Archive for the ‘Boats’ Category

Cobalt Boats, under 30’

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Pic shows their 296 Model.

Seabuddy was a dealer years ago for Cobalt Boats with his four retail stores on the west coast.

She has a LOA of 30’ 2” with a permit required for trailering beam of 9’ 5”. Cobalt Boats offers this model in single and twin engine choices. Depending on how one checks off the various choices she sells for about $150,000 new.

All Cobalt boats have their graphics in their gelcoat, a special barrier coat between the gelcoat and the fiberglass layup, Kevlar reinforcement in their hulls, no wood in their structural components, and a unique warranty with special five year engine-drivetrain function coverage among other covered components. Go to their web site and read about their special engine-drivetrain warranty details. You will be impressed.

http://www.cobaltboats.com/our_boats/296/index.php#.VgVxGctViko

Tempo VI race boat and Guy Lombardo

guy lombardo driving in Tempo VI

guy lombardo driving in Tempo VI

This racer was built in New Jersey. Owned and driven by Guy Lombardo, she won the APBA racing Gold Cup in 1946. This boat was a part of the way from stepped hydroplanes to three-point hydros where the boat rides on its front sponsons and either the aft tail end of the hull or on the propeller. Tempo VI was not a prop rider, she is of the earlier tail rider style, but newer in design than a stepped bottom hydro that had been popular in hydroplane racing before this. That final evolution came later in time and in other boats. Thus she is the middle of the evolution of Hydroplane bottom design, but clearly leading the way to our current Hydroplanes in the way they get their speed.

Guy Lombardo, it would be fair to say, got more publicity for boat racing in the general press than others as he was a public figure leading his band (The Royal Canadians) during the era when that music was popular. Lombardo lived in New York state (he was born in Canada and a naturalized US citizen) and held outdoor concerts on the South Shore of Long Island. He hosted full scale Broadway plays there with his band as the orchestra. He arrived at the show driving up in his mahogany cabin cruiser and the fans loved it. He would begin his performance by leading his band in its first song with him in its cockpit and then disembark from the boat to finish leading for the rest of the night’s performance.

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His 41 foot cabin cruiser (also named Tempo by Lombardo) was triple planked in Honduran mahogany with over 52,000 screws and rivets.  He bought her used in 1941 from Jules Stein of MCA. Stein had her custom built in 1935-36. She was powered with twin Packard “PT boat style” airplane engines, similar to unlimited hydroplane engines of the 1950s – 60s. The fully equipped cabin cruiser boat ran as fast as 60 MPH with Lombardo at the helm. This classic boat has now been restored.

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The Tempo VI race boat shown here was also bought used by Lombardo. She was built in 1938 for Zalmon Guy Simmons. He raced her. But, Guy Lombardo improved her and won races with her and made a mark in racing history for his efforts.

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Hatteras Yachts Coming Out

Hatteras Yachts’ new fisherman / Convertible. She has a LOA of 70’ 6” with a beam of 21’ 4” for this one. Others are coming over the next twelve months. She will be at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, look for her at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center C Dock 335-335H .

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Boat builder’s comment…”With the new GT70, the Hatteras design team focused on creating a standard convertible that also embraces the celebrated style and performance that launched the Carolina legend. Reflected in the characteristics of the GT pedigree the GT70 has sleek long lines, the unmistakable bow flare and tumble home transom.”

More here… http://www.hatterasyachts.com/boat_gt70.html

Marine Racing Duesenberg W-24 Engine

Horace Dodge, Jr. liked fast boats and Unlimited Class boat racing. He hired the Duesenberg Brothers Racing (Augie and Fred) in 1925 to design, build and deliver two of these W-24 marine engines. The W shape was made up from three double overhead camshaft straight 8 engines all going to a common crankshaft. There are the right, center and left banks of 8 cylinders to this engine.

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Mr. Dodge Horace Dodge Jr. (son of one of the Dodge Bros.) wanted this new boat racing engine for his racing activities. Besides racing he also was a production wooden boat builder (starting in 1923). His production boats were called Dodge Watercars. His first factory was in Detroit, MI. But, he is known for his Newport News, VA factory that he had built to his design specs and that opened in 1930. That business closed in 1936. Its building is now the home to the Mariner’s Museum.
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Two Duesenberg W-16 engines were delivered in the summer of 1926. However, the success of these engines came much later. That racing engine last win was with Dan Arena who drove one of his boat designs (Notre Dame) to First Place in the 1940 President’s Cup. Along the way, these engines had different owners, were installed in several racing boats by those engine owners, and had several famous racing engine experts work on them, various carburetor set-ups (both in number and throats of each carb), and supercharging. Starting out at around 450-475 Hp in the later 1920s, the final supercharged engine made 850 Hp at 5,000 RPM in 1940.

Engine specs for the W-24 Duesenberg were 623 cu. in. with a bore of 2.875 inches by a 4 inch stroke.

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Ibex is important for the Marine Trades

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All the new ideas and the networking opportunities within the Marine Trades will be at IBEX, coming up.

Show’s quote” Thousands of new products, advanced processe, and impressive innovations will be on display at the 2015 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) taking place at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY, Tuesday, September 15 through Thursday, September 17. This year will bring together marine industry professionals to view the latest innovations and technology from over 550 exhibiting companies.”

 

Seabuddy will be there… will you?

 

Hornet II, a special Gar Wood boat

 

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Words © Chris (Seabuddy) Brown

29' Gar Wood wood boat on lake Tahoe

Stepped hull

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!

metal deck wood runabout

ready to race again

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.

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Bertram Yachts reborn

Words© Chris (Seabuddy) Brown

A new Bertram 31 built in Italy, at first, is the news for the re-opening of this valued brand.

Bertram Yachts 31 fiberglass model

The new business owner is a boater and has a proven track record of investing in boat building and storied brand names in the marine industry. He is a fan of this brand, a great hardcore saltwater sportfishing machine. Benjarnino Gavio has owned a 54 Bertram, personally. The new 31 might be offered in both an open runabout design and fly bridge models.

The Bertram Yachts plant parking lot is filled with weeds now. It was Sea Ray’s plant earlier in its life. Seabuddy had a plant tour back when it was building Sea Ray’s. It is not a part of the new Bertram deal. That plant is going to Merritt Island Boat Works. A replacement boat building factory for Bertram Yachts is. A USA plant, most likely in Florida, Georgia, or North/ South Carolina is in the current search program.
The second model to be made is currently scheduled to be either the 25 or the 28 foot hull sizes. The 25’ boat was made in Italy before by Riva (with some Riva styling touches) in the 1970s. Riva also made the Bertram 20 Bahia Mar model. BTW, the Riva Windshield is outstanding with the lines of this Bertram model, as is all of their hardware on the Bertram boat that they built in this length.
Seabuddy spent a fair amount of time aboard a Bertram 28 just off the Pacific ocean California coast. She was powered by straight shaft Mercury Marine 260 engines. They provided just enough, but not any excess power and speed. The fly bridge was not to my taste based on its seating and how the skipper had to handle to the controls. They seemed to be misplaced in relation to the seating bases and not enough room for my guests. Thus, operating the boat was tiring for me. It is possible that a 36’ and a 46.6” Bertram will be re-born also, but at a later date.
The new owner of Bertram also owns the Baglietto shipyard in Italy. He, Beniamino Gavio, made a big investment in that yacht yard. He is quoted as saying “You can trust that I will treat Bertram with great, great, great respect — the same as I’m doing with Baglietto.” Note, he owns other businesses and the boating companies seem to be something he wants to get deeply involved with.

First Niche Chris Craft

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.

Aston Martin cars getting into the Boat Business

Words ©Chris (Seabuddy) Brown, photos by Aston Martin, et al

The very first model will be a 37’ sport boat This boat will be introduced late in 2015. It will be named the AM37 and the Aston Martin name and logo will be on the boat.

Quick facts- there are some heavy hitters in the boat business in bring this boat to market. Henk de Vries, Director of Feadship is on board. As is Mulder Yacht Design. See Mulder’s 76 MPH yacht Moonraker.

Moonraker, Mulder Yacht Design 76 MPH yacht

Moonraker, Mulder Yacht Design, 76 MPH yacht

And do not forget Aston Martin.
Here is a quote…The AM37 combines the highest degree of technology and innovation in a genuinely unique manner that is sure to delight those who understand the Aston Martin credo of ‘power, beauty and soul’.

Aston Martin is a 103 year old car company that won Le Mans outright with Carroll Shelby in 1959.

aston martin racer wins le mans

Aston Martin with Carroll Shelby wins the 24 hours of Le Mans

And they won their GT 1 class in 2007.

aston martin at le mans wins gt 1

Aston Martin at le mans wins gt 1 in 2007

They are a small car company, but they have $312 million in new funds to expand from investors. The investors and management want to company to expand, particularly with its influence with women. There are naming deals for Sunglasses and Travel Accessories.

Aston will get future engines and electronics from Mercedes Benz. Mercedes may have Aston Martin make their very limited production Mayback models, as it is believed that Aston is better suited for limited production, than a big company like M B..
There is talk of an Alabama Aston Martin plant, near the Mercedes one.

37 Aston Martin sport boat, AM37

The AM37 will be made in the UK is seabuddy’s current understanding, but not inside the Aston Martin Gaydon, Warwickshire UK headquarters.

Aston Martin AM 37 sport boat

rendering of the Aston Martin AM 37 sport boat

Engines will be gas of diesel. Currently the thought is to power the gas engine closed deck sport cuddy cabin boats for a 60 MPH WOT top speed and the Diesels for a 50 MPH top speed. So, they are not Go-Fast boats. Rather, think Riva Aquarama, undated to today’s technology.

dash and helm of AM 37 Aston Martin

Helm of Aston Martin Sport Boat

One more thing, look at that powered hard surface three piece cockpit cover!

hard cockpit cover

Hard cockpit cover on AM 37 by Mulder Yacht Desgin for Aston Martin

Cobra Chris Craft and Shelby Cobra 427 together at Classic Boat Show

Words © Chris Seabuddy Brown, photo by CBMM
A Chris Craft Cobra set to towed by a Carroll Shelby Cobra 427 at a Classic Boat Show. It was the winner of the Best of Show-Land Display at the Classic Boat Show. Only at a classic show would such icons of land and water, or keels and wheels, if you prefer would seabuddy see such a thing on a Saturday afternoon.
Boaters know the Cobra’s as the most collectible models of mid-fifties. Restored Cobra boats are the envy of most fans of the classic Chris Craft line-up. They were made in only one year and only in very limited quantities. These two models are rare Chris Crafts. They were style leader models, made to attract buyers to dealer boat showrooms and major boat shows of the Chris Craft models. These other roughly 150 boat models were each priced at a profit. Chris Craft was still privately owned by the descendants of Chris Smith (who had died in 1939 two weeks after being found in the Chris Craft boiler room bleeding from his nose) and many family members still worked in the business.
Chris Craft Cobras used gold finished fiberglass to fashion a big fin behind the seat that dominates the styling of both sizes of these boats. This was an early attempt by the world leader in wooden boat construction to use the new boat-building material. The fiberglass was made in one plant and the otherwise planked mahogany wood boat was made in another. Several fiberglass parts did not match up with their boat hulls when mated on the final production line, the trial and error of fitment was one of the first learning lessons.
The boats used some car parts like the steering columns and their steering wheels are said to be1949 Chrysler parts. Cars and their brand-leading styling like the Mercedes Gullwing, GM Corvette, and early Ford Thunderbirds with limited seating and more style than function are often mentioned with the Chris Craft Cobras. These models are runabouts. Get in, sit-down, and enjoy. One does not walk around in a runabout.
Now, for the other snake in this write-up.
The 289 Shelby Cobra had used the British AC Ace car that came to market in around 1953 which began with a 100 HP engine ant then later with up to 120 HP six cylinder engine. The first small block Shelby’s used Ford’s then new 260 cu. In. V-8 engines for 75 Cobras and then 289 cu. in. engines (about 525 cars). There were several changes in these cars over the production run including rack and pinion steering, inboard and outboard mounted disc brakes, wheel hubs, and various details like radiators.
The Shelby Cobra 427 was the big block Cobra that Carroll Shelby created. That car had a new chassis and coil springs (instead of the transverse leaf springs of the Ace and the Ford small block cars). That new frame and suspension were developed with Ford’s cooperation, (Klaus Arning and Bob Negstad at Ford and this suspension is similar to the Ford GT-40s) and it is best identified by the wide fenders and an even bigger radiator opening. The engine was both a 427 and a 428 Ford engines. The 427 was the more desirable “side-oiler” engine.
Both Cobras are show stoppers!

chris craft cobra shelby 427 cobra

rare Chris Craft Cobra ready to be towed by Shelby 427 Cobra