If the current schedule holds, the Superboat-class Stihl team’s Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran will arrive at Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 1. for installation of its 750-hp engines and final rigging in advance of the 2016 Super Boat International season. According to team owner/driver J.R. Noble, the Douglas, Mich., custom high-performance catamaran and V-bottom builder is finishing up its own preliminary rigging work on the 38-footer.
Shown here in paint at Skater Powerboats, the Stihl team’s new 38-foot catamaran will head south for rigging next month. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix (click image to enlarge).
“Grant Bruggemann and I have been up there and have pretty much been in constant contact with the guy in charge of Skater’s rigging operation,” said Noble. “Once it gets to Grant’s shop, I feel pretty confident that things will start happening quickly.”
Noble said he’s delighted to be teaming up again with his former throttleman, rigger and crew chief. As reported previously on speedonthewater.com, Bruggemann and Noble raced together for seven years prior to parting ways two years ago.
“I’m super excited about it, but I really want to give kudos to (former Stihl throttleman) Mark Kowalski,” said Noble. “We were together two seasons and I truly enjoyed racing with him—he’s a heck of a throttleman and a heck of an individual. While I’ll miss him, the opportunity to have Grant as part of the team in the cockpit and be in charge of rigging is what I think our team needed.”
According to Noble, the Stihl team’s previous Skater catamaran is still for sale. “I’ve lowered the original price,” he said. “People who are seriously interested are welcome to call for details.”