While new-catamaran orders have picked up considerably at Douglas Marine/Skater in the past few month, the Douglas, Mich., builder’s refurbishment business had remained steady throughout the recession of the past three years, according to company principal Peter Hledin.
“We call it ‘Skater Rehab,” Hledin said, then laughed. “We’re the Betty Ford Center for Skaters.
“You know, some of our 40s and 46s are coming up on 20 years old now,” he continued. “So we have a lot of rehab and restoration project business. The reason we’ve stayed busy is because we don’t turn down any work.”
In other Skater news, Hledin said that the much-anticipated Skater 388 with twin 1,700-hp turbocharged engines from Sterling Performance is “seven to ten days” from on-water testing. All that remains is the installation of the catamaran’s custom tailpipes from CMI.
“The configuration of the Sterling turbocharged engines is different than ‘normal’ engines, so we had order custom tailpipes to avoid having to cut through the transom,” Hledin explained.