Chris Mills, the talented, humble, low-key owner of Boat Customs, in Caledonia, Mich., seemed rather relaxed during a conversation earlier this week. That was a welcome change being that the respected designer and painter had been running fairly ragged the last couple of years with a revolving door of extensive, seemingly never-ending projects.
But thanks to wrapping up several boats throughout the summer, including a few one-of-a-kind Skater Powerboats catamarans and a radical Fountain/Skater V-bottom conversion, and taking a hard look at the company’s overall business philosophy, the stress level appears to have dropped around Boat Customs’ 12,000-square-foot facility.
“We’ve been working our hearts out, often putting in 100-hour work weeks, which is no fun at all,” Mills explained. “We realized though that the rigging and other things that weren’t our specialty were more of a distraction and a time-suck so we’re pulling back some to focus on what we do best—making boats look incredible.”
Mills added that the company’s concentration is going to be on paint, glass work and wraparound windshield conversions, a skill set his team has perfected by working closely with Lee Aerospace, which supplies windshield for Skaters and other boat brands.
For some that news may come as a disappointment, especially for those folks who were enamored with 1 More, Dan and Lisa Sherman’s 46-foot Skater that was on display over the summer at the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Michigan and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and Super Cat Fest in Missouri. Powered by 1,000-plus-hp Sterling Performance Engines, the custom 46-footer, which was originally built with turbine engines and quarter-canopy-style windscreens and took the better part of two years to complete, was loaded with in-house constructed components from the billet dash panels and controls to retooled engine scoops and rear seats.
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