Unless you’re a diehard Skater Powerboats fan in desperate need of another hobby, it may surprise you to learn the Douglas, Mich., company has its fifth Skater 368 model catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines in production. Three have been delivered, including one to Arkansas-based Skater-man Sam Jirik, one to Matt Rice of Pennsylvania and Southwest Florida, and another to offshore racing team owners Tyler and Lindsey Miller of Kansas, who own a Super Cat-class Skater 388 cat and have a 43-footer in production for the 2023 Class 1 season.
Even on “short water,” the Star Wars-themed Skater 368 with Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines reached 120 mph with no problem. Photos by Paul Rose copyright Skater Powerboats.
The most intricate of these when it comes to paint, the fourth outboard-equipped Skater 368 boasts a “Star Wars” movie-themed color scheme that was handled in house by Steve and Jake Schulte. Currently being shrink-wrapped, it will be shipped as soon as possible to its media-shy owner in Kuwait.
For Steve Schulte, blending a “Star Wars” theme into a Middle Eastern vibe provided an intriguing challenge. He wanted to pay homage to the movie and the owner’s passion for it without simply dressing up a brand-new Skater catamaran as the Millennium Falcon, a TIE Fighter or a Death Star.
“So we went with a stylized ‘pod-racer’ feel and used the symbols as patterns,” he explained. “But mostly, the paintjob has a very decorative, Middle Eastern style that fits the theme. It has a certain ‘cartoon elegance’ that will be lost on a lot folks, but the owner is totally pleased. I was reaching for an Arabian art feeling and I think that’s why he loves it so much. I also think it will be well-received in his country.”
Earlier this week, Skater national sales manager Tony Cutsuries ran the Middle East-bound cat on a small bay off Lake Michigan near Skater headquarters. And he was delighted with its performance.
Craig Ellis of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Appearance Products created the catamaran’s color-matched interior.
“I only ran it a short distance before I ran out of water, but in three quarters of a mile it was up to 120 mph,” he explained. “And it got there so damn fast it was incredible.
“We were just using 34-inch props,” he added. “Realistically, I think it’s a 125-mph boat.”
Currently in rigging, the fifth outboard-powered 368 is going to Chris Monsour of Michigan.
Skater has sold five 368 cats with Mercury Racing 450R power so far.
“The outboard 368s have definitely have caught on,” Cutsuries said, then chuckled. “And we’re currently build two Skater 388 with outboards.”
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