Archive for the ‘classic fiberglass boats’ Category
Here was the hot boat at my last boat show. I was on the other side of the floating dock with another boat, so it was easy to observe the action. This boat is hot with the folks that go to look for a fish boat today.
Some of them at the show liked the spaciousness inside the console, most liked the bow flair, but all loved the hatches and thoughtful storage all over the cockpit. Everyone was looking, opening, and commenting on this boat’s storage.
“Buddy Davis” and “Bow Flair” are ingrained in all of our minds. Buddy is now gone, but his boat and his legacy continues in his boat brand. It was in 1962 that Buddy began his professional fishing career as a mate. Buddy became 19-year-old Captain in 1968. He became a boat builder in the “off-season” by 1970. Then, in 1980, Buddy Davis became a full-time boat builder.
She is a day boat, a watersports platform, an off-shore fishing machine or an all-purpose boat that does duty as an inshore fishing boat. The boat simply does very well at all the things that all center console boats should do. She is a good and dry boat in Barnegat, Oregon, Hatteras, and Ocracoke inlets.
This fish boat has a deep vee bottom shape aft at the transom and a high tech layup that is a joy to see being crafted. She is a top notch yachtsman’s powerboat. What is the future for this battle wagon? Price increases. Engine prices are going up. You have three choices after you see this boat. Buy one now. Buy one after November and decide on smaller engines or pay $10,000 more than today for one. It is your money, take your choice.
Here are factory photos of the 34’ by 10’6” Buddy Davis.
Yes, and he won three times in Donzi boats. That was in 1965 and in1966. Don had also won the year before, in 1964 in his 27’ Claudia II. However, #seabuddy would not call his win in 1964 in a Bahamas race in his Claudia II boat as a Donzi Marine boat.
I believe that her wood hull pre-dated the design team that made Formula Boats, as well as the Donzi Brand team that followed Formula Marine in Don’s stream of boat companies. There are photos of Claudia II inside one of Don’s boat factories, but it was in for service, not construction, in my opinion.
Thus, Don raced and won first place three times in Donzi Boats which was in the 1965 -1966 time frame. These wins were in Donzi Marine boats, either named Donzi 007 or Donzi 008. Both were 28’ Donzi Marine boats.
By the way, the Claudia II 27’ boat design was sold to Marlin Boatworks an out of state boat builder, while a 23’ design became the very popular 233 for Formula Marine which he sold to Merrick Lewis and his Thunderbird operation.
Back to the story subject here, we all know that Don Aronow won 1st place in more than 4 races. So, what boat brands did he drive to a 1st place win in all his other races in?
The simple answer is 27’ Magnum and 32’ Cary brand name boats. The confusing issue is the boat names and as they compared to the boat brands registered with the race organizers of his boats. Second, depending on the race, Don Aronow would race his outboard, inboard, or a sterndrive version boat of the same boat name with one, two or three engines. His six Magnums were named/ called Maltese Magnum. He called /named his Carys The Cigarette as he often had a business deal that kept his name off boats companies or out of being registered as the boat builder of record. Hey, racing is fun and busiess should not slow down racing!.
Finally, Don was named World Champion in 1967, 1968, and in 1969. Plus, he won so many races in that 1969 racing year that his name will always be remembered.
There are four stories here.
First, the boat in seabuddy’s Photos.
This particular restored example has as a level of superior finish and detailing as seabuddy has ever seen on a new or restored boat. Please study the photos and look for waves or wallows in the finish or any reflections. There are none.
This ArenaCraft is a 19’ 6” Speedboat that was 5 MPH faster at top speed than the 20’ 10” Chris Craft Cobra of the same era with the same horsepower Both boat builders made their racy designs with a 6’ 9” beam. Most say that the Arena Craft handles better, also.
Both models were built with a full-width, single seat cockpit design. C-C mad their boats from wood with fiberglass touches in the deck design and ArenaCraft made theirs out of a fiberglass hull and deck molding with some wood and Hexcel stiffeners. Both were made to fit into a proposed racing class for Family Racing Runabouts.
Chris Craft was the largest boat company in the world with lots of dealers and sold far more boats of its model than ArenaCraft.
It is possible that this is one of only two of this boat model ArenaCraft that have been restored.
Second, who is Dan Arena?
A boat designer and boat racing driver who competed head to head within the Gold Cup and Unlimited boat racing classes against Harold Wilson, Guy Lombardo, George Reis, Bill Horn, and Bill Cantrell, to name a few.
He is credited with designing the first Unlimited race boat to win with a modern power source.
He added to what Ventnor did with the three-point hydroplane boats by flattening his boat’s profile and packing more air between the sponsons, which reduced wetted surface.
His prop and sponson innovations led the way from the tail-dragging Ventnor’s that always had their prop submerged while racing to his boats that sporadically rode on their prop as one of their three points, to Ted Jones’ race boats that always were a prop rider after Ted’s Slo-Mo-Shun IV.
His 1953 Hydroplane design was built later line-by-line by Les Staudacher, which resulted in the boat that set the fastest straightaway Unlimited Piston Engine Hydroplane record speed of 200.419 MPH.
Dan Arena had a stroke in the 1980s and died in 1995.
Third, what is ArenaCraft, et al, as a boat builder?
Dan Arena was a racer first and a pleasure boat builder second. Dan built one-off race boats back as far as the 1930s. He started building pleasure boats in around 1953. He formed the ArenaCraft Corporation in 1955. It seems that he made the transition from wood to fiberglass boats around then. He sold that business to Reinell Industries.in 1969 or so. All ArenaCraft after that date were made by Reinell, not Dan Arena.
Mr. Arena could not stay out of the boat business, so about a year later, the Dan Arena Company was born and started making boats. This was a low-production boat builder that primarily catered to Lake Tahoe water demands. Due to the high altitude of the lake a fast boat was simply not that fast on the lake and some capable in rough water ability was valued. Thus, many of Dan Arena’s boats were capable of speeds to 75 MPH at sea level when powered up. Such a boat usually had a v-drive 425 Horsepower Chevy engine. Howard Arneson threw a turbine in his and went over 100 MPH.
This was a family business, with his son involved in the business. Chris “Kit” Arena eventually ran the production floor at the Dan Arena Company after he started right out of high school with his Dad. There were a few exceptions as the woodwork was done by Lief Lund and the fiberglass Lamination was handed by Earnest Jackson after Kit had sprayed the gel coat. Chris also did the hand lettered “Dan Arena” logo. There were no cast name plates on Dan Arena Company boats, unlike ArenaCraft boats.
Fourth, what is a Barracuda?
Almost all pleasure boat models that Dan Arena had a hand in were named “Barracuda”. He liked that name. Both ArenaCraft and Dan Arena Company boats have Barracuda named boat models.
Barracudas came in 18’ this 20’, a 21’, and 23-24 foot sizes, at least. He made single, twin, and open cockpit runabouts. Boats with and without opening windshields. Some sported Corvette car windshields.
He also made cuddy cabin boats. His cuddies were deeper (higher hull sided) than his runabouts. Since the decks were molded and he often used the same hull mold for both models, it was his son’s job to scribe, cut down, and hand fit a cuddy hull molding to a runabout deck, among many other jobs in the manufacturing the boats.
OK, here is the bottom line… 97 MPH best and 86 MPH with a full load. What else do you want to know? Berkley 12 JE pump, 1,200 Horsepower using a gas/methanol blend and a couple of inches shy of 18’ in boat length.
These Taylor Craft SS boats came with a 455 OLDS, so out with it, and an after-market Dart block version of a Chevy BB displacing 509 cu. in. was dropped in. An 8-71 Blower and a bunch of hot rod parts make this power plant go for long distances at 6,000 RPMS. She will turn 7,000 RPMS to get the best speed. Pump slip, not rpms, make for the difference between the light load best and full load speed numbers. The tach was reading 7,000 at both numbers. And the pump is not stock.
A three yearlong restoration, a custom cockpit interior and a wild paint job with 15 coats of clear tops this project. She is a tow boat and river racer if you and the competition can stay out of the 200’ rooster tail from the pump.
The boat builder was the Taylor Boats that was located in Cushing, OK. That one was owned by Oscar Taylor. He started out rigging boats for himself, regularly ending up selling those to friends, and then made his own molds and complete boats. He did 16’ and 18’ boats mostly, with some longer ones coming later on. He had a boat rigging business for most of the early 1970s and still was making boats, but not continuously, into the 1980s. This 18’ SS model was the most popular. There was a Taylor Boats in California around the same time. Seabuddy entertained the idea of buying that company once.
This is a fully restored 15’ outboard boat that is powered by a 1970 Mercury Marine 1350. She is a show quality boat that represents the “top dog” type of outboard boat in Florida at that time. She is finished in her original color and sports all the right stuff in period correct rigging, steering, gauges, and seating. The owner did a very nice job, and she draws crowds.
She is also a speed demon up and down the ICW route that runs along the east coast of mid-Florida, just south of Merritt Island and Space Coast. One ”flys” a vee bottom outboard like this, with the bow trimmed high, well out of the water, with as little of the hull in the water as possible. After all, air presents less resistance than water!
Critchfield was a racer turned boat builder. He first built boats around the late 1950s out of wood in Orlando, FL. He moved his boat plant to Avon Park, FL (near Sebring, FL). He was big in Avon Park. He had several models of boats and occupied a 110,000 square foot factory.
By 1973, it was over for Critchfield. He sold the operation, building, and his boat molds to Wellcraft Marine. They built 16 and 18 foot family runabouts of their own design in that plant. As a Wellcraft dealer, I was flown to this plant to see some of my boat stores most popular models in the early 1980s in their production home.
Wellcraft sold the Critchfield boat molds to Bill Farmer. Farmer later moved onto his Excalibur Marine boats in the 30-31 and 40 foot sizes. The Farmer 31’ was a Jean-Claude Simon (Cary Marine) hull. He sold the few first production 31’ to Chris Craft, where they met with dealer acceptance and Chris Craft then bought molds to make their own. He also sold a 31 boat to Reggie Fountain who re-did the boat bottom, changed the engine’s drive heights, re-worked the props to work with the new drive heights and stretched the nose and tail to make the mightily Fountain 35. That boat bottom was the foundation of Fountain Power Boats.
Since this is an inboard powered G-3 and Glasspar never made any G-3s with inboards, #seabuddy calls this a custom classic fiberglass boat. She is a 1960 Center Deck model G-3 that was on its way to the dump and she was rescued from being ground-up. Now she is an award winning show piece. Folks that like original boats, motors, and trailers will not like this boat.
Skip took all his knowledge of working in the marine industry for a very major south Florida boat builder for many years, his boat racing experiences, and some styling from G-3, Chris Craft, and drag racing boats to mix them into a vee drive inboard that stops traffic in a big Classic Boat Festival like nothing else. Folks at the shows say, I could not even image such a craft, let alone build one.
G-3 Glasspars are outboard powered boats. Most were sold with 40 HP. The top outboard power for a G-3 is 60 Horsepower. This boat has about 425 HP driven to an under-the-boat prop and rudder combo via a v-drive. She has hand crafted wood touches here and there as Skip owns wood boats, too. She has Chris Craft styling, too, as Skip owns one of those, also. She has control cavitation plates from a race boat. Skip owns a Jersey Speed Skiff race boat, as well.
#seabuddy has seen G-3 Glasspars offered for as little as $300 for just a boat. What is she worth? Skip says “Not for Sale” after a rumored $25,000 offer.
I did not ride in this one, but #seabuddy did plug his ears when she fired up on the grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD. She is one loud boat with a real lumpy high lift cam inside that Buick Aluminum V-8.
A few classic wood and classic fiberglass boaters got together on a wonderful wooded shoreline lake for boating fun on a recent Saturday. The group of nine classic boats drew from several ACBS Chapters and ACBS Marque groups, as well as other boating affiliations. We all had a full day of fun on the clean, clear lake water in NC.
There #seabuddy Chris Brown was reunited with his favorite boat during his Jersey shore youth: a classic G-3 Glasspar. While he has counted 58 boats since age 8 in a life filled with boating, he remembers the low-slung rocket of the waterways Glasspar as his favorite. Quite frankly, he’s taken right back to being 14 years old again when he is on the water in a G-3! The photo in this write-up may show a grey-haired gentleman, but in #seabuddy’s mind, he is just starting the transition from being a boy into becoming a man when he is at the helm of a G-3.
And, what a G-3 he got to drive! The boat was ordered in 1959 for delivery in the spring of 1960. It has been in that original family since. A true one-boat, one-family ownership record. She has used up three outboards over the years of water-skiing fun, but the bright red gelcoat finish shown in the photos is original. The seat and her rare, factory option rear-cockpit kneeling pad are both original, as is the windscreen and most of the hardware. Bill Tritt, the inventor, designer, and boat builder of Glasspar G-3 boats built a far nicer, more durable boat than many. This one has had exceptional care, and the 50-year life of its original bright finish is beyond belief.
The current engine is a 60 HP, later model Mercury outboard—the top outboard power rating for a Glasspar G-3. Most were run years ago with a 40 HP Lark Evinrude and collectors often still go with that motor at Classic Boat Shows. To fit the engine to the boat, a bass boat style jack plate was used, rather than raising the fiberglass on the transom. No currently manufactured engines of the right HP fit the transom height of this boat, so something has got to give in this area to keep the boat on the water.
After riding in the boat as a passenger in this light-weight (385 LBS) bullet on the water 13’ 7” long classy speedster, I got lots of time behind the wheel. #seabuddy grinned like a kid pushing down on the throttle! Many thanks to my friend for his very generous offer that put me at the controls of his G3, an absolute jewel on the lake.
The event of the year will be held on Saturday July 20th, 2013 at Falls Lake, N.C. at Rt.50 near Raleigh, N.C. That is where a state park with a lunch ramp and a beach will get those that want to Run and have Fun in their classic boats will meet. Launching the boats at the Falls Lake State Park and Ramp located off N.C. Highway 50 (Creedmoor Rd.) at 9:00 A.M. on Saturday July 20th, 2013. See Map.
Figure on using the boats, maybe a swim, but bring your own food and beverages. This is a family event, so come on down with the kids for a boat ride!
The East Coast Glasspar Association is planning this event and I am simply spreading the word for them. As many of my readers know, I love G-3 boats and maybe I will get to see some there. I am without one right now, but have had several over the years. Read more here… http://www.chesapeakebayacbs.org/membership/member-articles/do-you-go-crazy-over-a-particular-boat-model/
seabuddy will be there. Look for me; a tall fella, with dark sunglasses and wearing a broad brimmed hat for sun protection. I drive a white compact 4 door sedan. For questions post FALLS LAKE BOAT EVENT in your subject line of your e-mail (this e-mail address… firstname.lastname@example.org …will consider it spam unless you do.)
I suspect that there will be several G-3′s there at this event event along with some other Glasspar Models. Other classic brands are welcome, too. Heck, bring your wood classic! This is intended to be a fun, casual event centered on fun in the water with classic boats.
This is an inboard G-3. She is the custom creation of a Jersey Speed Skiff and classic 1962 Chris Craft Golden Arrow 19’ boat owner. Her builder owns and races the famous Orange Crate, the 1965 JSS class vintage racer. This 1960 Glaspar is owned by an accomplished marine craftsman. His work speaks for him. Just take a look at his race boat Orange Crate in any racing pits and see it for yourself.
Skip started with a 1960 Glaspar “Center deck”. He instantly got around one problem with a classic G 3 by putting in a souped-up inboard engine in his Glaspar fiberglass boat at the correct balance point for the hull by using a v-drive transmission. Using a Buick Aluminum small block 215 cubic inch V-8 gave him plenty of power with a 318 lb. engine weight. This aluminum head and aluminum block engine was used in both Buick Specials and in Pontiac Le Mans cars in 1961-63. These engines were rated from 150 to 200 HP, when stock. This classic fiberglass boat is not stock. Seabuddy does not know the power that Skip coaxed out of his Buick engine here. I do know that a different crank can bring the displacement up from 215 to 305 cubic inches. Do more parts changing and a 340 cu. in engine is possible, but not easy.
Mickey Thompson entered racing driver Dan Gurney in a “stock block” Buick Indy Racer of his own design in 1962. Their car did not finish the race. Apollo Gran Turismo cars also used these Buick engines in 1962-63 for a limited run.
Now, a Chris Craft Golden Arrow 19’, is another classic that Skip owns. It is a Cavalier Division Chris Craft boat model. She is a high styled plywood ski boat runabout with a center arrow stripe on her foredeck. Seabuddy projects that some of the wood touches that Skip’s custom G-3 displays may have come from his Golden Arrow 19 footer’s styling. A Golden Arrow is a rare boat. Only 170 of these boats were made by C-C.
A stock Glaspar G-3 is a 13’ 7” fiberglass model boat of about 390 lbs. in boat weight that is rated for an up to a 60 Horsepower, short shaft, outboard motor. The most seabuddy ever powered one of his G-3s was with a 85 HP Mercury Marine “Tower of Power” engine. Seabuddy understands that Bill Tritt’s Glaspar Boat company made 16,000 boats in 1960 and while the outside of all of them was fiberglass, there was plenty of plywood in the floor and transoms of Glaspar boats.
Skip has promised to bring his G- 3 to the 26th Annual Antique and classic Boat Show and Festival held on the expansive grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. Maryland on June 14, 15, and 16, 2013. Look for seabuddy there, too!
Lake Dora, Tavares, Mount Dora, FL Antique and Classic Boat Show Report, Nautique, Correct Craft, Ski Nautique
This is an 18’ 10” Wildcat model 1967 Correct Craft. She is a center engine (engine box in the middle of the cockpit), shaft-drive, inboard powerboat. Her power is a 318 Chrysler V-8 that makes 235 horsepower. There is seating for five, two in front of the engine box and three on a bench behind the engine at her stern . Her bottom is essentially a flat bottom with a very gentle arc athwartships across her running surface.
This Correct Craft Wildcat is a ski boat. She was displayed with water skis and accessories as if she was ready to go. The owner did a nice job with her presentation at the Tavares classic boat show. Correct Craft, Ski Nautique, and Nautique are names that are imbedded in water skiing history. Correct Craft was founded in 1925 and has been the keystone builder of boats for water skiing competition and water ski shows. Correct Craft “owned” this segment of the industry for years, without competitors. Seabuddy recalls here a personal conversation he had with Al Hegg years back about his Century boats and about how hard a time he had getting his Century water ski boat models legalized for water ski competition.
Causing Correct Craft to rise to prominence in water skiing was Cypress Gardens, which opened in 1936. Known as the “Water Ski Capital of the World”, Cypress Gardens was home to many of the sport’s landmark firsts as well as over 50 world records. But it was best known for the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show, which featured Correct Craft ski boats.
Founder W.C. Meloon started using the Correct Craft brand name for his boat building company in 1936. The Ski Nautique name was added in 1961 when they began producing fiberglass water ski boats using a mold they brought from Leo Bentz. Nautique’s boat bottom shapes really went wild starting with the 1989 models where stepped chines, spray relief pockets, along with a variable planning hull dead rise became standard on their ski boats. Just stick your head under an example to fully inspect a modern ski boat bottom shape.
While this classic boat was made in the Orlando, FL plant, Correct Craft’s current manufacturing facility, started in 2005, includes two private lakes used to test their boat designs. In 2009 Correct Craft celebrated a milestone, having built 200,000 boats in its history