Sterling 1700-Powered Skater 388 Update: Waiting on a Tool

Final dial-in of the much-anticipated Skater 388 catamaran with twin 1,700-hp turbocharged Sterling engines at David Wade Marine has been stalled, at least for the time being. That’s because the Baton Rouge, La., high-performance powerboat rigging and service shop is waiting on a “retainer extraction” tool so it can replace a bent propeller shaft in a Mercury Racing No. 6 drive.

The shaft was bent during the early stages of testing at the end of the summer when one of the cat's propellers threw a blade. Before he can reach the shaft and replace it—he already has a new shaft ready to go—David Wade, the owner and founder of the well-known shop, has to remove a retainer behind the nose cone of the drive.

“I expected the tool some time ago or I would have sent the drive up to Mercury Racing for them to repair,” said Wade. “But the tool I have is broken and I need a new one anyway because I have something like three or four other drives to repair.”

Wade says the owner of the boat, who lives in Louisiana, has remained patient through the process.

“It’s getting cool around here and he has a lot of things he likes to do, like hunting,” said Wade. “And he’s starting a new business, so he has lots to keep him busy.”