Posts Tagged ‘stern drive’

How to make a 24’ runabout out of two 20’ boats

Words © by Chris (Seabuddy) Brown

This classic 24’ inboard/outboard boat is waiting for a customer to specify a vee-drive shaft drive in the traditional inboard manner. All the other features and desirable traits of a runabout are in place. She runs, rides, and turns like a gem.

Sold 24' Runabout running

Sold 24′ Runabout running

The Cherubini 24’ was created by the company using their 20’ boat model. As a family, they have been building boats back to 1937. The current boat company goes back to 1975. Over this time they have worked their magic in many ways. This is an article about one of their magic moments in a long history of inspired boat building.

Hand crafted highly detailed and finished wood deck.

Hand crafted highly detailed and finished wood deck.

It looks like they bought the molds and rights to a water jet powered 20’ runabout from an out of business boat builder. They changed that hull to be a stylish, real sweet running I/O boat. Yes, other power is offered from the factory, but all the units seem to use inboard/outboard power.

Powered by stern drive, I / O Mercury Marine big block engine

Powered by stern drive, I / O Mercury Marine big block engine

 

I/O engine room

I/O engine room

I now want to drill down to how they created a 24’ boat. They took TWO examples of their sweet running 20’, cut them down the middle (but on an slant) added 4’ in the center, put this all into one boat and blended all of this using their boat building expertise into a 24’ boat. No flat spots, no seams, nothing that does not pass close inspection. I could not do this. Kudos to them.

Two aft sections and one bow of the 20' runabout, stacked on a trailer

Two aft sections and one bow of the 20′ runabout, stacked on a trailer

BTW, they went from a V-6 Mercury Marine GM block powered 20’ boat to a 496 cu. in. displacment, again Chevy GM block, Mercury Marine engine in the 24’. Both boats run much faster than most true classic boats. The 24’ can top 65 MPH with its big block engine.

prototype 24' runabout hull

prototype 24′ runabout hull

Has this type of thing been done before? Most say, yes. There are plans and drawings for the classic Donzi 16 and the Donzi 22 models. No drawing or plans for the Donzi 18 boat. The story goes that the 16’s bow and aft sections where cut and two feet were added in the middle to make the Donzi 18.

Prototype running under power

Prototype running under power

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regal Marine / Volvo Forward Drive / save $35,000

regal forward

Wakesurfing will be the talked about tow boat sport next summer. Perhaps the right boats is one with a Volvo-Penta Forward Drive or spend about the $35,000 more in my headline above and get a Inboard Ski Boat. Both put the prop under the boat. There it is safely, far away from the water sports participants.

 

Seabuddy hopes that a boat buyer, when his family begs for a good Wake Surfing Powerboat for 2016, gets them to sea trial both a Volvo Forward Drive Boat and a Inboard Wake Surfing Boat. Should Dad say that the Volvo powered boat saves enough of the family fortunes that an extra new car can be purchased?

 

Here, I match the Regal Marine 2100 RX Surf Edition with a Volvo-Penta Forward Drive for a 50 MPH package, which makes it a faster boat than the inboard. Plus, instead of the engine/transmission, shafting, prop, strut and other underwater hardware from many sources, like the inboard does, all of this driveline comes from a single source (all from Volvo).

 

OF course, the $35,000 is a number I picked and until two boats are priced head to head, the difference is just a estimate.

 

Wake Surfing is done at 10-12 mph and surfing right behind the boat, riding the wave created by the boat’s wake.You only use a ski rope to be pulled up to this speed, then it’s a surfing ride only on the boat’s wake. No bindings on your board, no rope to pull, so one can do this for hours.

 

The Volvo Forward Drive is essential to make the right wake and do so safely or you need to get an inboard ski boat. The Volvo puts the props far forward under the hull, about 26’ compared to most outdrives. That is a big difference. Plus, Volvo makes the props “Pull” the boat, not “push” as with other drive trains. This matches up with a IPS Volvo system that has been out for years now. The exhaust does go back, under the water with the Cat cleaned up exhaust going into the wake. In the Regal this model also has an extended swim platform. Anyone in the water around the stern is well away from the props.

 

Get the 300 Hp Volvo-Penta engine that Regal picked with the prop set and reduction gears to get the best performance. Seabuddy understands that they studied, tested, and specified for the best performance around Volvo’s three reduction gear choices and six stainless steel prop set choices, that are just for this new Forward Drive. By the way, each set has a front prop and rear prop and are shaped differently from other Volvo DuoProp sets. They have their own part numbers.

 

On a sea trial try the around the marina and float maneuvering behind the driver’s seat and say “this package is easier to control” than what I am used to. All that drive her admire how well the package moves around in the water.

seabuddy's photo from the Miami Boat Show introduction last Febuary

seabuddy’s photo from the Miami Boat Show introduction last Febuary

 

uncovered at the Miami Boat Show last Feb.

uncovered at the Miami Boat Show last Feb.

 

 

 

ACBS Classic Boat Show and Festival Award Winners #1

Words and photos © Chris (Seabuddy) Brown

A black hulled single engine Cigarette swept its classes first time out of the barn. While she was up against a fast Nova/ Allmand 19, the judges all agreed that Lotus was the clear winner. Everyone was pleased that the number of off-shore fiberglass boats in attendance was on the upswing at this year’s boat show. Each show of the 57 diferent clubs have a slant to their show. It looks like this Mid-Atlantic Father’s Day Classic Boat Show / Festival is beginning to get the go-fast in rough water boating crowd.

Lotus is not a race boat, just a high speed, wave splitter cruiser/day boat for a young married couple and their dog. The boat is re-powered with a replacement, updated big block 496 cu. in. Chevy engine with EFI, for the ease of starting and shifting. The newer engine takes away show award points, but the ease of use of the newer intake system makes for a better boat, day in/ day out.

What does not take away points is the black hull finish. This boat has over 1,200 hours of sanding to get that flawless finish, up from a production boat building level of finish. She was finish sanded to over 2,000# grit paper. It is a AWLGRIP finish that one sees now.

The deck, cockpit, and the wood trim also took lots of finish work. Basically, it is several layers of epoxy. The cockpit dash was also updated with new instruments and other details. However, the vinyl seats and trim are several years old. There is a longish vinyl pad under the foredeck. It is out of the weather and in a pinch, one could overnight in this limited cabin.

Figure on a 45 MPH cruise and about a 70 MPH top end as powered in this 1972 24’ classic GO-FAST cruiser re-do.

 

Chris Craft’s newest engine 2015

 

 

stern drive gas engine chris craft 2015

Chris Craft newest engine

This one comes from Chevy/ GM like many of the classic era engines. It is a powerful engine in a Chris Craft. It acts like a big block but is within the small block family tree.

 

What is different with this engine? The block is aluminum, not cast iron, so it is a light weight package and comes with closed cooling, so the engine internals never touches the water that you boat in. The valve train features VVT or continuously variable valve timing (VVT). Chevy says “Athletes understand that proper breathing is critical to maintaining peak performance under all conditions, and so do Chevrolet powertrain engineers. Getting air in and exhaust gases out of the combustion chamber under all speeds [makes more power]. Chevrolet’s VVT system uses electro-hydraulic actuators between the drive sprocket and camshaft to twist the cam relative to the crankshaft position. Adjusting the cam phasing in this manner allows the valves that are actuated by that camshaft to be opened and closed earlier or later.”

 

Hot Rod magazine says “The beauty of VVT is that an improvement in high-rpm power doesn’t sacrifice bottom-end torque.”

 

Volvo marinized this Chevy V8-380 (and its sister 430 HP version) for Chris Craft. Volvo says “it is the next generation of gasoline engine performance for powerboats. Modern technology and advanced design deliver improved acceleration, impressive mid-range response, reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions and quiet, smooth operation. All in a lighter and more durable package. This next generation engine is a perfect match for the Duoprop drive, featuring twin counter-rotating propellers.”

 

 

 

Opening salvo: it is about V-6 stern drive engines for 2015

“There isn’t a single GM part on this engine,” Seabuddy quotes Brett Martin, a MerCruiser manager at Mercury Marine. This engine was purpose-built for marine use and delivers Mercury’s proven performance, durability and ease of service.”. All of its parts need to come from Mercury Marine and its dealers. No pistons, rings, cranks, etc are from a GM car engine.

“We are proud to introduce the next generation of stern-drive technology with this ground-breaking new engine,” said John Pfeifer, the president of Mercury Marine. “This engine was purpose-built for marine use.”

Major components of the MerCruiser 4.5L engine include a newly designed rear-facing throttle body, a special anti-whistle throttle plate, engine cover and mounts, lightweight flywheel, fuel supply module and structural oil pan” Mercury Marine has taken the initiative to design a lightweight, high-displacement V-6 marine engine that is not dependent on automotive technology,” said Buck Pegg, from Chaparral Boats The 4.5L V-6 the engine was built with cast-iron componentry wherever the engine encounters seawater and corrosion-resistant aluminum and composites everywhere else. Digital rather than analog sensors are used throughout the engine.

It has been noted that he 4.5L can be installed in single- and twin-engine applications and it is compatible with company’s full series of Alpha and Bravo drives. Fresh design innovations such as a long runner and scrolled intake manifold as well as the higher displacement than the Chevy V-6 , which allows for an good power-to-weight ratio.

Mercruiser marine v 6 gas engine

2015 Mercury Marine new engine

This V-6 engine weighs about 130 pounds less than a 5.0L V-8 Chevy small block, yet provides similar on-the-water performance within a smaller boat. With a shorter stroke than a Chevy V-6 engine, the power comes on higher and one can prop your boat to run as much as 5,200 rpms at W.O.T.
A V-6 engine allows for a bigger cockpit by about 6-8 inches. In a small boat that will make any boat more family friendly than the bigger engine box or sun pad that a V-8 requires.

 

Keeping a cold one, cold

boat cup cooler

Seabuddy photo showing bottle, trim ring, and underside

 

Just introduced, your boat’s drink cup holders will chill your drinks.

Ask for Dometics’ new Cup Cooler from your boat builder, marina, or ship’s store to get the new one.

“The Cup Cooler makes your last sip even colder than your first. It allows boaters to keep a can, bottle or any appropriately sized beverage container chilled on even the hottest days, something that a typical cup holder or can koozie can’t begin to accomplish,” said Ned Trigg, Sr. VP of Global System Sales at Dometic Marine. “A soda or beer may be cold enough when you pull it out of the ice chest, but from that moment on, it starts warming up. Now, for the first time in the history of boating, your beverage will actually get colder as you drink it.”

Cans of soda, beer, and many bottles fit and are in contact with the electrically chilled sides of the Cup Cooler, which further chills your drink with its cooling element as you skipper your boat, friends fish, or the kids lounge in the sun. The angled bottom shape insert allows it to work, outstandingly, with many shapes.

It is designed to fit different thicknesses helm areas and decks and wires into your choice of an accessory switch or you can run several into one switch. Domestic has provided a drain each cup holder and it is cleaned, polished 316 stainless steel trim ring and a similar easy-clean aluminum interior. It is also lighted inside.

Here is a minute-long video on the Dometic Cup Cooler, please visit http://youtu.be/DpYZ5tBOqUc.

Some of these photos are from me (Seabuddy), from where I saw it for the first time in early fall, and then Dometic’s photos. Mine is the least pretty one.

 

Cup Cooler dometic

as installed at your helm, Dometic photo

 

marine and RV cup cooler dometic

four in a row, Dometic photo

Bow Rider Helm. Do not miss this one!

Going to a boat show? Take more than a look and sit in, adjust, and observe just how good the helm station is in a 264 FS bow rider.  Study the fit and high level of finish within the cockpit that it leads your eye and hand to experience major improvements that Monterey Boats is bringing to the marine marketplace. Look at the eyebrow over the dash and the gauges. It is as good as it gets for 2014!

monterey boat helm bow rider marine photo image

Monterey boats helm and cpatain's station

Board the boat from the swim platform and see the sun pad that changes into a rear seat.  Try the comfort of that seat and others. Definitely try the driver’s command chair and ALL of its features. Feel the shifter and eye the gauges their sight lines.

This is a 26’ 7” LOA bow rider runabout by Monterey Boats out of Florida that sets a fresh standard of luxury, effectiveness, and comfort for a day boat. Helm chair features, vinyl choices, storage, and comfort underfoot have all been addressed.

monterey boats bow rider fiberglass sport boat

aft seat set down as a sun platform

runabout bow seating rider monterey boats,

Bow seating in the Monterey Boats 264 FS

This boat has an 8’ 6” beam and is easy to trailer. She has a sweet running hull that takes an afternoon chop well and uses extra power easily. Special hull features are valuable items in terms of performance on the water. See the chine detail for yourself at a boat show. Power this one up. Check the gas tank capacity, also, as a for instance. Ask about these hull design and construction features and decide what power choices will do the job for you. The Monterey Boats 264 FS is a hit in the boating marketplace and a do not miss boat to see at a boat show.

Seabuddy thanks Monterey boats for these photos.

monterey boats on the water running

The good running Monterey 264 FS

Mercury Racing offers 1,650 Horsepower Stern Drive for 2014 model year

They also offer 1,350 horsepower and 1,100 horsepower I/O packages for this coming model year.  These are all 9.0 litre engines with quad cams,port fuel injection,  turbo-chargers, and computer controls via special systems that vary the turbo boost as well as run the DTS. It is almost a straight-up, square-torque curve engine with all the items as designed and under control. These are dry sump engines, BTW. WOT is 6,000-6,500 rpms. They all require Mercury Racing Pro Finish CNC sterndrive 5 or 6 blade props that are sold separately. Go to a Mercury Racing authorized dealer like http://tntcustommarine.com/ for more info.

mercury racing marine engine 1650 sterndrive i o inboard outboard

Mercury Racing photo of 2014 model year 1,650 HP marine engine and outdrive

The 1,350 and 1,100 horsepower engines use available marina gas dock for fuel, while the top 1,650 HP strictly requires 112 racing gas. Both of the milder 9.0 liter engines come with a one year warranty, but to somewhat limit the 1,650 Hp engine to racing use only, MerCruiser does not offer any warranty.

There are deals out there for all three of these engines, so do not be put-off by list prices. At the same time, these heads, blocks, and many other features are custom-to-Mercury Racing parts, so do not think they compete with your local engine builder. Think about a cool $250,000 for two engines and drives, as a starting point, but one should be talking speeds over 150 MPH and as high as 200 MPH.

All of these marine engines come with Mercury Racing’s M8 which is a 35% stronger, upgraded drive from the legendary world champion Six Drive.  This is their top performance out drive. Mercury also offers the NXT, Bravo 1 XR, and then Mercury Marine offers, Bravo I, II, III drives for pleasure boaters.

Boat racing video (fast forward to about 6:35 into the 9 minute  youtube)  http://tntcustommarine.com/2012/12/highlights-of-team-gasse-racing-in-key-west/

 

mercury marine mercruiser 1350 HP engine i o sterndrive outdrive

1,350 HP Mercury Racing marine engine and M8 outdrive

 

mercury racing mercruiser marine engine sport boat

mild version of 9.0 liter 2014 Mercury Racing 1,100 HP marine engine and drive

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

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.