For Bobby and Stacey Willingham of Abilene, Texas, Possum Kingdom Lake is home-water—and they’ve enjoyed it for many years in their 1999 Fountain Powerboats 38 Lightning V-bottom powered by Mercury Racing HP500 engines upgraded to produce 700 hp per side. They’ve loved the pre-owned 38-footer since the day they brought it home, so much that they’re not sure what they’re going to do with it now that they own a 1999 Skater Powerboats 36 SS catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1075SCi engines.
On their very first visit to the Lake of the Ozarks, Bobby and Stacey Willingham took delivery of a colorful Skater 366 catamaran during Super Cat Fest. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
The couple dreamed of owning a Skater for years. Now they do, as well as a really cool 38-foot V-bottom they’re still fond of.
This is officially known—at least in the go-fast boating world—as a good problem to have.
“It’s up in the air whether we should keep the Fountain or not,” Bobby Willingham said. “It’s such an easy boat to use and drive, and it’s always been just what we need. Right now, it’s in storage at Possum Kingdom. We’re not sure what we’ll do yet.”
As for their Skater catamaran, it’s currently being gone through and spruced up at RP Elite Motors and Marine. The Springtown, Texas-based outfit brokered the deal for the 36-footer for the Willinghams from its owner in Fort Myers, Fla. They took delivery of the cat last Saturday from RP Elite principal Ross Ramsey during Super Cat Fest at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri.
And that meant the world to the couple.
“We met (Skater founder) Peter Hledin and hit it off,” Willingham said. “He was a little quiet at first, but I actually believe we’re friends now. Once we all got talking, it didn’t stop.”
Said Ramsey, “Bob was so giddy he got to meet Peter. We all had a great dinner together.”
Through boating on Possum Kingdom Lake, the Ramsey and Willingham families got to know one another and become close friends. That was how Ross Ramsey learned that Bobby Willingham had long-wanted to own a Skater. When the pre-owned 36 SS came on the market in Southwest Florida, the opportunity presented itself. The price was right and the deal was completed just in time for the Saturday Super Cat Fest delivery arranged by Ramsey.
(Clockwise from left) Bobby and Stacey Willingham enjoyed dinner with Tony Cutsuries and Peter Hledin of Skater Powerboats and RP Elite Motors and Marine’s Ross and McKenzie Ramsey.
“Ross called (Super Cat Fest organizer) Alvin Heathman and got us a spot at the last minute—I think one of the Skaters that was supposed to be there canceled late,” Willingham said. “We rode in it for the first time on Saturday.
“It was awesome,” he continued. “The way that boat rides in rough water is incredible, and it has way more power than my Fountain.”
The 36-footer is Willingham’s first catamaran, so he wisely let Ramsey do much of the driving on the Lake of the Ozarks, which during Super Cat Fest/Lake of the Ozarks Shootout weekend is as churned up and packed with boats of all kinds as it gets.
“I drove a little, but I was more comfortable with Ross driving until I get more seat time,” Willingham added. “I am going to Possum Kingdom to run it this weekend.”
When time allows, Willingham plans to make a few upgrades to his new prize. He wants to replace its switches and steering wheel, for openers. The catamaran arrived on its MYCO Trailers platform, which he plans to have sandblasted and updated with Skater stickers.
“From day No. 1 on Possum Kingdom Lake, Bobby told me wanted a Skater and he would do everything in his power to find one that fit his budget,” Ramsey said. “Now he has one. And I don’t ever see them switching brands.
“These are hardworking people,” he added. “Brokering this deal was a privilege. It meant the world to RP Elite.”
Said Willingham, “We met Peter Hledin and hit it off.”
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