A quick stop last Friday to see Gene and Mike Willen, the father-and-son team behind Howard Custom Boats in Valencia, Calif., provided speedonthewater.com with a sneak peek of the company’s new 288 Sport Deck, which has been in the works since last fall. Both the hull and deck were removed from the molds a few weeks ago and the company is expecting to have it on the water in less than two months.
The new 288 Sport Deck model from Howard Custom Boats is expected to be completed and on the water in the next couple of months.
Howard’s first 28-foot deck boat—an updated version of the company’s popular 28 Sport Deck—is going to be powered by a Mercury Racing HP600SCi engine and features striking red, gray and white gelcoat graphics and an oversized swim platform that completely covers the drive and propeller. According to Mike Willen, the company has three more 288 Sport Decks on order following the initial one, which was ordered by a previous Howard customer.
It was nice to see a busy Howard Custom Boats crew during a recent visit to the Valencia, Calif., boat builder’s facility.
Although Mike Willen didn’t want to share many details regarding some of the unique interior features he’s currently working on, he did point out some of the more streamlined aspects of the 28-foot catamaran compared to the previous model, including the wider, more spacious open bow, the longer cockpit area and the taller freeboard.
At the same time, the boat builder also is finishing up a pair of 28 Bullet V-bottoms—a model the company hasn’t built in a few years. Stay tuned to speedonthewater.com for updates on the 288 Sport Deck as well as the next 28 Bullet, which is powered by one of the last 525EFI engines to leave the Mercury Racing factory in Fond du Lac, Wis.
Howard Custom Boats Announces New 288 Sport Deck