I had seen a Pershing 80 in Europe, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to test the first one brought into America. It was calm offshore on test day, not great for pushing the seakeeping capabilities of the deep-V hull on which the Pershing rides, but perfect for checking the limits of speed and maneuverability. Frankly, in addition to the normal test maneuvers — S-turns, crash stops, back-downs and such — we spent some time, and a few extra gallons of fuel, just having a bit of absolutely great fun, and isn't that what a boat like this is for? She did not disappoint, displaying the frisky capabilities of a smaller sport boat while offering the smooth, solid-as-rails ride of a big yacht. She blasted onto plane and accelerated with little trim as she passed 30, 40, then 45 knots. As I throttled back, she remained on plane down to 16 knots, just about half of her comfortable cruising speed of 30 knots, and did it all so quietly that we could converse without raising our voices. There was little hint in either noise or vibration that nearly 5,000 horses resided under her afterdeck.