Although the majority of boats built at Hustler Powerboats in Calverton, N.Y., are painted in house, the latest 388 Reloaded from the company is on its way back to New York from Elkhart, Ind., where it received a striking paint job from The Art of Design (TAOD).
Ordered by Jeff Victor, who owns a 2003 Hustler 388 Slingshot powered by twin Mercury Racing HP500EFI engines that also was painted by Dean Loucks and company at TAOD, the new 38-footer is going to feature a pair of 565-hp Mercury Racing engines along with all of the latest and greatest in digital controls, electronics and interior options.
According to Paul LoGiudice, vice president of marketing and sales for Hustler Powerboats, Victor began showing interest in the updated 38-foot, 8-inch V-bottom, which Hustler renamed from the 388 Slingshot to the 388 Reloaded in 2013, last fall and decided to make the purchase shortly after visiting the Hustler team at the Miami International Boat Show in February. LoGiudice also said the boat is the first one to leave the shop for paint in several years.
“We started painting all of our boats in house in the mid-2000s and it’s been at least five years since we sent one out for paint,” said LoGiudice, who expects the boat to be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks. “Because of his past experience with TAOD, Jeff wanted Dean to design and apply the graphics. He also went with a gooseneck MYCO trailer and a couple of other things to customize the boat even more to his liking.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the finished product,” he added. “I know Jeff loves his old Slingshot, but he felt like it was a good time for an upgrade, and I think he’s going to be very happy.”
Victor, who owns Victor Ford in Wauconda, Ill., and has been a boater his entire life, said the decision to buy a new boat or update his old one wasn’t easy.
“I’ve owned my 388 Slingshot for 12 years and I debated whether it made sense to upgrade it or buy a new one,” Victor said. “Thanks to some attractive pricing from Joe (LoGiudice, Hustler’s owner), he got me re-interested and now I’m getting something that I hope will last me another 10 to 15 years or more. The custom paint might be a little overkill, but it’s what I want. It’s hard to compare a stock boat to one painted by Dean.”
Check out the slideshow above for more photos of the freshly painted 38-foot Hustler.
Along with working with Loucks again to come up with a stunning paint job that resembled the one on his Slingshot, Victor said the most attractive aspects of getting the new boat were the power options and digital technology that is available in a boat that is 13 years newer. He’s also excited to be using a wide range of Livorsi Marine products in the boat, including gauges, controls and the Grayslake, Ill., company’s new trim tabs.
“Mike (Livorsi) is a friend and a customer so I told him I wanted everything they make in my boat,” Victor said. “Livorsi builds great products, plus they are just 10 minutes from me so if I have any issues, I can take it straight to the shop.”
For Loucks, it was fun to bring a fresh take to one of his previous paint jobs.
“Jeff really liked his other boat and he didn’t want to stray too far, so we came up with something that was a new version of that style,” Loucks said. “We’re really happy with how the boat came out. The lines are awesome and there are some things on this design that are different than anything else out there, including the chrome-painted Slingshot name and ball.”
Victor said he’s looking forward to using the boat, which he’s dubbed Sling Shot, next summer and for many years to come.
“I know they call it the 388 Reloaded now, but I like Slingshot so I used it for the name on the boat again,” he added.
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