Although the gorgeous new Skater Powerboats 368 catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines is the first Douglas Marine-built cat owned by Jim Mellor, the Utah-based performance boater who has owned an Eliminator and most recently a DCB F32 with twin Mercury Racing 700SCi engines has always been a Skater enthusiast. That’s because his father, Randy Mellor, owned the unique Skater 368 built in 2005 known as Signature Alert that featured three F-16-style quarter canopies and two rows of three bucket seats across the cockpit.
Utah’s Jim and Nakole Mellor are loving their new Skater 368 powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines. Photo by Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images
So when the time to buy a larger new boat came along, he immediately turned to Peter Hledin and the team at Skater to build his new 368 with twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines—the first 36-footer with Skater’s roomy eight-seat cockpit layout.
Between running the boat for the first time on Arizona’s Lake Havasu a few weeks back and cruising around the larger Colorado River-fed lake to the north—Lake Powell—over the long Memorial Day weekend, Mellor said he is anxious to get more seat time in the cat and so far he and his wife, Nakole, have been radically impressed by the boat as a whole.
“This Skater is the ultimate end boat for me—it’s spectacular,” Mellor said. “I love it, I really do—I don’t know how it could be any better. We went with the eight-seat design and Craig (Ellis) and his team at Appearance Products did an amazing job. He told me our boat is one of the best they’ve ever done, but he probably tells everyone that. I told him straight up that the thing has to be trick and they exceeded my expectations. Everything just works so well together.
“We also had Mark Morris of Visual Imagination paint the boat, and it’s hard to describe how amazing the paint turned out,” he added. “I just wanted an extremely clean and relatively low-maintenance hot rod, and that’s what I got.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the first 36-foot Skater with eight seats.
Mellor, who said the 1,100-hp engines are very responsive, was planning to run his boat in the Desert Storm Poker Run in late April but the popular event was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, so he has to wait until early October to take part in the annual gathering of like-minded boats from all across the country.
Between now and then he plans to enjoy Lake Powell and Lake Havasu as much as possible and take the boat to the Lake Powell Challenge in September and hopefully take it out to Missouri for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout and Super Cat Fest in late August.
“To me, Jim’s boat is the perfect boat, and he was an absolute gem to work with,” Ellis said. “He told me up front that he was going to be difficult to please and that he has high standards. That I can work with, especially when someone has a clear vision of what they want. Jim knew what he wanted and we worked with him to accomplish all of it.”
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Skater 368 Running 170 MPH On Mercury Racing 1100 Power