When the Lake Cumberland Poker Run in Kentucky kicks off this coming weekend, a freshly restored 1997 Skater 28 catamaran with twin 300-hp Mercury OptiMax direct-injection two-stroke outboards will be in the mix and looking sharp. In roughly four weeks, this classic 28-footer has been transformed by its owners Corey and Krystle Shutter—as well as the rest of the crew at Boat Repairs Plus In Denver, N.C. and others—into a real stunner.
Mothballed since it blew one its 225-hp Optimax outboards during the Lake Cumberland event two years ago, the cat has undergone serious surgery in a relatively short time period. In addition to the repower, the boat has been repainted with a graphics package designed Chad Shutter, Corey’s brother, a few months ago. Those design drawings inspired Corey Sutter to get the boat restored and ready to run in time for Lake Norman (N.C.) Fun Run last month. From start to finish, that gave the crew four weeks to complete the project.
Gone are the Skater’s original pink, yellow and blue graphics package, cathead decal and original name, “Sniffles.” They’ve been replaced by something far more streamlined and contemporary, thanks to Sutter’s design executed by painter Brad Kresge of Genesis Auto Body and Paint. Also lending his time and effort to the project—and putting his own “100-mph Chaparral” project on hold (read the latest story)—was Chris Uzzolina.
To watch the renovation of this Skater 28 catamaran take shape, check out the slideshow above.
The catamaran also has been outfitted with several interior upgrades including new high-back buckets seats built in house at Boat Repairs Plus, as well as a redesigned rear bench with headrests and “diamond stitching” by Chad Shutter and new side panels. Color-matched to the new graphics, custom cowlings were created for the 300-hp outboards.
“There has been chatter around our lake of a new 2014 Skater on the water, which has given us a good laugh and makes us feel pretty good considering we’ve done everything as a family operation,” said Corey Shutter. “My three-year-old daughter helped hand me parts.”
Editor’s Note: Look for this restored 28-foot Skater catamaran at the Lake Cumberland Poker Run Sept. 5-7.