From the beginning we knew it was going to be a long process to build something completely unique and exotic. We didn’t know it would take this long, but in the end the boat is done, and it is truly remarkable.
Custom Boat building has become an art that reaches to all aspects of a boat. It’s not cheap and it’s not fast because most of what’s done is done by artists and their work is rare and exotic and not even close to what everyone else runs. Guys like Bill Pyburn and Chris Bradley are those powerboaters who state they want more and have the drive to work hard to make it happen.
Chris Bradley’s new Goodwin Competition Powered 388 Skater, “Rainmaker” is done. Within minutes of its first splash at the Southern Bayou Secret Test Site, the boat was running strong, 150 MPH at 40% throttle. Idling, shifting, easy on plane, an all around incredible powerboating experience!
But they didn’t do it alone… This first sea trial could not have been completed without the support and tremendous work completed by Bill Pyburn and his team supported by Jason Ventura at BrandX, and a ton of detail work by Todd Goodwin and Luke Stubbs. Fact: The Goodwin Extreme Marine Engines have always been incredible. The challenges: Water delivery, fuel delivery, and other boat related set-up and rigging issues. Bill Pyburn’s 388 Pure Platinum did the heavy lifting and we benefited from the work they did to incorporate the right changes to the boat to make it all work right out of the box. Fact: Both Pure Platinum and Rainmaker sat side by side during the two day test period and ran flawlessly!
However “Rainmaker” is different from “Pure Platinum” in a few ways. The cockpit rear seat is six inches further forward and the entire cockpit is six inches wider. The windshield provided by Lee Aerospace provides incredible optics and is cut slightly different. The custom interior came from a simple conversation and question about interiors and how could we not make this boat like any other boat, but enhance the Skater look with something cool and unique. An idea came up about auto interiors and a google search of “world’s best auto interiors” led us to Carlex Design. Chris called and messaged Carlex tirelessly to find out if they would consider doing a boat. With the time and language difference it was slow going until we realized Peter Hledin’s wife spoke Polish and his brother-in-law does some business in Poland. Now handing this off to Peter was the beginning of what is now an interior option for all Skaters. Carlex produces some of the worlds finest bespoke interiors and the Skater-Carlex collaborations will only get better.
The graphic design and paint was done by Dean Loucks at the Art of Design. After extensive discussions and multiple renderings, the final sixth rendering was approved for paint. Asymmetrical graphics painted in a blend of pearl white, flat matte white, grays, black, and carbon fiber, bringing a completely new look to the boat. We have to note this boat was painted two years ago and since then other boats have been released with similar paint, but none of them capture all of the same elements that have been incorporated into the final work of art that is truly a one-of-a-kind. Also note that the boat is shaved of hardware as much as possible. The only exposed hardware on deck are cleats and fuel vents. The lifting eyes, navigation lights, and even the fuel fills are all hidden below hatches and the cockpit cover uses suction cups so there are no more busted toes on cover snaps. When the boat is tilted and trailered the tight fitting covers from Marine Concepts works great and can be put on and taken off by one person.
Other differences include an incredible stereo system that you can’t see but you will certainly hear and a water mister and blower system to cool down the cockpit on long idles.
The Mercury Racing M6 drives are controlled by Marine Design Corporations Drive Sync. With two switches on the custom designed and fabricated throttles from Hardin Marine, we can control the drives with simple touches. The left throttle moves both drives in unison and they always trim exactly together, the top right button moves the drives to neutral and the bottom button to a preset negative trim setting. Additionally, since the boat is capable of extreme speeds we have incorporated a GPS speed feature which will limit how much if any positive trim can be applied beyond a predetermined speed. This is what we believe to be the first autonomous safety feature to limit how much trim can be applied in a high speed run.
In the end “Rainmaker” is the most incredible and finest 388 Skater ever built ,incorporating new and novel ideas, engines, and features not found on anything else. The only way to achieve this type of exotic build is to have an owner willing to work harder than ever, and not only to pay to push the envelope, but have the patience, determination, and persistence to do a huge amount of work on their own to make the dream a reality!
We have the entire build process and story behind us. In the coming weeks we will release all the photos of the build from the hull being laid up to the final delivery. Stay tuned for everything!