A vast majority of the time, when speedonthewater.com interviews an individual or a family after taking delivery of their new boat, it is over the phone. It’s not hard to catch the emotion or envision the owners’ smiles while listening to their answers. However, when you get to talk to someone face to face about their new ride after a great day on the water, the sentiments can be heightened and even more genuine.
The Monsour family from Michigan (pictured below) took delivery of its 36-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran before the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Northern Michigan and enjoyed running the boat throughout the summer. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill and Christopher Monsour.
That was especially the case upon meeting the Monsour family during the 20th anniversary of the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Northern Michigan a few months ago. When Tony Cutsuries, the national sales manager for Skater Powerboats in Douglas, Mich., introduced me to Chris Monsour, a commercial real estate executive from Southeast Michigan, I could tell by his energetic handshake and radiant smile that he was excited to own his first Skater catamaran, a 368 powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines painted to match the boat’s striking gray, yellow, and black graphics designed and applied by Steve and Jake Schulte, Skater’s talented father-son paint team.
His two sons, Christopher and Matthew, displayed similarly radiant grins during the Saturday night poker run party while recalling the on-water portion of the Boyne Thunder event. They also spoke fondly of the build process with lights in their eyes as we stood outside the large tent set up for the poker run party and auction.
“We’re so happy to be a part of the Skater Nation,” Chris Monsour said while gushing over the brand and the fact that it’s made in Michigan, his home state. “I’ve always wanted my own Skater and we finally got one. We love the boat; it’s incredible. We’ve owned a lot of boats but nothing compares to this one.”
“And let me tell you, the Skater eats water and anyone who has one will tell you the same thing,” he added. “It’s control, it’s stability, it’s speed; it’s the best of everything. And when we’re in open water, the sky is the limit. The boat didn’t let us down out there (during Boyne Thunder). Seriously, we got airborne a couple of times. On one of the landings, we all had to collect ourselves a little.”
Monsour, who ordered the 36-footer roughly 18 months before taking delivery of it at the end of June, said that he’s owned a variety of boats from the likes of Formula Boats, Intrepid, MTI, Nor-Tech, Powerquest and more. His boys have reaped the rewards, of course.
Douglas Marine/Skater Powerboats founder Peter Hledin (blue shirt) enjoyed getting to know Chris Monsour and his sons during the build of their 36-footer.
“We’ve had some great boats and we’ve done Boyne Thunder in several of them, but nothing tops doing the event in the new Skater,” Matthew Monsour said. “Skater is like the Porsche of the water. They’ve kept the essence of their original designs, with build quality and performance being the focus. The 368 has a great legacy behind it and has stood the test of time. Now with Skater bringing outboard options into most of its lineup, the boats and engines require less maintenance and are more reliable.”
Over the past few months, the Monsour family has enjoyed getting more familiar with the boat and taking it to a few events locally on Lake St. Clair, including Weekend At Ronnie’s—the gathering of Skater friends formerly known as Skaterfest.
“Our boat has made a name for itself on the lake this year,” Christopher Monsour, Jr. said. “Aside from Boyne Thunder, we also participated in other poker runs such as Ronnie Szolack’s ‘Weekend at Ronnie’s’ and ‘Splash for the Kids’,’ which was hosted by the Lafata family. It’s always a memorable experience to run alongside the Lake St. Clair offshore powerboat community, and it’s evident there is rising interest in outboard cats.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the 36-foot Skater.
It’s clear the Monsour family is proud of its 36-footer and appreciative of all the hard work that went into building it. In fact, the Monsours thanked Skater’s father-and-son paint team for its outstanding application.
“Are you kidding, Rembrandt? That’s what we call Steve—he’s the best,” Chris Monsour said with another wide smile. “All I can say about the paint, and everything Skater does, is that you get what you pay for. Working with Steve, being involved in the build process and picking every last detail on the boat, the value for what they charge is extraordinary. The experience was priceless. When you get to walk the shop with the founder—a visionary like Pete (Skater owner Peter Hledin)—that is very special.”
“And yet Pete doesn’t make it seem like a big deal,” he added. “He takes the time to walk you through the history of how he designed things and why he did things certain ways and how he’s remained consistent all these years. It’s pretty remarkable.”
The Monsour family had a blast running with other Skater owners during Weekend At Ronnie’s in August.
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