Posts Tagged ‘stern drive’

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!


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

Gas Outboards lead Sea Ray Boats

2013 sea ray venture 37

test report photo

New gas outboards are slowly leading the boating industry out of the recession. It is simple. They are the least clean power source for all boaters, from Center Consoles to runabouts. Thus, the cheapest power plants.

The EPA and CARB require very high clean air standards for gas and diesel I/O engines, as well as marine inboards. Without the very high clean air standards, outboards look like the cheap way to go with a new boat purchase.

Take an early look at the new Sea Ray outboard cabin cruiser sport yacht named 370 Venture here…

It is not a true 37 footer, however, look at this boat’s beam and then look at this beam from a Silverton Express cruiser 31’ which has a beam of 11’6”, or, the Cruisers Yachts 33′ with a beam of 11′ 10″, or, a Regal Marine 32′ at a 11′ 2″ beam. Note, the 2013 Sea Ray Venture beam 11’ 3”. Oops, Sea Ray’s game changer new boat is really a 32’ foot cruiser with a stretched out nose (bow) and stern. Sea Ray is not alone in lenghting their new models but not the rest of the boat. If you approuch a new model at a boat show and think of it as a 37′, one allows for a 37′ pricing. If you think of a new yacht as a 31′ or 32′, then 2013 pricing may seem high.

In any event, a marina charges by the highest LOA it can find on a given boat, so this is an important ongoing cost for a boat owner. One does not like to pay for the monthly charges for a 37′ boat slip, if the boat is a 31′ or 32′, in what it provides.

Any boater will want to think about slip fees as a life-of-the-boat-ownership-cost, before one buys the boat.

And another thing, with just two outboards on an over 30’ boat, one must keep the boat’s bottom perfectly clean. Most center consoles of this size use three or four outboards to adjust their performance for this issue. That gives an always powerful hole-shot or good acceleration from low speed to planning speeds with slightly dirty boat bottoms. Outboards simply do not make the torque like a stern drive, thus one needs more of them or a perfectly clean bottom.

300 Horsepower Mercury Verado outboards are 158 cubic inch displacement gas engines each. Engine displacement is a good indicator of get-up-and-go torque. This new Sea Ray Venture has two of these. If the new Sea Ray was powered by two Mercury Mercruiser I/O engines it would have two 350 cubic inch displacement gas engines (you can see that you need at least four Verados to match up with two small block Merc I/O engines). This throttle lag is an issue with bigger twin outboard powered / engined boats. Think of the weight of passengers, full fuel, some water, and a somewhat filled holding tank, too, when you test boat. If it were powered as many used inboard boats are, it would have two 454 cubic inch displacement (big block) gas engines. Take a ride with a dirty bottom boat example before you form your opinion on a new Sea Ray. You and I know it will be OK with a clean bottom. They are a good company and do lots of pre-production boat tests. The metal and paint finish of a Mercury outboard is the same as a Mercury Mercruiser I/O. So, if you do not like the idea of a I/O boat, an outboard one is not any better choice for you. Both should be kept on a lift when in salt water while not in use or in a dry stack storage building, but many dry stack marinas will not take a 37o model boat. Their equipment will not balance it properly moving it around on land.

See more comments on this new Sea Ray Venture at the Sea Ray board here.…

By the way, Sea Ray has been cutting back on USA boat building staffing and now only make certain 2012 models in Europe and, starting in the fall of 2012, will start to make some 2013 model Sea Ray boats in South America.

76 MPH boat tested Donzi Marine w/Mercury Marine

Donzi Marine high performance boat image photo

This Donzi 22' is running free on very little hull and trim tab surfaces

Donzi Marine power boats has made go-fast runabouts since its founding by Don Arronow. He was a building contractor that made some money and “retired” from the North East to south Florida at the early age of 32. Don, “The King of Thunderboat Row” got restless and started boat building and racing boats first built by others but quickly decided to build his own brand of high-performance boats and add to his boats allure by winning races all over the world.

In 1964 he made the 16’ that became the Sweet 16 footer. Arronow sold Donzi Marine power boats in May of 1965. He did stay involved with the company even after he no longer owned it. In 1966 Donzi brought to the marine marketplace their 18’ hull. Then in 1967, they brought out a 14’ with multiple deck designs. They even made a few examples of a 10’ Donzi dingy and a 24’ Donzi Spitfire model along the way to the late 1970s.

It was in 1978 that they made a 22 foot performance boat; first as a Criterion model name that offered three different decks. One was a long fore deck – single bench seat – full width windscreen model, another was a bow rider with a walk-thru to the bow seats, and the last with a no-walk-thru to a separate forward cockpit with a two person rumble seat inside it. These did not sell as well as the company thought they should, so they made a new model in 1981 using the existing hull with a far more traditional single larger cockpit. That boat was called the Classic 22’. It is this model that seabuddy is discussing in this post.

Get a boat with a 454, 496, or 502 engine. They only weight about 160 lbs. more than a small block package and have way more punch. Get an engine with the cam that makes less power at 3,000 rpms but more power over 4,000 rpms. These engines are rated to be propped in the 4,600 – 5,000 rpms and can benefit (in a fast boat like a Donzi 22 Classic) to run wide open even at even higher rpms. If yours is strong enough to turn a 27” propeller up to 5,200 – 5,250 rpms, you have a boat capable of being GPS verified as a 76 – 79 mph Hi-Po boat.

These photos are from Donzi. Note, Don Arronow also made Formula, U. S. A. Racing Team, Squadron XII, Magnum, Cigarette, and at least the mold for the original 41’ Apache offshore racer power boats. Don Arronow was shot dead on Northeast 188th street in Miami, FL when he was 59.

Donzi Marine 22 foot lake, ocean, and bay power boat photo image

Here the trim tabs hold more of the hull in the water

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

Mercury Racing breaks 100 MPH in a Baja Marine boat

boat photo image 35 foot Baja Marine boat with 700 Hp Mercury Maine

Cruising at high speed in a Mercury Marine powered 35' Baja Marine

Baja breaks past the 100 MPH top speed mark with twin 700 Horsepower Mercury Marine Racing engines in the boat test. This is a 24 degree deep vee offshore racer style performance boat that ran just past 100 MPH at 5,500 RPM using 34” pitch propellers.  She is a go-fast that weighs 8,100 lbs.

The boat tested had 50 plus MPH performance at 3,000 RPMS and 75 MPH speeds at 4,000 RPMS. All of these are very solid boat performance numbers. Her 95 MPH speed at 5,000 RPMS is also very good.

She is a Baja Marine Outlaw 35 model. A 35’ 0” long (longer if you count the swim platform) with an 8’ 6” beam go-fast fiberglass boat. Fuel capacity was 185 gallons.

An 8,100 weight for a 35 footer boat is not light. Baja does not want trouble with their Outlaw boats. They like a nicely finished pleasure boat cockpit and cabin. The boat has plenty of seat padding in the cockpit area and a good sized and well padded bed in the cabin.

Merc Racing puts a supercharger on its 502 cubic inch engine to develop 700 Horsepower in the 4,800 to 5,200 RPM range. Using special, Hi-Po parts, Mercury Marine set the compression ratio at 7.5 to 1. Also, she is a sequential fuel injected power plant. Try the NXT I/O outdrive (or stern drive). Theses motors and outdrives come with a one year limited warranty for recreational boating. The best top speed props are over-the-hub exhaust design 4 blade cleavers. Seabuddy thanks Baja Marine and Mercury Marine Racing for the photos.

high powered Mercury Racing supercharged engine photo image

This is the 700 horsepower 502 Mercury Marine Racing engine

2012 Bow rider Monterey boats

monterey boat bow rider boat photo image

Monterey boate bow rider running well fast, high on plane, and dry

Here is one of the most popular bow riders being offered today, the 224 FSX model by Monterey boats. She is a 22’9” LOA boat with her dock side float and water access swim platform included in the measurement. The beam is a full width 8’6” wide. Couple this great riding hull with a 300 horsepower stern drive and have fun on the water.

Many folks do not really take the time to understand that the most important part of a bow rider boat is the hull and the amount of time and testing that went into making it the best it can be for your use. One boat builder may advertise that they will float if you have an accident. That does not say anything about how their boat planes, is a spray-free, dry riding boat, or that it turns well. Oh! How about quick to plane times? You need to decide what is important to your family and then seabuddy suggests that you try out or test drive the top two boats for your needs.

How about room up in the bow cockpit? Then, do you have good grab handles, storage space(s), drink cup holders, good seat back comfort, speakers for your music for Mom and the kids to use? The bow seats are the kid’s seats in most boating families and they often will spend their time up there, in their own cockpit compartment, away from the their parents. Kids close the center opening part of the windshield and forget that anyone else is on board. Boating is freedom. Kids want it just like parents do. Monterey’s 224 FSX (FSX=Facet Series Extreme) offers it.

The boat builder gave you a big enough fuel tank for all day fun, as it’s a big 55 gallon tank. Check what the other boat offers. It a deep, safe bow rider boat that is designed to be able to carry 1,900 lbs. of people and gear according to C.G. regulations.

If you think that you want fun on the water, arrange to go on a test ride on this boat. Seabuddy thanks Monterey boats for the use of their photo in this article.

Mercury Marine Racing 1,350 Hp for top marine power

photo marine engine Mercury Marine Racing turbo F I 9 liter gas engine

Photo Mercury Racing 9 liter 1,350 Hp gas super Turbo charged engine

It is a four cam, port fuel injection, turbocharged, 9 liter, 6,500 rpm redlined marine engine that comes with a warranty. Special exhaust tuning and electronics keep turbo lag out of the picture. She gives reduced time-to-plane acceleration and continuing push you back into your seat back punch all the way to a boat’s  top speed.

The engine has a bore of 4.57 inches with a stroke of 4.21 inches for a displacement of 552 cubic inches or 9 liters. The full throttle operating rpm is 6000 to 6500 rpm. It has a sequential fuel injection system.  With the multiple turbo set-up the compression ratio is 7.8 to 1. She meets with EPA and CARB emissions requirements for 50 state boating enjoyments.

This engine is so strong that Merc Racing had to invent new propellers to handle the power. The entire driveline and its dry sump M8 surface style stern drive have also been strengthened.

A M8 surface-piercing stern drive with a Mercury Racing hydraulic transmission handles high torque and power levels with ease for improved handling and exceptional performance

MTI came out with a 48 foot long with a 10’ 6” beam catamaran that matched up perfectly with two of these engines. It was displayed at the most recent Miami Boat Show and wowed the Very High Hi Performance crowd attending that show. Twin gas fueled engines was the popular way to power many of the Go Fast boats this year.

Seabuddy says many thanks to Mercury Marine Racing for these photos.

boat builder MTI 48' Cat boat photo 1350 Hp Mercury Racing engine

48' Cat from MTI with with twin 1,350 Hp gas Mercury Marine engines