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Sterling 1100 Engines Built for New Skater 388 Catamaran

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Miami Boat International Boat Show attendees will get the first look at the finished Sterling engine-powered 38-foot catamaran currently being completed at Skater Powerboats in Douglas, Mich.

Scheduled for a Miami International Boat Show debut next month, a new Skater Powerboats 388 catamaran will have a somewhat unusual pair of 1,100-hp fuel-injected powerplants from Sterling Performance Engines in Milford, Mich. According to Sterling principal Mike D’Anniballe, the 530-cubic-inch Dart-block-based engines with 4.5-litre Whipple superchargers were built with a number of high-end components from Sterling’s long-discontinued Union Internationale Motonautique Class 1 engine program.

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“We basically built them with Class 1 parts, all really, really nice pieces, we had in stock,” D’Anniballe said. “But it’s a nice, simple fuel-injected package with a lot of very high-end parts. It has steel rocker arms, high-dollar Bryant cranks, dual intercoolers, Big Chief 10-degree heads and Auto Verdi oil pumps with air-oil extractors so you don’t aerate the oil. These motors have the ability to run over 7,000 rpm—with these parts the Class 1 motors we were building ran 7,600 rpm.

“The boat is going to be 9,200 or 9,300 pounds, which has Peter Hledin at Skater pretty excited because it’s not going to be loaded down with a whole bunch of heavy stuff,” he continued. “With that kind of rpm from the engines, they’re going to be able run smaller props and it will be really responsive. It’s going to be quick and nimble.”

While D’Anniballe said he has the parts to maintain and even duplicate the 1,100-hp engines—a good thing for future potential buyers of the new 38-footer to know—he has no plans to offer it as a standard Sterling engine package.

“Honestly, because of the parts involved if you were to come to me it would be one of the most expensive 1100s on the market,” he said. “It would be a $90,000 to $95,000 engine.”

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Said D’Anniballe: “It’s going to be really quick and nimble.”

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