With their winter Christmas break beginning this Friday, Peter Hledin, Tony Cutsuries and the rest of the crew at Skater Powerboats in Douglas, Mich., are still pushing hard on a few projects. The company’s first catamaran to tap Mercury Racing Verado 400 ROS outboard engine power—in fact the first domestic model to be equipped with the spec engines for the X-Cat World Series of powerboat racing—is scheduled to debut at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show in February, as is a new 388 model with 1,100-hp Sterling Performance engines.
Captured here shortly after its Waves And Wheels interior was completed, the Skater 478 V-bottom reached 123 mph last week on Lake Michigan in bitter conditions. Photo courtesy/copyright Brad Glidewell/Brad Glidewell Photography.
Though it won’t be displayed in Miami, the company’s new 478 V-bottom is almost dialed in and ready for delivery to its patient and understandably eager owners. Last week, Cutsuries and others members of the Skater team ran the 47-footer with a custom Waves And Wheels interior on Lake Michigan near Skater’s home base. According to Cutsuries, the stepped-hull V-bottom, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing 1100 engines, reached 123 mph with the engines turning 5,900 rpm.
“We need to get some smaller props,” said Cutsuries. “But the boat, which weighs 13,600 pounds dry, is pretty damn impressive. When all is said and done and it’s completely dialed in it should be a 127-, 128-mph boat.”
Cutsuries described last week’s testing conditions as “brutal.”
“It was really, really cold,” he said. “There was snow on the ground when we were out testing, but the water wasn’t frozen, which is a huge thing.”
Skater will officially close for its winter break on Dec. 23 and reopen on Jan. 2.
“We’re pushing really hard this week in advance of the shutdown,” said Cutsuries. “And we’ll be back at it before the Miami show when we return.”
Look closely at the photo above taken during last week’s test session of the Skater 478 V-bottom. There’s snow on the ground in the background.