After an outstanding few days boating for the first time on Lake Havasu, the Colorado River-fed lake that borders Arizona and California, during last week’s Super Cat Fest West, New Jersey performance boater Michael Ciasulli is all set to do it again in his brand new Skater Powerboats 438 catamaran starting with today’s Desert Storm Poker Run Street Party on McCulloch Boulevard.
Michael and Elena Ciasulli had a full crew in their new Skater Powerboats 438 catamaran during last week’s Super Cat Fest West in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Photo by Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images
For those unfortunate folks not in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., this week to see Ciasulli’s gorgeous new 43-footer powered by twin dual-calibration Mercury Racing 1350/1100 engines in person, here’s a closer look at the radical machine that was hauled from the Michigan-based boat builder’s facility by Outlaw Boat Transport’s Jeff Murray on a Skater-built triple-axle tilt trailer that tilts the boat almost straight up and down, at an 88-degree-angle to be exact.
Thanks to the innovative trailer, the dazzling 100-percent-Alcantara interior handled by the team at Appearance Products and the exceptional paintjob that was a collaborative design between Ciasulli, Boat Customs’ Chris Mills and Skater’s topnotch painter, Steve Schulte, who applied the graphics in-house, the 438 is sure to be one of the standout catamarans on display at today’s Street Party and on the lake during Friday’s poker run.
Ciasulli, who used to own a stunning 38-foot Skater with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines, said he’s looking forward to running around the lake for a few more days before hauling the boat back east for the summer season.
“The first time I drove the boat was at Super Cat Fest West—it was pretty cool to run it up and down the Colorado River,” Ciasulli said. “I mean you couldn’t ask for a prettier place to take delivery of a boat. One of the days was pretty windy, but the 438 handled it like a champ. I don’t do a lot of lake boating; in fact, I really only boat on rivers, bays and oceans, but it was still fun.
“It’s hard to compare the 438 with the 388 because I never drove my 388 on a lake,” he continued. “It feels a little different, maybe a little less nimble, if that’s the right word for it. I can imagine in big water it’s going to be really good. The 438 is a 388 on steroids—all of its dimensions are increased by 10 percent. The 438 has a lot of the same handling characteristics as the 388, but it definitely has more of a big boat feel. We did get 151 mph out of the box without any testing. The way we have it propped, it should reach 160 mph. I’m not focused on top speed though, I’m more concerned with acceleration and responsiveness, and this boat excels in that category.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the Skater 438 courtesy of Michael Ciasulli, Tom Leigh and Devin Wozecraft.
Ciasulli was joined by his wife, Elena, his longtime friend from New York Jimmy McIntyre, who throttled the boat and was there to assist with the boat’s maiden voyage, and several other friends.
“Having Jimmy there with me for the boat’s debut was a huge help, he’s a great guy and super knowledgeable,” said Ciasulli, who plans to run his boat at the Tiki Lee’s Shootout On The River in Maryland in July, at Skaterfest in Michigan in August and at the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run in November. “We had a lot of fun at Super Cat Fest and we’re looking forward to having some more fun at Desert Storm. The response to the Skater at Super Cat Fest was overwhelming. I’m expecting more of the same during Desert Storm.”
Ciasulli gave a lot of credit to Craig Ellis at Appearance Products for taking the boat’s eight-seat cockpit to the next level.
“Craig poured a tremendous amount of energy into the interior,” Ciasulli said. “He always comes up with something creative, but he went big this time with the LED lighting, the cool handles and the attention to detail such as where to put the logos in the seats and side panels.”
He was also very complimentary of the paintjob, which he said was a hybrid of the designs Ciasulli had Schulte and Mills come up with before he settled on the final look.
“Steve did such a good job on the paint,” Ciasulli said. “I think it really pops. Having the lime green accents was a nice addition. I was unsure at first, because green isn’t my color, but it turned out great and it looks good carried throughout the interior.
“Overall, I can’t say enough good things about everyone involved in this project,” he added. “From Peter (Hledin), Tony (Cutsuries) and the entire team at Skater, they all understood I was looking to build something special and unique, and they were all for it. They made my vision come to reality. The trailer is a fantastic piece of engineering as well. They knocked that out of the park.”
Between the trailer and the 43-foot cat sitting on it, it’s apparent that Skater created another showstopper.
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