Restored Race Boat. Wood deck fiberglass classic flat bottom w/ Casale V-Drive and Side Oiler 427 Ford engine

wood deck fiberglass classic race boat 1961 flat bottom marine runabout

Wood deck classic fiberglass Hallett race boat

This is a 1961 Hallett race boat owned by racer/businessman Nick Barron, and he led its restoration. Others that had a hand in its restoration were Ray Day, Paul Richer, Ernie Casale, Harry Metzer, Harlan Orrin, Ken Meyers, and Hallett Boats.

restored classic race boat cockpit dash steering wheel gas pedal driver cavitation plate control

Note the cavitaion plate (racer trim tab) control handle

 

She is a pure race boat with the additional aspects of high speed marathon water ski racing that is in Halett’s history built into it. This is a beautiful, historic boat from the Southern California racing archives. This boat rig is complete with a special “float-on” style (no bow eye winch and cable) Competitive brand boat trailer.

restored race boat hallett flat bottom flattie vee drive ford side oiler marine

No winch and cable for this custom trailer

The boat’s rare Ford Side-Oiler 427 cubic inch engine was refreshed with its 536 horsepower power connected to the boat’s propeller via a 15% overdrive ( the prop spins 15% faster than the engine’s rpm) Split Case V-drive. Ray Day did the engine and Harry Orrin did the underwater hardware part including the Finish Line cavitation plate and hardware (racer trim tabs). Seating, steering, and other boat hardware details were done by Hallett Boats.

Casale Vee-Drtive strut prop shaft hardware installation

Casale split case vee drive runs the prop 15% faster than the engine

Harry Orrin did the beautiful wood deck on this Hallett racer. Its and the boat’s finish was done by Ken Meyers. Please note the blue pin line he did on the hull in my photos. It really sets the color and design choices off.

restored fiberglass hallett race boat pin line stripe marine runabout

Note the Blue Pin stripe line

Baron Boats built fiberglass versions of Hallett Boats. Rich Hallett was a master wood boat maker/builder and he first arranged for Nick Barron to do this in exchange for a “free” fiberglass hull for so many Hallett designs Baron Boats made (it is rumored that it was one “free” fiberglass hull for every seven boats built).

ford side oiler 427 marine engine race boat runabout

Side Oiler Ford marine race engine makes 536 horsepower

That made sense as Nick served a far bigger customer base. He made up to 500 boats per year since starting his business in 1957. Now sales for custom specification Halletts are in the two to three dozen per model year.

cavitation plate restored race boat fiberglass

Racer trim tabs

 

A few years into the royalty agreement, Nick bought the name Hallett from the Hallett family. While for a short time, all Baron Boats made to Hallett designs recognized that with a plaque that said “Hallett by Barron Boat Works” – or words to that effect. That wording and the distinction was dropped. For most of the time, however, Nick Barron was the owner/mover/shaker behind what is called Hallett Boats. Seabuddy has met Nick a few times, often with his buddy master engine builder Paul Pfatt at southern California events. I think of him as a nice guy.

wood deck fiberglass restored race boat runabout

Cockpit view

By the way, Pfatt Racing Engines is getting good sales and durability in the field with their 850 horsepower 429 cubic inch displacement GM LS3 with its new supercharging set-up. The redline for that 4.125 inch stroke motor from Pfatt is 6,700 RPM.

Riva Runabout and Sophia Loren, movie Star

Miss Loren had her own wooden Riva speedboat. She picked the top-shelf  twin engine model. While she won a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the movie Two Women in 1962, seabuddy remembers her first for being in Houseboat with Cary Grant in 1958. I have her described as “adorably charning” in this film and those words do it for me.

Miss Loren, movie start, on her Riva runabout

good close-up of Sophia Loren on her Riva wood runabout

The 1960 film It Started in Naples with Clark Gable seems to bring out another side of her acting skill while still being unsophisticated and lovable. Please also recall her dance number called “Americano” in this film. Others are Arabesque with Gregory Peck, El Cid with Charlton Heston, The Fall Of The Roman Empire with Stephen Boyd, Christopher Plummer, an Alec Guiness, and  Man Of La Mancha with Peter O’ Toole.. She did numerous other films, too.

Sophia Loren on aft deck of Riva runabout

 

The newest model Riva model came out in 1963. The hull was a development of Carlo Riva’s Triton model. All Aquaramas were wood boats but only the first three boats were planked wood boats.

riva yacht bow wood boat

bow photo Riva Yacht

 

Laminated (or plywood) hull sides were then used for the balance of the production run of these boats. These sheets were different from what was being used by higher volume (and lower priced) production boat builders. Each hull side was molded as one full length, top to bottom, bow to stern, single piece. And that sheet of plywood was molded off the boat to the same sweep as the designed hull’s curve. It is a treat to see these panels ready to be installed on a boat.

MBBW photo, thanks

seabuddy thanks MBBW for their photo

 

There at least four minor hull side, bottom shapes and length changes over the years of the boat’s production run.

A Riva is also a work of art in many aspects. Start with a look at the hardware. Study the windshield. The grace in the shape of the control handles. The dash panel.

riva aquarama wood boat framing

Riva framing for Aquarama model wood boat

 

A Riva boat can take one’s breath away if one really looks at it closely and in detail. A Riva looks like a handcrafted, one-off boat, but it is a production boat. A limited production boat that stands close up inspection as one would do with a custom boat.

riav yacht aquarama cockpit

Finely detailed Riva Cockpit

Riva Yachts hand selected its lumber. They then seasoned all of that lumber that went into the boats themselves, and then  they decided when it was ready for boat building. All that wood was held together with screws, glue, and then bright finished. Almost all of a boat was sprayed several times and then hand brushed several more times to a high gloss polished varnish finish. Windshield glass, screws, the metal for the boat’s hardware, and much of the material used in the seating was out sourced from other counties. Engines came from the USA. The varnish used in the finish of their classic boats was Italian.

A great book on the company’s history, the boat models, and boat owners of Riva Boats is Riva by Roberto Franzoni. It is a hardcover book that is printed in several languages within each copy. Like these classic wood boats, this book is rare. It is now an out-of-print book. Search for a collector copy at books within Amazon.com.

Riva Aquarama at a boat show with crew

Fun Boat

sophia loren with her riva wood boat

Sophia Loren with Riva Runabout on the cover of Life magazine

 

 

 

 

Center Console, Ferrari, and North Carolina

Ferrari GTB Nart spider

the $25,000,000 Ferrari going across the auction block

The father of a top shelf 2014 model year Center Console boat builder had a Ferrari as his one luxury in life. Mr. Smith Sr.’s first Ferrari was a used 250 GT SWB California Spider, which he bought from Luigi Chinetti in Greenwich, CT. His first new Ferrari was a 275 GTB / 4 Berlinetta. He picked that Ferrari up at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy, although he bought it in the U S. via Luigi Chinetti, the U S Ferrari Importer.

Soon after Mr. Smith Sr.’ s new car purchase, Chinetti then asked Enzo Ferrari to build him some Spiders (convertibles) closely based on that same model. Those Chinetti inspired and ordered Ferraris were named world-wide as the Ferrari 275 GTB/4NART Spider. The original order talked about was for 25 cars but only 10 were made in the initial (and as it turned out only) production run.

To promote his new Ferrari model, Chinetti had one of these NART (North American Racing Team) Spiders raced by the driver team of Denise McCluggage and Pinkie Rollo at Sebring. They drove the car to a 17th overall finish.  This all-female driving crew added to the notoriety of the NART Ferrari effort.

Their racer was then repainted and loaned to Steve McQueen for his movie, The Thomas Crown Affair. After the movie, McQueen bought one of these NART Ferraris for himself. Other car owners included Stroll, Beecham, and Moores, (who bought two). Even with this marketing effort, Luigi Chinetti had trouble selling his first 10 cars. Thus there was no re-order for more cars.

Why?

First, the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider was priced by Chinetti at $14,400, while he sold the Berlinetta version of the same car for $8000. The Berlinetta was sold by Ferrari dealers world-wide and Ferrari factory set that price. Chinetti, however, set the price for the GTB/4 NART Spider. He had it exclusively; one could not buy it from any other dealer.

Second. While this car was more a street cruiser Ferrari and not a racer Ferrari, her engine was specially tuned for performance, even more so than the 275 GTB/4 Coupe (Berlinetta). For instance, the six carbs on the 12 cylinder car tended to load up at lower RPM. Owners/ drivers had to “regularly clear them out” via high rpm acceleration runs. Then, the profiles of the four cams delivered power best from 5,500 RPMs and on up to the red-line of 8,000 RPMS. This is not the best RPM range for a daily driver sports car.

The earlier model NART entry that Seabuddy saw Pedro Rodriguez win with at Bridgehampton in 1962 did about the same thing. About half way through that race his car lost its crisp level of tuning. First, it only showed up as he decelerated, and then, late in the race, it did it pretty much at all times. He did beat the fast Birdcage Maserati in that race, though.

Why am I writing about this car now? OK, here is the headline for why now. The $14,400 Ferrari was sold for $25,000,000 when Smith Senior died. All of that $25,000,000 was donated to charity by the heirs of Eddie Smith, Sr. It was sold for a total of $27,500,000 with the auction fees added to the hammer price.

Eddie Smith Jr. and all his brothers and sisters wanted the car to go a good home and the money from its sale to help charity.

So, how is this a boat story? Fair question to ask, folks. Eddie Smith, Jr., the son of the Ferrari owner is known in boating circles as the owner of Grady White boats in North Carolina. Grady is one of the storied center console boat brands in the world. Eddie made his company, himself, with his boat building team. Dad was not a boat builder, nor was Dad even in the same town. Eddie is a self-made man.

Grady White is an award-winning brand of fish boat. A successful fiberglass boat builder today; Smith started out making wooden boats, years ago. For a write-up on a wooden Grady White boat, see…  http://www.seabuddyonboats.com/boats/best-of-show-outboard-%E2%80%93-grady-white-wins-the-award/

 

center console grady white fiberglass boat

Fish ready Grady White Center console fiberglass battle wagon

 

New Pod drive

While it it is totally different, sure looks like a Volvo IPS

 

Pod three 60 pod 650. It just reminds me of the Volvo IPS, seabuddy is not saying it is not original design and work of it’s manufacturer.

 

Gar Wood and Chris Craft

Gar Wood started in his winning ways on the water with the purchase of the 1916 successful Gold Cup race boat that was “a broken, battered hulk after the race, fit only for junk” put up for sale by Chris Smith, 53, who was down to seven cents in his pockets after losing in a poker game. Gar paid for the hunk with a $1,000 down payment and a note for $800.

That racer, Miss Detroit, had been built by Chris from a design by Joseph Napoleon “Nap” Lisee, who worked for Chris Smith’s C.C. Smith Boat & Engine Company. Right after buying the boat and engine of Miss Detroit, he went to the Smith factory and brought controlling interest in it. He figured that he could keep others from racing against him via this investment as it came with the talent of Chris Smith, his sons, Jay and Bernard, and “Nap”.

Next he commissioned the building of Miss Detroit II, a new race boat, using the 250 Hp. engine from the original hunk of Miss Detroit. That new boat set a speed record of 61.724 MPH while racing the next year. The first photo shows the 20’ single step 250 Hp. Miss Detroit II with Jay .W. Smith as the riding mechanic.

miss detroit chris craft 1917 record breaking wood race boat

seabuddy's photo of the Mainer's Museum Chris Craft photo

Together, Chris Smith, “Nap”, and Gar Wood won 5 straight Gold Cups from 1917-1921 and 2 Harmsworth trophies in 1920 and 1921.

But by February of 1922, Smith bought out Gar Wood and started a new company, the Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company in a new location. Chris, his sons Jay, Bernard, and Owen each owned 25% of that boat building company and started fresh with a new piece of land and and they built a brand new factory on it. In the deal, Gar Wood got the old C.C. Smith &Engine Company boat building plant. He built his race boats, the 33’ “Baby Gar” runabout that had been developed by “Nap” while still at the old company, high performance cabin cruisers, and the 28’ Baby Gar runabout model.

The 33’ Baby Gar was a outstanding design. It was a good riding, safe runabout that was a triple (3) cockpit boat and it’s bottom used all of the characteristics of the his Miss Americas race boats with the step. Gar Wood sold his boats to Edward Noble, William Randolph Hearst, John Dodge, Col. Vincent and P. K. Wrigley. The Chris Smith and Sons Boat Company sold more wooden boats to a broader range of successful folks.

These boats soon outgrew the boat building production plant. Thus, Gar Wood Boats moved into a new factory in Marysville, MI in 1930. This plant was capable of making 1200 top shelf wooden boats per year. Now 22’, 40’, 28’, 33’ boats were made. Some of these lengths were offered in a variety of model configurations. Later 16’, 18’, 19’, 22.5′, 24’, 32’, and 25’ models were added. Production of boats for Gar Wood peaked just before W.W. II.

Gar Wood, himself, retired to Miami at the age of 60, and the new management of Gar Wood Industries ordered a restyle of the boat line up and engaged Norman Bel Geddes, a noted industrial designer, for a new post war feeling.

post w.w. II bright finished wooden runabout on the chesapeake bay

Show winning 1947 Gar Wood 22.5' wood runabout

With high new design and jig costs, quality wood shortages, hardware out-of-stocks, and a somewhat distant management running the company, the company closed down in 1947. My Seabuddy photos show a restored 1947 Gar Wood 22.5’ wood boat in the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay. She is an ACBS award winner down from CT.

Handcrafted Boat Bailer, Holiday Boater’s Gift, about $60

Is there a fine level of finish on the boat in your family? Want a nice gift for a loved one that has a Classic Boat? Here is the perfect boater’s gift for this year.

You know that the boat and the boat owner needs one of these if there is a cut-off bleach bottle bailer in the boat bilge bailer supplies of the boat or in the garage of the runabout’s skipper. This handmade boat bailer works better, is shaped correctly, and it will not damage the fine finish of the treasured boat. Plus, it looks just right! Even if you use something else to move water from the inside of boats to the bays, lakes, rivers, and oceans of your waterways.

These bailers are hand crafted in Connecticut within the USA. The grip is lathe-turned Black Locust wood, with a proper inset and it is shaped for comfort. The wood back plate is made out of cherry wood and it even has some tumblehome in its shape to better fit into bilge corners and tight spaces onboard. Finally, the scoop itself is fashioned out of heavy marine leather. The entire boater’s gift is finished in Oarsman Marine Tallow, pine tar, and beeswax.

This is a fairly new product now available on the market outside of the wooden boat community of the northeast. The boater’s bilge bailer design it is based on, however, is over thirty years old. In fact, that original one is still looking and working well. It is a proven, useful gift for human, sail, and powerboaters. More info here…    http://www.oarsmanmarinetallow.com/  Seabuddy has never met Roger, but we have talked and he comes across as a very nice, practical-minded, warm hearted member of the small boat community.

 

handcrafted boat bilge bailer

new handmade bailer based on 30 year old design

Two or Three Engines for you?

Caution, if you pick the three engines choice for your boat, watch your propeller selection, lower unit life, and fuel mileage. Both choices are good choices for a $350,000 new Center Console boat. Say, one in the mid-30s in length.

Prop selection. In a three engine power set-up, the center engine uses a different spec prop than the two outside ones to properly match the engines to the boat. With two engines, the two propellers are the same spec and mount on the transom at a uniform height. This mounting height may, or not, be true for a triple engine boat.

With the different prop spec and other correcting mounting adjustments necessary for a three engine boat, the life of trouble-free use of the center engine seems to be in question. Often, the lower unit below the cavitation plate has a shorter life within the center engine, compared to the two outside engines. Make sure that the warranty of all your engine parts are covered by a factory guarantee plan with your three engine boat and that it clearly states that all three engines on your one boat are equally covered and any warrantee plan extension is also available with the same equal engine coverage -FOR ALL THREE ENGINES.

Seabuddy took two center consoles listed below, one with two engines, one with three. In all of these sets of rounded numbers the three engine boat is listed first. Length 35’ 6”, 33’ 6”; Beam 10’ 10”, 11’ 7”; 90 GPH fuel burn at 54 MPH, 68 GPH at 51 MPH; 33 MPH with 33GPH fuel burn, 31 MPH with a 25 GPH fuel burn.

 

Bow Rider Helm. Do not miss this one!

Going to a boat show? Take more than a look and sit in, adjust, and observe just how good the helm station is in a 264 FS bow rider.  Study the fit and high level of finish within the cockpit that it leads your eye and hand to experience major improvements that Monterey Boats is bringing to the marine marketplace. Look at the eyebrow over the dash and the gauges. It is as good as it gets for 2014!

monterey boat helm bow rider marine photo image

Monterey boats helm and cpatain's station

Board the boat from the swim platform and see the sun pad that changes into a rear seat.  Try the comfort of that seat and others. Definitely try the driver’s command chair and ALL of its features. Feel the shifter and eye the gauges their sight lines.

This is a 26’ 7” LOA bow rider runabout by Monterey Boats out of Florida that sets a fresh standard of luxury, effectiveness, and comfort for a day boat. Helm chair features, vinyl choices, storage, and comfort underfoot have all been addressed.

monterey boats bow rider fiberglass sport boat

aft seat set down as a sun platform

runabout bow seating rider monterey boats,

Bow seating in the Monterey Boats 264 FS

This boat has an 8’ 6” beam and is easy to trailer. She has a sweet running hull that takes an afternoon chop well and uses extra power easily. Special hull features are valuable items in terms of performance on the water. See the chine detail for yourself at a boat show. Power this one up. Check the gas tank capacity, also, as a for instance. Ask about these hull design and construction features and decide what power choices will do the job for you. The Monterey Boats 264 FS is a hit in the boating marketplace and a do not miss boat to see at a boat show.

Seabuddy thanks Monterey boats for these photos.

monterey boats on the water running

The good running Monterey 264 FS

Holiday Boater Gifts $100 to $500 Custom Pillows

Sunbrella fabric in seabuddy’s mind is the world leader of marine grade fabric. While I think of it as a fairly local company, as they are in North Carolina, they are international with a presence in Italy, Germany, India, China, France, Sweden, Spain, Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, Africa, Canada, and Uruguay as well as in the United States in GA, CA, WV, TX, CO, FL, and NJ. A kind of big company for being a player within the boating industry.

cusheas pillow boat decor christmas gift idea

One of hundreds of designs

Sunbrella is an acrylic performance fabric, not cotton goods. It is colored (dyed) before it is woven, therefore, the color is always there. It is also made to breath via the weave.

The company was started in 1880. Members of that founding family are still involved with the ownership and management. The Sunbrella fabric came into the boating and the marine industry first in the 1960s.

cushease pillow indoor outdoor sunbrella

Another recent pillow pattern

Sunbrella is sold as a fabric to boat builders as well as to others, and starting in around 2007 Cushease made the solution dyed acrylic fiber woven cloth Sunbrella goods into products for marine, indoor and outdoor use. They are at the top of the quality level and hold a stellar reputation when one talks within the marine industry about them. Their pillows and other products are built to stand up outdoors while making a statement indoors, if one so chooses. Cushease products are all USA made in their company’s home town of Clearwater, Florida.

cushease sunbrella pillow home, marine, patio, boat

Cushease makes many designer pillows

$364,000 Center Console 35’ – Part One

New boats are selling in smaller numbers than in the past. Sales forecasting requires a boat builder to account for their direct costs as always, but today one must divide company overhead over far less units. This new boat market demands a new pricing model, which makes for a state of the art boat, but with each unit shouldering a high percentage of the overall company’s basic cost of business per boat unit expected to be sold. Administration, advertising, and keeping-the-doors open expenses add more money onto each boat – than ever before.

When Seabuddy was the fifth largest Wellcraft boat dealer in the world, the new boat business was different.  All of us in the marine industry were eyeing the coming shorter work week and more time for fun on the days off from work. So, we had long conversations on how boats should try beat out other recreational choices for the consumer fun dollar.

But the home builder’s got us. They built bigger/fancier houses and that made the shorter work week impractical. Heck, it even put Mom to work to afford those houses. Then there was always a series upon series of more issues that pounded boat pricing and made a new boat higher priced.

Some came from within the industry. The first outdrive boat engine was only 80 horsepower. Now what is an acceptable power level? Bow rider seating and a walk-thru windshield to access those cushy seats added costs. Boat builders added better quality.

Some price increase pressure came from government. California banned many bottom paints, requiring research dollars to invent new ones. The EPA wanted cleaner engines. Safer fuel tanks. Anti-siphon valves.

This boat is a 35’ 6” Center Console with a 10’ 10” beam that weights roughly 7 tons. She goes 0 to 30 MPH in around 11 seconds and its top speed is right at 55 MPH.

Well, the boat business is back to where it was in the 1920’s. Boats seem to be affordable to the rich only. Question. Do you agree?