Schillace Debuting Six-Seat MTI 390X Cat Ahead Of Tickfaw 200 Poker Run

Schillace Debuting Six-Seat MTI 390X Cat Ahead Of Tickfaw 200 Poker Run

Now 62 years young, Johnny Schillace has been running boats on the Tickfaw River since he was 18. So it’s safe to say he’s done the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run, which kicks off this week, in Springfield, La., a few times.

The Tickfaw 200 Poker Run never lacks for top-shelf hardware, and this year’s event will be no exception. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

But the Louisiana local has never experienced the event in a new six seat MTI 390X catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 500R outboard engines. He’ll debut the cat tonight during an open party at Wiseguys Daiquiris of Amite.

“We have four seats behind the windshield, two seats behind them and steps leading into the cockpit behind those,” he said. “Mine is actually the second boat to have this seating configuration. My friend Matt Jamniczky has the first one. I worked directly with Tom Stuart at MTI to build this boat, and Shaun Torrente of STR also helped me out with a few things.

The good times will roll again this week in at the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run. Photo courtesy Devin Wozencraft.

“But only the guys at Performance Boat Center at the Lake of the Ozarks will be allowed to work on it,” he added. “I trust them 100 percent.”

Asked to send a picture of his new 39-footer, Schillace politely declined.

“That’s for tomorrow night at Wiseguys,” he said, then laughed. “You have to be there.”

A longtime performance-boat owner with 44 years of experience running on the local rivers and their various offshoots in the Louisiana bayou, Schillace urged participants of the upcoming 2024 event to proceed with caution and adhere to the rules of waterway.

There’s always something cool around the corner at the Tickfaw event.

“Every turn is a blind turn on the river,” he said. “And you never when there will some kids getting pulled on tubes or personal watercraft riders coming down the river into one of those blind turns. So stay on the proper side of the river, slow and watch where you are going because it can very dangerous.

“Run the river like it’s a highway,” he added. “Stay on your side—your right—of the river. “And when you come out of the river or a canal, go straight out and then turn when it’s clear. Don’t cut corners.”

The waterways of the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run are tight and full of blind turns, which makes caution essential.

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