Don’t be surprised if Kelly Sills brings a few more poker run awards home to Louisiana this year. The veteran performance boater from Baton Rouge earned the Florida Powerboat Club‘s Best Paint Award at last weekend’s Tampa Bay Poker Run—his first event in his new Platinum Series 388 Skater Powerboats catamaran from Douglas Marine.
Nor-Tech catamarans, took delivery of the new 38-foot catamaran with twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines on Thursday and ran the boat for about 30 minutes before taking it on Friday’s fun run and Saturday’s poker run in and around St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.Sills, who has owned a 36-foot Skater and several
“The boat runs real nice; it has a lot of acceleration,” said Sills, who plans on attending next week’s Desert Storm Poker Run, the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run, the Jacksonville Poker Run and as many Florida Powerboat Club events as possible this year. “I love Skaters, they ride so well. This boat is bigger than my last Skater—I had a 36 with twin (Mercury) 850s—but it handles as well or better than the 36-footer. I went with the 1100s because it’s easier to find 89-octane fuel. I had 1075s in my 40 Roadster from Nor-Tech, and they’re not even comparable. You can be running 100 or 120 mph and still get thrown back in your seat when you hammer down thanks to these new turbocharged engines.”
Sills, who did the poker run with his friends, James Deloach and Troy Gagliardi, was appreciative that his boat—dubbed Asphalt Babe because of his production, paving, construction and heavy hauling business—was recognized for its incredible paint job.
“The paint was handled by the talented guys at Skater—they did a great job,” said Sills, who added that Skater also built the tilt trailer, which he called as nice as the boat. “The first time I saw the finished boat was Thursday. I was blown away. There’s so much detail to it and a lot of cool ghosting. Pictures definitely don’t do it justice. It has different illusions to it depending on how the light hits it. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the boat.”
Editor’s note: The Peoples Choice Award for Best Paint was actually a tie for first with Red Reynolds’ 80-foot Nor-Tech Lady Lisa.