One of the best parts of my boating life is I am as deeply immersed in the Powerboating world and lifestyle as much as is humanly possible. When the many conversations come up about boats and boating, and then topic of production and customs pops there is often a debate, discussion, and even argument over the simple idea of what “CUSTOM” is, as it seems to be different for each of us.
A few recent conversations about the Platinum Skater’s have sparked the remarks of whether the boats are really “Custom Boats” or just another new Skater with a brilliant paint job. Lets face it, in this day and age what separates one boat from another is literally a paint job as it seems most manufacturers have standardized what they offer and while some may pay more attention to details than others, what is custom?
One of these conversation at a recent boating event had my friend and PBN supporter Scott with Hardin Marine piping up in a debate and with his spirited, outspoken and unrelenting voice delivered his opinion of “Custom” and how unique the new “Platinum Series” Skater boats were. He says “Here’s what truly makes a boat custom: Not just buying a bunch of production parts and bolting them into a production hull.”
“Let me tell you about custom” he continued “While we all know that every Skater Powerboat is unique, the fact that Skater modified the height, weight, and layout of the new 388 to Bill Pyburn’s spec is one thing but we’re (Hardin Marine) building so many new one off parts for just these boats you can’t imagine.” A little known “Secret” is that Bill Pyburn wasn’t just the customer spurring the development of the new “Platinum Series” boats but he knew the right resources to develop a custom boat. With direct access to the Hardin Marine Team Bill laid out a wish list a mile long.
Now that he opened this up in public I just have to get more detail because the statement is nothing without the real facts! So he goes on to say they have been working on virtually every aspect of the rigging of the boat. They are designing numerous engine components in conjunction with Goodwin Competition from new four stage water pumps with custom bracketry and inlets/outlets to a unique sea strainer system. They are also working on a host of other items that he said was hush until the boats debut.
In our typical banter I grabbed the MOTO moment (master of the obvious) and said yeah well engine parts is what you guys do and he threw back and said they are building new one off custom dash components as well as new shift/throttle lever control. They are actually fitting the levers to the hands of the drivers so they will have a custom ergonomic fit of each driver. He was quick to say he will share some of the prototype images with us.
Needless to say while custom means something different to everybody one things for sure there’s a lot going into the new Platinum boats that most would not have known and a custom fit with boat interior seats to specific human ergonomics is probably an argument stopper for what custom is because shouldn’t custom mean one off or limited production.