Although Peter Hledin, the owner and founder of Douglas Marine/Skater isn’t entirely sure about the name, he is convinced of the need for his new “Fat Boy” series of custom high-performance catamarans.
“We are trying to offer more variations in our small boats,” said the noted Douglas, Mich.-based designer and builder in a telephone interview this morning. “We are trying to bring back the small-boat market, which fizzled with this economic downturn. We had too many ‘standard’ models on the small-boat side of our line.”
In the Fat Boy series, Skater will offer its 338 (33′ 8″ long) and 357 cats (35′ 7″ long) with up to a 10′ 8″ beam, and its 392 cat (39′ 2″ long) with up to an 11′ 6″ beam. While the by-products of expanding the beam of each model are more cockpit space and seating configuration options, the primary goal is enhancing overall performance, Hledin explained.
“It’s a performance-based option,” he said. “We are trying to improve performance and get better use out of smaller-power inboard packages. These cats perform better when they’re wider. They carry their weight better. They’re faster.
“We’ve always offered wider beams on our race boats,” he added. “Now we’re doing it with our smaller pleasure boats.”