Florida Powerboat Club charters new course with Project Superhawk

Heading to the water today for the first time since being completely updated, a 1998 Sunseeker Superhawk will be the Florida Powerboat Club’s first charter boat. The 48-footer will be available to club members for all events except Orange Beach, Ala., and Destin, Fla. Comprising a captain and steward, the sleek tender – no longer in the Sunseeker range – can accommodate six passengers. It will also be offered for non-event charters.

For Stu Jones, the president of the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based outfit, the project is a byproduct of the observation he’s made in nearly 30 years of producing fast sailing events. Not everyone at the club, Jones said, agrees on what constitutes “a fun day of boating,” and that gave him an idea.

With a refurbished Sunseeker 48 Superhawk, the Florida Powerboat Club now offers a poker rental option.

“So many times over the years I’ve seen the guys enjoy a windy 100mph adrenaline rush while the ladies would rather ride 45mph and sip cold drinks,” he explained. “The Sunseeker Superhawk was the perfect answer to this dilemma, giving families and budding poker enthusiasts the chance to keep up with the pack, albeit in a more civilized setting, with a comfortable air-conditioned cabin, full bathroom and plenty of lounge seats.

“And for those who still want plenty of wind and sun, the deckchairs on the engine hatch and the foredeck are very comfortable,” he added.

After an extensive search, Jones found the boat he wanted in Michigan. The 48ft was owned by fast boating enthusiast and club member John Frohlich, who also owns a 47ft Apache V-bottom and a 46ft Skater Powerboats catamaran. Given the owner’s penchant for speed on the water, the Sunseeker was not used much during Michigan’s short boating season. The boat spent most of its time in air-conditioned storage and as such had logged 500 hours of operation on its three MerCruiser 502 EFI engines over its 20-year lifespan.

Although the 48ft was in very good condition for a 24 year old boat, there were many updates needed to make it suitable for charters.

Jones purchased the boat with longtime friends Tony and Mona Mondazze in July 2021. Once active in the club, the Mondazzes owned several Cigarette Racing Team sports boats, including the famous american muscle 46 feet before leaving the fast boating scene to raise their family.

“After being retired from the boating scene for over a decade, they have shown a renewed interest in powerboating,” Jones said. “Their four daughters have transitioned into adulthood, which has given them more free time. This partnership with Sunseeker was the ideal project for them, as we are all good friends and appreciated that I took on the entire task of buying, refitting, storing and managing the boat. All they have to do is show up, use the boat, and park it at the Jones Residence in Pompano Beach.

For more Project Superhawk footage, check out the slideshow above.

Chip Miller of Miller Marina in St. Clair Shores, Michigan prepared the boat for delivery to South Florida and it arrived a few months after the sale. Then, renovations began in earnest at Unique Custom Marine Vault in Pompano Beach. The Unique team handled much of the scope of the project, including hull finishing, helm refitting and the installation of new Livorsi Marine hydraulic flaps and gauges, new LED navigation lighting and more. EC RUFF Marine installed a new bow thruster and replaced the boat’s anchor windlass system. Boat Wraps handled the new graphics package.

Other vendors included Howard Marine Services, SCI-Superior Communications, Marine Customs, T/K Marine Canvas, Marine Canvas America and Audio Design Solutions.

Jones will maintain the Superhawk project on a 40,000-pound capacity hydraulic lift installed behind his waterfront home by Patriot Marine Contracting. It will be available for poker run charters and day charters – all with a licensed captain – by the end of the month.

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