It’s been more than 15 years since Sunsation Powerboats, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, has hosted an exclusive event for its loyal customers. During its lifespan, the Algonac, Mich., company has gone from producing popular semi-custom, sterndrive-engine-powered V-bottom sportboats to building even-more-popular center consoles from 32 to 40 feet long with outboards.
Sunsation owners from around the country will descend on Lake St. Clair on August 4-5 to celebrate the brand’s 40th anniversary. Photo from the 2022 Performance Boat Center Outboard Fun Run by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
Proof positive of the Sunsation brand’s storied past and bright future, a mix of 81 “Sunny” V-bottoms and center consoles will take to the waters of Lake St. Clair—as previously reported on speedonthewater.com—on August 4 for a multi-stop “Sun Run” followed by a late-afternoon raft-up. Brothers Joe and Wayne Schaldenbrand, the founders of the company, will be on hand for the daylong celebration, which is sponsored by Mercury Racing and speedonthewater.com, as will Sunsation owners group member Kyle Miller.
“We didn’t really know how many boats to expect,” said Brad DiMaggio, the company’s director of marketing. “After initial feedback from customers we guessed around 40 boats. Today we sit at 81 registered Sunsations—58 sport boats and 23 center consoles.
“So you can expect the start of the run to be quite loud,” he added, then laughed.
So strong has the response to the event been by the Sunsation faithful that the organizers have added a noon lunch run from Cabana Blue to Brown’s the following day.
“I am really looking forward to the Sun Run,” said Dave Burgess, who lives in the St. Clair area and owns an immaculate Sunsation 40 CCX painted by Stephen Miles. “All the guys at the factory are so supportive and eager to get all the boats together for this event. It’s going to be a blast.
“I’m going to have Wayne Schaldenbrand on board with me for the run,” he continued. “He is a very interesting guy so I’m really excited about that.”
Speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden will capture the Sun Run action, while Sunsation’s DiMaggio will handle the video element.