Of the dozen go-fast boats Yves Belanger—the principal of Gibson Truck World in Sanford, Fla.—has owned, three have been big catamarans from Skater Powerboats. The first was a 46-footer he dubbed Avatar, and he loved it. For his second creation from the Douglas, Mich.-based custom boat builder, he went with a 438, a newer generation Skater cat he called G-Force. Breathtaking as it was to look at, the 43-footer didn’t impress Belanger with its rough-water ability. He missed the sheer mass of the 46-footer.
In his beautiful 50-foot Skater catamaran called KONG, Florida’s Yves Belanger found the ideal wave-taming beast he desired. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
So Belanger ordered a Skater 50 catamaran, essentially a 46-foot hull with a four-foot bustle, which he took delivery of in 2021. And his wife, Kyra, couldn’t be happier with it.
“I love it—it’s the best boat I’ve ever had,” he said. “I’ve had it up to 120 mph in four-foot seas and it’s no problem.”
A pair of dual-calibration, quad-cam four-valve turbocharged Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines power the 50-footer, which is called KONG. To date, Belanger has run it just once with engines in 1,550-hp mode, which requires 112-octane fuel. The combined 3,100 hp was enough to get the cat to 180 mph.
Other than that blast to top speed, he’s kept the engines in 1,350-hp, 93-octane-fuel mode and that’s been more than enough for him.