Skater At 50—The Collector

Skater At 50—The Collector

More than a few performance-boat aficionados have owned a half-dozen or more Skater Powerboats catamarans during the years. And why not if you’re of the means to do so? First, they’re exceptional products and—regardless of model—no two Skaters are identical. Second, they tend to hold value and command solid prices at resale.

Once the property of Ron Szolack, the 46-foot Tom Cat Skater has been owned by Todd Fountain for years. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

That’s just what happens when product quality and scarcity collide.

Now, quickly name the collector who has owned the most builds from the Douglas, Mich., company. If you didn’t come up with Ron Szolack, you’re probably not a true member of the Skater Nation and you need to go back and do your homework.

An ever-gracious host, Szolack put the author behind the wheel of Final-Final, a 50-foor Skater he owned during his 2021 Skaterfest event in Michigan.

By his count, Szolack, who recently completed a waterfront home at the Lake of the Ozarks, has owned more than 100 Skater catamarans

“And some of them, twice,” he said, the laughed. “I’ve probably had 20 new ones and 50 used ones. “But the used ones might have been bought and sold three different times.”

Another Szolack rocketship.

Szolack is just seven years older than the company itself, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. But he purchased his first one, he recalled in 2005 from Dave Scott, a longtime Lakes of the Ozarks resident and retired offshore racer with multiple world titles to his credit.

“It was the Bacardi Silver 36 Extreme-class raceboat, the same one that went 202 mph at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout,” Szolack said.

Szolack has owned some of the most memorable Skater catamarans ever built.

Translation? Szolack has done a remarkable job of making up for lost time with his Skater habit in the past 20 years.

Danny DeSantis, a likely runner-up to his longtime friend Szolack in the Skater collecting world, has owned “just 13 or 14” cats from the company during the years. But he’s made it to all but one of Szolack’s events celebrating the brand, and will run his current 42-footer in the invitational Weekend At Ronnie’s Skater-only event coming this September to Lake of the Ozarks.

Ron Szolack and Danny DeSantis are the ultimate Skater catamaran collectors.

But of course, they don’t let something as trivial as close friendship get in the way of their Skater-collecting hobby.

“Danny sold me his last 388 that I sold to Mark Michelle, and I sold Danny his new 426,” Szolack said.

Szolack is down to just three Skaters and one Mystic (left) in his recently completed storage facility at Lake of the Ozarks.

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