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SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE

LUCAS OIL DRAG FLIP!

RESIDENT

EVO

How Lavey Craft Invented Its Bitchenest Boat

MY BEST

SHOT

Photographers Share Their Wildest Pics

MAY 2017 MAY 2017

$4.99US/CAN

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ALSO

Speedboat Legend Andy Casale Nigel’s Off-the-Hook Cuba Cruise speedboat.com 4/7/17 9:21 PM


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Roomy, reliable and 100+ mph on GPS. Welcome to the quintessential deckboat. Your next boat purchase is an investment in both your family and yourself. Make the right choice.

www.NordicBoatsUSA.com

50 years of serving the custom boat industry.

The 29 Deckboat with twin 400s. Luxury and style at 100+ mph! LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZONA • 800.279.5398 • E-MAIL: sales@NordicBoatsUSA.com

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Table of Contents MAY 2017

COLUMNS 10 12 16 18 58

RAY LEE ON THE DYNO JET TECH INDUSTRY NEWS NEW PRODUCTS

30 MIAMI BOAT SHOW POKER RUN After the show, Stu Jones’ Florida Powerboat Club made its annual trek to Marathon Key.

40 TROUBLE FOR TREVOR As the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series kicked off in Chandler, AZ, one racer survived a truly horrifying crash.

46 RESIDENT EVO

FEATURES

Lavey Craft’s Chris Camire recounts the creation of his company’s most compelling design.

20 MY BEST SHOT

50 SPEEDBOAT LEGENDS

We asked all of our photographers to select their favorite boataction photo for this exclusive showcase.

This month, we induct V-drive guru Andy Casale of Casale Engineering into our coveted group of industry legends.

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speedboat.com

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Speedboat.com Published by DCO Enterprises, LLC Publishers

Ray Lee ray@speedboat.com

Chris Davidson chris@speedboat.com

Editor

Brett Bayne brett@speedboat.com

Senior Tech Editors Jim Wilkes jim@speedboat.com

Alexi Sahagian alexi@speedboat.com

Tech Editors

National Sales Director Art Director

Greg Shoemaker Jim Wilkes Valerie Collins Ray Lee ray@speedboat.com

Gail Hada-Insley

Helicopter Services Fred Young fyoung@live.com

Photographers

Todd Taylor, Pete Boden, Kenny Dunlop, Paul Kemiel, Jeff Girardi, Randy Nuzzo, Mark McLaughlin

Operations Manager Michele Plummer and Subscriptions michele@speedboat.com 5840 W. Craig Rd Suite 120, #386 Las Vegas, NV 89130-2730

Cover photo by Todd Taylor Table of Contents photo by Stu Jones

Webmaster

BRETT’S COVE

Web Design

68 THE TODD SQUAD NWSRA launches its season in Parker, AZ, as world champion ski racer Todd Haig goes for the gold.

74 NJBA SEASON OPENER Jetboat racers kick off the 2017 season at Lake Ming in Bakersfield, California.

Postmaster: Send address changes to Speedboat Magazine, 9216 Bally Court, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.

Editorial: Speedboat Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All manuscripts, materials, photographs and artwork submitted are at mailer’s risk and must include self-addressed envelope with proper postage if requested to be returned. All letters sent to Speedboat will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes, and are subject to Speedboat's right to edit and comment editorially. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or part is expressly forbidden, except by written permission of the publisher.

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Blair Davidson Market It Mobile, Las Vegas, NV blair@speedboat.com

62 OPPORTUNITY NOCKS Wally Nocks of Lake Havasu shows off his perfect Placecraft project.

Craig Lathrop craig@speedboat.com

Editorial Offices

9216 Bally Court Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 (888) 577-2628 (BOAT)

SPEEDBOAT MAGAZINE (ISSN#1941-9473) is published 8 times plus a bonus issue this year by DCO Enterprises LLC. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Domestic $34.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue, Canada $66.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue, International $77.00 for 8 times plus a bonus issue. All prices are for one year and in U.S. funds. For subscription info: call (888) 577-2628. PRINTED IN USA These rates represent Speedboat’s standard subscription rate and should not be confused with any special rates or premiums otherwise advertised or offered.

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OBSERVER’S SEAT RAY LEE

In our January 2016 issue, we started a feature called Speedboat Legends, where we pay tribute to individuals that have left an indelible mark and/or scar on this wild and wooly industry of ours, known as highperformance boating. Our esteemed recipients to date include pioneers Howard Arneson, Rusty

eager to tap into that wealth. I couldn’t miss another season of boating! Late last year, Gabe agreed to meet me

The Stuff of Legend Biesemeyer, Reggie Fountain, Bob Leach, Bill Seebold, Julian Pettengill, Bobby Moore, Harry Christensen, Tim Seebold and, in this month’s issue, Andy Casale. Our intent in starting this feature was to have a beautiful award to accompany the lofty moniker and I am proud to say that we finally have them. We took this task very seriously, as we wanted the awards to adequately honor the dedication and contribution that they all have made to us boaters. I think we achieved that and we look forward to presenting these awards to our legends. The term “legend” evokes imagery of someone who went above and beyond the norm to achieve this prestigious status. This is something that is not seen very often, especially in our current era of quick transactions and instant gratification. But recently I experienced some “legendary” service that I felt needed to be acknowledged. For over a year, I had been having enginetuning issues that we couldn’t chase down with the engine builder. Converting my rebuilt motor from a carbureted to an EFI system, proved to be a tougher task than expected. Enter Brian Macy and Gabe Salazar from the EFI Store in Lake Havasu City, AZ (theefistore.com). Between them, there was a wealth of knowledge about the Comp Cams—FAST EFI conversion kit that we had installed and I was more than

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on the water for a tuning session where he’d bring his computer and dial in all of the engine’s proper parameters. He found that the settings were so far off that he essentially had to start from scratch. This took over three hours and he ended up missing his nephew’s first sanctioned MMA fight in Palm Springs, CA—over two hours away. I felt bad that he missed it, but he went above and beyond to help me and I couldn’t have been more grateful. That tuning session was ended because there were rigging issues that needed to be corrected, if the boat was ever going to run properly. Aaron Fluent and his crew from Absolute Speed and Marine (absolutespeedandmarine.com) have maintained my boats for years and I am fortunate to call them my friends. They all put in long hours, days and even weeks to make sure that I’d be ready to test the boat when the time eventually came. Aaron even missed his 12-year-old son’s basketball game and worked well past the midnight hour to assure that my next day’s scheduled boat tuning session with Brian Macy would not fail or falter. Brian, however, had been fighting a battle far more serious than merely getting a boat to run well. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last year (a rare form of cancer in his blood and bone marrow) and it was kicking his ass and threatening his

life, forcing him to shelf his racing career. He and his wife, Heather started traveling to Arkansas last July for radical stem cell treatments, which seemed to be helping. He was obviously concentrating on his recovery so scheduling tuning time with him was difficult and scarce. So, when I was able to book an appointment with him, I made damned sure that we would be ready. Well…Aaron and his team made damned sure we would be ready. So the day finally came when I got Brian in the boat with me, his laptop communicating with my engine, with high hopes to dial her in perfectly. We ran it through all of the RPM ranges as he corrected all areas of the spectrum, until there were no more lean points, nor any more fat spots. By the end of the session, my engine was purring like a content kitty and I was as ecstatic as the first time I ever rode in a performance boat. It was like being reborn, which for my engine—it literally was. If it weren’t for the combined efforts of all of these amazing people, I would still be sidelined for the upcoming season, pathetically daydreaming of operating my boat. Instead, I am now making plans to be on the water as much as possible and to take full advantage of all of the hard work that they put in. I can’t thank each of them enough for going above and beyond the call of duty. It definitely wasn’t expected but it is much appreciated, as well as refreshing to experience such “legendary” customer service. Even more good news: Brian received a clean bill of health in January of this year and he is now looking to make his triumphant return to racing and boating. Good luck, Team Macy! speedboat.com

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ON THE DYNO Alexi Sahagian

Corrosion on My Electronics Dear Alexi: I have a Warlock vee bottom and I had a few issues with my cap and rotor. I changed the cap at the end of the season last year on my EFI engine. I ran it for a weekend. Afterwards, I let it sit in storage until this season. I ran it again and noticed the engine was popping and not running well. The shop I took it to said the cap and rotor were really corroded. How can that be after such a short period of use? Please help, as the entire inside of my engine’s distributor rusted up pretty badly. Thanks! James Harmon Lake Havasu City, AZ

This is a common issue with cap and rotors. Have you ever noticed that if you purchase tortillas or other foods that they have those moisture silica packs in them? The reason those are included is moisture. The same thing happens in your engine bay. For example, if you hose out your bilge, you might wind up with a little table of water deposits in the near bilge. When you cover it up and put it in storage for a long time, the weather gets hot, cold, rain, humid, etc., and posts inside can develop corrosion. Usually it is minimal however when you run the engine the distributor forms ionic gasses that amplify a basic corrosion. Soon after

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Oiling is quite a science. Some brands tend to foam or aerate more than others. that, sets in the cap will look really bad. Most distributors have vents in the bottom to help release the gases, although some do not. Assuming your distributor phasing is correct, these are items that should be fresh at the beginning of the season, depending on your location. If your reflector phasing is off, the ionic gases can multiply, causing a premature corrosion issue. So change the cap and rotor, and you should be good to go. Be sure to clean any rust and make sure it is vented within the distributor. At times the vents corrode shut. If you really get tired of it, install an AEM distributorless system.

Air in My Oil Dear Alexi: I have a 540 big block in my Eliminator Daytona. It runs well, but every time I check my oil, it seems to have a bunch of air bubbles. After changing brands, it got a bit better, but the bubbles are still there. Now I’m seeing weird oil psi fluctuations and a bit of metal in my oil as well. I do not know what to do! It is a new engine I had built and the builder thinks it’s still the oil type or level. Help! John Jenkins Denver, CO John, oiling is quite a science. Some oil brands tend to foam or aerate more than others, but usually this is caused by oil cavitation similar to your prop doing that coming up on plane. The oil pumps needs a good flow of oil to them and some pumps have custom features within to minimize aeration. With that said, several basic building errors can cause this problem. One of the most overlooked is oil pump pickup attachments. Some pan manufacturers give a bolt-on pickup with a press fit pickup in order to carry the job. We have seen that if it hasn’t been tack welded or welded around the entire housing, that problems can begin. If the pump sucks air into the pump from

a bad pickup, cracked pickup, improperly installed pickup, then all of the described will occur, causing engine d a m a g e . Anything that introduces air will cause cavitation and less bearing protection. If the oil level in your pan is not properly marked, aeration can occur from the crankshaft dipping in and out of the oil like an egg beater. So, check these items and make sure your pickup has no breach or crack, and that the press is really tight. We actually freeze the pickups in a freezer, then install them into a heated pump to get the tight press. Once that is in and set, we then weld all the way around the seam in most cases. If you want to avoid this hassle, you can purchase a billet pump with no pickup that mates to a specific oil pan. We do this on all of our current engines to avoid any potential issues with the oil systems. Anyway, check the level and pickup. Unfortunately, you will need to pull the engine and remove the pan to properly review the situation.

Busted Valve Springs Dear Alexi: I have a broken valve spring in my engine. It is a 540 big block 1,000-hp engine. It has a solid cam in it. I just had new valve springs put in. The new shop working on my boat said they had it figured out and that the original builder had it all wrong. They mentioned that the springs were installed too loosely on the installed height. They made the change, so I figured it was OK. However, each weekend since they did this upgrade, [continues on page 82] speedboat.com

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Adrenalineperformanceboats.com

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Slide Anchor Targets Mussels

Lake Havasu City, AZ-based Slide Anchor has declared war against quagga mussels, the spread of which has become one of the state’s most contentious environmental problems. The Lake Havasu Marine Association and other government agencies (including Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, U.S.

Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department) will use Slide Anchor’s products to boost quagga awareness. Slide Anchor owner Ryan Dvorak, who distributes to retailers such as Bass Pro Shop, is only too familiar with the mussels’ tendency to attach themselves to his products. He plans to place permanent plaques to each anchor, advising boaters of the need to clean, drain and dry their watercraft to curtail the spread of quagga mussels to other waterways. Quagga mussels breed fast and are hard to exterminate; in large numbers, they can even cause damage to water pipes and ecosystems. “Everyone’s pulling together to try and solve this problem,” Dvorak said.

“Thanks to the Marine Association, I’m willing to work with these government agencies to tackle the mussel problem. Most people are aware of quagga mussels, and the need to clean their boats, but most people don’t consider the anchor or their line…it’s just not emphasized.” California border stations estimate that around 40 percent of boaters who come to California have mussels on their anchors, according to Marine Association President Jim Salscheider. “If we can get people to clean their anchors, we can help prevent the spread of mussels to California and other states.” Sale of anchors with quagga warning plaques could begin as soon as this summer, he added.

G Marine Named Wallytender Dealer

Since its arrival in South Florida five years numerous luxury features such as teak ago, G Marine, has become the exclu- decking, carbon fiber trim and metallic sive dealer of various European yacht brands, including Fairline, Astondoa and EVO Yachts. Now the dealer has added Wallytender, a center console model created for high-speed lovers with its triple Mercury 400-hp outboards. Originally developed for racing, the boat was designed to integrate speed and comfort. The 45-foot model sports a 13’ beam and

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paints. This will be the Wallytender’s American debut. The Wallytender X is the latest version of the Wallytender, which debuted in 2001 opening up a new market. Its spacious walk-around deck features two sun lounges—one forward, which converts into a casual dining area with a popup table, and one aft. The Raymarine-

equipped central helm console incorporates all controls for easy single-handed operation, simplifying maneuvering and handling and enhancing safety. Two refrigerators exemplify some of the comfort features, and a below-deck cabin with head, adds overnight jaunts to the joy of open-air living on the water. Designed by Luca Bassani, Wally founder and chief designer, the Wallytender X combines lightweight composite construction and advanced hull design to produce a boat that runs smoothly at speed in any seas and can carry 12 people in safety and comfort. The luxurious onboard experience is created by the clean and practical solutions, which are applied to every detail, using custom-made components that define the Wally approach to functional design with style. For more information, call G Marine at (954) 866-1636 or point your browser to gmyachts.com. [continues on page 59] speedboat.com

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My BEST

SH T We asked all of our photographers to select their favorite boat-action photo.

A

ll photographers have their own unique techniques, think nothing about putting themselves in harm’s way, which strategies and equipment. They all approach photogra- our intrepid drag-racing photographer Mark McLaughlin did

phy in different ways, and there’s no better way to observe that than at a poker run or a race, when boats going 150 mph often leave the lensers only a fraction of a second to capture the ideal shot. Our photographers perch upon ridges, canyons, hills and rocky terrain (Havasu’s Pilot Rock offers a popular perspective); sometimes they shoot from boat to boat or hang out of helicopters—just ask Kenny Dunlop about the hairraising ride he took in a Cayman Islands chopper. Indeed, they

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to snare the image in this feature. This month, we invited every photographer we’ve worked with to contribute their favorite boat-action photo. Rounding up these pictures turned out to be an adventure in itself, but that’s another story. For now, enjoy these amazing images by the folks who have a special appreciation for the machines that are their passion and their profession—along with their personal stories about each photo. speedboat.com

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PHOTOGRAPHER:

Ray Lee This picture was taken at the 2015 LODBRS in Lake Havasu City, AZ, of my friend (and Speedboat test team driver) Tony Scarlata. I’m not a “professional photographer” like the others included in this feature, but I still wanted to improve at taking good pictures, so I had been experimenting with the multitude of settings on my camera.This was one of my first and still favorite image that captures the subject crisply, while blurring the surroundings, giving a palpable sense of speed and motion.

speedboat.com

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My Best Shot

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Todd Taylorr I shot this MTI raceboat, #40 Reliable Carriers, at a race in Destin, FL, back in 2004. I was pretty clueless back in those days! I was actually out on the race course driving Ron Gibson’s MTI as the pace boat, and pulled into the center of the race course to get the shot. I was shooting with a Canon 20D—this was way before the $10,000 camera I use now.

PHOTOGRAPHER:

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Michelle Percival

This photo is from the final Top Fuel Hydro race at the 29th Augusta Southern Nationals in 2015. Scott Lumbert (Spirit of Texas) beat his friend and season rival, Jarrett Silvey (Speed Sports) down the Savannah River in Augusta, GA. Scotty ran 3.53 at a top speed of 262.238, while Jarrett’s boat stood up most of the track to finish at 3.73 and 234.30 mph. These two drivers were crowd favorites giving it all they had each time they came down the track the entire weekend.

speedboat.com

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My Best Shot

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Randy Nuzzzo

Here are Kevin and Donna Mishoe in their Wellcraft Scarab. I liked seeing the sea spray blow down the side of the boat. The calm and routine attitude of Kevin’s driving also stood out. When I see a boat launch and hear the engines throttle back, I immediately think how lucky I am to witness it, because it’s still exciting to me. I also appreciate the privilege of occupying the helicopter seat, and excited that I get to take an awesome picture for a guy that has gotten his boat out of the water before, but this time there’s a photographer and helicopter right beside him.

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PHOTOGRAPHER:

Pete Boden

I shot this 40’ Skater SS, powered by Mercury Racing 1350s, in 2015 as it was running in Key West. This was during both the World Finals and the Florida Powerboat Club’s poker run. On Saturday, a friend of mine who owns a helicopter gave us a good price for an hour rental, and we just flew around to see what kind of boats were on the water. We shot everything we saw. The Skater, which had been purchased new by Kurt Watkins, was on the water for the first time. It’s beautiful, with a great paint scheme. Everything on it was so modern. I like that boat a lot.

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Mark McLaughlin

This one has to be my all-time favorite. It was the final round of the Lucas Oil San Angelo Drag Boat Race featuring two Top Fuel Hydros: Daryl Ehrlich (driving Eddie Knox’s Problem Child) and John Haas (driving Lou Osman’s Speed Sport Special). Haas lost the rudder assembly before half track and kept going with no steering, crossing over into the right lane, pulling the parachutes. Erlich pulled in behind the parachutes and got caught in them, causing the boat to take off like an airplane. SSS, pulling PC, came across the beach where I was standing and got me with a wall of water, rocks, and grass, along with parts coming off the boat. Both machines, while hooked together and crashing, were doing 240+ mph at the finish line. Ehrlich was hospitalized for a period of time, but Haas was OK. I was probably lucky to be still standing after that incident. speedboat.com

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My Best Shot PHOTOGRAPHER:

Daren Van Ryte

PHOTOGRAPHER::

Kenny Dunlop p

I took this shot of Jim Lucas launching his 42' Fountain across swells in the channel on his way to Avalon harbor, the second card stop of the 2016 Long Beach SCOPE Poker Run. As we were boarding the helicopter, we were told they couldn’t fly below 300 feet or go over 60 mph with the doors off. At that point, I wondered just how many boats I would be able to shoot and how good the quality would be. I ended up with some great shots, but this is my favorite. The boat is flying across the swells, and this event was the return of the Long Beach SCOPE Poker Run after more than eight years, so that’s why this is my favorite shot.

It was one of the craziest helicopter rides I’ve ever been on, but I was able to catch this amazing photo during the Cayman Islands’ 2011 Million Dollar Poker Run. The twin outboard powered Skater FastSigns is owned and driven by Steve Reid and throttled by Jim Styke of Waterford, MI. The team took the award for Best Craft at the event.

PHOTOGRAPHER:

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Brett Bayne

I love shooting and writing about classic V-drives. Matt Patterson called me in 2009 to talk about how he’d purchased and restored a vintage Art Carlson tunnel boat, and was going to meet with the legendary boatbuilder himself at Lake Elsinore. I joined them at the lake and shot photos and video of this beautiful old boat. In this photo, Art’s son John drives the 1965 Carlson Cyclone with Matt in the passenger seat. Art died a few years after our day at the lake. I will always treasure the memory of getting to meet and interview Art, who broke style barriers throughout an illustrious career that saw his design talent take shape in hundreds of boats under the Glastron-Carlson monicker. speedboat.com

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My Best Shot PHOTOGRAPHER:

Jeff Gerardii

This shot is from the Puerto Rico 2006 Offshore Super Series (OSS) race, which featured David Scott and John Tomlinson’s 44' MTI Budweiser Select running alongside Mike DeFrees and Jeff Harris in the 39' MTI Team CRC. It was such a cool thing—26 boats going to Puerto Rico for a race. It only happened once. I flew every day for three days. It was so much fun!

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Paul Kemiee l

CESA 1882 (named for its silver jeweler sponsor) captured the UIM Class I World Champion title in convincing style, with three first-place finishes. The crew consisted of Italian boat designer/builder Fabio Buzzi, Giorgio Villa, and Romeo Ferraris. CESA 1882 is a 43' Kevlar monohull powered by 4 Seatek turbo diesel inboard engines with a total of 2,480 hp. Each 620-hp engine is connected with an independent surface screw propeller shaft. This hull is considered Buzzi’s most famous boat design. During the 1988 season, it won more than any boat in the world, scoring 17 consecutive podiums, three second places and 14 first places. This image was photographed at the UIM class I & II Offshore World Championships three-race event, Sept. 12-14, 1988, in the Channel Islands, Guernsey, England. My vantage point was in the Castle Cornet overlooking the English Channel race course. The photo was recorded with a Canon F1 camera using Kodachrome 200 color slide film.

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Miami

BOAT T

he Florida Powerboat Club’s annual Miami Boat Show Poker Run (Feb. 23-26) was the perfect getaway for anybody who wanted to

see the boats on display at the exhibition in their natural habitat. Most of the high-performance manufacturers, from Skater and Midnight Express to Nor-Tech and Cigarette, took something new on the run to Marathon Key. Not surprisingly, there were plenty of center console models on hand. While it was fun to see these boats like Midnight Express’s new 37' at the docks, it was a genuine thrill to witness them at speed in the ocean. Deep Impact Boats of Opa-locka, FL, brought their new 399 Sport—a lot of people hadn’t seen that boat, but we had not one but the two that

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SHOW Poker Run After the show, the Florida Powerboat Club made its annual trek to Marathon Key. STORY AND PHOTOS BY:

Stu Jones

ever had been built. Another proud attendee was the brand new 43' Blackwater wave-crushing centerconsole machine, powered by quad Mercury 350 Verado outboards. The boat, which I got a chance to ride on, was a real crowd pleaser; it’s an entirely new boat, from stem to stern. Another model that impressed me was the NorTech 450. Even though the boat was a year old, it was hull #1. (It was introduced at last year’s Miami show without a T-top.) I rode on the boat with company owner Trond Schou driving it at 81 mph. Pretty impressive! This time, the boat was finished with a full T-top and all of the creature comforts. They really made the boat the way it’s supposed to look. I rode on that boat Thursday, and the Blackwater on speedboat.com

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Left: Stu Jones joined Trond Schou aboard Nor-Tech’s 450 Center Console as sponsor paceboat, with Tom Mason at the helm. South Florida Powerboats is the official dealer for Nor-Tech. Below and bottom: The Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club at Marathon Key, which hosted the Florida Powerboat Club members, incorporates a Hyatt, marina and Lighthouse Grill.

speedboat.com

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Miami Boat Show Poker Run

Left: Derek Wachob in his new 34' MTI Black Diamond Express, which supports the Black Diamond 52' MTI Mother ship, with C16 race fuel. Below: New Florida Powerboat Club models Whitney and Brandy distribute poker cards at Grove Harbour Marina at the start of the run.

Above: Benny D’Angelo of Quebec, Canada, in his 38' Cigarette Top Gun Team Houdini. Right: Boats raft up at Gilbert’s Key Largo for the lunch stop on Thursday’s run. There was another run on Friday along the same course for a new wave of boats.

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Miami Boat Show Poker Run

Friday. I’d say I had a pretty awesome ride both days! We were thrilled to see all of the Cigarette models on the water. Cigarette dealer Performance Boat Center showed off the new 41' GTR, and one of our club members, Bob Christie, had the new 3090 TS. You can be sure that we gave the 39' and 41' front-row coverage. On the catamaran side, it was great to see the brand-new Mystic 44' with a pair of Mercury Racing 1100s—I believe it’s the first Mystic that Ron Szolack has ever built. That boat was another major crowd pleaser, with tons of freeboard and a dazzling paint job. It runs great, too! The Miami Boat Show Poker Run was another huge success for the Florida Powerboat Club. Some of our members had reservations about going to Marathon, but it really delivered. Two properties hosted us: The Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club, which incorporates a Hyatt, marina and Lighthouse Grill, and the Marriott Resort next door. That’s a brand-new property that only opened about six months ago. They were able to pick up the slack and give us a lot of rooms as well. So we had a dual venue with only a gate between the two. It was really the ideal location for us with our giant 40' x 60' tent on the event lawn outside, along with another tent out on the dock. Our tent down at the docks beside the boats became the site of our dock party, right at the foot of the lighthouse, every night. We had a bar there, and it provided a unique vibe to be able to hang around down by the boats. We didn’t even need a DJ, because we had all the boat stereos taking care of all the entertainment. Everyone had an outstanding time. Creating social space outside, and in and around the docks, was one of the keys to the event’s success. Also, the weather was magnificent, which helped make our evening soiree and dinner party excellent

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Top: Sylvain and Chantal Oligney of Quebec, Canada, pilot their DCB M35, powered by Mercury Racing 700s. Above: Buzz Fyhrie of Total Dollar Insurance receives the Sponsor Award from the FPC Girls and the Girls of The Program Yacht. for those choosing to dine outside. So all of that, combined with the facilities at the marina and yacht club, seemed to provide us with a venue that’s going to be successful going forward, and we’re already planning for 2018. In May, we’ll be going back to Cuba. We already have about 15 boats registered, and we’re looking at doing 20 boats. We’ve got everything from a 35-footer (the minimum-length boat) all the way up to a 97-foot yacht participating. speedboat.com

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Miami Boat Show Poker Run

Left: Chris and Quinn LaMorte of New Jersey in their 36' Skater. Below: Chris Ryder of New York collects a poker card in his 36' Skater, Crisis Management. Bottom: Robert Lockyer of Florida pilots his 32' Skater, recently repowered by Mercury Racing 400-R Verado outboards.

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Miami Boat Show Poker Run

Above: David Landsman of Maryland in Golddigger, his 50' Outerlimits cat. Above right: The girls of Midnight Express Boats (Milena, Katie and Gina) put on a terrific show! Right: Team Hammertime, a Deep Impact 399 Sport, includes FPC member Mike Sanz Jr, boat owner Ray Aquit and his lady Sasha. Below left: Whitney and Brandy pose by the SeaRey seaplane owned by pilot Luis Sotero. Below right: Gino Gargiulo of Florida in his 52' MTI Super Veloce, powered by twin Mercury Racing 1550 engines. Bottom left: Alan Lima of FL, owner of Grove Harbour Marina, drives his 38' Cigarette Top Gun Cheerleader. (So where are the cheerleaders?)

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Trouble for

Trevor photography by Marsha Roberts Waz

At the beginning of April, the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series kicked off at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ. During competition on Saturday, Pro Outlaw racer Trevor Olson’s boat flipped upside down during at attempt to get licensed in Top Alcohol class. Photographer Marsha Roberts Waz captured a stunning crash sequence, which is reprinted on the following pages. Fortunately, Olson escaped injury (the boat was not as fortunate). We asked Olson to share his memories of his ill-fated run.

I

’ve run my boat in Pro Outlaw class was the last pass I could have gotten out. I knew it would be a big mistake to for the last couple of years. We were licensed in, I kept thinking, “I am not unbuckle my seatbelt and open the lid

trying to move up to Top Alcohol this year; I wanted to run on Sunday with the big boys. We’d added a new blower to the drivetrain and were making a lot more horsepower. The accident occurred on my last pass on Saturday at around 4 p.m. as I was trying to license for the new class. With the added horsepower, the prop was making a lot more bite. The back of the boat was trying to pick up very fast, before the bow was set. Consequently, the boat was getting way out of shape. The bow has has lifted before. Since this

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going to lift this time.” But it did lift, and the boat flipped. As I went upside down, I could feel myself going into the water. Man, I was saying a few choice words into my helmet! Sitting upside down in the capsule, I thought to myself, “I have to stay calm,” even while I could feel everything start to fill up with water. I knew the rescue team would be on their way fast. While I was sitting there upside down, I tried to release the latch that holds my air tank, but I could not get the latch released in order to grab my air bottle and swim

until I got that bottle released. So I just sat there and I waited for the divers to come. It felt like an eternity, even though it was probably only a minute or so. I’m a diver myself, so I wasn’t panicking. However, I kept praying for my helmet not to leak and take on water. Eventually the divers did get to me, and I wish I’d just let them do their job and remove the capsule. But what I did next was to unclasp my seatbelt, flip the lid of the capsule open and leap out as fast as I could to get on the rescue boat. And by jumping the gun, I ended speedboat.com

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Trouble for Trevor up bumped my leg on the rescue boat trying to get out of the water. I should have just sat there and let them do their job—put the capsule onto the rescue boat. But my family was on the beach and I knew they would be freaking out. I just wanted them to see me jump out of the water so they would know I was safe. That’s why I jumped out of the water under my own power. Anyway, all my safety equipment worked perfectly. I had just built a new seat that’s form-fitted to my body, so it was a good thing that I’d done that. I wasn’t hurt at all—in fact, if I’d had another boat, I’d have jumped into it and raced that same day.

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Trouble for Trevor The good news is that the motor actually stayed in the boat, which typically doesn’t happen. It survived pretty darn good! Unfortunately, the boat was a total loss. So I need a boat hull. I’ll be able to transfer all of my equipment into a new boat as soon as I can find one. Incidentally, this isn’t my first crash. I crashed before in an open boat, and ended up spending eight days in the ICU—my whole left side was injured, and my rib cage was titanium plated. This crash was a walk in the park compared to that one. My family and crew have been incredibly supportive. I’ve even gotten a lot of random messages from Facebook users saying, ‘’Hey, man, we saw you guys and your crew, and it was spectacular how well they reacted to all of this.” Messages like this were very inspiring. I want to thank my girlfriend, Sheri, as well as my crew chief, Rose Murphy, and my motor guy, Jim Triesch. I’d also like to thank my engine-tuning guy, Spike Gorr, who is a fuel-system genius. He’s my right-hand guy and the brains behind the motor. My goal is to have a boat ready by the world finals in November.

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Resident We asked Chris Camire, owner of

Evo

Corona, CA-based Lavey Craft Motorsports, to discuss the origin and creation of his company’s unique EVO line, one of speedboating’s most compelling designs.

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O

ur 28 EVO model started off as our Once we made the 28 SVL, we real28 SVL (Super Vee Lite). With our ized that it would make a unique plea-

highly successful 2750 NuEra in the F1 offshore racing circuit, it was time to move up in class. So in 2006, we created the 28 SVL. We contacted Skater Powerboats and worked out a deal with owner Peter Hledin, and he was gracious enough to allow us to use his canopy design for our production. From there we modified our standard 2750 deck to accommodate the canopy. This entailed determining the proper center of gravity and driver/passenger seating. Ultimately, we ended up cutting down the overall height of our 2750 deck about 6 inches. One of our main goals was to retain the lines of our standard open cockpit pleasure boat (the 2750) when designing the new 28 SVL. In the end, the driver/passenger were at the same exact location of the 2750, but actually sat 12 inches lower—in return, keeping the weight as low as possible.

sure boat if we offered it without the top. Shortly after, we decided to created the 28 EVO. The model name EVO was chosen to represent an evolution of our NuEra and SVL line. We created an insert for the mold that turned the canopy into a half canopy (perhaps better known as a wraparound windshield). This made Lavey Craft the first manufacturer to offer a full production model with a wraparound windshield. At the time, the industry had no shortage of boats with full open pleasure cockpits, quarter canopies, or moldedin plexiglass windshields. We realized early on when creating the EVO that it wouldn’t be a fit for everybody, with its four-person cockpit. It was more of a fit for the customer in the market for a single-engine 28’ go-fast model to use at the poker runs, or a customer interested in a pure sport boat. The first 28 EVO built was powered by an Ilmor 625 paired to speedboat.com

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Left: Lavey Craft decided to jump into the true offshore V-bottom market with its 39 EVO, which resembled its race-inspired 28 EVO sibling with a half-canopy wraparound windshield. Below: The 28 EVO is available in closed-bow, open-top and actuated closed cockpit configurations and Open Top (Evo) or Actuated Closed Cockpit with removable option (Evo-R) configurations.

Both the 28 EVO (left) and 39 EVO (above, pictured from bow and stern) models on display at the 2008 Los Angeles Boat Show. The show-stopping 39 EVO is Lavey’s biggest open-water project to date, elevating the company into serious offshore waters. After its release, we called it “quite simply one of the finest performance boats ever to back down a ramp.”

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Resident Evo The photos on this page show the 28 EVO-R. The “R” represents the removable and retractable/actuated hard top. To the untrained eye, it resembles a 28 SVL in its standard closed form. However, it has a hard top, making a full canopy that is actuated to open and close but is also fully removable to make an open top 28 EVO. Bottom: That’s company president Chris Camire aboard the boat.

an Imco stand-off box and SC outdrive. This package pushed the boat to 86 mph out of the box. Once it was fully dialed in, it topped out at 92 mph, which is damned respectable for a single-engine 28’6” deep vee weighing in at 5,000 lbs. and with a fully furnished under deck. After the first boat, our next goal was to build the fastest-to-date deep vee (no pad) 28’ with stock 700-hp power. Boat #2 was laid up with 100% foam and balsa to save weight. Our power of choice was the Ilmor 710 with Imco stand-off box and SC outdrive. That boat became the fastest 28’ single-engine vee pleasure boat powered with 700 hp; with the Ilmor, it saw a tall number of 106 mph. That boat went on to be sold to a cus-

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tomer who swapped the engine to a GT Performance Marine 1100 with Imco SCX drive. With this setup, the boat ran 120 mph and resided in Lake Havasu. Almost two years later, both #1 and #2 EVOs were sold to customers in Germany. Shortly after that boat’s sale, we were contacted by another customer based in Germany. He told us that his friend had our original 28 EVO, and that “I need to have one!” He began to tell us what their boating season and waterways were like. Germany has a comparatively short boating season: Their warm and sunny season is much shorter than ours. However, they still use every moment they can to go boating, rain or shine. Most of their boating is done in the Baltic Sea, where speedboat.com

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Above and above left: This 28 EVO was shot during Speedboat’s swimsuit pictorial prior to going to Germany. 115 real U.S. dollar bills were infused into the underside of the engine hatch. Left: The evolution of the EVO began with this 28 SLV offshore raceboat. Kevin Cooper won races competing in Vee Lite class in AMF/LaveyCraft.

the water gets very big and the weather is mostly cold and/or rainy. The customer explained to us that even though the the weather is bad and the water is usually very rough, they still want to boat. Now, transporting a big twinengine boat to and through Germany is no small feat, especially with the country’s small, narrow roads. Also, in Germany, it can take a small eternity to receive replacement parts. Thus, if you own a twin-engine boat, it could sometimes double the wait time. What made the Ilmor their engine of choice was due to two main factors. First, the Ilmor offers exceptional reliability and longevity. Second, if a part did fail, the repair time could be minimized, as many of the local auto parts stores carry Mopar parts. All of this made the Lavey Craft 28 EVO with a single engine and relative stock power a perfect boat. The customer told us that our 28 EVO delivered the very best rough-water ride for a single-engine boat in the rough Baltic Sea water. Its wraparound windshield helped protect them from the weather. This same customer went on to purchase boat #3, which had an Ilmor 710 paired to an Imco stand-off box and speedboat.com

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SCX outdrive. It also featured a Twisted Stitch suspension seat that had a heated seat option for those chilly days. He also wanted to do something unique with the engine hatch. We actually infused real U.S. dollar bills into the underside of the hatch. In the end, there were 115 real U.S. bills infused to the underside of the hatch—all fully visible. This is an option that has never been done before. Immediately after this 28 EVO was sold, three 2750 NuEras went to various customers in Germany. All of them were in the market for a full cockpit to hold more passengers, but wanted a single-engine 28’ boat that can handle extreme rough water. One of these 2750s was the first midcabin open bow ever built to feature a removable open-bow hard top cover. Finally, another customer from Germany contacted us for a 28 EVO with the Ilmor/ Imco package. But that customer required a special request: “I want the ultimate boat for all conditions.” At first we were a little bit confused what exactly he meant. He explained that he wanted the 28 EVO with a full hard top that would also be removable—essentially a hybrid of our 28 SVL and 28 EVO. Our answer? “No problem.”

This is where our 28 EVO-R began. The “R” represents the removable and retractable/actuated hard top. To the untrained eye, it resembles a 28 SVL in its standard closed form. However, it has a hard top, making a full canopy that is actuated to open and close but is also fully removable to make an open top 28 EVO. This boat featured the same Twisted Stitch heated suspension seat option but was outfitted with full five-point harnesses for safety. This is because of the option of having a full enclosed canopy it is required to have full harness restraints on all seats. These harnesses are installed with quick mounts that are easily removed when the full open cockpit wraparound windshield layout is chosen. Also, on this boat the customer elected to have a three seat configuration—driver and passenger with a single middle rear seat. The EVO-R can also be configured with a four-person cockpit like the standard 28 EVO. The hard top can be easily removed with two people. So essentially depending on the weather or your mood of style on the boat, you can change it up. S P E E D B O A T | May 2017

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LEGENDS

Left: Andy proudly wears his Casale V-drive shirt emblazoned with the company logo. Above: Andy drives his midget car, assembled by Arlin Kurtis, son of Kurtis Kraft founder Frank Kurtis. It’s powered by an Offenhauser engine. “It took Arlin a few years to put it all together,” Andy says. “I supplied him the engine, rear end and front axle, and he put it together. Then his son Chris Kurtis painted it. I started driving it around 2008. I’m a novice at it, really.”

story by Brett Bayne

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Andy Ca Casale T

echnically, Andy Casale’s father, Ernie, is father of the contemporary V-drive. Andy was a recent junior-college graduate who had recently completed a drafting course when he drew the original plans for his dad’s new design. Still, Casale V-drives became an integral industry force under Andy’s watch, and the evolution of the changeable marine gearbox is a critical factor in incremental performance gains through the decades. What began as a campaign to build stronger gears for existing boxes became a mission to expand the design’s potential to harness more and more horsepower and to better utilize it. Drawing on vast experience gained in Midget auto racing, the Casales set about to build the first angled V-drive in 1955. “We looked over the shoulder of Watson Flaggs, who built PT boat drives in 1941,” Casale recalls. “We had a machine designed that would cut an angled gear. For a long time, we couldn’t sell them. People were used to a straight shaft. Gradually the boatbuilders started trying them, and they found their way into racing.” speedboat.com

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Andy Casale Left: Andy’s son Mitch drives his 1983 Sun Ray. Below: A pair of 10-degree V-drive cases that Andy had polished and powdercoated blue. (Billet and output caps are not yet assembled). Bottom: A split-case Casale V-drive with a center plate and in-and-out.

Above left: A direct-drive V-drive, ideal for a daycruiser, such as a Schiada.

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That’s where the Casale name was cemented for all time. Development began on an angled V-drive with inand-out, and the quick-change, split case followed. These two developments ensured better drivability and also enabled the racer and lake boater to adapt his equipment to individual courses or bodies of water. “It was like a racing toy that they could suddenly experiment with and set up any way they wanted to,” Casale says. Casale built the first parallel split course in 1963, for Rudy Ramos. The first production numbers of V-drives were cast, in fact, at Ramos’s father’s foundry. In 1964, Ramos presented the Casales with a challenge: He wanted to run a big Allison engine in his V-drive marathon flatbottom. The project came together, and the boat became a dominant force in marathon races. Soon Casale V-drives were running out front

at the Salton Sea and at other marathon courses. The gearbox’s popularity naturally followed on the recreational scene, with all of the flatbottoms of the day—the Raysons, Stevens, Spikes, Buck Smiths, Howards, Wriedts, Guastis and others— were Casale converts. The Casale V-drive overtook the drag-race course around the mid ‘60s, and as many as 1,500 a year were built. One of the first to embrace the technology was Larry Schwabenland, and it wasn’t long before rival Hondo came on board. By the early-70s, Casale experienced complete domination on the competitive inboard front. Ed Wills validated the trend with the world’s first 165-mph pass, at Perris, and it was also a Casale that facilitated the quarter-mile’s first 200-mph pass. Demand among vintage flatbottom enthusiasts drives today’s production, along with the developing market of rear-engine trucks. speedboat.com

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Speedboat sat down with Andy Casale to pick his brain about the history of V-drives and Casale Engineering. Speedboat: You’ve had a long association with midget cars. What do you recall about your father’s work on the track, and of helping him? Andy Casale: We used to change gears practically every day, depending on the track we were going to run on. I mounted the tires on the wheels—they were mag wheels back in the late 1940s. I assisted him in putting the engines together for the cars, just doing whatever I had to do to help him, because he didn’t have a lot of help. He often had some guy who wanted to help him, but I was his mainstay. I did that up until he retired from midget racing. Later he had a partnership with Lyle Greenman; they had a car in Indianapolis.

was for one of his employees that ran his balancing shop, a racer named Don Towle. He worked with a machinist who did Vic’s engines by the name of Bobby Meeks. Towle raced in the SK class, which was popular back in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Later, we became acquainted with Rudy Ramos, who was building boats and using Hallcraft V-drives. He was building all of the go-fast boats and winning all the

races while competing against guys like Lou Brummett, who made the Mandella boats, and Max Stevens of Stevens Boats, and quite a few others. He wanted to get a demonstration of a forward and reverse V-drive. My dad and I met Rudy down at the Marine Stadium launch ramp, which was on the opposite side of the race course. Rudy and I got in the boat and I drove it. Then I let him drive the boat for-

SB: Have you kept up with the sport? AC: I’m just an amateur midget car racer. In 1988, I ordered a car from Arlin Kurtis, who just passed away. He was the son of Kurtis Kraft founder Frank Kurtis. It was an Offenhauser-powered midget. It took Arlin a few years to put it all together. I supplied him the engine, rear end and front axle, and he put it together. Then his son Chris Curtis painted it. I started driving it around 2008, but we don’t go out there and terrorize everybody. We run for a spot, just at exhibitions. I’m a novice at it, really. SB: Where is that car now? AC: It’s here in my shop. SB: The Watson Flagg Machine Company built the early V-drives in the 1940s. Do you remember much about them? AC: They were used in the PT boats during WWII. My father looked at them to get ideas for his first V-drive. As a matter of fact, we used to have one of them in our shop until somebody ran off with it. SB: Who was the first to acquire a production V-drive from the Casale family? AC: That would have been [aftermarket performance parts engineer and racer] Vic Edelbrock. He didn’t use the V drive—it speedboat.com

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Andy Casale ward and reverse. It was quite noisy, but he liked the idea of having a forward and reverse on a V-drive. He said, “If you can get that noise out of there, I need some

of these things.” So we worked on the noise problem. We didn’t have the adjustable machine to cut the different angles on the V-drive

gears until a little later, but we worked on it and improved it. His first order was for six of them. There was some special skiing tournament at Marine Stadium where the guys were skiing and had girls on top of them in a big triangle. Unfortunately, a part called a shift crank used in the reverse broke, and and all of the skiers fell down into the water. Rudy was quite upset about it, but it didn’t slow him down from ordering V-drives. At some point, he said, “You know, you guys ought to use my dad,” because his dad had a place called Rayson Casting, where they made exceptional aircraft castings. At about that time, 1963 or ’64, the idea for an Allison-powered endurance boat came up, because he was using our split-case V-drives a lot at the time. We were getting the castings from Ray Ramos, and we’d build them and Rudy and others would buy them too. Rudy said he wanted to build this endurance boat for the Salton Sea 500. “I’m going to need a big V-drive for that,” he said. So I took our parallel unit and blew it up to twice the size. He thought that was OK, so dad made drawings of it, which were kind of crude back in those days. His father, Ray, had a good rapport with his pattern maker—in fact, we still have those patterns hanging up here. SB: Who else jumped on the bandwagon in those early days? AC: We built one for Rudy, one for a guy named John Sofilos at Unlimited Marine in San Francisco, and one for racer Wes Rose, who had a boat called Purple People Eater. Back in those days, all of the astronauts were running boats. Gordon Cooper and Gus Grissom—all of those guys had Rayson Crafts to run. One of the key guys who really pushed the Rayson Craft was Bob Ellis, who got killed down at the Nine-Hour Enduro years later. Anyway, we got it all done. It was kind of a last-minute kind of thing. But it got done. Every year when they started the Salton Sea race, we’d get a little place to stay there on the beach, or in the vicinity, so we didn’t have to drive all the way down from Highway 86. We’d done some work for some other guys

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that night, so we were bushed. We got up late and went down to the race course, and the first thing we heard was Rudy telling my dad, “Hey Ernie! Your gear box just froze up and broke the drive shaft!” My dad told him when he was going to put it in he had to equal the angles on the U-joints, but he didn’t listen. He had the V-drive tilted at 12 degrees, but he had the drive shafts straight. So it put the driveshaft in a bind, and as soon as he went forward, it broke the U-joints. Anyway, he did not place. He didn’t even get a lap. So later, after sweet-talking my dad, he went down to Rayson Craft and helped Rudy put the alignment of the driveshaft just right where he could tilt the engine and tilt the V-drive so it wouldn’t break the U-joints. The rest is history. He won Salton Sea twice, I believe. SB: Today you work with your sons at Casale Engineering, is that correct? AC: My two sons are key in our company. Drew (54) does all of the V-drive work. He puts them together and they’re really nice. He knows that we want quality, not quantity. Mitch (46) runs the CNC machines. He does a lot of the work on special parts and stuff like that, as well as production parts. Down the line, my two sons will carry on the legacy. I’m 81 years old now, but I’m still hands-on. I’m designing stuff right now, such as this in-and-out that’s going to go on a V-drive like the one that Rudy had. SB: One of the hallmarks of the Casale V-drive is its durability. AC: Oh, they last forever. If they have the right oil and get checked once in a while, they last a very long time. Production is down a bit at present—we’re lucky if we do two or three a month, if that. But we still make a lot of the parts. Customers buy gears, shafts, all that kind of stuff. As far as new V-drives ordered, a good month would probably be 10. SB: Have you ever raced boats yourself? AC: I’m not a boat racer. Neither are my sons. And I’ve never personally owned a V-drive boat. But I have my midget! speedboat.com

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1-year $34.00 – 9 issues Canadian rate: $66.00, International rate $77.00 (U.S. Funds)

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NEW PRODUCTS

MEFI-4 Adapter Harness AEM Electronics of Hawthorne, CA, has released a marine-grade plug-and-play adapter harness for MEFI-4 equipped race vehicles that allows users to switch from the older MEFI-4 platform to stateof-the-art stand-alone engine control with built-in racing features like boost, nitrous, traction and launch control, in about an hour. This adapter harness (PN 30-3829) includes MEFI J1 and J2 connectors to attach it to the MEFI harness, a 73 pin Molex connector to attach to an Infinity Series 3 ECU, two Lambda connectors for adding external wideband controllers and sensors, a connector for HEIdistributed engines or the option to run 8 individual AEM smart coils, an AEMnet CAN bus connection for connecting AEMnet enabled devices, an integrated relay and 12-pin DTM style connector for fast and easy integration of auxiliary sensors and switches. An expansion port with a weatherproof 12-pin connector is included in the Plug & Play Adapter Harness for adding common aftermarket sensors including fuel and/or oil pressure (PN 30-2130-150 150 PSI, sold

separately) and ethanol content sensor (PN 30-2200 sold separately). The expansion port also includes a sensor ground, 5v reference, power from relay and switched inputs for boost target and more. The Infinity Series 3 Programmable ECU is designed for popular earlyand late-model throttle body and port injected Ford, GM and Mopar V8s. It incorporates all of the features necessary to run a high-performance engine, including airflow-based VE tuning for fuel injection control, ignition control, Flex Fuel, knock control, boost control, nitrous control, launch control, traction control and engine protection. The Series 3 is able to communicate with 3rd party dashes and loggers and is AEMnet CANbus enabled to easily communicate with other AEMnet equipped devices. All maps can be password protected. Its latest generation 200MHz processor can process 400 MIPS (Millions of Instructions per Second). Air/Fuel Ratio (AFR) feedback is supported by adding external wideband con-

trollers through 0-5V analog inputs or via AEMnet CANbus using AEM’s X-Series Wideband UEGO AFR controllers. An Engine History feature is included that records basic engine operational conditions including Run Time, Peak RPM (overrev), Oil Pressure/Temp Overheat (requires sensors, sold separately) and Lean Condition (Boost/Vacuum vs AFR). The Infinity Series 3 is available in two iterations. The Infinity 308 (PN 30-7113) features two different injector types and two different coil outputs that support three different types of fuel and ignition configurations. Meanwhile, the Infinity 358 (PN 30-7114) is designed to control 2V and 4V Ford Modular engines, late-model Dodge Hemi engines and other late-model, individual direct-drive “dumb” coil V8 engines with port injection using eight high-impedance injectors. For more information, please visit aempower.com.

Eddie Marine Elite Instruments Eddie Marine’s newest line of affordable analog marine gauge kits comes complete with a GPS speedometer and everything else you need to upgrade the gauges in your boat. The Elite Gauges feature scratch-resistant domed glass lens with a water seal, UV resistant coating on the gauge pointer and dial, perimeter lit dials for excellent night visibility, corrosionresistant stainless steel bezels, and brass terminal connectors. Tach and speedo are 3 3/8”, small gauges are 2 1/16”. All gauge kits include the following: • 120 MPH GPS speedometer that displays direction, total odometer, and

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• • • • • •

two trip odometers. Ultra-fast and accurate GPS receiver that updates 10 times per second. 7,000-rpm tachometer, compatible with jet, stern-drive or outboard. Fuel Gauge with Float Style Sender. Water Temperature Gauge with Sender. Oil Pressure Gauge with Sender. Voltmeter.

Mercury Trim Gauge is included in the Seven Gauge Kit. Eddie’s Elite Gauges are available in black, white and platinum. Prices start at $495.

For more information or to order products from Eddie Marine, please visit the official site: eddiemarine.com. speedboat.com

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INDUSTRY NEWS [continued from page 18]

Nigel Hook Announces World Record Attempt

World and national champion offshore racer Nigel Hook—whose SilverHook 48GP enclosed vee hull has rocked Unlimited and Extreme classes in Super Boat competition—has announced that he and driver Jay Johnson will challenge the current endurance world record from Key West to Cuba this June. The team will also attempt to set a new, round-trip world record in Hook’s #77 Lucas Oil SilverHook. This record—the Lucas Oil Ocean Cup Key West to Cuba— will be the second Ocean Cup presented by Lucas Oil, the first established in 2013 as the Lucas Oil Ocean Cup – Golden Gate to Queen Mary. Pioneering data-driven, artificial intelligence systems and racing offshore powerboats have been Nigel Hook’s passions since he was a teenager (although not in that order). “We are merging artificial intelligence and augmented reality into ocean racing because with this technology, we will transform our sport,” Hook said. “And this time in international waters!” The technology developed by DataSkill with IBM Watson IoT (Internet of Things) and Cisco, runs predictive analytics onboard the boat turning Hook’s offshore boat into a flying data center. Scheduled for the week of June 19-23, the Silverhook run will be an internationspeedboat.com peedboat com

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SPEEDBOAT |

September 2016

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INDUSTRY NEWS Nigel Hook and Commander Escrich at the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba.

ally approved record sanctioned by the American Power Boat Association (APBA). Another element of this event will be to support the kids from the Key West Community Sailing Center, a non-profit organization. “A Cuba record always has been in my mind since my first race in Key West and, for many reasons, the time is right now,” Hook said. “During our recent meeting with the Commodore of the Hemingway International Yacht Club (Havana, Cuba), it became obvious that Commodore Escrich and I share a similar passion for ocean sports. The Commodore and I have started a special friendship and with his support, we plan for this to become an annual event! There is a strong history of offshore racing between Cuba and the US dating back to 1922.” The speed record will begin in Mallory Square (Key West) and the start timer will be triggered just south of Sunset Key. The timer stops at the channel marker in front of El Morro Castle Havana, Cuba (Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro). “After crossing the line and setting that one-way record, Jay and I will run up the Malecón coastline, which is Cuba’s most famous sea-side avenue, to do a flyby of the U.S. Embassy before circling back around and touching land in Havana Harbor for a brief interlude with our friends in Cuba.” The return leg will be straight back to Key West setting the reverse, round trip world record from Cuba to Key West. Event Director Karen Angle joined Hook and Johnson on their recent reconnaissance mission where she introduced them to Commander Derek Cromwell, Coast Guard Liaison to the United States Embassy La Habana, Cuba. The meeting with Commander Cromwell provided important insight into the logistical planning of this event.

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Brett’s Perfect Placecraft

Project!

Featuring

NJBA Season Opener ADBA Ski Race Action

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Wally Nocks of Lake Havasu tells the tale of his perfect Placecraft project. Wally Nocks photographer : Kenny Dunlop story by:

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M

y story begins back in 1984, when I met Howard Brown, founder of Howard Boats. He built me a

19-foot Howard Super Jet. I had Joe Mondello of Joe Mondello Racing Engines assemble and install a 470-inch Oldsmobile on the boat. We took it to the NJBA races, and the boat ran 100 mph. So for a few seasons during the 1980s, we dominated the 95-100 mph brackets. Later we took it to the Los Angeles Boat Show and won first place in the Paint and Show category, thanks to the great job Dick Vale of Vale Custom Colors (Westminster, CA) did with his custom candy paint job. The boat was called Thrill Me. Later, I had an opportunity to buy a Daytona tunnel dragster from Dennis Winzen of Carrera Boats through Greg Shoemaker’s GS Marine. After rigging that boat, we started campaigning and running it in Comp Jet and Mod Jet classes, as well as the 115-120 mph brackets. I did that for the rest of the ’80s. In 1990, I relocated from California to Lake Havasu and got rid of the raceboats—although I’ve always owned pleasure boats. For example, my second wife Angie and I own a 22-foot Placecraft deck boat. One night a few years ago, my close friend and fellow rock ’n’ roll drummer Audie Desbrow was visiting us during a weekend boating trip. (Audie, who is the drummer in the hard-rock band Great speedboat.com

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Opportunity NOCKS

Powering the Placecraft is a 496-cubic-inch Chevy motor, which was one of R&D Marine’s most winning backup motors for their Comp Jet circle-race boats. “I was very fortunate to get it for my boat,” Nocks says. Harold Bruce and his team at R&D took care of the rigging, custom fabricating, wiring, fuel system and the custom race pump.

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Left: Papa’s Rocker took the award for Best Tunnel Jet at SoCalJetBoats’ Horsepower Fest, held Nov. 12, 2016, at the Avi Resort & Casino in Laughlin, NV.

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Opportunity NOCKS

Below: Wally Nocks, in his Papa’s Rocker Placecraft, attends last year’s SoCalJetBoats gathering at the Avi Resort in Laughlin, NV.

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Wally Nocks’s Placecraft was originally laid up by Ron Hamilton of Montebello, CA, and had only been in the water twice before Nocks purchased and restored it.

White, has been my best friend for the last 40 years.) Toward the end of the evening, Angie said, “Why don’t you play one of your old drag racing videos for the guys?” So we sat down and started watching. Then she said, “Man, it looks like you had so much fun back in the day doing that.” “I was actually really good at it,” I remarked. “You’re going to be 60 years old soon,” she reminded me. “Why don’t you build another one and do that again?” I was dumbfounded. “What?” I said. “You mean—you’ll let me build another race boat?” “Yeah,” she said. “I think you need to.” Well, once she put the idea in my head, there was no going back. I’d never have asked Angie if I could do something like that—I always figured the answer would be no! So I put some feelers out on some of the popular Internet boating boards. Of course, all of my old drag racing buddies started trying to sell me their dragsters. But I didn’t want any of those. I specifically wanted a Placecraft—a little brother to the 22' we already owned. Eventually, a fellow contacted me from Whittier, CA. This guy had a Southwind speedboat.com

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tunnel dragster and a 1999 Placecraft, along with one trailer, a big pile of parts and a hurt motor—468 big block Chevy that was basically a basket case. I ended up driving out from Havasu and meeting up with this gentleman to inspect the boats, which were housed in an old warehouse in Whittier. “Here’s the deal,” he said. “I’m selling the whole shooting match. I’m not going to break any of it up—you buy both boats, the trailer and the entire pile of parts for one lump sum.” So we worked out a deal. We loaded the Southwind onto the trailer and I took it home. Within three hours, I had listed it on the Internet and sold it to a guy who drove up from Yuma with a trailer to pick it up. I hooked my trailer back to the car and then drove back to California to pick up the Placecraft. I said, “Thank you very much,” got back into the car and brought it home to start working on my new project. That was in 2014. This Placecraft Tunnel was originally laid up by Ron Hamilton of Montebello, CA, and had only been in the water twice. Harold Bruce of R&D Marine (Anaheim, CA) and his son Jimmy started the blue-

printing on the bottom of the boat and set the intake in it. Harold and his team at R&D did all the custom fabricating, including the wiring, the rigging, the fuel system and the custom race pump. He had a 496-cubic-inch Chevy motor, which was one of R&D’s most winning backup motors for their Comp Jet circlerace boats, and I was very fortunate to get it for my boat. After it was all rigged, I then took the boat to my dear friends at Blanco Fiberglass in Lake Havasu City for the custom gelcoat work that I designed. I had them re-flowcoat the balsa wood floor of the boat, and also paint the trailer. Things were starting to look pretty good! The boat’s next stop was at RPM Detail of Lake Havasu, where my buddy Ryan Hildebrand could work his magic. He took care of the ceramic coating on the trailer, the boat, the pump, everything. RPM does amazing work at very fair prices. For the final touch on the boat, I called “Mr. Awesome”—Scott Montgerard from Letters, Lines and Designs in Lake Havasu—to paint the name, the numbers, the scoop and add the personal touch that he’s such a master at. And now the boat looks very much like how you see it in the photos splashed across these pages. I have a little grandson who is always calling me “Papa.” He tells everybody, including his grandmother (my wife Angie) that “Papa’s my very best friend.” So I decided that—especially since I’m now in my 60s—that I would call the boat Papa’s Rocker. After all, I’ve been a rocker all my life and have played drums for more than half a century. It seemed fitting. I checked with Arizona Drag Boats, and my old boat number #244 from back in the 80s was still available. I had always done pretty well with that number, so I was happy to put that number back on it. And that’s the story of a reborn 1999 Placecraft tunnel that got a new life as Papa’s Rocker. #244 is alive and ready to rumble! S P E E D B O A T | May 2017

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THE

TODD Squad

photographer :

Daren Van Ryte

NWSRA Launches

AZ, Z, Z Its Season in Parker, AAZ as Champion Ski Racer Todd Haig Goes for the Gold.

T

he Bluewater Resort in Parker, AZ, was the place to be if you wanted to see some kick-ass water ski action. Veteran skier

Todd Haig was victorious in the National Water Ski Racing Association’s season kickoff in March, pulled by Nordic Boats owner Randy Davis in the #191 Nordic Racing machine. The Parker race—which starts at the Bluewater Resort and finishes there— featured two heats and one “mini” each on Saturday and Sunday. During the mini race, skiers raced a full 25 minutes plus a lap; whoever comes across first after the 25 minutes sets the lap. This year’s short marathon comprised a six-mile round-trip course and featured a variety of classes. Haig, in Open Men’s class, finished first in both of the heats he participated in. Davis also pulled Katelin Wendt (in the #192 Nordic raceboat) for the win in both of her heats in Open Women’s class. Meanwhile, Schiada Boats owner Lee Spindler pulled skier Lee Squire to the win in the mini race on both days in 61X class. Check out all of the exciting action on the pages that follow. Speedboat congratulates all of the winners!

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Right: Todd Haig, winner in Men’s Open Class. Below: Katelin Wendt, winner in Women’s Open Class. Both skiers were pulled by Randy Davis of Nordic Boats.

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The TODD squad

Above: Randy Davis pulls Todd Haig in the #191 Nordic Racing boat. Right: Randy’s son, Steve Davis, pulled Martie Wells to the #2 overall position (just behind dad) in his two weekend heats, but the team won their MF2 class. Steve did triple duty, also pulling both Erica Leonard in WF2 class and James Jenkins in Junior Boy’s class.

Above: Mike Avila pulled both Matthew Klee in Junior Boy’s class (far left) and Trevor Wendt in MF2 class (near left) behind his Geronimo machine in their respective classes. Avila also pulled Mary Maher in WF2 class.

Right: Lee Spindler, owner of Schiada Boats, took skier Lee Squier to the #1 overall position (as well as #1 in 61X class) during both Saturday’s and Sunday’s mini race. They were assisted by observer Charlie Ward.

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Above: Driver Craig Gregory was another racer who committed to triple duty by pulling skiers Amy Threlfall (pictured, in WT2 class) and Justin Legere (MF2) during the heat races, as well as skier Dave Chandler (51X) in the weekend’s mini races. He was assisted by observers Brian Vesely and Mark Clifton. Left: Driver Mark Durhan and observer Randy Jarrell pull skier Brady Hoggins in MF2 class. Below: Driver Wayne Murray and observer Ted Hoffman pull OPM skier Cameron King.

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The TODD squad

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Opposite page, top: Driver Todd Fennell pulls skier Brian Samaniego (26M class) in Saturday’s mini race, with observer Larry Gebhart. Fennell also skied both days, in 45M class. Now, that’s dedication! Above: In Jet class, driver Barry Obler pulled skier Billy Mason, with Gordon Brown observing. Bottom: Driver Rob Ettinger (in #777, near lane) pulls MF2 skier Tyler Murray, assisted by observer Mark Honsowertz.

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photographer: Mark

T

McLaughlin

he National Jet Boat Association (NJBA) got the

2017 season underway in style in March with the addition of two new classes added to the roster: Blown Gas Flat and Pro Comp Flat. Racing at Lake Ming in Bakersfield, CA, was graced with perfect weather and no incidents. The newly revived Blown Gas Flat class had a field of six boats for the first time in many years. Shane Westerfield took the #1 qualifying spot in Blown Smoke with a 6.17 elapsed time in a tight fought battle with all competitors. He won the class, while Jason Merritt was the runner-up in Good N Plenty 2. In Pro Eliminator (8:00 to 8.99 second bracket), Jayne Bradley not only qualified #1 with an 8.01 ET, she took home the Wally for her first win ever, and ran into the chilly waters of Lake Ming for the traditional dunking for first-time winners. Congratulations! Nick Pisciotta made it to the podium twice—with a first-place finish in the 10-second Mod Eliminator bracket, and as a runner-up finish in Super Eliminator. The beautifully painted blue and white jet named Another Royal Flush looks like it’s following in the footsteps of father’s boat when he ran. Check out all the unbridled action in the pages ahead!

PRO GAS HYDRO Josh Hayden, driving for Mark Peters in the Chump Change machine, ran a weekend best 6.79 seconds at 168 mph en route to the PGH championship.

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SEASON OPENER Jetboat racers kick off the 2017 season in Lake Ming. speedboat.com

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PRO COMP FLAT Owner/driver Jeff Martin took his Flat Nasty to the #1 spot while also running in Pro Gas Flat class, where he was runner-up. A great weekend for the Nasty team!

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The NJBA Right: David Poffenbarger shoes his Rambunctious yellow flatty to a close second place in the 8.00-second bracket. Below: Jayne Bradley not only qualified #1 with an 8.01 in the 8.00-second bracket, she took home the Wally for her first win ever. She’s pictured here with her crew and dog just before running into the chilly waters of Lake Ming for the traditional dunking for first-time winners.

Above: Nick Pisciotta made it to the podium twice, first with a #1 finish in the 10-second bracket, then a runnerup finish in Super Eliminator. His boat is Another Royal Flush, above right. Right: Lance Gilbert had an excellent Saturday with a #1 qualifying position in the 10-second bracket. His 10.05 didn’t quite get him to a trophy though, but there’s always next month... 76

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Top: The newly acquired Flat Broke machine for Don Hamer and driver Michael Torgerson proved to be a very good choice. In his first time out with the boat, Mike ended up runner up in the 6-second bracket class and also Pro Comp Flat. Middle: Dragonfly crossed the finish line first in the 6-second bracket class for first-time winner Juan Cortez Jr., who was quite happy to take his traditional plunge into the lake. Left: Kevin Cornelius qualified #1 in the 6-second bracket class with a blistering 6.00 elapsed time going into eliminations on Sunday. However, the quick field was too much for the Bad Moon Risin’ machine, and Kevin bowed out early Sunday. speedboat.com

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The NJBA

The newly revived Blown Gas Flat class had a field of 6 boats for the first time in many years. Shane Westerfield (left) took the #1 qualifying spot with a 6.17 elapsed time in a tightly fought battle with all competitors. The trophy presentation had a monster-size check (below, near left) for him winning the class, sponsored by Westerfield Motorsports.

Above middle: Unblown Fuel Jet winner and #1 qualifier Steve Penberthy ran his Just Another Toy past Willis Johns in his turbocharged Tsunami jet (above). Willis would runner-up. Penberthy and crew pose with their trophy (left).

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Scott Tillinghast had a dream weekend with his Aggravated Assault flat (above). His double-down wins in 9-second bracket and Super Eliminator classes got him so excited that he jumped in the lake (left) also. He didn’t have to from previous wins, but he got wet anyway. The team collects its trophy (right).

Ben Wurster in Pennywise (middle left) got the runner-up trophy in the 9 second bracket class. After getting his plaque, he presented the winner’s trophy to Scott.

Flat Confused owner/driver Joe Martin (below left) qualified number one in the 9-second bracket with his black and purple flatty, but could not muster a podium finish.

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The NJBA

PRO GAS JET Kjell Adams in Fluid Motion (right) ran uncontested in the PGJ category for the win.

PRO GAS FLAT The Blinger (left) had the right bling in two classes, with #1 qualifying passes in both Pro Gas Flat and Pro Comp Flat. Driver Tony Scarlata, shoeing for Ron and Joey Grose, ran a 6.94 in the Pro Gas Flat class for the win.

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ON THE DYNO Alexi Sahagian

[continued from page 12] before going outside of the network. We realize that this is not always possible. In your case, it seems like they tightened up the spring pack. When tightening up the spring pack to a factory 1.950 spec, it may have put your setup into a coil bind situation, which will wreck the springs one by one. Coil bind means when the valve is all of the way open, it is bound up and bottomed out. This clearance is a close science. It depends on the material of the spring, the usage, and whether

it would be susceptible to breaking. But mainly it is determined on the clearance at full valve lift. I would go back to your old setup or have a professional willing to dig into the job measure the max lift vs. the spring location and bind clearance prior to making any other changes. Sometimes when folks seek improvement, they do not realize the shop prior to them was doing this as well! Once you fix that binding issue, you should be back on the water.

I have broken a valve spring. They keep telling me they must have had a bad batch of springs, and I still break them. I decided to have another shop look at it. They said it looked OK, but it is clearly not. I decided to stop completely and seek a professional. It ran good for a few years prior. I was just being preventative and opened up a bag of worms! Please let me have your advice. Ben Jacobs Prescott, AZ What a bummer, Ben! I hate to hear these stories. Some shops don’t even try to properly resolve a problem. I guess it happens. The valve springs in your old setup worked for a long time. That says a lot. They must have been at least close to OK. Perhaps they were not installed to the manufacturer’s specs, although some builders manipulate these specs for a reason. At times you may install valve spring looser than, say, the normal 1.950 installed height to gain coil bind clearance. In those cases, a heavier-thannormal spring choice may be obtained to do the job. For the most part, it is always recommended to have the engine builder who set it up originally review it

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