Event Coverage: Weekend At Ronnie’s
A Skater catamaran owner of note, Michigan’s Ron Szolack is a man of his word. After producing his tenth Skaterfest in 2021, he vowed never to produce one again. The annual celebration of the iconic catamaran brand based in Douglas, Mich., had simply become more of an organizational hassle than Szolack, who splits his time between Michigan and South Florida, wanted, much less needed. So after last years’ event on Michigan’s Lake St. Clair and its river of the same name, he announced he was finished.
The best of the Skater best—including Todd Fountain’s wild Tom Cat 46-footer—made it to Weekend At Ronnie’s. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But pushover that he is, Szolack never ruled out having a handful Skater-loving friends—rather than last year’s 30-plus—over for a weekend of boating. And that was exactly what he did this weekend near his Detroit Metro area home.
Call it Weekend At Ronnie’s.
A baby due this fall and a pregnant wife at home who loves boating as much as he does couldn’t keep New Jersey’s Chris LaMorte from his annual August weekend pilgrimage to Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.
Counting Szolack’s 42-foot Cigarette center console, there were 15 boats in the mix this weekend, still a healthy fleet of Skater cats but “way better,” at least from the organizer’s perspective, than 30 of them.
The fleet followed the traditional schedule to the usual haunts and, as always, meaning nothing was mandatory. Saturday’s lunch run from the Metro Park docks—home-base for the weekend—headed to Pepper Joe’s on the St. Clair River, where Skater aficionados Danny DeSantis of Massachusetts and Michigan’s Todd Fountain picked up the tab. After lunch, the group headed to Brown’s, a popular waterfront hangout.
Even with just 14 Skater catamarans in the mix, the informal Weekend At Ronnie’s was simply spectacular.
“It went great,” said DeSantis. “There was a little overcast Saturday but everyone had fun—and made it back without a problem.”
Szolack and another Skater owner paid for dinner, catered as usual by Luigi’s Italian restaurant, back at Metro Park, once the fleet returned.
“It was another great weekend—so much fun,” said Szolack. “Great friends great boats, great memories.”
“And not on one of the Great Lakes,” he added, then laughed.
Justin and Johnna Beischel enjoyed the weekend in Short Circuit, their Skater 368 catamaran.