That Texas performance boater Chad Havens and his transformed 2008 40-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran are en route to the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri is cool news itself. Named Savage, the beautiful red Skater was recently repowered with twin Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines by David Whelan and company at Gulf Coast Complete Marine Service in Kemah, Texas, and received a super-custom interior overhaul from Nick Compton and the team at Island Audio in Maurepas, La.
Savage, a 40-foot Skater owned by Texas powerboat enthusiast Chad Havens, is going to be a part of this week’s Super Cat Fest and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri. Photos courtesy Chad Havens
But the best news Havens shared with speedonthewater.com this week was that his fiancé, Krissy Reese, is going to run the catamaran in the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout this weekend. The couple, who recently took a refresher course with Tres Martin’s Performance Boat School on Texas’ Sam Rayburn Reservoir, plans to have the boat on display on Wednesday in the Shootout on the Strip and then at Camden on the Lake Resort for Super Cat Fest through the weekend.
“Krissy is excited to do the Shootout—she’s been getting a good feel for the boat now that we’ve got it dialed in,” Havens said, adding that HP Mafia’s Anthony Smith is going to run with her for coaching purposes since she’s never competed in a top-speed shootout before; Havens hasn’t either. “I can’t wait to see how she does. She loves driving boats and she’s very good at it. She has a lot of seat time in our DCB M35 but not as much in the Skater since we got it in 2018 and started the project not long after that. She’s getting more comfortable with it, and I’ll tell you what, the thing is on rails. Before we redid everything, it felt like we were chasing the boat at higher speeds. Now it really feels like it’s on rails at speed.”
Krissy Reese can’t wait to run the Savage Skater in the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout this weekend.
Havens credited the efforts of Whelan and Billy Moore of Caldwell Moore Performance Center in Washington, N.C., for getting the boat dialed in.
“Billy came out to Texas and helped us dial it in a couple of weeks ago,” Havens said. “He is an incredible setup guy; probably the most informative and humble person I’ve met in this industry. He grew up around these boats and he’s had to drive bad boats, OK boats and good boats so his experience is extensive. We provided a bunch of documented data about what we had tried while testing the boat—we had pages of information from X-dimension and toe-in/toe-out to prop selection and whether they were turning inward or outward—and he put a plan in place ahead of time of things he wanted to try so that we could have everything ready when he got here.
“Billy showed up, ran it once, came back to the docks and said, ‘You need to come for a ride,’” he continued. “I did and it was almost perfect after his first stab at it. We swapped propellers to feel out a few different ones out and settled in on a set of 38”-pitch props for overall performance and midrange efficiency.”
Havens said he doesn’t know how fast the boat will go in three quarters of a mile with the 40-mph rolling start, but he said he’s had the 40-footer—in 1350 mode as he’s yet to use the 1550 key fob—to 160 mph and that there’s plenty more left. He also said it gets there pretty fast and that he doesn’t really need to run much faster than that.
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the 40-foot Skater.
“The boat is like a rocket in 1350 mode, I can’t imagine what it’ll feel like in 1550 mode,” Havens said. “I’m going to have to wait until Krissy tells me because the first time we’re going to use the 1550 power is for the Shootout. I purposely hid the 1550 key fob from myself so that I wouldn’t be tempted to use it. The boat is a heavy boat so it takes a lot of power to get it going. The 1550 mode should help the boat accelerate faster if it doesn’t spin the props too much.
“At the end of the day, it is a pleasure boat not a purpose-built raceboat so we have to be realistic about the set up because the boat still needs to be friendly for overall boating,” he continued. “That’s the main reason we decided to make the trip to the lake—to have fun with the boat and let people see how nice it turned out.”
Havens, who revealed that his favorite part about the boat is cruising around 120 to 130 mph with ease, commented that everything that the Gulf Coast Complete Marine Service team handled was “absolutely outstanding.” He added that the entire interior, from the stylish seating to the high-end stereo to the custom-fabricated speaker brackets, billet footrests and step plates with built-in LED, was top notch.
If you happen to be at the Shootout this week, be sure to take a look for yourself. Of course, look for a story over the weekend with Reese’s first-impression feedback about the Shootout.
Savage Skater Getting New Mercury Racing 1550/1350 Engines And Fresh Interior
Coverage Of The 2020 Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout
Longtime Friends Join Forces With Caldwell Moore Custom Performance