Think of the upcoming new Skater 428 catamaran as a "388 on steroids" and you won't be far off the mark. In fact, according to Peter Hledin, the owner and founder of Douglas Marine/Skater in Douglas, Mich., and Tony Cutsuries, the company's national sales manager, you'll be right on it. With the hull mold for the 42-plus-footer recently completed, lamination on the first model should begin in the next three to four weeks.
The 428 is the third Skater model based off Hledin's original 36-footer.
"Our 36, which we introduced many years ago, was a huge success," said Hledin. "We stretched that into the 368 and later the 388, and both of those cats also were big successes. We figured that we must have the proportions absolutely perfect, so we said, 'Why don't we just scale it up 10 percent (to create the 428)?' So it's 10 percent longer, 10 percent wider and the sponsons are 10 percent taller. It does have a slightly different bottom. It has a 24-degree deadrise, but we added a 12-degree running pad for greater low-speed running efficiency—60, 80, 100 mph—and better fuel efficiency."
The new cat's sponsons have a 42-inch depth up front, and that depth drops to 24 inches at the stern. Tunnel width is 72 inches. To accommodate Mercury Racing's QC4v engine platforms—particularly the popular 1350—Hledin modified the inner tunnel walls.
"The tunnel walls in this particular model will allow us to mount the engines lower in the boat and improve its center of gravity," Hledin explained.
For a closer look at the Skater 428 hull mold, check out the slideshow above.
Going with an 11'11" beam for the 428 enables the builder to create a 90-inch wide cockpit that can accommodate a variety of seating and layout options. Features include a new wraparound windshield, as well as new hardware pieces.
"We're also making smaller changes for the 428 like new deck hardware, flush-mount hidden hinges and new seating," said Hledin. "We're going through an evolution, and those features also will be going into our smaller boats. We just keep trying new things to set the bar a little higher because the competition is tough.
"We needed a new model," he added. "Building new models is my favorite thing to do in the shop. That's what I enjoy."
The first Skater 428 catamaran should be finished by summer 2015.
Editor's Note: Speedonthewater.com will provide updates on the Skater 428 catamaran during the various stages of its construction.
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