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HomeIn the NewsHledin at Skater: “We are so buried right now.”

Hledin at Skater: “We are so buried right now.”

Skater cats from 36 to 40 feet long, such as the 368 shown here, are the company's current hot sellers.

Skater cats from 36 to 40 feet long, such as the 368 shown here, are the company’s current hot sellers.

Between new and refurbished catamarans, business is reportedly booming at Douglas Marine, the builder of Skater catamarans in Douglas, Mich. That’s according to company principal Peter Hledin.

“We probably have a dozen or so new boats going through right now,” said Hledin. “And on the refurbishment side, we have rerigging, boat repainting, reupholstery and even repainting trailers to do. We’re are so buried right now.

“We’re back to the point where people are screaming at us and threatening us,” Hledin added and laughed. “That’s a good sign. They just want to go boating.”

While Hledin said the bulk of Skater’s new-boat push is in catamarans from 36 to 40 feet long, the company is also currently building new 42- and 52-foot cats.

“All the new boats are getting new dashboards and new windshields, and all of them are getting revamped style-wise,” he said.

While Skater was not among the first builders to take orders for boats with Mercury Racing 1350 turbocharged engines, Hledin said he expects to build “four or five” twin-1350-powered cats by the end of 2011. Hledin said that, as a high-performance catamaran and V-bottom builder, he is particularly grateful for and impressed by the 1,350-hp powerplants.

“Mercury Racing has done us a great favor by giving us powerful pump-gas engines,” he said. “It really helps us out tremendously to be able to have that kind of big, reliable power.”

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