Our Product Integration Manager Mike Griffiths invited Skater to bring the boat to Fond du Lac to have it dialed in. The engines are one of the first to be equipped with our factory installed rear tie bar mounting kits.
Skater’s National Sales Manager Tony Cutsuries visited us along with rigging specialist Mike Veldhoff. Mike Griffiths worked with the team in setting engine height and prop rotation for maximum performance and efficiency. Their two-day test session on Lake Winnebago was a great success.
Mike Griffiths ultimately found the optimum engine height, spinning prototype five-blade CNC Cleaver props 6966 rpm for a top-speed of 114 mph!
Mike then invited me to go for a ride with Tony and Mike along with my co-workers Steve Miller and Jason Pugh.
We figured the load weight of six guys and fuel to be 2,000 lbs. The 400Rs, spinning-15-1/4″ X 33″ Lab Finished Bravo One props, carried the load for a top speed just shy of 100 mph! That is crazy fast for all of that weight. A storm was coming in and the lake conditions were rough. You wouldn’t know it by the ride. It was very smooth – both flat out and into and out of the turns. It felt like an exotic sports car on the water. And the motors just ran fantastic!
While we were out – Mike stopped for a moment to take a call. Who was on the other line? None other than Douglas Marine’s founder Peter Hledin. Peter was anxious to hear how his latest creation was running. They talked for quite some time. Mike summed up his impression of the boat by telling Peter, “You’re going to do well with this boat. It handles extremely well.”
Tony said, “We’re all in regarding the new market the four stroke 400Rs offer us. Our customers can now get thousands of hours trouble free run time, extended warranties, and much improved run quality over the older 2-strokes. “They are extremely quiet. No smell or smoke yet they still have that performance sound. The 400Rs are extremely efficient as well. We are seeing 2.2 mpg at 75 mph!,”
Mike Veldhoff said there are a number improvements when comparing the rigging of the 400R versus the OptiMax 300XS. “We no longer need to worry about rigging a remote oil tank. The trim system is built in the engine and the digital throttle & shift is much easier to install compared to the mechanical cables. The inclusion of steering cylinders and rear tie-bar mounting plate on the 400R is a plus as well,” Mike said.
It didn’t take long for the initial performance results to go viral over the web. SpeedontheWater were the first to post the news. My quick video posted some big numbers on Instagram and Facebook. And the cool thing the boat has yet to reach its potential. Tony and Mike will be back in a couple of weeks for further testing. I’m hoping the owner will come to see the plant and drive his new boat for the first time!