Archive for the ‘wood powerboats’ Category

New marine fuel winter storage product

marine fuel stabilzer sta bil 360 winter storage boat

Sta Bil 360 Marine

 

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.

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

 

 

 

 

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.

Classic boaters, should we all have a classic Ferrari?

Instead of a classic boat, that is.

ferrari GTO classic car

sister car to the sold classic car

 

$52 million was a recent sale price for a certain model classic Ferrari. That is an approximant 50% increase in sales price for that model Ferrari since another one sold roughly six months ago. How much did your classic boat go up in price?

 

Seabuddy chose boating and classic boating when I was about 14 years old. I could drive a boat on Barnegat Bay, but not a car on the roads of NJ. Being able to drive something with a motor made up my mind. By the way, I never have said I am smart.

 

Is your Riva model selling for more than say, $750,000 this year? Your rarest model Chris Craft (they made 4 of this one over the two years of 1929 and 1930) for $250,000? Your wood Century Arabian selling for more than $75,000?

 

Note, even a Glasspar G-2 sports car has only gone up about 250% since 2006. A Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz went up about 3 and a 1/2 times. Do not ask Seabuddy about 1967 Corvettes.

 

By the way, Mr. Ferrari could only sell 36 of this model Ferrari when it was new.

 

Here is a side story. Rumor has it that Bob Bondurant sold his Cobra Daytona coupe to fund the start of his high performance driving school. Anyway, his racer Daytona Cobra Coupe recently sold for $8.5 million. Just think. If he had just waxed that car, rather working daily at showing movie stars and rich folks how to drive fast and safe in the hot Arizona sun for all these years, HE WOULD HAVE MORE MONEY.

 

 

Wood Runabout takes off level and rides level

Here is a modern boat that brings a real flat take-off and ride to a sport classic style wooden boat. Take a look here..    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J08psf7PVI  and see her flat take off and running angle. It is really something else if you are used to a deep vee bottom boat.

Why? Where is the magic that delvers that wonderful take-off? Bottom shape, chine width at the transom, a good weight balance point accomplished by engine weight location, and direct drive shaft angle; all combine for the accomplished goal.

clarion boats 23 wooden runabout straight shaft inboard sport boat

take a look at her bottom

She is a straight inboard with a double cockpit forward layout. That allows the engine to come forward within the hull. Plus she can have a straight drive, not a vee-drive. And she is family friendly design while underway.

This is a 23’ 4” hand-crafted boat with a 6’ 6” beam.  She is a planked, cold molded original design. Clarion does not stretch or shorten boat designs to fit different model lengths like Fountain Power Boats. They computer cut their frames and hand fit their layers of planking.

Most boats use a 350 Chevy Mercruiser engine of 300 horsepower for a great push in the back take-off and a equally thrilling top speed at WOT. Other engines are available but few owners choose them.

A wood runabout with a cockpit trimmed in fine leather and with proper chrome hardware sparkles at pier side or on the open water. Nickel hardware is a special order item. The level of finish on all three materials is stunning.

Does this boat builder build and restore “over-the-top” boats? Yes. Their shop has been around for years. A wooden boat shop servers the boating market via it’s craftsmanship in 2013.

Buyers want quality in their wooden boats. A good ride is not enough. Few utilitarian wood boat builders are around anymore. Folks want a bright finished mahogany runabout or utility now. At sunset, a wooden boat owner wants a piece of art that one rubs a hand over and says, that is my boat and she is a beauty.

clarion boats wooden runabout planked mahogany

low flat wake

 

clarion boats 23 planked wooden runabout

dual cockpit forward with a straight shaft inboard

 

clarion boats canada runabout planked inboard

engine in the straight shaft wooden inboard

 

clarion boat cold molded planked mahogany cedar fir frame hand made crafted

cold molded construction for this mahogany runabout

 

computer drafted cut framing for wood clarion boat

computer cut framing for Clarion Boat

 

 

Did Don Aronow race Donzi boats?

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.

 

claudia

May 2, 1967 the first Claudia race boat. Made of wood. Designed by Howard Abbey.

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.

 

donzi race boat 008

Donzi Marine race boat. Fiberglass. Race winer in 1966

1928 Racing Hydroplane, Uncle Charlie & me

Ever put a 40 Horsepower 1960 Evinrude Lark on a 1928 Hydroplane that was raced with a 22 horsepower outboard?

For two weeks, it was the fastest thing on the Barnegat Bay. That boat and outboard motor combination beat everything!

race outboard power early 1920s #seabuddy

sister ship to the racer I rode on the deck of

My Uncle Charlie would sucker any one into a race against this pre-war racer by holding back as we came side by side. Once the other boat was convinced that our and their boat was wide open, he would simply roll the engine mounted throttle wide open and took off! We had them by a mile every time. Never lost. Our 40 horsepower outboard  11’racer was the terror of N J.

I was a strapping young teen of 13 years of age this summer of boating fun and he was my bachelor uncle that sucked my dad into paying half for his and mine hobby of boating. We had a 15’ wood Sea Mac runabout, but that water ski boat did not even do 30 MPH. We wanted 60 MPH!

My Dad’s other brother had the 1928 racing two point hydroplane that had been taken on trade for a car repair bill.  That boat had been in the family but had not been in the water since before WW II as the no one could get its racing 22 horsepower outboard motor to start.

And, we had the 40 Horsepower shiny Lark two-stroke that ran!

Charlie came up with the idea of putting the running motor on the smaller boat and us going faster.

The Hydroplane was not water ready, it leaked and had dry rot. So Charlie and I slopped some fiberglass resin over the canvas covered racer’s bottom. It was Charlie’s idea was that the canvas weave would be an effective substitute for fiberglass cloth. We used both cloth and resin on the hull sides as there was no canvas there, just peeling paint

Another problem was it was a single person cockpit boat and there were two of us. So, I was assigned to lay out on the foredeck and simply hold on for the thrill ride that Charlie controlled from the cockpit.

The boat was fast, but way overstressed and far too gone for it to last. Each ride resulted in a stick or framing piece crumbling. We just threw them overboard as they came up. My deck was racing thin and so it collapsed. I then rode on the uprights, similar to a bed of nails, with just the padding of a PFD throw cushion in the worst spot. My body had many bruises, which I hid from my Mom.

period correct 1928 race boat and race engine

#seabuddy next to the sister ship 1928 racing boat & motor

Each night, we had to tie up the motor to the pier, to keep its power head above water. We let the rest of the boat sink nightly, and bailed her out when we went for a challenge race. After two weeks, our speedster was too far gone. The steering was always pulling out from the frames, she leaked very badly, and I was so sore from bouncing on the uprights that I just could not take it anymore.

Seabuddy’s photos are of a sister ship, age correct, but it is a smooth-bottom runabout  style, without the boat bottom step that the hydroplane had.

wood classic race boat outboard johnson powered

the cockpit only fits one person, and not #seabuddy as a teen

 

1928 racing boat with johnson 22 HP outboard motor

#seabuddy saw this sister ship to a teen remenberence

 

1928 racer with Johnson 22 HP outboard engine

I never got to drive the boat, Uncle Charlie did that, #seabuddy just held on for life

Classic Wooden Jersey Speed Skiff

wooden pappy seaman  jersey speed skiff race boat

restored classic wooden Jeresey Speed Skiff

 

A Jersey Speed Skiff in 2013 is either a vintage racer or a APBA modern race boat. What is the difference? To the casual eye the APBA boat has a roll cage and the Vintage or classic does not. #Seabuddy may be old, but not old enough to first-hand tell the full length story of Jersey Speed Skiffs.

Along the jersey shore since the 1800’s, men beach or inlet launched a human-powered (row) boat to ocean and bay fish from. Then a sail rig was added and the popular way to go fishing in New Jersey remained a small boat. Think of a flat bottomed, cedar-wood planked boat using ribs to help define and stiffen the boat shape. Some cousins or early examples of a JSS boat were the Sea Bright Skiff, the Pound Boat, and Utility Skiffs.

In 1922, Harold “Pappy” Seaman built a 16’ long one with a Gray Marine Engine inboard engine. That started the powerboat JSS class idea. His boat went 21 MPH. Fiberglass replaced wood in the 1960s. Bud Bender is the man known for fiberglass Jersey Speed Skiffs. Seabuddy met Bud at a past St. Michaels Antique and Classic Boat Show and Festival in Maryland. Today a skiff can break 80 MPH or more and they use a Chevy V-8 for power.

BTW, many of these early boats fished during the week and raced each other on Sunday. Pappy was from Long Branch, built some 102 skiffs, and the base of the sport seems to have stayed there in Long Branch, but with boat races up and down the east coast all summer long in both Vintage and APBA racing. The next Vintage Event seems to be at the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club on September 21, 2013 in New Jersey.

My photos are of SUDS, a restored, Pappy Seaman built, 1951 Jersey Speed Skiff. She is a 50 MPH boat. SUDS is powered by a 180 HP, 244cubic inch Fireball Graymarine 6 cylinder racing inboard engine.

She is a planked wood, no plywood anywhere boat. She has White Oak ribs and stem, and White Cedar hull planking, firewall, bulkheads, interior seating’s, and decks. The wood is held together by some 1,752 hand-peened copper rivets and 1,488 slotted screws. The boat was last in the water until the summer of 2012 in 1983. The restoration took 2,312 hours of labor.

#Seabuddy’s photos are from the Pt. Pleasant ACBS Boat Show. Historic photos from the web and other places.

 

Pappy seaman jersey speed skiff 1951 planked wood

Cockpit- note the firewall is planked, not plywood

 

wood restored classic jersey speed skiff

front cockpit

 

old wood from jersey speed skiff wood classic

sample of the old wood

 

Suds race boat pappy seaman

old racing photo of SUDS back in the day

 

jersey speed skiff in a racing turn

This is the way a Jersey Speed Skiff turns

Gentleman’s Classic Outboard Runabout

chris craft james craft kit boat

She is a fun ride!

 

This is a Chris Craft – kit boat version. About 345 lbs. of speedboat in fewer than 14 feet. She is powered by a period correct Mark 55 Mercury Outboard of 40 Horsepower. She is just been restored in April of 2013 but this model was offered by Chris Craft back in the 1950s.

She is a great ride for the Captain and his passenger. Sporty, stable, and quick to maneuverer, this is a boat one launches for a fun time on the water. It is compact luxury craft that draws friendly smiles for her classic bright-finished good looks.

Her period correct Mercury Marine 4 cylinder outboard has been rebuilt by a pro and starts easily. It is the top power for the 13 1/2’ long boat. She is an opportunity to experience the classic wood boat life in a beautiful product of Chris Craft engineering.

In the restoration, this boat’s owner took advantage of all of today’s boat building materials. All the wood was sealed with Smith’s CPES and the joints of bronze and Stainless Steel bolts and screws were further strengthened with West System products. First class, top-of-the-line parts combined with a critical design eye and excellent skill towards making her a real beauty either on her trailer or out on the water is reflected the first time anyone sees her.

Boats like this Chris Craft were sold by them as complete kits in a box and this one was located already assembled, but in need of a complete restoration. That restoration took several years, not months. One just needs to see her now to enjoy classic boating at its best. She is the winner of the Best Outboard Boat at this year’s big Annual Antique and Classic Boat Society Show and Festival in St. Michaels, MD.

james craft runabout outboard boat photo image

She has storage under the rear deck

 

chris craft james craft kit boat model classic boat photo image

Note the level of finish inside this boat

 

chris craft kit boat outboard runabout boat photo image

Top level finish!

Century Coronado classic wooden inboard

It is a Coronado, by Century Boat Co. This model boat was in production as a wood boat from 1955 to 1968. There were a little more than 1700 made. This is one of  several design styles over the years on basically the same running surface hull. She is one out of the 117 made that year. The boat was restored by Katz’s Marina      http://www.antiqueboatsales.com/Restoration.html

A big V-8 for power, a throaty exhaust, lots of style, a touch of automotive parts (windshield glass), more than a little chrome, and plenty of bright finished Mahogany Planking make a Century Coronado a thing of beauty on the water. She stops folks in their tracks. This model and perhaps a Chris Craft Cobra model set the high water mark for wooden boats in my book.

The Century Boat Company started in 1926 in Milwaukee, WI. The company quickly moved to Manistee, MI. Century Boat Co. built hydroplanes, stepped hulls, inboard ski boats, outboard runabouts, inboards, fishing boats, canoes, sailboats, cabin cruisers, perhaps a surf boat and these top-of-the-line speedboats. Styling has always been a Century trait. They even built a pink outboard. Go to an Antique and Classic Boat Show, and see all the girls wanting to have their photo taken with the “Barbie” Boat.

A Century Resorter was another storied model name associated with the boat builder. These came in 15’, 16’, 17’, 18’, 19, and 21’ lengths. Resorters were also classic inboard, center engine, boats. A Resorter was a more open cockpit boat. They were great for water sports.

Century replaced wood with fiberglass in the second half of the 1960s, often using the same boat styles and bottom running shape like much of the boating industry, if they were a wooden boat builder at first. The current maker of Tara Yachts made much of the tooling and molds for Century.

 

century coronado wooden boat 1965 inboard planked mahogany boat photo

Restored wooden Century 21' Coronado inboard runabout

 

century coronado inboard wood runabout cockpit boat photo image

Aft seat of three in this boat

 

century coronado with hard top boat photo image

two more rows of seats under this sliding Hard Top

 

century coronado speed boat runabout photo boat image

Note the automotive rear glass used as a windshield on this 1965 Century Coronado

 

century coronado bow shot boat photo image inboard runabout

Century used vinyl on the bow deck for ease of maintenance