Posts Tagged ‘I O’

Cobalt Boats Sets the Runabout World on Fire with its New R 5 Model

Her hull is designed for big lakes, open sounds, and expansive bays. Her interior is especially “yachtesque” with a dance-floor-wide cockpit in a bow rider configuartion. Exceptional water and pier access has been designed-in, not offered as an option. The new R 5 Cobalt is a customer’s boat. Understanding functional luxury requires study of this boat.

fiberglass boat photo image cobalt r 5

The running surface of the new 2013 Cobalt R 5

Cobalt listens to its customers and then it designs a boat to meet their needs. This Cobalt boat has a 21 degree transom deadrise, narrowed strakes, a sharper bow entry angle, and a careful respect to boat balance. Take a ride, experience how a sport boat can perform on your waters.

A driving push for this boat is the cockpit experience for boat owner and guests alike. Take a look for yourself—Cobalt has done something way different here than others have done in the past. The main seating offers many surprises that delight all onboard. The bow cockpit seating is huge and provides a wonderful place to lounge in the sun on the water. Shade is available for the main cockpit. The on-board storage on this boat is outstanding The head is easy to enter and generously big once inside. This runabout defines “ergonomics” for this class of sport boat. Vinyl, leather, hi-tech fiberglass, custom crafted metal, and a touch of wood accent trim sets an ambiance that few can match, even when one compares this new boat model boat to a classic boat from the 1930s.

fiberglass inboard outboard cobalt boat photo image bow rider

The new R 5 Cobalt bow rider, factory boat photo

Cobalt’s new R 5 has a LOA of 25’ 8” with a beam of 8’ 6” and a weight of around 4,900 LBS. She is certified by the Coast Guard to carry 14 passengers or 2,250 LBS of passengers and gear. Cobalt offers a selection of engines from 300 to 430 horsepower.

seabuddy thanks Cobalt for its photos.

Thunderboat Row, 188th Street, North Miami Beach, Don Aronow, Magnum Marine

Magnum Marine started life on 188th street with the “Maltese Magnum”, a 27’ race boat.

Magnum had replaced Donzi Marine in Don’s daily life and in 1966 he went racing in that boat. He won, so naturally, folks wanted one for themselves and a building was built and a powerboat racing legend was born.

magnum marine 35 don aronow world champion thunderboat row 188th street

Don Aronow wins 1967 World Championship in Magnum Marine 35 vee drive boat


Don also built a bigger and wider boat, his 35 footer, in 1967. That new boat was intended to be kept in a slip in the water. Up till now, all of Don’s boats were for trailered boats. Initially, these production 35’ cabin cruiser boats came with two gas inboard engines. However, a few were raced without their cabin and fly bridge and with up to four outboards or two inboards.

magnum marine catalog 16 outboard boat ski boat deep vee

catalog sheet for the Magnum Marine 16 Marauder


He also made two smaller outboard engine powered boat designs. One was a ski boat, the 16’ Marauder. He made about 20 copies of this deep vee, 50 MPH boat design. Another boat was the Maltese Magnum Missile 16’, which was a tunnel hull boat. This boat was said to go 60 MPH with the same size outboard power as the Marauder. A production run of about 30 of these were made.


Magnum also introduced variations on the 27’ hull now. However, this was done under new company ownership. Don had sold his operating company to Apeco, keeping the building as a rental property. One of these variations was the sport deck model in 1968. The other, a cabin boat named the Sedan, came out the next year. A cabin style boat was needed for some racing classes in Europe. The 27’ Magnum Marine Sedan fit the bill for the best racing class there.


Another boat model was the Magnum 28’. This performance boat had a higher, rounded deck line primarily for more room in the cabin. It is a model without side cabin windows nor any deckhouse sides. It should have been a good seller but it was discontinued in 1979 after a six year production run.


It was in 1976 that Apeco sold Magnum Marine to Filippo Theodoli and his wife, Katrin.

They brought out the infamous Magnum 53′ in 1977. She was a two staterooms, wide-beamed, high performance yacht. This model re-directed Magnum Marine into a different kind of a boat company. New boat models were now powered by diesel engines. These new models were to be very high-style yachts that were eminently seaworthy in moderate seas with each having a good turn of speed.

magnum marine 53 factory launch inboard boat photo image

first 53' Magnum Marine

Seabuddy thanks Magnum Marine for their photos and the last one shown here is his favorite shot of this brand.

magnum marine 44 sea classic fiberglass inboard cabin cruiser performance boat

Factory photo of a 44 footer running fast in rough seas

Thunderboat Row, Don Aronow, 188th Street, North Miami Beach, Aventura, FL, Thunderboat Row, 188th Street, North Miami Beach, Aventura, South Florida, Don Aronow, Jim Wynne, Walt Walters, Dave Stirrat, Buddy Smith, Jake Trotter, Alan “Brownie” Brown, Donzi Marine

Sometimes it is the second boat design that makes a boat building company. Don Aronow had a craving for a new design for an offshore racer. He had sold his prior design and company (Formula and its 233 boat model) on 188th Street. He was ready for step two of his plan. Don now made a new company and a new fiberglass boat. The company became Donzi Marine and the boat was a 28 foot deep vee offshore race boat. Don had Walt Walters design that boat, make its running surface a winner, and draw up the plans that caused it to be built.

donzi marine race boat photo image

Don Aronow driving his 28' race boat 008

He and his buddies made and raced several of these fiberglass boats. The most powerful had over 1,100 horsepower in its two Ford engines. That high level of power had to use vee drives at that time. No stern drive (I/O) could stay together, either for pleasure use or racing boat use.

Boat racers were larger-than-life heroes to worship, and they all seemed to come from two addresses: NE 188th Street in North Miami, FL. and Bertram’s Miami address near the airport. Don Aronow’s “Thunderboat Row” started to grow in stature and began to pull ahead of Dick Bertram’s efforts in time. But, not yet. The 28’ while successful, did not strike gold with pleasure boat buyers. Those “Damned Donzis” were heard on the race course, but not in the boat showrooms. It took a lake and bay boat that was nimble and easy to jump in and take off in for a fast ride to make Donzi. Now it was 1964 and that nimble boat really made Donzi Marine.

jim wynne wyn mill II boat photo image race boat driver designer inventor

Jim Wynne with his Wyn Mill II race boat


The Ski Sporter, or Donzi Sweet 16, made Donzi Boats into a company. That model boat was based on a shorten version of Jim Wynne’s winning race boat, the Wyn-Mill II. Wyn Mill II was Jim’s racer as designed by Walt Walters with input from Jim and perhaps others. Walt drew up the plans and it is his name that is on them. A friend recently shared a sheet of those boat building plans with seabuddy. In the past, seabuddy incorrectly said that Jim Wynne designed this racer. These facts, as it was helpfully explained to seabuddy, were incorrect. Jim had input, he was there, but Walt’s name is on the drawings that the boat was built from. He is the designer of record.

(As an aside, the free exchange of facts and the making of boating friends that today’s internet gives seabuddy continues to amaze him.)

That boat’s hull was shortened into a 16’ 71/2” long fiberglass boat. She had the same 7’ beam and 24 degree deep vee hull bottom. These Donzi boats were designed to be small, light, and a fun ride. This boat was originally called the Ski Sporter Donzi and later it was named the Donzi Sweet 16. With its first Volvo engine and out drive set-up its top speed was in the 41 to 43 MPH range. Now one can find Sweet 16s with V-6 and V-8 power. With souped up engines, a strong sterndrive I/O and a special prop, she can deliver more speed than a sane person would enjoy.

Sweet 16 Donzi Marine Ski Sporter cockpit boat photo image

Classic fiberglass Donzi Marine boat cockpit





Antique and Classic Boat Show, Mount Dora, Lake Dora, Tavares, Sunnyland Boat Show Report number 2

Chris “seabuddy”Brown in a Donzi 14 at Lake Dora Tavares Mount Dora Antique and Classic Boat Show (he is in the black shirt) here…..

A 14 foot Donzi is a rare bird. They only made 14 boats and only in 1967. She is a Donzi Baby. Seabuddy ran pedal to the metal, trimmed out at just over 5,000 rpm across Lake Dora on Saturday in boat that is number 14 of that run.

donzi marine baby donzi 14 inboard outboard i/o stern drive classic boat photo image

Jumping wakes in a Donzi Classic Boat

Small, performance boats have a special place in my heart. Donzi Boats and Glaspar G-3 boats and Glastron GT 150 boats are right there for me as fun boats. Outboard, inboard, v-drive, stern drive, and jet, are the various ways to go for these boats. Higher horsepower outboards in a short shaft length are getting harder to find. Seabuddy has been told that only up to 25 Hp. outboards are out there for 2013.

Donzi Marine was started by Don Aronow in 1964. His first model was the Ski Sportster called the Sweet 16 model. These boats were powered by a Volvo 110 horsepower 4 cylinder engine with a Eaton Outdrive. They were 43-46 mph boats that turned on a dime and rode soft, because of their deep vee bottom shape. Later boat came with V-6 and V-8 engines. From their race success the Donzi Boats were called the “Damned Donzis”.

1965 brought the 28’ Broad Jumper, Donzi Diesel and other famous boats and names. Think Don Aronow, JakeTrotter, Jim Wynne, Walt Walters, Allan “Brownie” Brown, and Dick Cole. The boats were shown in clothing showrooms on 5th Avenue in Manhattan in New York. President LBJ had one. The company was sold to TeleFlex. The 18’ 2+ 3 came to market. 1966 brought the 28’ 008 race boat. Here came Astronauts Gus Grissom, Gordon Cooper, Fireman Red Adair, and Dick Genth in a Donzi race boat on the various race courses. The 14’ Donzi came in 1967. A rare boat then and it is a rare boat now. Photo not from the seabuddy fun.

Sunnyland Classic Boat Show, Mt. Dora, Tarveres, Lake Dora Boat Show Report

Here are a few seabuddy photos of an early Slickcraft outboard powered boat built by Leon Slikkers from the Sunnyland classic boat show. . He is the founding family member of Tiara Yachts and Pursuit fishing boats.

plywood slikcraft slickcraft

classic slick craft outboard wood boat

Mr. Slikkers made boats as early as 1946, when he worked for Chris Craft as a cabin cruiser top joiner. He stayed with Chris Craft until about 1955. Chris Craft boat production was often plagued by strikes at this time, so Leon built his own boats when C-C was having a work stoppage. He built 10 outboard powered boats as early as 1952.

classic wood boat dash slickcraft outboard boat image

stylin in the 1950s

His first factory was below his home in 1955. He was building classic molded plywood outboard powered runabouts at this time. He made about 35 fiberglass hulled boats as well as plywood boats starting in 1955. By 1960 Slickcraft only made fiberglass boats.

outboard motor on classic wood Slick Craft boat

Outboard powered Slickcraft

He moved his plant several times and stopped living above where the boats were being made now. His factory was 29,000 square feet in size in 1962, and went to 42,000 by 1965. Mr. Slikkers made his first inboard outboard boat in 1963. It was Mercury powered.

He sold out Slickcraft to AMF. He built sailboats to respect his non-compete.  Those sailboats were called S2 (S2 stands for Slickers second company). He started Tiara Yachts in 1976. He started Pursuit fish boats in 1977. Both brands are major players in the pleasure boat market today.

New Volvo Penta Gas Marine Engine

gas 380  engine volvo penta chevy

Volvo Penta 380 horsepower latest Chevy Engine for marine use

She has 380 horsepower at high RPM and faster get-up-and-go via the first major marine use of the latest GM engine, the L96. Figure on 5,800 RPM and higher usable RPM in your boat. Count on all the proven, but “new” tricks that wake up an engine for marine use. Cam timing is, for the first time, variable (VVT) in a marine engine.This increases the power from idle or right out of the hole to 3,000 RPM. Couple that with the new gear ratios and you have a double whammy.  Anticipate your boat to gain a boat length early in any comparison acceleration test against a 8.2 engine powered boat in a heads up contest.

The heads are Aluminum to allow for better cooling and a component  lighter weight power package. Then, add the normal weight savings by NOT using a big block Chevy and your double whammy is multiplied even more. Weight savings should add up to 225 to 250 lbs. Now, add to all this a broader, higher RPM range and you spin a lesser pitch prop for quick low end response without a top speed penalty as one simply winds the new 380 horsepower Volvo-Penta to a higher rpm limit. I hear you can use 6,000 plus rpms as needed. Spin a lower pitch prop at higher rpms and the top speed is the same as a big block.

It is a four star engine; the best, cleanest available that has been tested for over 8,000 hours for its government approval only in May of this year. It is that new.

Did seabuddy say it is totally fresh water cooled? That even the exhaust manifolds will not rust as they are cooled by anti-freeze, not lake or ocean water? Look to a fall boat show and see this engine for yourselve. I know that there is a real engine on display at the Newport, RI Boat Show. More details here…

The new engine is a slightly bigger package. Most of the numbers are not that big, except the width is 4.5 inches wider and the total package weight looks to be about 50 lbs more than a 5.7 (350 cu. in. engine). Now, compare this new high-tech engine from Volvo-Penta to a 8.1 or a 8.2 big block engine and all the numbers favor the new engine. It is smaller. lighter, and more narrow. It looks like it will fit whereever a big block would have fit.


This one exciting engine!


1,500 V-16 Engine hi-po boat engine

It has 1,500 horsepower with less weight than other 1,500 Hp engines, it uses easy to find “pump gas” , no superchargers, it is a less stressed engine, so it should come with more reliability in high performance boating. Using light metals and requiring only 750 Hp from 540 cubic inch marine engines to make the 1,500 Hp is the secret in the news with the Lightning Performance Group engine.

lighning performance group V 16 1500 Hp engine

Keith Eickert and Don Onken show their 1500 Hp V-16 marine engine

Keith Eickert, one of the top names in the marine performance industry has teamed together with Don Onken to make the new company and its products. The company is located in the central part of the state of Illinois in Easton, Illinois. This is home country for Don, while Keith used to work in the hi-performance boat world from his home in south florida. Together, they take their passion for fast boats, fast engines, and high performance to a new high.

race boat engine photo image V-16 1,500 Hp keith eickert don onken lightning performance

High Horsepower V-16 marine engine is two 540 cu. in. engines coupled together

Words like “bulletproof” are whispered around the V-16, 1,500 horsepower engine. These men have the background in the marine hi-performance industry that can bring reliability to high horsepower marine engines. Lower operating expenses also come with the new engines. Because of market demand for bigger and faster boats, Marine engine builders have been requested to serve up more horsepower, reliability.“Building high horsepower engines has never been a problem, the problems come in the lack of reliability, higher expenses and the lack of reliable sources of quality fuel.” The concept of coupling 2 V-8’s together to run as one addresses the problems according to the Lightning Performance Group.

V-16 marine engine 1,500 horsepower race boat image photo

prototype of V-16 1,500 horsepower marine engine now winning races

2013 Byrant Boats new model 233 Boat Test

bryant boats photo image 268 bow rider fiberglass model

268 Bryant Boats

Joe Bryant has great success with the 268 bow rider runabout. It is a winner of a new design. Why? The superior boat ride in somewhat rough water in a stiff afternoon chop. That is it. All 233 Bryant boat owners that take a ride, love this boat!

bryant boats new 2013 bow rider 233

Dealer showroom boat of the new 233

So, what is the new boat model for 2013 from Bryant boats? A 233 using the bottom design features of the successful 268 bow rider. Unlike the current 233, which uses a 20 degree boat bottom and different lifting strakes shape and in their location, the new-for-2013 bow rider boat will be best identified by the same 24 degree bottom that the 268 uses.

All older 233 Bryant boats use a 19 degree bottom design. The 2012 and earlier model year Bryant boats 246 use a 20 degree bottom shape. Using the 24 degree bottom on a 233 Bryant boat gives the ride difference that, after a ride, all 233 boat owners lust after getting a new boat. Expect to see many 233 Bryant boats appear on the used boat market in 2013. Get ready to sell yours now.

The new boat will be all, 100% hand laid, laminated fiberglass. It will be 100% wood free. A tricolor, in-the-molded fiberglass, color combo is to be standard. All Bryant boats have these features, Joe Bryant would not have it any other way. Also, look for an extended swim platform and a fiberglass liner in this 2013 bryant boat bow rider. The new boat model will not be offered as a cuddy cabin model for 2013.

Figure on a 49 gallon gas tank, a 8’ 6” (102”) beam and a weight of 3,500- 3,800 lbs for the 23′ 3″ boat.

Boat test numbers are 53-55 mph wide open. She burns 6 1/2 to 7 gallons an hour at a best cruising speed of 26-28 mph at 3,000 rpm. This is with a 300 Horsepower/350 cubic inch chevy engine and a Bravo III drive.

hand laid fiberglass boat 233 model bryant boats

wood free 233 Bryant boats

Sea Ray, Brunswick going jet and outboard, not diesel

sea ray inboard runaboutBrunswick is a seriously shrunk down company and its secondary line, after Hatteras yachts, is Sea Ray. Sea Ray has been told to reshape itself, along with Mercury and Mercury Mercruiser marine engines and drives. Brunswick sales were $5,600 million in 2007. Now (2011) they are only $3,748 million. Cut to the bone, they are profitable per Michael Verdon.

When did you last see a new Sea Ray Laguna at your boat show? A Ski Ray? How about a Sea Rader? A Pachanga?  A 21’ – 23’ cuddy? A Brunswick Sealine? A Baja?

Plus, some boat sizes / models are no longer made in the USA. The cuddies are made in Europe and imported to here, if you want one. Sea Ray will make boats in Brazil, starting this fall.

Zeus is somewhat in limbo. Brunswick owns it, but top management have not yet decided on how to service and warrantee it going forward yet. This became a new problem when Cummins and Brunswick dissolved their CMD partnership this year.

Zeus never had the sales success that Volvo has had with its IPS, pod drive. While Volvo makes engines for their IPS power package, Brunswick relied on Cummins for their Mercury Mercruiser engines, via the CMD joint venture. Some Cummins packages are still available, it is said.  Plus, Mercury is bringing in engines sourced from South Korea, Italy, perhaps Brazil, and Hungary, depending on the horsepower in the future. Due your due diligence if you are thinking of buying a diesel powered Sea Ray. Know where your potential boat’s engines were made. Right now, while Cummins has a USA diesel manufacturing / finishing presence, Mercury Mercruiser does not. Any engines that come from outside the US and need any finishing for marine application go through Brunswick in Belgium and then to the USA. Mercury strictly has management staff for diesels  at Fond du Lac, MI, USA only.

So where is Sea Ray Boats going? Right now, for under 20’ boats, they are offering an I/O powered runabout with a Mexican made engine. For 21’ and 24’ boat sizes, look for 2013 jet drives, powered by German-made Weber Motor engines and water jet drives. For over 30 foot Sundancer mid and aft cabin cruisers, they will bring out a twin engine Mercury Vernado outboard powered design with a narrow beam.

So, at Sea Ray boats, the real money-maker at Brunswick, it is down with diesels and Zeus drives, up with jet boats and outboards, contract US production and jobs, and make more product offshore.

Jim Wynne, Donzi Sweet 16, and Holman Moody

Donzi Marine Sweet 16 Ski Sporter classic fiberglass boat image

Note the Ski Sporter name on the trailer for this Donzi Marine 16'

Jim Wynne first showed his (or Charlie Strang’s) new out drive with a Volvo engine at the New York Boat Show in January of 1959. This was the beginning of the modern stern drive. One of the first boats that Jim used to promote that stern drive was a wood 18 foot boat made by Woody Woodson. Wynne had success on the race course with that boat. Seeking a lighter boat to go with his small Volvo engine and now Volvo-Penta Aquamatic I/O he designed a 17’ boat in wood that he called the Wyn-Mill II. That boat but used a deep vee hull with a low profile and therefore was lighter than the Woodson made boat. He won eight marathon racing records with his new boat powered by an out-drive over the next few years. Most of the boats that he beat used far more horsepower than what Wynne had in his Volvo engine and Volvo stern drive powered 17’ boat. Jim by now worked for Don Aronow and he was a boat builder. One of his companies wanted a small sport boat to zip around and they thought that by using the Wyn-Mill II as a starting point for a new boat with a 110 Hp. Volvo gas engine and its Aquamatic drive. They did not splash it, as the final production boat had differences like were the strakes were located and they also shortened it to a 16’ 71/2” long with a 7’ beam and 24 degree deep vee hull bottom fiberglass boat. These Donzi boats were designed to be small, light, and a fun ride. This boat was originally called the Ski Sporter Donzi and later the Donzi Sweet 16. With the Volvo engine and out drive its top speed was in the 41 to 43 MPH range. Both Jim and Don were racers, however, and when Volvo did not come up with their own small block V-8, they got Volvo and Holman Moody Marine to match up one with their 16’ boats. For background, John Holman liked boats as his hobby while Ralph Moody was into airplanes. They got Dinny Phipps to run the H-M marine business out of Miami, FL. He led the marine engine program with a 300 cubic inch six cylinder engine and 289, 302, 351,427, and 460 cubic inch V-8 engines and perhaps other engines as special orders. These motors often made more power than the Aquamatic Volvo drive could handle, however, and they offered vee drive and inboard versions as well as the I/Os to cover all the bases. Holman Moody also became a US distributor for the Volvo stern drive. Seabuddy photos.

Sweet 16 Donzi Marine Ski Sporter cockpit boat photo image

Classic fiberglass Donzi Marine boat cockpit