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Ell.a

The Great McCarthy

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Ell.a

Courtesy of Stinger390X

I am a big fan of the Episode “The Great McCarthyâ€. Although it was not one of the best of season one it ranks up there as one of my personal favorites. It also inspired me to get into offshore racing boats as it probably did many of the others I hang out with. They have also told me that this one episode inspired them to go fast on the water. One of my friends here in Niagara actually purchased a Scarab soon after season two aired the boat. He spent a fortune on it after the first year and did both engines over again with high performance parts. You could hear the boat five miles offshore roar by…what a boat! It was dubbed “Champaign Flightâ€

The episode, as you fans know, is based around a race to Bimini and Back, and there is a drug smuggling twist in the mix. The race was ACTUALLY held in the ocean between Haulover Inlet and Government Cut, with some scenes taking place in the intercoastal south of the 125th St Bridge. I understand the shoot was in Oct. 1984 with 3 days of footage shot offshore between Government Cut and Haulover, Nixons mansion and Elliot key. The "dual Cary" shot took place in Caesars Creek, by the Ocean Reef Club.

Apparently Mann spent a lot of time shooting scenes with the boats splashing through the “Chop†and as it was over the three day period, you may notice that some shots are mid afternoon and others late afternoon as the sun is setting on the high rises and then the finish is in daylight again??? Ok I know…its television……………

I have tried to identify all the boats that were used in the episode. This was quite hard as I only got a glimpse of some of them and some had markings that were difficult to identify directly. I can usually tell from hull shape and windshield configurations. I also did some research on the net and found some individuals that actually raced in the episode. I have taken some quotes from postings they have placed on other websites

So far I have found the following boats:

1985 Stinger 390X
1985 Cary 50
"38’ Cigarette, Renegade"
30’ Shadow cat
’Red Ryderâ€, a very rare 38' MSV, has 540 Hawks for engines, #3 drives , One of the first Kevlar boats,
30 Velocity
27 Magnum??
two 34 Scarabs
there was a 30' Sutphen in there as well.
And finally the “Midnight†with the wing.


A gentleman named “Mid Ocean†(I don’t know his real name) from Tallahasse FLA writes:
 

Larry, a good friend of mine, didn’t do a lot of driving for MM productions. OPBRA was first approached by Moby and I to put "a few" boats together for a "small" "private" boat race to Bimini. Larry, because he was detailing boats at Turnberry at the time, knew many of the people who wanted (dreamed) of being on the show.

The biggest star of the ep was a guy named Craig Maudsly who had a 30' Shadow cat at the time. I ended up in a boat called "Bad Company" with Gary Jeffries. The original teleplay called for a "private" race to run to Bimini with the boat switch (originally to be a 44' Tempest) to occur there. Because of permitting problems and the massive amount of boats that showed up for the first production meeting, things changed. John Nicolella, supervising producer, made the call to change the tone of the "race" breaking one of Mann's rules for the show... NO RED! No red boats, cars, etc. Because of this, Nicolella was blamed for "The Great McCarthy" being one of the worst rated of the Miami Vice Ep's.

In the end the 44' Tempest was replaced with a 50' Cary owned by Jimmy Bryant, an Oakland Park, Fl Toyota dealer. The Bimini scenes where shot in Anglefish Creek by Ocean reef with production staging on Elliot Key. The race party was at Nixon's Mansion.

Larry Drove Red Ryder, but the gig didn’t happen because, as it was stated, Larry used to drive alot on Miami Vice. Craig Maudsley was in the 30' Shadow Cat with OPBRA ex pres. Mark Mercury and Larry Goldman was around also... either in Red Ryder (although I think Sonne Miller was driving) or the 38 Cigarette, Renegade. It was a very long time ago.

The only shots of Bad Company where in the opening scenes (featured in the rest of the episodes preambles), and one fleeting shot off Elliot key as all the boats ran around a check buoy.

These quotes from actual persons living who were there, explain a lot. I enjoyed researching this and I hope you get out your season one DVD’s and watch it again.


One thing I did notice…
Unfortunately Offshore doesn’t sell like we think it should. Mann spent 22 million in the MV film on the boating scenes alone and most of them were cut from the theatrical release.(this includes ALL of the racing scenes). I was lucky enough to see the boat race scenes on the big screen when I went to see the movie a couple of years ago. Many didn’t…

People will watch what people can relate to. NASCAR is an easy fit because we all drive cars... the genius behind early stock-car racing was that they put racers behind the wheels of cars that were "stock". People could relate. The average American thinks boating is something you do in freshwater and usually involves worms and a fishing pole. We have a very small and deteriorating audience, except when I attended the Thousand Island Poker Run last year. About ten thousand people showed up to see the boats in Kingston and in Brockville. I am going this year again but this time I am taking “MY VICE†and running the course with the fast boats (I will be in the back with the slower boats unfortunately, as I am old school)

If anyone finds mistakes in my guestimations of the watercrafts please feel free to correct me. Lets chat about it.

Stinger390X…

1985 Stinger 390X

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1985 Cary 50, I understand this had triple gas engines in it during filming.

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38' Cigarette, Renegade

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30' Shadow Cat

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"Red Ryder", a very rare 38' MSV, has 540 Hawks for engines, # 3 drives, One of the first Kevlar boats.

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30 Velocity
27 Magnum??
Two 24 Scarabs

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There was a 30' Sutphen in there as well. And finally the "Midnight" with the wing.

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