. MTI controlled the entire project, building everything from the fiberglass and the interior, to the engines. The industrial toned interior has more than $100,000 in custom laser-cut billet graphics.
Just as Bruce Wayne employs an arsenal of specialized, high-tech vehicles and gadgets in his war against crime, owner Eliot Gray and throttleman Shawn Vinson’s imposing weapon of choice is a 2008 44 ft. MTI.
The Catamaran has twin 1,075 supercharged Mercury V8 engines that pump out an incredible 2,150 horsepower. According to Batman Boat mechanic Myrick Coil, the boat has reached top speeds of 156 mph.
The Caped Crusader would be proud to stealthily cruise out of his bat-cave’s underground river exit in such a powerboat, and he would most certainly arrive at his destination in a flash.
Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but the Batman Boat, with Gray at the helm and Vinson at the throttles, flies like a bat out of hell.
To prove it, one only needs to see their short, but incredibly successful, racing career. The dynamic duo took the championship in their division in the 2013 Offshore Super Series Lake Race as well as the 2014 Offshore Powerboat Association Class 2 Championships in St. Clair, Detroit and Port Huron, Mi. They are the 2014 National and World Offshore Powerboat Association Class 2 Champions.
It is well known that Batman has no superpowers, but like him, Gray and Vinson make use of intellect, technology, physical prowess and obsession to strike indomitable fear and intimidation into competitors—Joker, Riddler or otherwise!
Eliot would fit right in with the Justice League: he has a heart of gold. “He loves to give rides to children with incurable diseases,” Dickman explained. He once brought three elderly women into the boat and gave them a 100 mph ride of their lives! Batman Boat t-shirts and trading cards are also a big hit, with all ages.
The Batman Boat’s port of call has always been the Lake of the Ozarks, and Lake fans were ecstatic to see it remain here when it sold to Eliot Gray and his wife Chris. You can often see a parade of fans going by the Grays’ Lake of the Ozarks bat cave (dock) to view the legend.
The Batman Boat’s official United States Coast Guard name is “Here We Go,” named after the famous Batman phrase, and Eliot is known to declare “Here We Go!” whenever the crew takes off, whether it’s on a trip to the store, or down the racetrack.
Fans will be thrilled to know they will get to see the Batman Boat battle rivals once again at the 2015 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, this time with Eliot’s son Ryan at the throttles. Here We Go!