Between the company’s sporty HydroCat 30XTC it recently started selling and its expertise in paint, fiberglass repair and more, the team at Hydroflat Custom Fiberglass in Des Allemands, La., has been busier than it has ever been. And owner Evan Schaubhut and his super supportive wife, Lacey, are happier than they’ve ever been—it helps that for the second straight year a Hydroflat project boat is making its public debut at the Shootout on the Strip Wednesday evening during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri.
The Louisiana-based Hydroflat team can’t wait to show off its latest project boat, an overhauled 48-foot MTI catamaran, Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Photo courtesy Evan Schaubhut
Happy or not, Schaubhut and company could use some shorter days in the coming months after knocking out an extensive overhaul of a 48-foot MTI catamaran owned by Louisiana’s Chad Rudesill in roughly two months thanks to some extra-long work weeks. Dubbed MiTI Fun (below) by its former owner—the late George Argyros, a well-known performance boater from Southern California—the boat is currently unnamed.
This is what the 48-foot MTI looked like when Chad Rudesill purchased the catamaran. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
“We can’t wait for everyone to see Chad’s MTI,” said Schaubhut, who thanked his friend, Louisiana performance boater Nate Michel, for helping make the project happen. “Time wise, it was a crunch with this one but we got it done with a lot of help from Wes Jones and the team at MTI who designed the graphics and sent us the stencils, as well as Nick Mayden of Mayden Design Co., who handled the new upholstery and interior components.
“Even though we put in some serious hours, it’s actually been a fun two months,” he added, explaining that this type of project would normally be a 12-week job. “We stripped the whole boat down, made some fiberglass repairs, prepped it for paint, applied a custom paintjob to the boat—including the bottom, the engine compartments and everything in the cockpit—re-rigged it and installed the custom interior and SeaDek flooring with the paint patterns flowing through it. We hand-painted all of the carbon-fiber elements in the paint, too; that’s kind of our specialty.”
Schaubhut, who founded Hydroflat in 2009, said he was looking forward to getting back to the Lake of the Ozarks, which he visited for the first time last year after completing the jaw-dropping Good Boy Vodka boat owned by performance boater and offshore racer Alex Pratt—a turbine-powered, 50-foot Mystic Powerboats canopied catamaran that stole the show with its fire-breathing engines during the Shootout on the Strip presented by Waves and Wheels.
When asked how things were progressing with the twin-outboard-engine-powered 30-foot cat he designed, built and debuted in May 2021 at the Kort 200 Fun Run in Louisiana, Schaubhut said he has two in production, one with twin Mercury Racing 450R engines and one with Mercury Racing 300R engines.
Evan and Lacey Schaubhut enjoyed running their HydroCat 30XTC cat powered by twin Mercury Racing 400R engines at the 2022 Kort 200 Fun Run in early May. Photo by Pete Boden
“Inquiries about the 30XTC have been good,” he said. “Our primary focus is quality, whether that’s with the big project boats or building the 30-foot cats. Everything incorporated into the build of the 30XTC is the highest-quality material and equipment. We’re not trying to build a price-point boat, we want to build a high-end pleasure boat. For example, we’re using all Shaun Torrente Racing brackets and cleats and all Mercury parts and accessories. We’re trying to keep it affordable because it is still an ‘entry-level’ boat for this market, but we’re not going to slouch on the product just to save a few bucks.”
Schaubhut said he incorporated changes to the steps in the 30-foot catamaran after spending some time testing the first outboard-powered 30 XTC and taking some advice from industry notables, such as Marine Concepts Motorsports owner Randy Kent, a dedicated performance boater and former offshore racer.
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the HydroCat 30XTC from Hydroflat. Photos courtesy Evan Schaubhut
“After Randy came to digitize the boat so we could use his high-end covers, he provided some input and we made some temporary mods to the boat that ended up working well and have been applied to our bottom mold,” said Schaubhut, who studied marine auto CAD design in college and originally designed and built his cat as a 32-footer with a single big-block engine but changed his mind after noticing the trend toward outboard engine technology.
“The 32 with a naturally aspirated, 540-cubic-inch engine ran great—it was a solid 100-mph boat,” he continued. “But, after seeing the push toward outboards, we decided to cut the boat and make it wider and a true tunnel so we could set it up with twin outboards. We’re glad we did it and we’re excited to get a couple more boats out the door to show everyone what we’re capable of building here.”
Schaubhut wasn’t finished.
“For us, we’re just doing what we love to do and fortunately we’re blessed to have the clients that allow us to do all of this,” he said. “Everything we do here is a learning experience and an opportunity to get better at our jobs. I’m a hands-on guy; I love painting, I love the fiberglass work, I love the rigging. It’s all fun to do and we can handle almost everything in-house.”
Editor’s note: Look for a report and images of the 48-foot MTI following the Shootout on speedonthewater.com.
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