As much as one might be inclined to whine about the cold and snow of being on location with PBN, we can’t whine about it. We know this is what really gives PBN the edge in covering things for you. Being deeply involved requires more than sitting behind a computer it requires being on location and we know you have seen the beautiful pictures of boats and bikini’s and we often say if you’ve got to have a job it should be this one! Well with the sun and fun comes braving one of the most brutal winters in years. But the Gods again shined down on us and we were fortunate enough to hit a high 30’s degree day and sneak into lovely Michigan without getting trapped in another blizzard, so, yes well were feeling damn lucky these days.
The trip is just another piece of the continued coverage of the evolution of the new Platinum SKATER’s that are progressing rapidly. Additional development decisions are constant in the quest for “The Ultimate Driving Machine” (to steal from auto). If you’ve followed this story at all you know that Bill Pyburn and Chris Bradley are in the middle of building an entirely new designed 388 Skater Platinum Series which will go well beyond what the current boat that Bill has piloted around the country and achieved world record speeds with.
If you’re in the game you already know SKATER’s are recognized for their extreme performance but what each SKATER really is is a one off, hand built, work of art. Unlike production boats that have a standard hull and deck that are laminated together SKATER actually use a hull or bottom mold and each deck or top is hand crafted to a specific design.
Many questions have risen from this project and our story, so here are some examples of some of the questions we have been thrown; (A) why would someone takes what would seem to be the perfect boat and build another? (B) Is this just another SKATER with a new paint job? (C) Is this just another boat salesman’s dreamed up idea making up names to create new hype to sell new boats?
What we can do is draw a line in the sand about what the new Platinum Skaters are and what they are not. What they ARE NOT are posers, fluffed standard offerings or name gimmicks. Bill is the man fueling SKATER’s enthusiasm and everyone else’s interest about these new 388 SKATERS’s, known as the Platinum series. Now don’t get me wrong, Bill may be fueling the passion but it’s still 100% the man Peter Hledin who is crafting the boat and making sure all the details are covered. Bill has probably spent more hours behind the wheel of the 388 than any other human. That experience has brought invaluable data that is being shared to develop these new Platinum 388’s and if you have never seen the current pure platinum boat via one of the say 50 YouTube videos then you should take a look as this boat and its astonishing performance characteristics.
The Platinum series boats are the real deal and let me just share a handful of the changes that are shaping these new boats. Starting with the boats proven running surface the decks have been cut down to aid in aerodynamics, they have had hundreds of pounds shaved through the use of one of Skaters special laminate schedule construction lay ups. They feature newly designed tunnel extensions and transoms design. Even the leading edge of the windshield has been laid back and other subtle changes that are designed to provide better performance have been integrated.
These features aren’t just communicated via some renderings or Skype communications; this is a hands on collaboration between Bill and Pete that bring real performance value not just some aesthetics. Bill and Pete talk about details in a way that creates a unique language about the cause and effect of each tiny change like they are two crew chiefs in a quest to win Indy or Daytona and its really astonishing to witness.
By blending the design changes with the performance characteristics they are bringing a true masterpiece to the water. Pete details and confirms center of gravity measurements and Bill speaks to the effects of how the bustle will allow airflow to bring the boats top performance. Transom angles, engine placement, exhaust exit design, engine room bulk head placement, engine hatch operation, windshield height, seat positioning and the way down to the stowage of anchors is discussed, not a single aspect of the boat doesn’t go evaluated.
Pete’s ongoing passion is incredibly inspiring, he always wants to make the next one better and we can’t help but give credit where credit is due. The Douglas Marine crew is truly a whole team of craftsmen. But don’t take my word for it, we are going to show you numerous things that we are presently sworn to secrecy about but in the very near future you will all know. . One thing for sure is these new 388 Platinum Skaters of Bill Pyburn and Chris Bradley are going to set the bar again in the history of SKATER’s legacy and its perpetual forward motion.