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Old 09-06-2006, 11:33 PM   #1
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Found this from 79 thought you would enjoy it
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Old 10-06-2006, 04:25 AM   #2
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Thank you for posting that. It shows the bias that was held in the States against the guys who raced in the "production" boat classes.

I had been around the offshore scene since 1963 and raced many years in the smaller boats with some notable success, including a win at Key West, in a 24 foot boat against 28 and 30 footers in very rough conditions.

Most articles never mentioned the production classes even though they were out in the same conditions as the big boats.

One of my toughest competitors for years in the smaller boats was Bill Elswick of Long Shot fame. He moved to Open Class a year ahead of me ........as JC Simon was taking his time getting the design work done on my boat.
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Old 10-06-2006, 04:33 AM   #3
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Don Aronow was a friend of mine and helped me a geat deal when I started my boat company. As you can see by the above photo, the lines of my 24 foot banana boats looked a lot like Cigarette designs.

You can read the story on the website www.bananaboatco.com

Don sold me the Cigarette molds to help me get started and then trained my workers at his plant to learn to build the boats the Cigarette way.

He was one that always raced in smaller boats than the competiton and did very well. Of course his last year he had a 32 footer which was more than a match for the Bertrams then.
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:52 AM   #4
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Some great history!

The story re: 'Production' boats, is/was much the same here, they were just not cool enough compared to the pure race, and one off designs. Also I guess, the guy with the 'special', doesn't want reminding he got beat by a regular boat.

Just like your story, there have been countless times when a Production class boat, would spank some arse in horrid conditions, and not even get a mention. Quite soul destroying when you've just beat yourself to death, got a great result, and it's as if no one was looking when it happened.
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Old 10-06-2006, 10:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Fuller
Some great history!


Just like your story, there have been countless times when a Production class boat, would spank some arse in horrid conditions, and not even get a mention. Quite soul destroying when you've just beat yourself to death, got a great result, and it's as if no one was looking when it happened.
That's for sure and if it wasn't for Ray Bulman of Motor Boat & Yacting Production (Cruiser Class this side of the pond) would never have got a mention either.
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Old 10-06-2006, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by OldMan
That's for sure and if it wasn't for Ray Bulman of Motor Boat & Yacting Production (Cruiser Class this side of the pond) would never have got a mention either.
Yeah, 'Cruiser' became 'National Production Class', then in '96 it re-spawned into 'Touring Class'. the last name was not my fave, and was suggested/imposed by Dredge, who for some bizarre reason thought that because there had been such a huge success with the 'British Touring Car Championship' (Tarmac, production car racing) using a similar name may bring similar fortune to the offshore racing class!

Still, 'T1' looked pretty good on our boat
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:03 PM   #7
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Originally posted by Jon Fuller


Still, 'T1' looked pretty good on our boat [/B]
Dredge? Mmmmmm and Touring Class even worse. I know we are getting of the thread and that I am probably the only one on this site who does not know about your T1 boat I but would appreciate a pic of it competing. What make was it and what were the engines?
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by OldMan
Dredge? Mmmmmm and Touring Class even worse. I know we are getting of the thread and that I am probably the only one on this site who does not know about your T1 boat I but would appreciate a pic of it competing. What make was it and what were the engines?
Dredge, as in Peter Dredge, RYA Powerboat racing manager at the time.

OK, 'T1' was an Extreme 26,
A fella called Tony Davis bought the moulds of a range of sportscruisers from Mike Ring in 1994, the 21, 24 and 26. He set up a company called Extreme Marine producing the boats.

In '95, '96 and '97 he and I raced the 26's (two versions) as a marketing/proving exercise for the new company.

The '95 boat, was actually moulded by Mike as part of the purchase deal. We rigged & raced that boat for two seasons. The first in 'National Production Class', the second in the new 'Touring Class' that had superceded it.
The rules for Touring class were quite a bit more lax, so for the '97 season we built a new boat to exploit them as best we could.
Both boats ran the same Mercruiser 502efi/Bravo.

They were both set up with split Driver/Throttles, with Tony Driving/Naviguessing, and me Throttling/Trimming.

Although we had 9 boats in class at the start of the '96 season, to be honest, there really wasn't much competition, at least not 'reliable' competition.
The new boat was more of a sprint boat, as we were looking to set (another) Windermere record, so sacrificed a little rough water ability for this.
Unfortunately (for us), '97 also brought the introduction of Roger Severy in his new Phantom 28 'Wentworth Auto & Marine', which proved to be an excellent rough weather boat.
We were a fair bit quicker than him 'top end', but as soon as it chopped up, our sprint boat really wasn't a match for it.
He beat us in the Championship in '97 by a couple of points, though to be honest, it should have been by far more, as we were pretty well out-classed and it was fairly rough season.

Here's a pic or two of the race boats:

Original E26 'T1' at Torquay in '96
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:28 PM   #9
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Another:
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:29 PM   #10
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The '97 boat at Poole:

I do have some better pics of the '97 boat, but they're all too big to fit in the scanner
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:31 PM   #11
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After it's two year career as the Team Extreme race boat, I bought the original from Tony, and refitted it out for pleasure, with a test version of a V8 Turbo-diesel. (and a colour change)


The boat to the right may be familiar to you.
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:31 PM   #12
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Another
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:12 PM   #13
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In my opinion, it took more skill to drive the smaller boats. You had to be on top of your game at all times, no relaxing or taking it easy or the other guys would eat you up. The smaller boats had much larger fields than the Open Class did, so you had more competiton all the time.

Here is a photo fo a twin engine outboard 24 foot banana boat, that I raced in the 70's ......yes, for those who remember Mercury did NOT make a counter rotating drive, so with every re-entry after a jump, the boat would snap to one direction as both props bit THE SAME WAY.

After 120 miles, you felt like a rubber band pulled out and snapped back.....Also throttled back then too.
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Fuller
[

The boat to the right may be familiar to you. [/B]
I can't make out from the pic what boat that was? I knew Dredge because he throttled for J Baker and said Mmmmm for another reason! I remember your boat now as John and I used to watch some of the races in the mid 90's and we both thought it was just right for the job and sounded and looked good to. On reflection I think it would have been wiser for us to have gone your route than jump to Class 11. Less costs and just as much fun. What was the Phantom 28 powered by and what was your Lake Windermere speed? Looking at the next pic of the Banana boat and others going out to the start line gave me goose bumps, pure nostalgia.
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Old 14-06-2006, 05:30 PM   #15
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The Phantom 28 had a pair of Mercruiser 350MAG MPI's (330hp)

Our Windermere speed in the new boat was 79.37mph, as apposed to 74.06mph in the older one.
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Old 14-06-2006, 05:30 PM   #16
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A few more pics:

1
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Old 14-06-2006, 05:31 PM   #17
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Old 14-06-2006, 05:36 PM   #18
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Old 14-06-2006, 05:37 PM   #19
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Racing in LA with John Burden
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Old 14-06-2006, 05:38 PM   #20
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