Wayne Schaldenbrand meets potentials customers at every event he attends—that's the main reasons he and the rest of the Sunsation Boats crew participate in poker runs and other events such as the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. Well that and they really enjoy boating.
Still, it's like hitting a home run when you actually generate a sale from an event. That's exactly what happened when the owner of Sunsation's first mid-cabin/open-bow 32 XRT walked up to Schaldenbrand at the 2011 Shootout and said, "I want you to build me a boat."
"We went to Ozarks last year and ran a few boats in the Shootout," Schaldenbrand said. "We collected a couple of trophies and some guy walked up to me afterward and said he wanted me to build him a boat that he could bring next year and race in the Shootout. So I took him out for a quick ride and he was sold."
Flash forward seven months and the aircraft-inspired 32 XRT with dual F-16-style canopies is complete. Powered by a pair of MerCruiser 8.2 Mag HO engines and Bravo X drives, the 32-footer reportedly reached 85 mph in Sunsation's first round of testing (87 mph with the current, according to Schaldenbrand).
"We blueprinted the bottom and are using lab-finished 32"-pitch Bravo wheels," Schaldenbrand said. "We've got the boat set up for the owner—we've even labeled exactly where to put the tabs and where the trim limit is so there's no guess work.
"He is going to be very happy," he added. "We're sending the props back to have them tweaked a little before we deliver the boat."
So the question remains, if the plan is to run the boat in the Shootout, why not look at Mercury Racing HP525EFI or HP600SCi engines rather than the 430-hp 8.2 Mag HO engines?
"Once you get up into the 525s, you're talking about boosting the price $50,000, and that's a lot when you're talking about a boat in the 32-foot range," Schaldenbrand said. "For a boat with a two-year warranty that will touch 85 mph—and one that has as much bling as this one does—I'd say he's got a lot of boat for the money."
The MSRP on the boat was $224,000 and change, which includes custom touches such as intricate billet dash panels and a see-through acrylic engine hatch. The owner worked with Mitcher T on the paint job.
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