Skater At 50—Tom Cat At 23

Skater At 50—Tom Cat At 23

Though offshore racing team owner/driver Tom Abrams of Reliable Carriers fame competed in both Skater and MTI catamarans, he also commissioned and owned one of the best-known pleasure catamarans ever built by Skater Powerboats. Dubbed Tom Cat, the 46-footer from the Douglas, Mich., company was completed in 2001 and then-powered by 1,250/1,500-hp engines from Sterling Performance.

Built in 2001 and owned by Todd Fountain of Michigan, Tom Cat can still be found at performance boating events around the country. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

Eventually, the boat ended up in the hands of Skater fanatic Ron Szolack, who was living in the St. Clair, Mich., area at the time. Szolack purchased the cat, which had no engines at the time, in 2013 from an older gentlemen who reportedly never ran it but had converted at Skater headquarters from its original quarter-canopy setup to a full wraparound windshield form. Szolack’s first order of business was having the builder install a new pair of Mercury Racing 1350 engines in the cat.

“Right out of the box, it ran 168 mph,” Szolack recalled.

Though he’d never owned a high-performance catamaran, Todd Fountain of Newport, Mich., bought Tom Cat from his longtime friend Szolack in 2016. Fountain and his wife, Danielle, still own the striking 46-footer. The 23-year-old boat is far from a museum piece—it’s more like performance-art—for the couple and they’ve logged more than 200 hours on it between running on their own and participating in events around the country.

A frequent sight at Skaterfest for years, Tom Cat will part of the 2024 Weekend At Ronnie’s fleet on the Lake of the Ozarks.

Fountain said that he plans to campaign the cat this year at the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in July in Northern Michigan, Szolack’s Weekend At Ronnie’s event in October at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri and in the Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run in November.

“I just like how big and comfortable it is,” Fountain added. “And how fast it is for a 46-footer.”

Tom Cat’s cockpit offers plenty of space for passengers.

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Skater At 50—The Original Game Changer
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