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Probably 1965. Minimax "hydro" bought from a neighbor kid. Um, not really a hydroplane....flat in the back, very slight V in the front, nose just high enough to avoid taking off the tops of most waves on a small lake. Used in Pinecrest Lake - 5600' elevation so the 7.5 Firestone was maybe 5hp. Learned to jack up the motor height so that it would plane.....18mph.
Maybe 1967 age 16. My generous father bought my my first Mark 20. Ran it at Brannan Is (sea level) the first time and saw 35mph.....what a rush for a new kid!
1967 Pinecrest Lake. Around 30 or maybe 35 mph if I recall, because the altitude robs HP.
Maybe 1968? Somehow I "learned" that 3 point hydroplanes were faster. Turns out some are, and some aren't really. The fishing lower unit is the big problem...too much drag. But the boat design in this case is clearly a problem too. This I think is a "Popular Mechanics" plan....someone else built it but never ran it, so I wound up with it. Maybe 38mph at sea level. No air traps, so it wouldn't catch air. Not fast enough anyway. Only 8' long, teensy.
1969 I think. Then I built a Hal Kelly OK JU. And worse, Dutch Sandison sold me a quicksilver tower and lower unit. 45mph at sea level....completely different world! I was now FASSSST.
Late 60s, Sacramento River run days with other hoodlums. Boat furthest back is a Hal Kelly Jupiter (Jerry Barrilleaux's boat), and the middle hydro is a Hal Kelly Wetback...I think (Jerry's cousin).
Jerry later got a 20H conversion kit which woke the Jupiter right up!
Then Dave Langelier (sophmore in HS when I was a SR) who could weld anything at the age of 14 helped me make a set of exhaust megaphones, because HS hoodlums can never make too much noise.
Steve Meyer, Roy Skill
Me, Mark Langelier, Roy Skill
Mabe '72? I came across this 11' DeSilva runabout, put a new bottom on it, and slowed down since unlike the OK JU, this was longer and had a narrower bottom made for maybe B alky and far more HP. Didn't matter...it was cool and it would keep goin' in really bumpy water.
Late college year, maybe 1972, I got a Hedlund A stock hydro from Bill MacKay and started working towards racing A stock hydro. I dunno, maybe 48 mph? Last place unless the water was awful, and at those conditions it didn't slow down. Dutch designed nose aero changes. Who knows if it mattered.
In the mid-70s when 25ss class emerged to replace B stock, I started running those motors in addition to the A motors.....25ss woke that boat right up. Maybe 60mph? This was taken at one of the July4th Lodi Lake races.
Also added a Dutch Sandison runabout to the mix, so was trying to race ASR, ASH, 25ssR and 25ssH at the same time. Eight heats a day. I was into quantity, not quality. Wayne Seeberg is edging me out in this turn...couldn't beat him even with his 3rd best motor.
Dutch testing his ASR kilo creation...back when we could jack motor heights on the transom up to the moon. Best man at my wedding in 1974.
This is a Pricecraft BSR that I probably got from Dave Hamilton for racing 25ssR. Not particularly fast, but would handle well on awful water and turn better than most.
Left to R, Jean Mackay, Carl, Billy Waldrup, Janet standing at the dinosaur tow car. Waldrup's trailer. Lister's rig in the backgroud. On the way up Hwy 80 to a race in Sparks NV, late 70s.