Don’t be alarmed this June if a bright orange, 26-foot, 700-horsepower beast of a power boat is mingling among the kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders and run-of-the-mill pleasure boats in the harbor during the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony.
It’s just Gig Harbor resident Joe Malich showing off his business’ newest acquisition: the 26 Redline.
Malich, 49, recently purchased the molds, equipment and other assets to manufacture the 26 Redline from Harpersville, Alabama-based RPM Powerboats. The Peninsula High graduate currently owns and operates Boat Shop Northwest, a used boat dealership at 3123 56th St. NW.
After the Great Recession forced Malich to close his Tacoma-based power boat dealership in 2009, the Gig Harbor native vowed to one day return to selling the ability to exceed 100 miles per hour on the water.
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“We were looking to get back into the power boat market,” said Malich, who plans to have the final 26 Redline manufactured in Alabama back in Gig Harbor in a few months. “We wanted to be a dealer.”
Malich recently loaded up two semis and hooked the boat up to his pickup, and drove straight to Southern California from Alabama to show off the orange beauty at the L.A. Boat Show.
“That boat blew away the crowd,” he said of the 26 Redline. “We were the No. 1 guy in the show.”
A lifelong Gig Harbor resident, Malich is currently splitting his time between the harbor and California, where he is in the midst of opening a manufacturing facility. The facility will likely be somewhere near Lake Havasu, he said.
“There is a huge power boat community down there,” Malich said.
The 26 Redline is quite the creation. The 700-horsepower Mercury Racing engine can power the boat to speeds of about 125 miles per hour.
“There is no speed limit on the water,” said Malich, with the delight in his voice that can only come from those who have experienced triple-digit speeds on the water.
While the price for the 26 Redline with the 700-horsepower engine starts at around $250,000, Malich said the company will also offer a $125K model that will easily hit 85 mph.
Malich’s daughter, Gracen, a Gig Harbor High School graduate, is set to graduate with a business degree from Pacific Lutheran University in May, and will be joining his business team this summer.
For more on the boat, visit facebook.com/boatshopnw/.