• The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection

    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”. Vince Lombardi

    Boyne Thunder 2014

    When Skater Powerboats started the build of the 46’ Race/Pleasure “GOTCHA NOW” back in 2013 they knew they had an owner who was always in search of perfection. He wouldn’t even consider ever letting the boat be used in salt water. The boat was built with Mercury Racing 1350’s, M8 drives, and had every aspect of the build sweated to the smallest detail. When the pursuit of perfection was completed, Lombardi would certainly agree excellence had certainly been caught. But, when a person driven towards perfection gets close, close is never good enough.

    Custom Skater Tilt Trailer

    Although perfection may be unattainable, that doesn’t mean those who chase it ever give up. So, back to Skater at the end of the season, several tweaks and improvements were made for the upcoming 2015 season, plus the latest big power offering out there was put in.

    Lake of the Ozarks 2015

    But perfection is elusive, with some unanticipated power issues, back to Skater in 2015 to further search for that seemingly hard to capture target. This time, Mercury Racing’s latest iteration of their 1350 engines, Mercury Racing transmissions, and Mercury Racing M8R drives were installed. But of course, even though the drives were the latest M8R’s, they could not be installed as supplied due to perfection being the goal. So, the drives were shipped out to Wilson Custom Marine in Stuart, Florida to go through their complete blueprint improvement program. Wilson did their blueprinting tweak to find the utmost performance and handling capabilities possible. The pursuit of perfection is grueling!!

    M8R Drives Blueprinted at Wilson

    While at Skater for the repower, (again), the latest “Knife-Edge” bottom modifications were made, every little imperfection in the paint was fixed in Skater’s custom paint shop, and Mike Veldhoff and his rigging crew did their best to perfect the wiring harnesses, all rigging, and plumbing.

    Meticulous Plumbing and Wiring

    After the final tweaks and details, test fire and review at the Skater factory, it was time to go off the Mercury Racing and have the experts there help dial the boat in for the perfection goal. Mike Griffiths and his team at Mercury Racing spent the day reviewing, driving, tweaking, reviewing, driving, tweaking, and making adjustments. There is nothing quite like having the team at Mercury Racing assist with setting up a boat equipped with their engines and drives. It also happened to be Mercury’s first boat test of the year, so they were probably thrilled to spend a day on the water doing this kind of chore.

    Mercury Performance Fond du Lac 2016

    After a few hours of tweaking and testing, (putting a couple hours on the engine meters), several prop changes, several drive spacer changes, and putting the boat through her paces. It was decided that Skater and Mercury Racing had come extremely close to attaining that elusive perfection goal. The boat was now dialled at over 160 MPH, the handling was excellent throughout the boats range, and was an on-rails performer that would make anyone who was obsessed with perfection proud to say, incredible.

    Triple Garmins and Dual Helms

    Then it was back to the detailers and the boats’ dedicated professional handler to make sure every waterspot and speck of dirt was removed.

    Plenty of Room For Six in the Widened Cockpit

    We all wonder what will be next in the relentless pursuit of perfection?

    “Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, those who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.” Phillip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

    We think Earl Phillip would say that Gotcha Now is certainly coming near!

    (Photos courtesy Pete Boden and Gotcha Now)