With owner Matt Rice behind the wheel, the first and only high-performance pleasure boat to be powered by Mercury Racing Verado ROS (Race Offshore) outboard engines reached 119 mph during a run this morning in Sarasota, Fla. Rice, who lives in Hanover, Pa., but owns a second home in the Sarasota area, took delivery of the low-profile Skater Powerboats 368 catamaran last Thursday from Grant Bruggemann of Grant’s Signature Racing, the well-known and respected rigging and setup shop that installed and rigged the 400-hp race-bred outboards on the 36-footer.

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Captured in a photo shoot last week for an upcoming Speed On The Water digital magazine feature, this Skater 368 powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado ROS outboard engines ran 119 mph this morning (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

In a prior sea trial with 33-inch-pitch Mercury Racing CNC propellers, the boat had topped out at 115 mph. Bruggemann and Rice were certain that the cat could run faster, and with 34-inch-pitch Mercury Racing CNC propellers it did exactly that this morning.

“I’m very confident we can get it to 120 mph,” said Bruggemann. “It’s a fast hull, and it’s not like we’re pushing it beyond its means.”

Rice agreed. “I think I probably could have gotten it to 121 mph with clean water,” he said. “I still had some rpm left on top, but there was a lot of boating traffic and the conditions weren’t cooperating.

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Rice ran his new 36-footer to 119 mph this morning.

“We went out in two- to three-foot chop this weekend and ran it across it at 113, 114 mph with no problem,” he added. “It carries the nose really well, just like a raceboat. The whole project turned out just awesome. The boat is really sweet.”

Editor’s Note: A comprehensive feature on Matt Rice’s Skater 368 catamaran will appear in the March/April issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine, which goes live Monday, April 24.

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