Skater Powerboats built its early reputation and enjoyed its first major commercial success more than 30 years ago with its outboard-engine-powered 24- and 28-foot catamarans. More recently—as in the past three years—the Douglas, Mich., company scored a hit with its 318 catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines. Now things have come full circle with the vaunted Douglas, Mich., high-performance custom catamaran and V-bottom builder offering its 40-foot-and-longer catamarans with quad Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard, meaning two engines behind each sponson. (On its largest models, Skater can even offer up to five outboard engines.)
Skater’s 40-foot and longer catamarans can now be ordered with quad Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines (click engines to enlarge).
For Skater company founder and owner Peter Hledin, offering outboard power on his larger models was a natural progression driven by the success and popularity of the Verado 400R.
“Our history began with outboards,” said Hledin. “We didn’t get into inboard engines until we introduced the Skater 32. The performance of the Verado 400s is incredible—it’s almost baffling—and the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to speed, power and cost. You just can’t get around it.
Skater’s catamarans first took root with outboard power.
“So we have adapted all of the hull molds for our bigger boats to accept outboards,” he continued. “In addition to the benefits of that power, you automatically get so much more usable space in the space for additional seating, more fuel capacity or even more cabin options with the bigger boats.”
Hledin said that Skater will continue to offer its larger cats with stern drive power. But he expects the quad outboard option to attract a greater range of buyers.
“We find that there will always be that element of performance boat owners who have the need for speed and want to run 150, 160 and 170 mph, but that’s a really small segment of the marketplace,” he said. “There are so many other boat owners who spend most of their time running between 80 to 100 mph and want to max out at 125 mph, and with a 46-foot Skater powered by four Verado 400s you can do that, no problem. The cost of the boat with four outboards instead of two inboards is much lower. Plus, the entire cost of ownership is lower thanks to better fuel economy and lower maintenance with outboards. And as more-powerful outboard enter the market, it will only get better.”