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First Mercury Verado 400R Outboard Skater Cat Under Construction

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With its hull and deck recently joined, the new Douglas Marine/Skater 318 catamaran presents two “firsts” for the Michigan-based custom catamaran and V-bottom builder. Not only is the 31-footer with its 10-foot, 2-inch beam a new model for Skater, it will be powered by twin Mercury Racing 400 R Verado outboard engines, the most powerful outboards in the Verado line. (Read the story.) It’s the first Verado 400 R installation—the outboards will be mounted on 12-inch brackets—on a Skater model.

“We started with a Skater 30 hull, gave it one more foot of running surface and widened the hull 10 inches,” said Tony Cutsuries, Skater’s national sales manager. “It has a 63-inch tunnel. The bottom is a little different than that of a standard 30-foot Skater cat, but that’s about all Pete (Hledin, the founder and owner of Douglas Marine/Skater) wants to say right now.”

The 31-footer features a flat-deck. A wraparound windshield will be added to the deck.

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To see the new Skater 318 in its early production stages, check out the slideshow above.

Steve Lane, the Toms River, N.J.-based owner of the new cat that is scheduled for completion April, is stepping up from a 21-foot Checkmate V-bottom—his third Checkmate model since the late 1980s—with a 250-hp Mercury outboard engine.

“I always wanted a Skater—everybody wants a Skater,” said Lane. “I originally ordered the boat with 300-hp engines, but when the 400s became available we changed the order.”

Dubbed the 318 to fit in with Skater’s current catamaran naming protocol including the 308, 338, 368 and 388, the 31-footer also will be available with stern-drive power. Estimated top speed for the cat with the twin 400 R outboard engine package is 115 to 120 mph.

Editor’s Note: Speedonthewater.com will follow this new-model build as it progress through its major stages. A feature article on the first Skater 318 will appear in the May/June issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine.

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