Skater At 50—Deal With It Takes The Spotlight

Skater At 50—Deal With It Takes The Spotlight

In a nod to the 21st anniversary of this week’s Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Northern Michigan, today’s Skater At 50 highlights a Skater Powerboats catamaran that has been participating in the charity event for more than a decade—Deal With It, the monstrous 46-footer owned by Steve Gordon, a Detroit-area boater who attends the poker run every year and is as generous as the event’s supporters get.

Steve Gordon’s 46-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran Deal With It has been crushing Michigan waterways for a decade. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

His Skater, which the Douglas, Mich., builder delivered in the summer of 2014, is also one of the event’s most well-known boats. Between its radical twin-turbocharged Sterling Performance Engines pumping out 1,875 hp per side and its remarkably detailed silver, orange, purple and black graphics applied by talented Skater painter Steve Schulte, Gordon’s boat, which he runs with the legendary Ross Focht of Ocean Express Powerboats in Algonac, Mich., is instantly recognizable.

The engine scoops and extra-wide tunnel add to the unique Skater’s identity, which screams aggression. Well, until it’s loaded with 20 or members of Gordon’s family (see below).

Gordon, who is the founder and president of Signature Associates in Southfield, Mich., and has only missed one Boyne Thunder Poker Run, enjoys the event so much that he’s turned it into a family reunion. And a large one at that—proof by the ample amount of food portions available each day from Gordon’s RV parked at the F. Grant Moore Municipal Marina.

And Gordon doesn’t just feed his family; the big-hearted boater who has owned a few Skaters provides breakfast, lunch and dinner for volunteers and marina employees in the park at the docks. And it’s good—trust me, I enjoyed breakfast during my first visit to the event in 2014. I wasn’t a volunteer, but thanks to photographer Pete Boden, I was introduced to the family and enjoyed a tasty meal to start my day. Since then, I’ve been welcomed back with open arms by Gordon and his family.

I’ve always thought it was the paintjob or maybe knowing what’s lurking under the engine hatches that made Deal With It catch my eye when browsing through Boden’s images from Boyne or the former Skaterfest on Lake St. Clair, but it could have more to do with my fond memories the Gordon group. All of which I hope has another amazing reunion during this year’s poker run.

Steve Gordon, right, has been running boats with his longtime friend, Ross Focht, since 1988.

Related stories
Days Of Thunder: The Story Of The Boyne Thunder Poker Run
Commentary: Dealing With It
Lake St. Clair Fun Run Wrap-Up: 18 Years And Counting
Boyne Thunder Poker Run Wrap-Up: Michigan’s Finest
Sterling 1700s Making 1875 HP, Headed For 46’ Skater

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