First launch of the Skater 318 with twin Verado 400R outboards.
First launch of the Skater 318 with twin Verado 400R outboards.

I recently experienced Skater’s new 318 catamaran. What a sweet ride! It is the first new Skater to be factory rigged with our hot new Verado 400R ouboards.

Mike Griffiths stops for a pose prior to testing.
Mike Griffiths stops for a pose prior to testing.

Our Product Integration Manager Mike Griffiths invited Skater to bring the boat to Fond du Lac to have it dialed in. The engines are one of the first to be equipped with our factory installed rear tie bar mounting kits.

Mike Veldhoff (L) checks engine height.

Skater’s National Sales Manager Tony Cutsuries visited us along with rigging specialist Mike Veldhoff. Mike Griffiths worked with the team in setting engine height and prop rotation for maximum performance and efficiency. Their two-day test session on Lake Winnebago was a great success.

Mike Griffiths ultimately found the optimum engine height, spinning prototype five-blade CNC Cleaver props 6966 rpm for a top-speed of 114 mph!

Mike Griffiths ripping across Lake Winnebago.
Mike Griffiths ripping across Lake Winnebago.

Mike then invited me to go for a ride with Tony and Mike along with my co-workers Steve Miller and Jason Pugh.

We figured the load weight of six guys and fuel to be 2,000 lbs. The 400Rs, spinning-15-1/4″ X 33″ Lab Finished Bravo One props, carried the load for a top speed just shy of 100 mph! That is crazy fast for all of that weight. A storm was coming in and the lake conditions were rough. You wouldn’t know it by the ride. It was very smooth – both flat out and into and out of the turns. It felt like an exotic sports car on the water. And the motors just ran fantastic!

While we were out – Mike stopped for a moment to take a call. Who was on the other line? None other than Douglas Marine’s founder Peter Hledin. Peter was anxious to hear how his latest creation was running. They talked for quite some time. Mike summed up his impression of the boat by telling Peter, “You’re going to do well with this boat. It handles extremely well.”

The 400R Skater achieved  2.2 mpg at 75 mph!
The 400R Skater achieved 2.2 mpg at 75 mph!

Tony said, “We’re all in regarding the new market the four stroke 400Rs offer us. Our customers can now get thousands of hours trouble free run time, extended warranties, and much improved run quality over the older 2-strokes. “They are extremely quiet. No smell or smoke yet they still have that performance sound. The 400Rs are extremely efficient as well. We are seeing 2.2 mpg at 75 mph!,”

Our Zero Effort Controls are smooth and  responsive.
Our Zero Effort Digital controls precisely signal driver intent to the DTS equipped Verado 400Rs.

Mike Veldhoff said there are a number improvements when comparing the rigging of the 400R versus the OptiMax 300XS. “We no longer need to worry about rigging a remote oil tank. The trim system is built in the engine and the digital throttle & shift is much easier to install compared to the mechanical cables.  The inclusion of steering cylinders and rear tie-bar mounting plate on the 400R is a plus as well,” Mike said.

Top speed thus far with more prop testing to come.
Top speed thus far with more prop testing to come.

It didn’t take long for the initial performance results to go viral over the web. SpeedontheWater were the first to post the news. My quick video posted some big numbers on Instagram and Facebook. And the cool thing the boat has yet to reach its potential. Tony and Mike will be back in a couple of weeks for further testing. I’m hoping the owner will come to see the plant and drive his new boat for the first time!






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5 thoughts on “Overachiever!”

  1. Hi everyone, I am the extremely fortunate owner of this new Skater 318. I would like to send out a BIG THANK YOU to Both Skater and Mercury Racing for making this whole thing possible. The Project came out better than I ever thought possible. Words can not say how pleased I am. All the Parties involved have done awesome work. Haven’t met the Mercury boys yet but I do plan on being there for the next round of testing. Stephen Lane.

  2. Just wanted to post a message to say that I made my trip out to Mercury Racing and it was awesome. The people at Mercury Racing are absolutely fantastic. The service they did for me of setting up my boat was priceless. They are at the top in their field for sure. It would have taken me a whole season to do what they accomplished in three days. The props they built for me really let my boat get to its top limits. The set up is perfect and I don’t think there is anything left on the table. All that and also had a ton of fun at it too. Once again, Thank you all. All the hard work all of you did is greatly appreciated. Stephen V. Lane III.

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