If you visit Skater Powerboats in Douglas, Mich., today you won’t find the small herd of customers and random visitors that end up there on any given day. Customers and fans simply love to hang out at Skater, and company founder/owner Peter Hledin tends to welcome their company as long as they don’t interrupt its workflow. But Michigan’s Phase I return-to-work rules, which enabled the factory to reopen today, currently prohibit “all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.”
Shown driving a 36-foot catamaran of his own creation, Peter Hledin and his crew restarted production at Skater Powerboats today. Photo from the 2020 Miami International Boat Show by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix/speedonthewater.com.
“We got the Governor’s guidelines for reopening manufacturing on Friday,” said Tony Cutsuries, the company’s national sales manager. “Except for a few folks in lamination, everybody is back and getting into the groove again.”
Though Cutsuries and Hledin visited the facility every day, production has been shut down for more than a month. With new catamaran builds including a 318, three 368s and a trio of 388s, a 40 SS, a 438 and a 588 in production, the shutdown couldn’t have come at a more challenging time.
“Thank god we are back,” said Cutsuries. “We are busy—and everybody wants their boats. So we’re cranking.”