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RACING BOAT SUPREME: THE SKATER POWER BOAT

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Take the versatile catamaran, use vacuum-bagging technology, make the hull of an s-glass, Kevlar and aircraft grade balsa core with epoxy resins, add the heart of a tiger and let it loose on the water. What you have is the high performance, heart-stopping, fast racing skater power boat. Built by Michigan-based Douglas Marine Corporation, in business for more than 21 years, the Skater power boat is considered one of the fastest in the business. A Skater power boat – Skater 36, set a power boat record reaching speeds of 180 mph.

It all began in 1979 with the Skater 24 and has since progressed up to and including Skater 46. There are now eight sizes of catamaran intended as pleasure cruisers and racing delights. The Skater 28, a 28 foot catamaran who bounces off the waves at 112 to 120 mph is among their smallest offerings; the Skater 46, with a full cabin, at 45.7 feet is the largest.

The word for the Skater power boat is versatile. It is a pleasure boat and a racing craft. It can tear down a smooth-as-glass river or race in the offshore power boat racing circuit. Each size is created to be a pleasure or race power boat. But have no doubt, the skater power boat was made to race.

All but the Skater Super Cat – ideally made for the race of the same name, hold five persons. They sit comfortably in high-backed bolstered seats, protected from harm by an integrated wind screen. While most do fit five the Super Cat has a cockpit designed to hold only one or two people. It is also, because it is a high-speed, high quality racer, has the protective safety measures of a F-16 style canopy.

In some, there is only a rear fibreglass hutch to store items or a tarp to provide protection from the sun beating down on the passengers and pilot as they race across the water towards the finish line. Others have a roomy full cabin below the deck permitting overnighters.

It is also rarely a skater power boat gets caught without fuel. Most boast two tanks holding ample fuel for a quick trip to almost anywhere. The twin fuel tanks efficiently and cleanly feed an inboard (Skater 32 Pleasure/Race Pleasure/Race) or outboard motor (Skater 32 Classic), depending upon the model.

Yet what the Skater power boat is about is, truly, racing and speed. The quickness with which these power boats can race across the water is indicated in the amount of races they have won. How fast a skater power boat can go depends upon the model. The smaller Skaters, particularly the 28s and 32s, range from 95 to 170mph. The Skater 40s and 46s start at 125 and hit as high as 170 and greater.

There is never a doubt that for speed, nothing touches this Cat.


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