Archive for the ‘other classic boats’ Category
A Hemi powered race boat gets respect. If it is a Keith Black Hemi engine race boat an entirely higher level of respect is given to the racer. In Hydroplanes and quarter mile race boats, a Keith Black Hemi is considered a top contender.
Keith’s first marine Chrysler V-8 Hemi was built in 1956. Black built this, his first Hemi, for his team of Black, Hallett and Greer for their 7 Litre Hydroplane. That boat, SEVEN GRAND, set a competition record of 86.455 MPH. Black’s Hemi made 375 Hp running alcohol through its fuel injection system.
Chrysler Corporation wanted to get more marine business for their Hemi engines. They made Keith Black the man to develop their marine Hemi. Black also made the engines for the Unlimited Hydroplane Miss Chrysler Crew.
He used two blown 426 Chrysler Hemi engines in the Miss Chrysler Crew. Note, two Chryslers are only 852 cubic inches in displacement, against the 1700 cubes of the converted aircraft engines, used at this time frame in the Unlimited Hydroplane boats.
The Miss Chrysler Crew Hydroplane was a 40 % bigger version of the Miss Crazy Thing Hydro, which had one Hemi engine. Both boats were designed by Henry Lauterbach then of Portsmouth, Virginia. Henry designed a 29’ 2” long hull with a beam of 11’ 10”. Most other hydros were longer, up to 35’ in length. U-77, her racing number, was also lighter by about 1,000 lbs. She also had a non-trip chine on the inside of the sponson. This allowed her to slide more in the turns. The engines and their Casale gearbox weighted in by about 300 lbs lighter, compared to an WW II aircraft engine and its gearbox. U-77, Miss Chrysler Crew won the UIM World Championship Regatta in 1967.
With this inside track relationship at Chrysler, Black expanded into quarter mile drag boats and cars. The GREER-BLACK-PRUDHOMME quarter mile land dragster in the early 1960s had a 236 wins to 7 losses. Greer, a successful machinist, and Black, the premier drag boat engine builder, proved the perfect match for PRUDHOMME to the young Van Nuys, Calif. driver.
Words © Chris (Seabuddy) Brown
Gar Wood designed and built Hornet II with a wood hull and deck. Her owner, Henry J. Kaiser, owned Kaiser Construction companies—which at that time built huge dams and roads, domestically and internationally—kept his Hornet II racer on Lake Tahoe. The story goes that she lost a race on the Lake, and Henry decided his boat needed to be re-made lighter to win in the future. Henry ordered a new deck and it’s rumored that Howard Hughes (of Hughes Aircraft) got involved in making the new deck and the deck’s aluminum framing. The top of the boat hull was replaced with a unique deck, cockpit, and tail fin constructed entirely of aircraft aluminum. Those replacement metal changes were in place on the boat for the 1939 racing season. She now won her races!
Who did Hornet II race against to launch the aluminum deck frenzy? A boat named The Mercury. “Originally named Cigarette IV, (The Mercury) was designed by pioneering marine architect Frederick K. Lord and built for L. Gordon Hamersley of New York City. Design and construction began in 1925. The boat was constructed at Brewster Body Works, a coach and auto body manufacturer in Long Island City. (they built automobile bodies for Rolls Royce).
“The double-ended, mirror-like hull is made from duraluminum, which is heat-treated polished aluminum. 979 pieces of duraluminum were fastened with 14,250 rivets, 7,087 bolts, and 238 screws; no wood was used in construction. Length overall is 35 feet with a beam (width) of 6’ 6”. The original engine was a Curtiss Conquerer built by the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company of Garden City, New York. The V-12 produced 625 horsepower. Constructed even before aluminum skinned aircraft technology was developed, this is the first all-aluminum race boat ever built. Most of her wooden competitors weighed in at 5 or more tons, the Lord/Hammersley contender “weighs only 2,000 pounds wet.”
Since Henry Kaiser was an industrialist, his companies made Liberty Ships and also got into the steel and aluminum businesses. He had a home on Lake Tahoe and liked race boats. He also was the owner the racing boat that Ted Jones designed, the unlimited hydroplane Hawaii Kai in the 1950s, among other race boats.
The Hornet II boat was “built by racer Gar Wood, is a 29.5’ stepped-hull hydroplane built around 1930. Anthony Mollica says only 10 hydroplane hulls of this length were built by Gar Wood between 1929 and 1934.” Gar Wood’s “stock” lengths were 33’ and 28” Baby Gar models.
Over the years Hornet II had a variety of engines. Listed here are two. “A Packard 1237 Model 1A-1237 V-12 aero engine restored for Hornet II. She is No. 4 of 55 manufactured beginning in 1921-1922. And It is the only one known to exist. The stock 1A-1237 engine was reported to produce 450 Hp (max at 2400 rpm), weighed 1168 lbs, and cost $8000 in 1922.”
But, that engine is not in the boat. Hornet II got a Rolls Royce Meteor V12 engine. “The 27-liter (1650 cu in) Rolls Royce V12 Merlin engine was first developed in England The Packard V-1650 was a version of the Merlin built in the United States By the end of the war this “little” engine was delivering over 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW) in common versions, and as much as 2,030 horsepower (1,540 kW) in the Merlin 130/131 versions specifically designed for the de Havilland Hornet. Ultimately, during tests conducted by Rolls-Royce at Derby, an RM.17.SM achieved 2,640 horsepower (1,969 kW) at 36 lb. boost (103″Hg) on 150 octane fuel with water injection. First Packard-built engine, a Merlin XX designated the V-1650-1, ran in August 1941. Total Merlin production by Packard was 55,523.”
The restoration of the boat hull, metal deck, and engine went well, if the substitute engine is OK with you. BTW, The high level of finish on the deck was done using the Evite system.
Words © Chris (seabuddy) Brown and photos CBMM
Chris Craft Corporation said this quote “Chris-Craft has the name, the prestige, the public acceptance. It has consistently advanced from the beginning and maintained the continued success for its merchants. Chris –Craft has been the leader, is the leader, and will continue to lead” in the early 1930s..
By 1936-1937 Chris Craft introduced what Seabuddy labels’ the first niche Chris Craft Runabout; the 19’ Special Race Boat. It had a cut down (lower) hull profile with less freeboard fore and aft. Plus, Chris-Craft boats used thinner dimension framing as well as thinner planking in the bottom for this 19’ Special Race Boat model. These changes made a big difference compared to their other 19’ by 6’2” sized runabouts that were made by Chris Craft boats for the masses. For instance, while there are different engine choices, it is perhaps fair to say that one of these boats were 20% faster.
Funny thing… Chris Craft made 51 of these boats, the same number of 19’ Chris Craft Cobras it made in 1955. So, this first niche Chris Craft Runabout is about a rare a boat as there is in the Chris Craft line-up ,just like a 19’ Cobra is! Note, they made some 760 plus units of this 19’ 0” by 6’ 2” hull in their standard models.
The Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the ACBS clubs St. Micheals Classic Boat Show had both of these rare boats, fully restored in its annual June event. They were displayed on the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum grounds over three days in 2015. It was a signature show! Seabuddy hopes that you made it to the show or plan on putting this show on your calendar in the future years.
Now, there is a new construction wood boat available for a custom new build with a period correct engine for the made-to-order newly built hull or a buyer can direct that a modern V-8 Seabuddy has seen this boat, it is a real head tuner. Please see… http://www.vintagewatercraft.com/classic_boat_construction.htm and scroll down on the left to the “1937 Special Runabout (19’)”.
It was only in 1930, that Chris – Craft Corporation was the boat building company’s new name that Christopher Columbus Smith started business back in about 1874. The name had changed many times to allow for various partners in the years between these dates. It (the name) was the family’s idea and a way to sell 1/3 of the company to Wall Street. That partial stock sale never happened. The family ran the company and kept it private until they sold the entire corporation in early 1960.
Words © Chris (Seabuddy) Brown, Photos by CBMM
Trooper II is both the current and original name for the winner of the Competitors Choice Award – Cruiser. She is a 39’ custom yacht from the Consolidated Shipbuilding yard in NYC. Trooper II was custom built in 1935.
The Consolidated company was a multifaceted boat and yacht builder from around 1896 to as late as 1958. The company still continues as a yacht repair center in City Island, is seabuddy’s understanding..
Consolidated Shipbuilding has been a builder of custom yachts and commercial ships. In the 1890s they built steam-powered yachts and naphtha-powered launches as well as tugs, cutters, schooners, cat boats, torpedo boats, and yacht tenders. Following various mergers, the company operated under the cumbersome name of Charles L. Seabury Co. and Gas Engine & Power Co., Consolidated, but dropped all the old names and became just plain Consolidated Shipbuilding after World War I. Then after WWII, Consolidated bought the Robert Jacob shipyard on City Island in NYC and closed its Morris Heights yard.
In the 1930s, when Trooper II was made, boats and yachts from about 33’ to 154’ were custom made at the yard. Most of the yachts were one-off designs as well as lengths but some of the government boats were made in series. Remember, there was a depression throughout the world during the late 1920s and the 1930s. Chris Craft boats was still losing money in 1935.
Trouper II is a traditional wooden boat. This yacht is a sedan style, not a sport fisherman nor a traditional, raised deck cruiser. She was built plank on frame with a bright finished cabin/deckhouse. She is a comfortable cabin cruiser that is enjoyed by her long-time owners.
Note her substantial anchors and the forward bitt to secure them to while using this ground tackle. She likes to anchor out, up and down the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and the broad selection of the other mid-Atlantic cruising grounds. Also note her custom yacht opening forward windows that allows for a comfortable breeze in the deckhouse/main living area in the afternoon and early evening while swinging on the hook. Please remember, you are looking at a 1935 yacht!
This very nice Evinrude powered classic is what Seabuddy images when he thinks of a Barbour boat. Crafted in wood, mostly outboard powered, and under 25’ in length. Some inboards were in production, but they do not seem to have been collected / restored anywhere near as much as an outboard powered model. I also think of Barbour as a company of the 1950s-1960s, sort of near or at the end of the wooden runabouts era.
But, I would be wrong. This North Carolina boat company goes back to the early 1930s and it closed in the mid-1990s. World War II changed from a small builder to a large one with up to 1,200 workers. War contract work did it. Towards the end of the company’s business history, they built and serviced some of the ferries for the state of North Carolina’s ferry system. These were made of steel.
In wood, Barbour made runabouts and small cruisers for recreational boaters. The metal boats were the aforementioned ferries, tugs, research vessels, fire boats, troop transport vessels, fishing boats, and barges. Some of these were big boats. They made a 155’ tanker and 56’, 63’, 82’, 95’, and 100’ boats. Much of this steel production work started in a big way in 1957. It was the re-invention of the company that Herbert Barbour founded in 1932.
I like these restored wood runabouts, as Seabuddy’s first water ski boat was a wood one ( a made in NJ brand named Sea Mac) with a 40 HP Evinrude outboard. That boat got re-powered up to an 85 HP Mercury. I was a teen and that boat was my freedom before I got an car driver’s license at the age of 17 in NJ. I had taken the Coast Guard Aux course before the age of 10. I have boated a long time.
She is a new wooden inboard speedboat. Hand crafted by one of the few boat yards that still do this “creation work” as compared to “restoration work”. Although the shop does both types of work. http://cdacustomwoodboats.com/process/
She was created under the personal direction of Jim Brown the wood shop manager and who is a master craftsman He has been building wood boats full time since 1991. He provides expertise in every phase of wood boat construction, from the creation and design of a project through the lofting, building, rigging and finish steps of the process. He has a team of wood craftsmen at The Resort Boat Shop to create the award-winning Coeur Custom line of boats and offer restoration for antique and classic boats. His e-mail address is email@example.com
Seabuddy loves the engine hatch on this luxury speedster on the water. Twin 400 Horsepower rated engines are under there. It is a very unique way to access the powerplants. Jim also builds single engine boats and in different lengths. He has even crafted a sailboat or two.
Here is the boat builder’s comment on this 34’ inboard runabout “Pure is an example of the “pure” definition of Gentleman’s Runabout. She is hand-crafted from imported African mahogany and Western red cedar; cold molded using vacuum bag technology to produce excellent weight to strength ratios. This amazing 34’ runabout is powered by twin 6.2 liter small block engines that rate 400 HP each. The purposeful design of the hull give her amazing lift, maximizing power and achieving a quick plane and smooth, powerful cruising stability. The Alexseal Blue Hull sides add to her unique attractiveness while providing added durability. A custom signature stainless steel windshield with special bent safety glass, Livorsi gauge package with custom dial faces give Pure a distinctive look no other boat possesses.
Pure is, from stem to stern, one of the most sturdily built, luxuriously fitted and handsomely powered hand-crafted wooden runabouts we’ve ever created”.
She is big! 48’ long with a beam of 10’ 6” and sixteen tons in weight. Power is a single screw Packard 4M-2500 engine, a supercharged 12-cylinder engine. This runabout speedboat’s top speed is 60 MPH.
Brooklin Boat Yard did the latest restoration. Prior restorations/upkeep/maintenance and a repower was done at Mayea Boat Works and on the St. Lawrence River at the Antique Boat Museum. She was built in this same area of the 1,000 Islands as the Antique Boat Museum is located in at Hutchinson Boat Works or http://www.hbwboats.com/.
Built in 1948, she has had several owners. The last owners donated her to the museum years ago. Google search “ Pardon Me” or “World’s Largest Runabout” or read pages 76-77 of Robert Speltz’s book The Real Runabouts from 1977. Seabuddy has a signed copy of his book dated 1980. Mr. Speltz has now passed on.
Hutchinson Boat Works or Hutchinson Brothers built boats along the St. Lawrence River since about 1908. The business continued under new leadership after the brothers passed on. They now sell boats, but they were a wooden boat builder originally. They also offered wood boat repairs in oak, mahogany, cedar, and teak. While they could build and repair all styles of wood construction, most of their boats were lapstrake style or “clinker style”, like a Lyman boat. Pardon Me is not a lapstrake design. She has the double planked mahogany construction method.
Pardon Me was designed by Hacker and built by Hutchinson for Mr. Locke of Oak Island in the Chippewa Bay area of the 1,000 Islands (summer home) and MI (his winter home). She did not handle well and never has been used much in her history. Her sheer size, transmission shifting, handling around a pier, engine cooling, and her massive engine torque were some of the reasons for this lack of use. Call it fine-tuning, trouble shooting, or tinkering, problems have continued over her history since 1948.
She is now back at the Antique Boat Museum in the Thousand Islands for the upcoming summer months.
Sta Bil 360 Marine adds new protection to your boat and its engine(s) for 2014. In many parts of the country, boaters have an off-season period. This can last four to 8 months depending on your home port. All you boaters that slip their boats in Key West, well Seabuddy is not talking about your boating fuel habits in a direct way in this write-up.
For the rest of us gas engine seasonal boat owners, let me suggest a few pointers.
Warning, I am not a chemist, I am simply passing on personal experiences and some advertising messaging put out by major players within the marine trades.
Put your boat away with the gas fuel tank 95% full.
At the beginning of your last fill up, pour in 1 oz. of Sta Bil 360 Marine for every 5 gallons of gas you intend to put in your boat.
Think about buying your Sta Bil 360 either at your nearest convenient marine store or at a low price shop. Google search “Sta Bil 360” at Walmart and Amazon.com. Watch your final costs including shipping and sales tax. Use half as much at every fill-up during the season.
Here is a quote from the fuel stabilizer maker “STA-BIL 360 MARINE offers comprehensive protection by releasing a microscopic corrosion preventing vapor inside the fuel system that coats ALL metals parts, including the fuel tank, fuel sending unit, valves, carburetor, fuel injectors and intake manifold. It’s like fogging oil for your entire fuel system, offering “360 degrees” of corrosion protection and is safe to use in all types of gasoline – from ethanol-free fuel to E85.
STA-BIL 360 MARINE accomplishes everything our current STA-BIL products offer, including keeping fuel fresh, removing water, cleaning the fuel system and more, but this revolutionary new product provides an exciting new level of protection for ultimate performance. For the first time, STA-BIL 360 MARINE delivers corrosion protection above and below the fuel line by releasing an innovative vapor that coats all metal parts within the fuel system to prevent corrosion.
Once poured into a tank of fuel, STA-BIL 360 MARINE will provide a vaporized corrosion inhibitor coating for up to 12 months in a stored boat or equipment.”
This product is new for 2014 and it won the International Boatbuilder’s Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) Innovation Award in the Boat Care and Maintenance category.
IBEX is organized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by members of Boating Writers International (BWI), the award recognizes innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured, benefit to the marine industry and consumers, practicality and cost-effectiveness.
Restored Race Boat. Wood deck fiberglass classic flat bottom w/ Casale V-Drive and Side Oiler 427 Ford engine
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/