You have to respect and admire Peter Hledin, the founder, owner and daily shop laborer at Douglas Marine/Skater in Douglas, Mich. With a waiting list of customers for his exotic high-performance catamarans, Hledin could easily stick with what he has and forget adding new models or tweaking existing ones.
But then, Hledin wouldn’t be Hledin and Skater wouldn’t have a waiting list.
To this end, Hledin is adding a hardtop deck to his popular Skater 40 Super Sport cat. This first model is going to Gary Collegewood in Discovery Bay, Calif.
“Just about all the structural work is done, now we’re working on cosmetics,” Hledin told me earlier today. “The hardtop is going to be very user friendly. The boat’s going to be an absolute cream puff with air conditioning and a lot of natural wood in the cockpit. It’s going to be a showpiece.
“The hardtop will be offered in six- or eight-man versions,” he added. “It’s going to be available on the 38, the 40 and the 46. We’re also working on a 43, but you probably won’t see that for another year.”