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Kennedy Eager to Show Off ‘New’ 28 Skater at Shootout

Roughly six months ago, Iowa performance boater Tom Kennedy replaced his 1989 24-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran with a 2000 28-footer from Douglas Marine, the Douglas, Mich.-based boat builder behind the Skater brand. Shortly thereafter, Kennedy sent the all-white boat up to Boat Customs in Caledonia, Mich., for some new graphics.

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Boat Customs handled the new graphics on Tom Kennedy’s 28-foot Skater catamaran. Photos courtesy Tom Kennedy

With the updates owner Chris Mills and the rest of the Boat Customs crew would be doing to the boat, Kennedy knew his time to get the boat ready for the 2016 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri would be limited. This year will be Kennedy’s fifth time at the event hosted by Captain Ron’s in Sunrise Beach, Mo. His first year he came for the fun of it and the last three years he’s participated in his 24-footer, which was powered by twin Mercury Racing Pro Max 300X engines. His fastest speed was 122 mph in 2015.

Kennedy said he’s not quite sure what to expect out of the 28-foot cat on the one-mile course because he hasn’t done much testing, but he knows he’s going to have fun at the event no matter what.

“I’m hoping to play around with the boat a little on Friday and then have some fun on Saturday and Sunday making a few passes,” said Kennedy, who used the boat, which is powered by the 300-hp engines that were on his 24-footer, in a fun run in Cassville, Wis., last weekend with his wife, Jenny. “The boat has a full interior—it’s not like I’m taking any of it out to run in the Shootout. I’m going to have to wait until next year to put more effort into trying to win my class or setting it up to run even faster.

“Right now I’m enjoying getting used to the boat—it looks amazing and it is so much fun to drive,” he continued. “Chris and his team did excellent work. I’m not a big fan of all-white boats so I took it to Boat Customs because I’ve been impressed with the work I’ve seen them do. I told Chris I wanted to stick with the blues and whites with red accents so he came up with three different paint schemes and I picked one out.”

Check out the slideshow above for more images of Kennedy’s 28-foot Skater and one of his former 24-footer running in last year’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout courtesy of Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Kennedy said Boat Customs did a great job refinishing much of the boat, painting it and bonding the deck and transom in place of the rubrail that spanned the transom previously. He said he’s planning to do some work to the interior eventually, but for now the clean, white look will do since it is still in great condition.

“We’re happy with how the boat turned out,” Mills said. “The paint came out nice—overall it’s clean and modern looking. I can’t wait to see what people say about it when they see it at the Shootout. We did a decent amount of glasswork to it and some rigging as well. We also cleaned up the dash somewhat and put new bezels on the gauges.”

Finally part of the “28 club,” as he put it, Kennedy said he and his wife are looking forward to this year’s Shootout.

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