Skip to main content

Cigarette Racing Sold


High-performance stalwart Cigarette Racing has been acquired in a deal brokered by investment firm Lionheart Capital and entrepreneur John H. Ruiz.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company celebrated 50 years of offshore racing with the launch of the 59-foot Tirranna in 2019.

The company celebrated 50 years of offshore racing with the launch of the 59-foot Tirranna in 2019.

Founded in 1969 by world champion offshore racer and builder Don Aronow, the company has been owned by Skip Braver since 2002. Braver oversaw the brand’s transformation, inking deals with Mercedes AMG and Ducati motorcycles that expanded the customer base beyond the go-fast, poker run crowd.

“After 20 years of building the Cigarette product line and brand, I look forward to seeing Ophir and John's vision for the company become a reality,” said Braver in a statement. “Lionheart Capital and John H. Ruiz share my commitment to quality and performance, as well as my passion for Cigarette's brand, and I’m confident in their ability to take the company to even greater heights based on their own successful ventures, resources and business knowledge."


Lionheart founder and CEO Ophir Sternberg said that new ownership is confident that the brand can continue to grow.

“[We] look forward to taking the company into its next chapter where we build upon the legacy of the brand and create significant value in the future through powerful partnerships and unique collaborations, production amplification and increased distribution channels," said Sternberg.

Co-owner Ruiz — who has owned several Cigarette Racing vessels — looks to take the company into new directions by continuing to match the high-performance boats with the latest innovative materials and safety features.

“Cigarette Racing is such an iconic American name in the world of boating, that it is truly an honor to be a part of the continuation of its legacy that's been going strong for over 50 years,” Ruiz said. “I believe that the brand is on the verge of a new wave of acceleration. [We] look forward to taking it into unchartered waters.” The company celebrated 50 years of offshore racing with the launch of the 59-foot Tirranna in 2019.



MMTA Sets Date for Conference

The educational Business of Boating Conference will be held in Foxboro, Mass., with in-person and remote attendance options.


AkzoNobel Nominates Board Member

Ben Noteboom is expected to be elected chair to succeed the retiring Nils Andersen.


Neptune Awards Adds Category

“Boat Show Marketing” will recognize promotional efforts for shows, and entries will be accepted until Dec. 18.


Sailing Convention for Women Returns

Postponed during Covid, the event will include on-water training, networking opportunities and workshops.


MBIA Names Board Members

The Michigan Boating Industries Association elected four new directors and named the officers who will serve next year. Also, the 2023 schedule for “Ladies Let’s Go Fishing!” is taking shape.


CL Yachts Expands Dealer Network

The Hong Kong-based builder added retail locations in Australia, Dubai, Singapore and Macau.


Legend Boats Partners With Boat Fix

The Canadian builder will offer the telematics system, which provides tracking, monitoring and 24-7 service, on new models starting next year.


MarineMax Establishes Technology Division

The company’s Boatyard and Boatzon units will operate under the new entity, New Wave Innovations.


Suntex Purchases New Jersey Facility

Green Cove Marina in Brick is the company’s latest acquisition on the Jersey Shore, joining Channel Club Marina and Key Harbor Marina.