Skater At 50—The First 318 Cat And The First Speed On The Water Year In Review Cover

Skater At 50—The First 318 Cat And The First Speed On The Water Year In Review Cover

As a matter of pure happenstance, the first Skater Powerboats 318 catamaran hit the water in 2015, which also was the first year we chronicled it in our then-new Year In Review print edition. The outboard-powered sport catamaran market was starting to soar—twin six-cylinder 400-hp outboards from Mercury Racing were the propulsion package of choice at the time—and the Douglas, Mich., company needed an answer to competing models from other catamaran builders.

Not only was Steve Lane’s Skater 318 catamaran hull No. 1, the 2015 model-year build graced the cover of the first Speed On The Water Year In Review magazine. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

The 31-footer went to Steve Lane of Toms River, N.J., and we covered it in the 2015 November/December issue of our digital magazine.

“What I’m excited about with the 318 is that it takes me back to my roots in outboards—that’s what got me started,” Peter Hledin, the owner and founder, said in the article about the boat. “I’ve always said, when it comes to bang for the buck you can’t beat outboards.”

Speed On The Water 2015 Year In Review—the inaugural issue of the oversized collectible issue had the Skater 318 front and center on its cover.

In January 2016, we released the first Speed On The Water Year In Review print magazine and the Skater 318 was the prominent boat on the cover. But with winter fast-approaching, the Lake Michigan photo shoot came down to the wire. With a little help from Skater Powerboats national sales manager Tony Cutsuries handling driving duties, chief photographer Pete Boden got it done just in time to make the magazine’s print deadline.

Skater’s own Tony Cutsuries handled wheel-duty for the cover shoot.

Though the 318 with twin 400-hp outboards was significantly slower than its competition—the 31-footer maxed out at 114 mph while other offerings from in its category were able to nick 120 mph—the deep-tunnel cat was a superior rough-water boat. Lane named it St. Ruth after his late mother, and he could not have cared less about the boat’s top speed.

“I can run 100 mph in it all day long,” Lane said. “And the acceleration is awesome.”

The first 318 also happened to be Lane’s first catamaran. Moreover, thanks to Hledin’s deck line and the paintwork of Steve and Jake Schulte, it was an absolute work of art. And that made it the perfect cover girl for the inaugural Speed On The Water Year In Review magazine.

Captured from any angle, the first Skater 318 is breathtaking.

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