Posts Tagged ‘sterndrive’

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boat Trim Tabs: One System’s Ideas

IBEX is an annual marine trade event that provides an opportunity to interact with boat builders and other marine professionals worldwide, to collect immediate feedback, and to form lasting relationships in just three days. IBEX offers marine professionals a single platform to meet the North American marine industry face-to-face about the products that boating and boaters use.

Presented here is one idea that struck Seabuddy as newsworthy for a LinkedIn Pulse listing.

These folks make a system that retro-fit their marine trim tabs to other systems.

Manufacturer’s comment…  “Are you frustrated with your messy hydraulic pump unit? One of the biggest concerns with the hydraulic pump units are their possibility of messy leakage of harmful toxins to the environment. Not to mention the oily mess. But another big concern is the well known slow response of hydraulic units”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQ3bumGE04

This is a good, short video to watch.

More from Lenco…  “The Conversion & Performance Upgrade Kit includes everything necessary to upgrade your current boat without any drilling or filling of holes. You simply discard the hydraulic pump unit and the two Bennett cylinders. Lenco’s new upper mounting brackets fit the existing Bennett mounting holes on the transom. Install the two Lenco electric actuators on your existing Bennett trim blades using the existing lower actuator brackets. Connect our actuator wiring to the existing harness. Jumper wires are included for attaching to current Bennett rocker switch. Complete your trim tab system upgrade with a waterproof Lenco tactile switch or our Auto Glide Boat Leveling System.”

More at … http://www.lencomarine.com/

 

boat trim tab

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.

 

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

1971 Critchfield

This is a fully restored 15’ outboard boat that is powered by a 1970 Mercury Marine 1350. She is a show quality boat that represents the “top dog” type of outboard boat in Florida at that time. She is finished in her original color and sports all the right stuff in period correct rigging, steering, gauges, and seating. The owner did a very nice job, and she draws crowds.

fiberglass outboard boat photo image mercury marine classic restored

This boat is refinished in her original color

She is also a speed demon up and down the ICW route that runs along the east coast of mid-Florida, just south of Merritt Island and Space Coast. One ”flys” a vee bottom outboard like this, with the bow trimmed high, well out of the water, with as little of the hull in the water as possible. After all, air presents less resistance than water!

Critchfield was a racer turned boat builder. He first built boats around the late 1950s out of wood in Orlando, FL. He moved his boat plant to Avon Park, FL (near Sebring, FL). He was big in Avon Park. He had several models of boats and occupied a 110,000 square foot factory.

By 1973, it was over for Critchfield. He sold the operation, building, and his boat molds to Wellcraft Marine. They built 16 and 18 foot family runabouts of their own design in that plant. As a Wellcraft dealer, I was flown to this plant to see some of my boat stores most popular models in the early 1980s in their production home.

Wellcraft sold the Critchfield boat molds to Bill Farmer. Farmer later moved onto his Excalibur Marine boats in the 30-31 and 40 foot sizes. The Farmer 31’ was a Jean-Claude Simon (Cary Marine) hull. He sold the few first production 31’ to Chris Craft, where they met with dealer acceptance and Chris Craft then bought molds to make their own. He also sold a 31 boat to Reggie Fountain who re-did the boat bottom, changed the engine’s drive heights, re-worked the props to work with the new drive heights and stretched the nose and tail to make the mightily Fountain 35. That boat bottom was the foundation of Fountain Power Boats.

cockpit outboard racer 1971 restored classic

note the seating

 

bottom detail of outboard race boat classic restored

note the good amount of vee to the bottom shape

 

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.

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

Classic Fiberglass Scarab Wellcraft offshore performance boat

Scarab offshore racer performance boat photo image

Scarab Panther

This a sister-ship to the one I had that went 74 mph back in the 1980s. Same color, same details, except for the cockpit cover stripe. The one I had made for me was powered by the first set of twin Mercury Marine Magnum Bravo engines and drives shipped west of the Mississippi River. This seabuddy photo image was taken in Alexandria Bay, NY in the 1,000 Islands area of the USA.

I was an ex-Wellcraft boat dealer that had sold and had owned many Scarab boats and wanted to try the better balance that the Bravo 454 package offered over a TRS 454 big block set-up in the 30 foot race hull. Plus, I could get Gus Anastasi at Wellcraft to make one up using lots of Kevlar to lighten and strengthen the hull.

With a 454 Bravo power package the weight of the engine and drive sat farther back within the boat and that weight shift made for a better and faster boat with a given amount of power. Also, the Magnum Mercury Marine back then offered a easy way to get the good heads and 4 bolt main bearings in a stock Mercruiser package.  There was no need to go to Merc Racing to get the better engine.

With 1.5 to 1 gears in the Mercury Marine Bravo outdrive, the boat ran best with 25” pitch props. It ran about the same top speed, but had a softer hole shot with 27” props. A set of 23” pitch props were real peppy coming out-of-the-hole, but did not get the same 74 MPH top speed.

I tried several minor changes to play with the top speed, but nothing added as much to the boat’s top speed performance as the right props did. I did, know, however, that true straight-back exhausts (not a switchable exhaust) would really more the top speed number by 3-5 MPH, but I did not want all the noise.

This is my favorite size and powered Scarab, the 30 foot inboard outboard Scarab. I had a 34’ Scarab, a 38’ Scarab,  a 40’ Scarab, and a 30’ outboard powered Scarab (which I really did not like at high speed). Yup, I like this boat.

Classic fiberglass Glastron Carlson boats

fiberglass classic boat Glastron Carlson Scimitar inboard outboard Mercruiser

This boat was a futuristic new boat design back in the early 1980s

These wild looking designs were sold to the boating public back in the early 1980s. They reflect the imagination and design execution talent of a southern Californian boat designer. Art was an independent boat builder and racer going back to the 1960s. He made race and pleasure boat versions of his race boat designs first in in his boat building plant in Garden Grove and then Anaheim, CA.

Early Carlson High Performance Boat Company were the 18’ inboard, C-100 outboard, Carlson Challenger outboard, 141/2’ Carlson Contender, Cyclone, Charger, and CT-15. The most popular model was the Challenger as a 16’ boat with a 6’ 9” beam and it weighted about 750 lbs. without an engine. A far smaller model was the C-100 at a 12’ 10” length and a 5’ 6” beam and a weight of around 350 lbs.

By 1969, Carlson merged his boat company into a division of the Glastron boats and they called the boating result Glastron/Carlson. By 1980, Glastron/Carlson made a boat that was named by Powerboat magazine its “Boat of the Year”. That was the Scimitar, pictured here. These boats were 23’ inboard outboard boats powered by small block Chevy engines from Mercury Marine Mercruiser using their Alpha outdrive.

This was a boat that was a ½” over 23 feet in length with a just over 91” beam. They say the boats were light weight, about 1,850 lbs., and fast as the top speed was in the 55-60 mph range. Some say that they got as high as 62-63 mph with their boat with the standard 260 Horsepower rated Mercury Marine power package. One wonders what the shallow or semi vee hull would do with a “Hot Rod” version of a Chevy engine. The Glastron Carlson Scimitar was sold from 1980 to 1984. About 300 boats were produced for the US and another 200 or so were sold outside the country.

Mercury inboard outboard Glastron Carlson Scimitar boat photo image

This is a 1982 Glastron Carlson with standard Hard top