Development of Sunsation Performance Boats’ first center-console offering is on track, according to Wayne Schaldenbrand, who co-owns the Algonac, Mich., semi-custom high-performance boat company, with his brother, Joe. A four-foot-long scale model of the 34-footer, which was designed by Gary Bridges and Paul Gallup of former Fountain fame, was delivered to the factory last week and evaluated by the Schaldenbrands and their team.
“We ended up making about 20 changes that are now being validated by Paul and Gary,” said Wayne Schaldenbrand. “The biggest were that we’re going to give it a wider, 10-foot beam, create more bow flare and make the hull sides more convex, like hull sides of our sportboats.”
Once the changes in design are finalized, Sunsation will solicit bids for the boat’s hull and deck tooling from three vendors. The 34-footer will be built in two pieces—it will not have a separate sole liner—and the cabin, which will feature a sliding door and two berths, will be part of the deck mold instead of being “stick built.” A walk-through and door in the center of the transom, rather than on one side or the other, will provide access to the swim platform. (The scale model has the transom walk-through located on the starboard side.)
“There are a lot of manufacturing advantages to building a two-piece boat,” said Schaldenbrand. “One of them is better fit and finish.”
In related news, Sunsation will not exhibit at the 2012 Miami International Boat Show Feb. 16-20.
“We’d like to be there, but it takes us away from the factory and we really need the time to focus on this project,” said Schaldenbrand. “We’ll always build sportboats—that’s just in our blood I guess—but we see the center consoles as a big part of our future.”