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People In The Spotlight—’Filling The Storage Unit’ Ron Szolack Style

Despite a long list of good-time distractions, a lot of business still gets done during Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Demo rides, sales, boat prep and service never stop at the likes of Performance Boat Center, the Shootout’s presenting sponsor, and Big Thunder Marine. Such was the case during the 35th annual event last week.

Szloack couldn’t resist owning the ‘Fight Club Gold’ Skater 412 catamaran one more time. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

And then there are those individual wheeler-dealers such as go-fast powerboat collector and general maniac Ron Szolack—currently completing a home on the shore of the Central Missouri waterway— who never stop moving during their time at the lake.

Szolack, who also has residences in Michigan and Florida, called Monday morning to give me his own Shootout “business” update. It was one of the busier weeks for the longtime performance-boat enthusiast and collector. Forced to overcome his mild claustrophobia, he arrived on a small private aircraft and headed straight to his new lake house to check on its progress. Then he stopped by Performance Boat Center to make sure his Cigarette 42 GTO Reserve center console and Skater 410 catamaran were ready for the weekend, which of course they were.

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Scenes from performance-boat horse-trader Ron Szolack’s recent Shootout experience.

“Now comes the fun part,” Szolack said. “I talked Loren Peters about the tricked-out storage facility he is building at the lake and it’s going to be unreal. So instead of buying one unit, I decided to buy three. Now I have lots of room for more boats.”

Turns out he’s going to need it.

“I got my first call Saturday morning from Cole Leibel, my good friend in Canada,” Szolack explained. “He offered me his Skater 388 with Mercury Racing 1350s and I know that boat very well, so the deal was done in about 10 minutes. Later that day, my buddy Kenny Schomp asked me if I wanted to buy back my original 412 Skater painted in Fight Club gold. With a little friendly back-and-forth bickering, that deal was done in 15 minutes.”

Szolack returned to Michigan Sunday. His first order of business was to check the progress of two Skater 388 cats he has under construction at the Douglas, Mich., facility. “I think those three storage units will be filled up pretty quickly,” he said, then laughed.

Szolack (left) caught a ride with a friend to the 2023 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout last week.

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