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Sterling 1700-Powered Skater 388 Update: Dial-in Continues at David Wade Marine

Final “dialing in” of a Skater 388 catamaran powered by the first pair of Sterling Performance 1,700-hp turbocharged engines is two to three weeks from completion, according to David Wade, the principal of David Wade Marine in Baton Rouge. La, where the cat is being fine-tuned. Wade said he is currently working with 1.29:1 and 1.24:1 gear ratios, as well as waiting for 38-inch-pitched forged props from Hering Propellers.

“We’re setting up the boat for all-around performance,” said Wade. “We added aerators to the drives, which really helped it get on plane. The boat could definitely handle more propeller pitch—when you nail the throttles at 120 mph you can actually slip the props—but our goal is great overall performance.”

Wade said that while he hadn’t attempted any top-speed runs, he expects the cat to top out at more than 200 mph.

Sterling 1700 engine.

Sterling 1700 engine.

“We had it up to 170 and there was plenty of throttle left,” he said. “And the acceleration is phenomenal.”

While early setbacks including a thrown propeller blade that resulted in a bent propeller shaft in one of the cat’s Mercury Racing No. 6 drives have delayed the final set-up process, the turbocharged engines have had no issues, according to Wade. A couple of weeks ago, the boat took part in the Patriot Poker Run in the New Orleans area.

“We have four hours on the engines, and they’ve run flawlessly,” said Wade.