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Stancombes Shooting For Key West Cockpit Reunion In 500R-Powered Skater

Once a staple of offshore racing’s long-gone Super Cat Lite class, the Peppers Racing Skater Powerboats 368 catamaran will be back in action—if current plans hold—next month in Key West, Fla. Micheal Stancombe and his father, George, are aiming to compete in the Race World Offshore World Championships, November 6-13, at the famed venue.

Yet aside from the 36-footer’s white-and-yellow graphics, longtime fans of the sport will not recognize the cat, which was equipped with class-spec Mercury Racing 525EFI engines when it ran in Super Cat Lite. Gone are the sterndrive mills, replaced with a pair Mercury Racing 500R outboard engines mounted on Porta Products transom brackets.

Skater Powerboats handled converting the Stancombe family’s 368 catamaran from sterndrive power to outboard engines. Photos courtesy Micheal Stancombe

The power conversion was done at Skater headquarters in Douglas, Mich. The vaunted builder also handled re-rigging the entire cat.

Although the 450R Factory Stock class reportedly will transition to the more powerful outboards in 2025 per class vote, no spec-class currently exists for 500R outboard-powered catamarans. The cat possibly could find a home in one of the Bracket classes.

“We have talked to a few racers who don’t have a class really to fit in and asked to join forces to allow us all to race together,” he explained. “We asked to be included in the 450R class but they voted not to allow us.”

But Stancombe isn’t concerned. He’s just delighted at the chance to compete again alongside his father.

Since this image was taken, Skater has installed the 500-hp outboards on the catamaran’s new transom.

“When your 76-year-old father says he wants to go racing, you go racing,” he said. “We will be testing props in the next few weeks.

“I’m more excited for dad’s return and possibly my son, Dominic, in a canopy boat with me next season than anything else,” he added, then laughed. “We need a third seat so all three of us can be in the boat. That would be 148 years of Stancombes, under glass. I am excited, to say the least.”

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