To accommodate the desire of a new buyer who wanted four-bolsters in the cockpit of the Sunsation 36’ Dominator XRT he recently ordered through Hawkeye Boat Sales and Service Dubuque, Iowa, Sunsation is building an extended cockpit tool. While creating new cockpit tooling would have been unnecessary had the buyer, Todd Bartlet who currently owns a 32’ Sunsation, been willing to sacrifice the rear bench, he did not want to lose any cockpit seating. That meant the Algonac, Mich., performance-boat builder had to find three feet of extra length in the cockpit—and create a dedicated tool rather than simply piece on a sole extension.
To extend the cockpit for the McLeod bolsters and bench, the builder had to “steal” space elsewhere. The most obvious and reasonable choice was from the engine compartment rather than the deck and cabin. But that, too, meant changing up things.
“We’ll have to install the engines—the customer is going with Mercury Racing 525EFIs—side by side rather than staggered,” said Wayne Schaldenbrand, who co-owns Sunsation with his brother, Joe. “All of the engine installations in the 36s so far have been staggered, which is great for performance but takes up an awful lot of space.
“We’re exited about it, which is why we’re making special tooling for it,” he added. “We think having four bolsters as an option will be attractive to other customers as well.”