After almost a decade of racing offshore—with a world championship to show for it, too—Miami’s Frank Areces is switching gears and preparing to hit the poker run scene. Areces, who purchased a 2002 32-foot Douglas Marine/Skater Powerboats catamaran from GT Performance in Southern California last summer, has enlisted friends and engine builders Tommy Hofstetter and Scott Wilson of Chief Performance in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to bring the boat back to life.
Currently at Chief Performance in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Frank Areces’ 32-foot Skater will be hitting the poker run scene this year.
Although he hasn’t raced offshore in a few years because he’s been busy with his law firm—Areces & Rodriguez, P.A.—Areces has been looking to get back into a boat and try the “poker run thing.”
“I enjoyed the racing, I really did, but I want to get involved in the poker run circuit and just enjoy boating with my family,” said Areces, who also owns a 33-foot center console with twin Mercury Verado 300 engines. “Racing was like a second full-time job when you have sponsors and obligations. I’m looking forward to traveling to poker runs and meeting new people.
“I’m also excited since this is my first Skater, my first cat,” he added. “We’re going to have so much fun. And I can’t wait to see how it’s going to look inside. It’s going be so much different. I mean it had a dated 6-inch black-and-white GPS display and it will have the new 10-inch multi-touch widescreen Garmin GPSMAP 7610 and a new blue carbon-fiber dash from Innotech Products.”
Currently Chief has the 32-footer apart and is working on updating the interior, the dash, the instruments and more in the cockpit. Power wise, Chief is refreshing the pair of 572-cubic-inch motors Areces used in his Cigarette Racing 38 Top Gun—the Pollo Tropical boat he drove to the P3 World Championship in 2005. Chief also will be installing a new exhaust system and No. 6 drives.
Look for more updates on the 32 Skater in the slideshow above on speedonthewater.com.
“The boat is actually in excellent shape,” Hofstetter said. “When it first came to us we were just going to work on the motors and put them in. Now we’re redoing the dash and a few things to update it a little. I’m excited because Frank is excited to get into the poker run world after years on the racecourse. I think he’s going to really enjoy himself.”
Inspired by the eagle originally painted on each side of the catamaran’s bow, Areces decided to name the boat Ruffled Feathers. He and his son, Michael, have even created a Facebook page for the Ruffled Feathers Poker Run Team. According to Areces, he’s going to try to make it to the Desert Storm Poker Run in Arizona, the Texas Outlaw Challenge and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri.