Normally, I’d save news like this for Friday—you know how much I like to head into the weekend having reported something positive. But this is too good to keep. According to Joe Schaldenbrand, the vice president of sales and marketing for Sunsation Powerboats in Algonac, Mich., the company’s new 36-foot-long Dominator is posting higher pre-production sales than any model in the history of the company.
“We have eight solid orders on the 36—one is finished, three are in production and there are four more confirmed orders behind those,” Schaldenbrand told me late this afternoon. “When we introduced the XRT with the new aircraft-style dash, we sold four of them immediately. That was the best we had done with any new model, and we were ecstatic. With the 36, we’ve doubled that.
“I have all my employees back to work,” he added. “We’re looking at working overtime almost right now. It’s like somebody flipped a switch.”
While Schaldenbrand said the 36’ Dominator performs exceptionally well—it reportedly runs almost 100 mph with a pair of staggered Mercury Racing 525EFI engines, is stable at speed and nimble—he attributes the model’s record-breaking sales to the attention to detail in its construction.
“Every person we’ve sold a 36 to has been blown away by the level of detail,” he said. “We have custom step plates with dealer’s or owner’s name on them, mirrors on the bilge pumps. We’re doing all kinds of things to a level of detail that has raised the bar on the industry.
“We say this a lot around here, ‘It’s very easy to build a boat a boat to 90 percent finished, but it’s the last 10 percent that counts,’” he added. “That last 10 percent takes us as much time as the first 90 percent.”
With staggered twin Mercury Racing 525EFI engines, the 36’ Dominator reportedly runs almost 100 mph. Price for a fully loaded 36-footer with that power package is $299,000.
“The boat is fairly optioned-out at that price,” Schaldenbrand noted.