Though Wayne and Joe Schaldenbrand, the brothers who own Sunsation Boats in Algonac, Mich., had hoped to be farther along right now with their 34-foot-long center-console project, both said they are pleased that the hull plug is complete, the hull mold from the plug is on its way, and the deck tooling is in process. The Schaldenbrands are planning to have their 34-footer, the first in a series of center-console offerings, completed by summer’s end.
“We’re going to have to burn some candlelight to finish the first 34 center-console by the end of summer—we started about three weeks late—but we still think we can get it done,” said Wayne Schaldenbrand. “Gary Bridges and Paul Gallup [formerly of Fountain Powerboats] have done a great job on the design, and we want to make sure we get everything done perfectly on the first one.”
Tooling for the 34-footer’s deck is currently being completed at Vector Works in South Florida. The deck will incorporate the boat’s cabin, much of which will be under the center console. Once Sunsation receives the deck tooling it will create a mock-up of the cabin so all molded parts specifications can be finalized—and non-molded parts can be precisely fitted—before the first model is built.
“It’s a way of cutting some time off the project and for us in the factory to get the cabin exactly the way we want it,” said Schaldenbrand.
Sunsation reportedly has 10 orders for the center-console—a strong start for a new model that isn’t yet in the construction stage. The Schaldenbrand brothers said they expected a strong response, and to meet that demand they planned to expand their 37,000-square-foot facility to 40,000 square feet. However, an unexpected total factory retrofitting requirement from the City of Algonac forced them to cancel those plans.
Still, the brothers and their team remain upbeat at the already big demand for the 34-footer. “This is going to be the first year in our history that we don’t have to worry about orders to fill in the winter,” said Wayne Schaldenbrand.