Though Skater Powerboats always will sell most of its exquisite custom high-performance catamarans factory direct from its Douglas, Mich., headquarters, national sales manager Tony Cutsuries knows he can’t be everywhere at once. Among the go-fast boating hotbeds he sees as underserved—or at least under-marketed—is Texas, which has a variety of popular waterways from Clear Lake in the Houston area to Lake Texoma on the border of the Lone Star state and Oklahoma.
RP Elite Motors and Marine’s Ross Ramsay (left) and Skater’s Tony Cutsuries met last month in Michigan at Skater Powerboats to finalize their dealership agreement.
That’s why Skater and RP Elite Motors and Marine in Springtown, roughly 50 miles from Dallas, have reached an agreement for the new custom truck and pre-owned powerboat—at least until now—dealership to become the famed custom go-fast cat builder’s exclusive Texas dealer.
“I think there’s a whole lot of business we’re missing in Texas—there’s so much performance boating that happens there,” Cutsuries said. “Working with RP is really going to help us in that state and we’re looking forward to it.”
Launched just seven months ago, RP Elite Motors and Marine is owned by Ross Ramsey, a 33-year-old entrepreneur and go-fast powerboat enthusiast who owned a 2009 model-year 36-foot Skater for three years and currently has a 368 powered by Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines in production. Ramsey said he is expecting the build, which will be for sale in Elite RP’s showroom, to be finished by the end of next year.
Ramsey and Cutsuries met last month to finalize the deal.
“We are going to focus on Texas,” Ramsey said. “People will still be able to go to Skater and buy factory direct, but there are a lot of people I’ve reached out to in our network here that are interested in ordering locally. It’s just a really good fit.
“Elite RP is killing it,” he continued. “It’s ridiculous how busy the company is. Custom trucks and hot rods are leading it, but the marine side of the business is quickly catching up. I just listed three pre-owned Skaters today.”
Ramsey’s wife, McKenzie, who he described as a “marketing guru,” will be leading the company’s in-house marketing efforts. The company also will be leaning heavily on the Nautical Network in a “marketing partnership,” he explained.
And Ramsey’s plans don’t stop there.
“We’ve been having conversations about doing more events for Skater owners,” he said. “I know Skaterfest is huge—take nothing away from it—and (Skaterfest organizer) Ron Szolack does a great job with it. But we’d like to create other event opportunities for Skater owners.”