On track for completion by the time its engines are delivered in December, the first Skater Powerboats 368 catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 400R outboards reached another milestone yesterday when owner Matt Rice and Grant Bruggemann met with Peter Hledin, the owner and founder of the famed custom high-performance powerboat company, and his crew at the Skater plant in Douglas, Mich. The primary goal of the one-day round-trip from Florida to Michigan for Rice and Bruggemann, who’ll handle the installation and rigging of the outboards at his Grant’s Signature Racing Shop in Bradenton, was to make sure all the heights—deck, seats, etc.—met their expectations/specifications for the 36-footer.
Pondering the details—(from left) Peter Hledin, Grant Bruggemann, Tony Cutsuries and Matt Rice went over the first Verado-outboard-powered Skater 368 catamaran yesterday. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“We had seen a bunch of pictures and gone back and forth on the profile of the boat, but it looked so much better in person,” said Bruggemann. “And as usual, Peter (Hledin) had all these good ideas.”
“They were really happy with everything,” said Tony Cutsuries, Skater’s national sales manager. “It was positive—everyone was kosher with everything, and Matt went over some paint stuff with Steve, our painter.”
Despite that the cat is still several months away from completion, Bruggemann said the trip was essential. “That’s part of the deal,” he said. “At a certain point in the build, we always go the factory. When the boat is in such a raw stage, it’s a lot easier to make changes if things aren’t exactly what we were thinking. And Peter always has some good ideas up his sleeve.”
In December, Bruggemann will receive the completed hull and deck as a “blank canvas” beyond its paint, interior, finished bilge, deck hatches hardware and fuel fills.
“We’ll have a clean slate so we can start rigging from scratch,” he said. “Each client is different and has different wants and needs. That’s right up our alley.”