In late 2015, Grant Bruggemann of Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla., repowered a 2009 Skater 32 catamaran with Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines for Matt Rice, the owner of the boat. (Read the story.) Since then, Bruggemann and his crew have been fine-tuning the 32-footer, which topped out at 103 mph in its initial test sessions.
Yesterday, the 6,200-pound boat—with a half-tank of fuel—ran 111 mph with its twin 400-hp supercharged outboards turning 6,200 rpm.
Captured here during its first sea trial, this 32-foot Skater catamaran reached its fastest speed to date yesterday since it was repowered by Grant’s Signature Racing late last year. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“We’ve been tinkering away with it,” said Bruggemann. “This boat is on the heavier side and has the smaller tunnel—it only has a 52-inch tunnel, which is much smaller than the later-generation stuff.
“It never really handled correctly at speed,” he continued. “We got it to 106, 107 and 108 mph on its best day. But we did some work on the bottom and the tunnel, and yesterday ran 111 mph on Sarasota Bay. And conditions weren’t cooperating. It was 98 degrees with 80-percent humidity.”
Bruggemann declined to elaborate on the specific modifications he made to the catamaran’s hull, but said his goal was to help “trap more air in the tunnel.” That not only upped the cat’s top end, it improved its overall performance.
“It’s getting on plane much easier—it doesn’t have any of that ‘tunnel stick’ that it used to,” he said. “It holds its attitude better, and acceleration times have picked up from eight to 12 seconds. Overall, it’s more efficient in every aspect.”
“We have a few more things we’re trying next week,” he added. “Matt is always asking, ‘Have you tried this?’ or ‘Have you done that?’ He’s great to work with. He’s not afraid to experiment.”