Kirsten And 39-Foot Turbo Catamaran To Ride Again At Boyne Thunder Poker Run

Kirsten And 39-Foot Turbo Catamaran To Ride Again At Boyne Thunder Poker Run

A well-known figure in the performance boating community, Michigan’s Burton Kirsten has been recovering from spinal surgery—performed by Dr. Michael Janssen in Colorado—since May. That’s a long time off the water for any hardcore go-fast boating fan.

But for Kirsten it’s been an eternity.

One of the coolest couples in the go-fast boating community, Burton and Yvette Kirsten will be back on the water in Turbo next week at the Boyne Thunder Poker Run. Photos from Key West, Fla., November 2023, by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

Now he’s ready to get back in the cockpit of his MTI 390XR catamaran dubbed Turbo, and he’ll do exactly that next week with his wife, Yvette, during the 21st annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Northern Michigan.

“I feel great,” Kirsten said. “Doc Janssen is the man.”

Like its owner, Turbo required some surgery of its own after it struck a submerged hazard during the 2023 Boyne Thunder Poker Run. Repairing the damage to the canopied 39-footer’s hull took the Wentzville, Mo., catamaran and center-console builder eight months.

Naturally, Kirsten saw it as an upgrade opportunity for the cat. So he had MTI swap its original Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines for a pair of 500Rs.

“They did a great job,” he said. “They even sent Conner from MTI to my facility in Michigan to install a seat-motor that was back-ordered.”

During hull repairs, Kirsten had his MTI 390XR cat repowered with Mercury Racing 500R outboard engines.

The Boyne Thunder Poker Run has no bigger fan than Kirsten, which makes this year’s happening a special comeback event for the soft-spoken gentleman and his wife.

“I haven’t missed one 10 years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to next week.”

A longtime friend of the couple, Adam Seraphine of Minnesota will run his own MTI 390XR cat—Kirsten and Seraphine ordered them together through Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo.—in Boyne Thunder next week.

“It’s going to be great to get Burton back out on the water,” he said, then laughed. “You know how cranky he gets when he’s not able to go boating.”

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