An April—maybe even late March—debut is on tap for the first United States-built catamaran powered by Mercury Racing’s Verado ROS (Race Offshore) outboard engines thanks to Grant Bruggemann and company at Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla. Owned by former offshore racer and current high-performance powerboat enthusiast Matt Race, the Skater Powerboats 368 catamaran arrived at the shop a few weeks ago and Bruggemann has been working on it ever since.
This Mercury Racing Verado ROS outboard engine-powered Skater 368 was built and is being rigged with particuarly careful attention to weight.
The first order of business was removing the 36-footer’s interior in advance of rigging and dash setup. Because of the boat’s particularly low-profile, Bruggemann had to design and order special oil tanks—he even created cardboard mock-ups of the tanks in the boat before he put pencil to paper and sent his drawings to a CAD designer before fabrication.
The 400-hp outboards are installed on Shaun Torrente’s STR X-ACT Outboard Brackets, but even those key parts were custom made to be “super light,” according to Kellie Lee, who works alongside with Bruggemann, her finance, at the shop. Bruggemann even had a custom lighter-weight tie bar built for the cat.
For a closer look at the current state of the Skater 368 catamaran at Grant’s Signature Racing, check out the slideshow above.
“Everything about this project is custom because they’re paying so much attention to the weight of the boat,” said Lee. “Every nut, bolt and washer was specifically chosen. He used titanium nuts and bolts just to try to keep everything as light as possible.”
Lee said that while she plans on taking off Sunday, Bruggemann will work through the weekend on the project.
“Grant is so involved in the process,” she said. “He goes home and talks about it right up until the time we go to sleep. He keeps a notebook there so he can write down the things he thinks of when we’re home. I don’t think anyone truly understands how much time, just in brain time’ alone, goes into something like this.”