For decades, Skater Powerboats founder Peter Hledin has relied on the likes of John Tomlinson, Grant Bruggemann, Billy Mauff, Pat Patel, Joey Imprescia and other renowned figures in the high-performance powerboat world for feedback on his catamaran creations. The 69-year-old doesn’t lack for confidence when it comes to designing his cats, but he relies on the feedback of true experts with long track records on and off the offshore racecourse when it comes to testing and proving them.
Last week during the Miami International Boat Show, new Skater 368 owner Sam Jirik (left) shared the cockpit of his catamaran with Peter Hledin, the man behind the build (click to enlarge). Photo copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix courtesy Wozencraft Insurance Agency.
But uncommon as it may be, that doesn’t mean the Douglas, Mich.-based boatbuilder never gets behind the wheel of his boats. And during last Friday’s annual Speedonthewater.com Miami International Boat Show photo shoot co-sponsored this year by Wozencraft Insurance Agency, he proved it in Sam Jirik’s new Skater 368 catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines.
Hledin took the wheel. Jirik handled the throttles. Now Jirik, who took delivery of the 36-footer and will run it later this week in the Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run to Key Largo, can say something few others can. He’s co-piloted a Skater catamaran with Peter Hledin.
“There were two bucket-list days for me on this build,” said Jirik, who lives in Arkansas. “First was Lake X dial-in with John Tomlinson of TNT Custom Marine, and I also have to thank Mike Griffiths and Roy Mitchell of Mercury Racing for that. The second was the photo shoot with Pete.”
And now Hledin is back at Skater doing what he does best. Creating.
Peter Hledin spent some time last Friday morning behind the wheel of one of his own creations. Photo courtesy/copyright Sam Jirik.