For the better part of the 2000s, F16-aircraft-style windscreens were the rage on catamarans and even a few flat-deck V-bottom sportboats—most notably the Donzi Marine 38 ZRC—in the high-performance powerboat world. They were great for the driver and co-pilot but miserable for everyone else on board. By pecking order or otherwise, if you ended up seated in the rear cockpit you ate wind. There was no way around it.
Thankfully—at least for rear bench passengers—things changed. “Quarter canopies” as they were known, faded away and wraparound windshields became the norm on most new builds. Still, plenty of boats such as Double Take, a 46-foot catamaran built by Skater Powerboats in Douglas, Mich., in the mid-2000s, remained fine candidates for a full windshield conversion.
Owned by John and J.P. Frohlich, the Michigan-based father and son who purchased the boat from Jim Lee of Lee Aerospace fame in Wichita, Kan., Double Take began its transformation at Boat Customs in Caledonia, Mich., in the fall of 2019 and was completed and delivered by June 2020. Frohlich had planned to debut his revamped twin 1,550-hp Sterling Performance engine-powered 46-footer at the unofficial Skaterfest happening in the Detroit Metro area a couple of months later. But just one week before the event during a test session, a broken drive shaft and transmission knocked out the boat for the rest of season.
So only a few folks in the performance boating world got a glimpse of it. Until now.
Enjoy the slideshow above for more images of the Double Take Skater catamaran.
“We installed a full, six-man wraparound windshield from Lee Aerospace for the cat,” said Chris Mills, the owner and founder of Boat Customs. “We completely redesigned the graphics for the deck, which had been designed around the quarter canopies, from scratch. We added stripes, including a carbon-fiber stripe to match the new Alcantara interior from Craig Ellis at Appearance Products just below the rubrail line. And we re-cleared the entire boat.”
The elder Frohlich, who also owns the well-known Kemosabe Apache Powerboats V-bottom, said that the revamped Double Take is something else.
“Double Take was a cool boat to begin with, but my son, JP, and I decided to take it to another level so we asked Chris to do his thing,” Frohlich said. “Fortunately Chris was able to do the windshield conversion and widen the cockpit to get four seats in the back. He also touched up all of the paint and redid the deck design a little to eliminate a lot of the yellow and give the boat a much more modern look. We really like how it came together.
“Craig and the team at Appearance Products did a phenomenal job with the interior, too, and Art Cook Marine Services, which works on all of my boats, redid the rigging and went through the engines,” he continued. “Overall the boat is pretty amazing. In fact, I think it’s the most forgiving 46-foot Skater out there. Thankfully, Jim (Lee) was great to deal with getting the boat and supplying the new windshield. We’re very happy with how everything turned out.”
Frohlich said depending on how things go this season, he may sell the boat and start a new project with the same team—Boat Customs, Appearance Products and Art Cook. Marine Services.
In addition to their exterior work on the catamaran, Mills and company refreshed its dash with new carbon-fiber panels. They also installed a Garmin 7212 GPS unit and new instruments.
Mills said he’s looking forward to the reimagined 46-footer’s long-delayed and eagerly anticipated debut at 2021 Skaterfest event, which is scheduled for Aug. 12-15 in St. Clair Shores, Mich.
“Nobody has really seen it,” he said. “I think people will love it.”