The first order of business for the new STIHL Skater catamaran? Getting a bath.
With the arrival of the first 32-foot Doug Wright “RT” open-cockpit catamaran yesterday and the arrival the STHIL’s team’s new Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran this afternoon, Grant Bruggemann and his crew at Grant’s Signature Racing will have their hands full for the next few months. Owned and driven by STIHL team principal J.R. Noble, the 38-foot Skater will be set up with twin 750-hp, Frank McComas-built engines for Super Boat International Superboat-class competition this season. The Doug Wright cat, which is owned by Daren Kittredge, will be powered by a pair of Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines.
Though the raceboat is “first in line” for rigging, according to Bruggemann, work on the pleasure cat—including cockpit installation by Fineline Interiors—will run concurrently.
“Daren is a very understanding client of ours and he’s patient, but we are going to do pre-rigging so we’re ready to move,” said Bruggemann. “Every client is important here.”
Shortly after its arrival at the shop, the Skater received a thorough washing and detailing before it was weighed and placed on dollies and moved into position for rigging. Tomorrow the crew will wrap the boat in a protective cover guard before Bruggemann starts planning the engine compartment layout.
The first open-cockpit 32 RT from Doug Wright will be powered by twin 400-hp Verado outboard engines.
“We’ll start by laying out the engine room and determining where all the equipment should go,” he said. “As we rig the boat, we’ll continue to make sure it is balanced.”
Editor’s note: Look for updates on the STIHL 388 Skater and Doug Wright 32 RT on speedonthewater.com as the projects progress through their various stages, as well as feature articles on each project in upcoming issues of Speed On The Water bi-monthly digital magazine after they’re completed.