Having owned more than 100 boats from various builders—some 70 from Skater Powerboats alone—Ron Szolack almost always has something interesting under construction. To keep that productive hobby going, the high-performance powerboat fan, who splits his time between Michigan and Florida, recently ordered a dozen catamaran hulls from Doug Wright Designs, which as previously reported has been sold to Cigarette Racing Team. (The deal is scheduled to close on March 31.)
Captured here with the author, Ron Szolack (left) has a dozen Doug Wright catamarans ordered. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Of those 12 cats, 11 will be 39-footers with Mercury Racing 450R outboard-engine power. But the first boat in Szolack’s significant order will be a 44-footer powered by Mercury Racing 1350 engines. Lamination for that model begins today.
“I had gone for a ride with my friends Win Farnsworth and Sara Christine in their Wright Performance 420 and I really liked it, but I think it’s just a little too big for outboards,” he said. “I thought it would be great with inboard power—I love inboard power—so it will have 1350s.”
Grant’s Signature Racing will take care of rigging the 44-footer—the transom bustle creates the extra two feet of length—as well as Szolack’s 39-footers, all of which will be eight-seaters. Szolack plans to task Jamie Borg of Cutting Edge Interiors to handle the soft-scapes and will have Doug Harrell of Doug Harrell Designs tackle the paintwork.
But before Doug Wright Designs can begin building Szolack’s 39-footers, the Melbourne, Fla., company has a couple of raceboats to finish for the 450R Factory Stock offshore racing catamaran class—as well as create a pleasure-version deck.
With its pending sale to Cigarette and 12 catamaran orders from Ron Szolack, big things are in the works at Doug Wright Designs.
The deal began with Szolack visiting Doug Wright Designs several weeks ago. There he met with Doug Wright, Jr. By the time they went to lunch, Szolack had ordered a 44-footer and one 39-footer. When they returned to the facility, he placed deposits on 10 more 39-footers.
“I think it’s going to be the hottest outboard catamaran model made,” he said. “It’s the perfect hull for the 450Rs.”
Szolack added that he’s thrilled with the pending Cigarette acquisition of Doug Wright Designs.
“I am so happy Cigarette made the deal—I’ve always been a Cigarette man,” he said. “I had four Cigarette center consoles last year and I’m currently building a 42 Auroris.”