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by Performance Boats Magazine

DRAMA in the DESERT Heroes and Heartbreak in Havasu


MAY/JUNE 2014 MAY 201 4 $5.99


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180.47 MPH Outerlimits SV43 sets the new world Kilo record with Mercury Racing 1650 engines

Vee bottoms: SV29 • SL36 • SL40 • SV43 • SL44 • SV50 • SL50 • SL52 • SV52 Cats: SC32 • SC40 • SC46 • SC50

Outerlimits Powerboats

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A day in the sun with the Girls of Speedboat is like nothing else on the planet. This month’s bevy of lovelies join a squadron of go-fast rockets on Irvine Lake.

24 DUEL IN THE DESERT High winds cause the usual headaches at Havasu’s Desert Storm, but April’s blowout continues to attract the heavy hitters. 4

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The pre-Desert Storm Street Fair has a unique vibe: by most accounts, exhibitors tend to get more action from potential customers than most of the actual boat shows they attend.

38 HAVASU BOAT SHOW The 23rd Annual Lake Havasu Boat Show featured 19 different muscleboat companies—as well as a host of high-performance accessory brands.

The Southern California Offshore Powerboat Elite is scoping out new members—and donating to an exceptionally worthy cause: Operation Gratitude.

46 RUMBLE IN RIGGINS Ross Schlotthauer, a last-minute entry, grabs the crown at the 30th Annual Salmon River Jet Boat Races in Riggins, ID.

52 NEW FIREPOWER FOR AN OLD ENGINE This 454ci BBC’s distributor is worn out, so we decided to upgrade it with a more powerful and feature-packed unit from Performance Distributors.

6/11/14 7:16 PM The Performance Boating Multimedia Entertainment Network To find your nearest location to purchase a copy of Performance Boats Magazine go to:

Published by DCO Enterprises, LLC Publishers Ray Lee

Chris Davidson

Editor Brett Bayne

Cover photo by Ray Lee

Senior Tech Editors Jim Wilkes Editorial: Performance Boats 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 Performance Boats will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes, and are subject to Performance Boats’ right to edit and comment editorially. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or part is expressly forbidden, except by written permission of the publisher. Postmaster: Send address changes to Performance Boats, 3620 N. Rancho Dr. #117, Las Vegas, NV 89130

Alexi Sahagian

Tech Editors Greg Shoemaker Jim Wilkes Valerie Collins National Sales Kerri Trapani Director Art Director Gail Hada-Insley

56 SNOW WONDER Doc Jannsen and Brian Forehand are taking the 2014 Super Boat season by storm with their Snowy Mountain Brewery Outerlimits.

BRETT’S COVE 62 ROGER THAT After cancer claimed the life of Roger Welch Sr., his magnificent Sanger restoration was completed by his son.

Helicopter Services Fred Young

Photographers Todd Taylor, Paul Kemiel Randy Nuzzo, Kenny Dunlop, Stu Jones, Jeff Girardi Operations Manager Michele Plummer


Webmaster Craig Lathrop

Web Design Element Media Design

66 NON-STOP Billy B of Krazy Kolors throws another party in Needles, and look who came to play.

70 TRUE BLOOD With a little help from his friends, Arkansas native Coby Burrows gives a new look to his Youngblood TX-19.

74 GONE WITH THE WIND The Lucas Oil dragboat series heads to Havasu, but despite some explosive qualifying runs, high winds cut the action short.

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Editorial Offices 9216 Bally Court Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 (909) 481-4444

PERFORMANCE BOATS (ISSN#1941-9473) is published 12 times a year, six print and six online issues, by DCO Enterprises LLC. SUBSCRIPTIONS Domestic: Print & digital combo, $35; print only, $30; 6 digital issues, $8. Canada: Print & digital combo, $55; print only, $50; 6 digital issues, $8. International: Print & digital combo, $60; print, $55; 6 digital only, $8. All prices are for one year and in U.S. funds. For subscription info: call (888) 577-BOAT (2628) PRINTED IN USA These rates represent Performance Boats standard subscription rate and should not be confused with any special rates or premiums otherwise advertised or offered.

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Giving Back

Let’s face it… As part of this boating community, we are a fortunate bunch. We are able to load up for the day (or weekend), roll down to our favorite waterway and enjoy the sun on our skin, the wind in our hair and the company onboard. It’s a pleasure that not everyone can experience and I, for one, feel blessed to be able to do so. It’s one thing to provide enjoyment for ourselves. That’s easy. It’s another to provide it to others. I’ve been awed at the kindness and generosity of our boating brethren and am inspired by all of the organizations that devote their time and passion into helping the less fortunate. The Desert Storm Poker Run & Shootout immediately comes to mind. Organizers Jim Nichols and title sponsor Bob Teague are always looking for ways to give back to the community. The Kruisin’ 4 Kids event (by New Horizons) 6

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takes place on the Wednesday before all of the chaos begins. This is an opportunity for special-needs boat fans to take a ride in some of the most powerful and beautiful vessels ever to float. Bob’s daughter, Cherilyn Noack, took on the unenviable task of organizing this year’s run and pulled it off without a hitch. This year, over 100 kids and adults alike were taken aboard nearly 20 different boats and were blasted up and down Lake Havasu, for a thrillride of a lifetime. Every boat that participated was brought out at the time and expense of their respective owners, all for the pleasure of complete strangers. Even Tyren Edwards, who was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and is confined to a wheelchair, traveled from the other side of the globe, to take advantage of such an opportunity (see story,

Page 35). By the time the weekend was over, the Desert Storm event had raised over $30,000 for the charity, all from the generosity of the folks that love boating. Over on the East Coast, Shore Dreams for Kids is another group supplying endless smiles and lasting memories to the special needs children of New Jersey and beyond. The NJPPBC (New Jersey Performance Power Boat Club) Board of Directors started the non-profit organization 12 years ago as the continuation of the Day on the Bay Foundation. Working with other organizations such as the Special Olympics, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Oceans of Love Support Group for Children with Cancer and A.R.C., their event has quadrupled since their initial effort. Each year, they have an event that brings out nearly 900 special-needs children and their families to enjoy a day of fun, food and frivolity. The community has embraced their event and has joined in to help. Local grocery store Shop-Rite donates all of the food for the day and is personally cooked and served by more than 200 volunteers. The event boasts a carnival-like atmosphere with rides and games and they commandeer the public docks to provide access to boat rides in the bay. With over 20 boats, ranging from high HP cats to mildly cruising pontoons, there is a ride for any child that wants one. Director Joe Nasso said, “Of all of the different groups I’ve worked with, I’ve found that the boaters are the most generous and charitable.” (Continues on pg. 82)

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alexisahagian V-Drive Transmissions Dear Alexi: I own a 21’ Schiada River Cruiser. It was originally equipped with a Velvet drive forward, neutral, reverse transmission. I recently bought a stock old GM Turbo 400 transmission to convert into it. I was wondering if you could give me some insight as to the best type of setup for this little boat. I have a supercharged 502 that I build in it with about 800 hp. Thanks! Stewart Rose Plano, TX


transmissions are set up Park Reverse 3-2-1. Once you purchase a good valve body, and then look at getting either a replacement planetary gear setup with heavy-duty clutches or installing good ones in the existing, depending on the vintage. For 800 hp, you can go either way. I always stress on the front pump. The trans pump that creates the pressure to operate these fairly intricate trannies is very important. Put a good new front pump in them and set the pressures properly on the bench prior to installation. These are the main parts we look at replacing and or upgrading. Of course, there are several others within, such as shafts, tail housings, deep oil pans, etc., that can be upgraded; however, the above mentioned are the core items to focus on. Hope this helps.

Points to Breakerless Dear Alexi: I have a pair of engines in an older Scarab vee bottom. It’s always has run well and is stock, however recently I stored it outdoors and went to start it and it seems to run rough. Both engines seem to have worsened the same. It has old points distributors in it and all the engine bay items look good. Someone told me a good idea would be to replace the distributors to a magnetic or electronic type. Your thoughts? James Sadler Bakersfield, CA The GM Turbo 400 trans is a good core choice and the most popular for the V-drive type boats that require a 2 or 3 forward speed transmission. We usually start with those cores as well. First of all, I would gut the case completely and chem wash all the parts. After you perform this cleaning process, I recommend a thorough inspection of the drum and all other components. We usually debur and polish the cases to have a close look for cracks and, of course, make it look awesome. You will need a reverse pattern valve body so that the linkage will go from Park and Reverse, then 1-2-3. Normally the auto 8

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Assuming your gas is good and all other items have been reviewed, I would for sure remove the point for this sole reason. No one seems to know how to deal with them anymore! If points are set up properly with the dwell and gaps, etc., they are very reliable. That being said, the best choice is to convert to like an MSD billet marine distributor or other brand that has a run-alone option. These distributors are usually very reliable and have an internal magnetic trigger to fire a module or an ignition amp box. They come in several configurations for standard and tall deck and various dis-

tributor caps. If you convert away from points, this system with an amplifier box will give more spark so you can run a bigger gap and will run well. We usually curve them per application. You want to make sure you do plug wires, coil and box to match so the system is balanced and compatible with the modern electronics. My only other suggestion is to find a shop that will actually change the points in your stock distributor properly.

Carb Fuel Lines Dear Alexi: I have a little Hondo flatbottom and I am looking to make up some fuel lines for my carburetors. I do not want to run those tiny little hard lines to my big horsepower engine. Also, I want to keep everything narrow and easy to inspect as I have zoomie straight exhaust. Can I have a few suggestions on how to set up the lines? William Stewart San Diego, CA I am assuming no hatch and an open engine bay! Usually the -6 or -8 size hard lines are sufficient for 90% of all applications. It is possible you are running e85 or methanol of some type and require more fuel flow. If so, we recommend a large fuel log distribution block, and then individual lines to each carb bowl. Try to keep the fuel log as close to the carbs as reasonable. Even if you have a -10 or -12 fuel line feeding the block with short -6 or -8 lines going to each bowl, it will flow more fuel than a standard limited -6 or -8 T fitting. Of course, you should do some math and calculate how many gallons per minute/hour you require to determine what size to go with, but if you just do a log with -8 feeds, it should be plenty.

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jimwilkes v-drivetech Cooling Query Dear Jim: I’m moving from jets to V-drives. I am building a 1978 Sanger ski hydro and wanted to know Magnaflow why most water pumps water pump by are cam driven. Besides Glenwood Marine. the obvious (water and electricity don’t mix well), is there a reason I don’t see electric water pumps being used? Kip Prescott San Bernadino, CA Most V-drive pleasure boats use either a cam-driven water pump or a belt-driven pump. These pumps supply more water volume than most electric-style water pumps. Drag racers sometimes use an electric water pump to circulate water before and after a run. Higher water temperatures aid in increasing oil temp for possible performance gains. On your 1978 Sanger Ski Hydro, I think you would be happy running a 1" cam-driven (Glenwood Marine) style water pump, because it will supply more than enough water to cool your engine and it is easy to plumb this kind of system. Best of luck on your project!

Cavitation Plate vs Trim Tabs Dear Jim: I have an older 23' Nordic V-drive Mini Daycruiser. It has cavitation plates on it now, but I would like to add a swim platform where the cavitation rod currently exists, and then install hydraulic trim tabs. What are the pros and cons of cavitation plates vs trim tabs? Skip Stevens Your older Nordic with a cavitation plate system is the better of the two systems. I understand you want to add a swim step, but the swim step brackets will interfere with the cav plate transom rod. This is a common problem with an easy solution. You just need to have custom stainless brackets made for your 10

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boat. We have made brackets with all kinds of supports, lengths and angles for many different boats. I think the cavitation plate system you have now is as good as it gets. The trimtab-style system has only one good feature over the standard V-drive cav system—namely, that you can trim each tab individually for better boat balance. I’ve rigged boats with two electric trim motors to run each plate as an individual unit, creating the same effect as the trim tab system, only having more cavitation plate surface area. Both have their advantages, but I still prefer the old-school cavitation plate system best.

Better Than Bondo? Dear Jim: What do you use to fill the cracks between the plates/strut and the bottom of the boat? Last time we did the bottom of our boat (about three seasons ago), we just used Bondo in the small gaps between the plates/strut and the hull. It worked pretty good on the bolts and fairly well on the plates, but chunked off around the strut pretty quickly. (It may have been due to the blown alcohol motor, and may not be as bad with our 9.0 combo.) Still, I’d be curious to know if there’s something better than Bondo. Jerry Haim Seattle, WA As you have discovered, Bondo is not the best choice for filler material. The reason? Bondo does not like water. Years ago, when Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR) build their Indy car bodies, I was lucky enough to spend time watching how they assembled the parts and pieces of the race car. They seemed to glue the dash rails in and the foot clips and never used resin and fiberglass. The product they used is called HY-Sol, which is made by Loctite. That’s not the same Loctite company that makes thread sealant—it’s a different company with the same name. We mixed this with a high-density filler, and it becomes harder than your fiberglass boat.

In any case, we tested the product at AAR and all our tests passed with flying colors. I gave some to a famous Super Stock boat owner to try because he was having the same problem as you. After a mishap, he needed to remove his strut. He tried to heat the strut base and after hours he cut the strut from the boat and had to grind the Hy-Sol from the strut. Famous told me it was harder than the fiberglass/carbon fiber his boat was made from. It’s the best product I have ever used on underwater gear and cav plate installation.

Seating Situation Dear Jim: Are you familiar with CP Performance’s classic bucket seats? They have them available on their website for $619, upholstered with your choice up to three colors. This seems to be a decent deal, but I’m here in northern Minnesota and have no way of getting my hands on any to see the quality of the construction/upholsery. From my brief research on bare shells and upholstery costs, it appears as though these may be a pretty good deal if they are decent quality. What’s your opinion? Phillip Meyer Grand Rapids, MN Virtually all of the parts from CP Performance are of exceptional quality and superior workmanship. If the price you listed in your question is for a pair of seats, that would seem to be a very reasonable price. The only thing I would look into is the seat inside width. I build a fiberglass seat that is made for a wide body like myself. The inside seat area has 2 inches of foam to hold my oh-so-large body firmly in the seat. Other than that, I think you would be good to go with CP Performance seats.

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industrynews Place Diverter Buys Heritage Mfg.

Place Diverter & Controls, the La Habra, CA-based corporation famous for having developed the original up-down adjustable nozzle, has purchased the assets of Heritage Manufacturing from owner Jack Keaton, Performance Boats has learned. Keaton, who built the Keaton line of ski boats beginning in the 1960s, founded Heritage with a group of engineers from Berkeley Jet Drives. “It was a cool start for the company, and I’ve built a great relationship with Keaton over the last few years, buying jet boat parts and rebuilding pumps,” said Tim Place of the family-owned Place Diverter. “After acting as one of his dealers and distributing his parts for many years, I hit him a up a couple years ago knowing this would be a good fit for us—his little machine shop

was basically a one-man operation.” Keaton traveled from his Sacramentobased shop to visit Place Diverter and agreed that Heritage and Place Diverter was a good fit. “Not as many people are buying Place Diverters, because jetboat sales aren’t what they used to be” Place admitted. “So it’s all aftermarket stuff that’s keeping us alive.” The acquisition will allow Place Diverter to add to its product line by adding all of the internal components of the jet drive: rotating assembly, shafts, impellers, bearings, and all of the rebuild parts for the Berkeley, Dominator and Legend jets. “It was a simple transaction,” Place said. “Everything is now in my shop, and now we’ll be manufacturer of his product line.” With Place Diverter smack in the middle of its busy season, Tim Place said it would take a bit of time to add the new products to his website. “It was kind of a bad time to make this transition, but Jack wanted out, and I wasn’t going to tell him to put it off,” he said. “So when things start to slow down, maybe by August, we’ll start to get more aggressive with the marketing side of it.”

Industry Mourns Lonnie Fluent

Lonnie Fluent, former general manager of Lake Havasu, AZ-based Nordic Boats and a genuine icon in the performance boating community, passed away on Tuesday. He was 64. Fluent’s professional career in the marine industry spans four decades, having worked in boat sales and racing boats competitively for many years. (Continues on page 60)

Outerlimits Smashes Vee Kilo Records Only Lonnie weeksFluent, after capturing former general the checkered manflag ager at of the LakeSuper Havasu, BoatAZ-based offshoreNordic race in Charlotte Boats andHarbor, a genuine FL, Brian icon in Forehand the per-of the formance Snowyboating Mountain community, Brewery passed offshore race away on team Tuesday. (whichHeincludes was 64. Michael “Doc” Fluent’s Jannsen) professional obliterated career a pair inofthe kilo speed marinerecords: industryUnlimited spans fourVee decades, Bottom and having SV Single. worked in boat sales and racingThe boats special competitively event, held for on many the Pamlico years. He River famously in Washington, worked for NC, Karl and sanctioned Koster, builder by of thetheAmerican Reinell line Power of Boat runabouts, Association and raced (APBA), circlegave boats world in champion the 1970s. He driver wasForehand also a driving the opporforce 12

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on the Catalina Ski Race circuit, at one tunity point to driving first rock a boat a Super that Vee pulled 43' his Outerlimits son, Aaron. at 180.47 mph, shattering During the previous his stint record at Nordic set by Boats, Reggie Fluent Fountain and andthen Ben Robertson company in owner 2004. Orville Forehand’s Sommerstedt Outerlimits built was molds powered for aby special twin Mercury 21-foot Nordic Racingwith 1650a sternlarge blower drive engines. motor to compete in ski racing. When After setting Nordicthat changed record, Forehand owners, Fluent drove and worked throttled with his Snowy Ray Jones Mountain at Long Brewery Beach 30' Outerlimits—powered Yacht Sales in Southern by a

single 525 EFI— to capture a new SV Single kilo speed record of 100.84 mph. The previous record of 89.672 mph was set by Steve Miklos in a 29' Extreme V-bottom powered by a 525-hp Vortec engine. For more on The Snowy Mountain Brewery team, see Page 56.

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Where there are fiercely interesting boats, there are equally interesting women. It’s a tried-and-true, ancient-as-a-woodenflatbottom axiom that holds true even in our pages. This is but a sampling of the visuals that await online at our new website,, where these quintessential beauties bring a special sparkle to our bandwidth (and quick thrills to our megabytes). A day in the sun with the Girls of Speedboat is like nothing else on the planet. This month’s bevy of lovelies were photographed on Irvine Lake, and the gals immediately took to the horsepower-engorged stallions we invited to take part in the shoot, from smaller lake rods to larger rigs like the 38’ Cigarette Top Gun. All of our swimsuit layouts salute the lines and exquisite craftsmanship of both kinds of models, and we’re convinced you’ll like what we have to offer.


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Our models—Sarah, Deanna, Rachel and Megan—frolic on the deck of a LaveyCraft 28' Evo. Powered by a 710 Ilmor engine, the boat was purchased by a customer in Germany and has since been shipped off to Deutschland. This model, which debuted in 2006, is one of two Evos built by Lavey, the other being a 39-footer.

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Ravishing Rachel admires this home-built crackerbox competitor owned by Becky Bogart of Trabuco Canyon.


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Sarah looks stunning on Paul Jenkin’s 1978 Canyon runner bottom. It’s got a 496 engine rebuilt by Heath Hiebert of Advanced Racing Engines. The boat was originally laid up by Wayne Mettler and flowed by Ralph Gore.

Deanna is delighted by John Buford’s 1978 20' Schiada twin turbo V-drive. Buford is from Orange, CA. 18

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myfairladies Megan sits atop Frank Folkes’ 1974 Rayson Craft 20GN hull, originally one of three built by Rudy Ramos as a jetboat. Folkes converted it to a V-drive with 454 pump gasser with turbo 400 transmission, single carb, Clay Smith cam, iron Eagle heads, 12-quart Dooley oil pan and Olson oil cooler and GM steel crankshaft.

Here’s ravishing Rachel aboard a 1982 19'6" Hallett SS owned by Scott Turner.


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Above: Megan and Deanna get cozy on Dave Bowles’ 1981 19' Eliminator Daytona, powered by a 496 BBC Mark 4. Below: All four of our lovely lasses admire a 2008 Cigarette 38' Top Gun owned by Dan and Lisa Ellis. It’s got twin 525s coupled to Imco SCX drives. The boat, a Lip-Ship edition, was originally displayed at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show.


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Above: Oh-so-sexy Sarah relaxes on Philip Kuderer’s equally alluring 1978 Mach One.

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High winds cause the usual headaches in Havasu, but April’s blowout continues to attract the heavy hitters. Photos by Ray

Lee, Jay Nichols and Kenny Dunlop

After more than 150 muscleboats took part in the 16th Annual Desert Storm Poker Run, held in Lake Havasu City, participants gave a resounding thumbs-up to a variety of wellconsidered changes and new features, boding well for the future of the long-running event. For one thing, producer Jim Nichols reconfigured Friday’s main event into a single run in the middle of the day with a more leisurely start, followed a concert featuring a couple of local country-rock cover bands. (High winds put the kibosh on a raft-up party that would have allowed spectators to view the show from the water.) Originally known as the Spring Heat Wave, this is the 10th 24

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Desert Storm run by Nichols. The event encompasses the poker run and Saturday Shootout, in which boats compete in a range of classes. The April Shootout was won by Gary Smith of Tuscon, AZ, whose 170-mph run earned him the King of the Desert award for besting the competition on the mile-long course—no small feat, given the high winds that have plagued the Shootout for the last five years. Smith ran his 40' Skater, Predator, a catamaran powered by two 1,700-hp engines built by Larry’s Engine and Marine. It was Smith’s first overall title at the Shootout, although he famously racked up a 180-mph top speed at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in 2011.

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B l Below: Gary G Smith S ith in i Predator, P d t his hi 40-foot 40 f t Skater, Sk t was clocked l k d att 170 mph, h making ki him this year’s King of the Desert. Above: Smith with Skater owner Peter Hledin and Kerri Trapani.

“The only thing that has made the Shootout possible in the last several years has been relocating it from Thompson Bay to a narrow channel between the island and California,” Nichols told Performance Boats. “That’s what has saved us.” If there was a downside to this year’s Desert Storm, it would be the sudden illness of producer/organizer Nichols, who was briefly hospitalized with a gastrointestinal issue during what is undeniably his busiest time of the year. Fortunately, he was on the road to recovery soon enough to attend the Shootout. However, after the event, Nichols made the surprising announcement that he was in early negotiations to sell Desert

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Storm to a group of unnamed investors, who could taken control of the event in 2015. As of press time, no deal was in place, but Nichols threw out hints that something might transpire soon. “At this point, the investors who are looking at possibly taking over are still in their investigative phase,” he said. “I would expect things to start happening in the next month or so. At this point, they’re trying to learn what Desert Storm is all about.” He added that he hoped to stay on in a consultant capacity, but said he looked forward to attending the event regardless of the outcome—as a participant, at the very least. Please visit for updates. SPEEDBOAT |

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Chris Winter of Yucaipa, CA, in Catalicious, a 27’ Eliminator Daytona.

Above: Nordic Powerboats owner Randy Davis and crew pilot this 43' Nordic Cat.


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Jim Nichols Jr. presents Ro Colledge with the Best Interior Award for the Colledgewood Skater (top).

Brad Macauley of Kelowna, B.C., Canada, took first place in C6P2 Class in the Shootout with his DCB M31 (below).

James Lucas in his Fountain 42’ Lightning. 28

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Brian Blount of Portland, OR, stops by the Pirate Cove pontoon boat in his Donzi 38 ZR, Still Thirsty.


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Some of the most visually breathtaking craft were MTIs. Top: David Marabella of Vista, CA, pilots his 40' MTI B Wacko. Above: Red Eye Express, a 40' MTI owned by Glenn Hatch of Yorba Linda, CA. Below: Big Bad Wolf, a 44' MTI owned by Bruce Bullock of Seabrook, TX.


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Above: River Dave’s Place pulled out all the stops for a huge afterparty. Below: Bob Russell’s 51' Outerlimits cat, Team Outlaw.


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Making a Boater’s Dream Come True Australian native Tyren Edwards, who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, had long dreamed of experiencing the thrill of Desert Storm and had saved up for three years to make the trip. “The logistics of a bloke in a wheelchair making such a long journey was a nightmare, but I didn’t care,” he says. “I just wanted to get there.” Edwards’ dream was finally realized this year, thanks in large part to the efforts of Cherilyn Noack of TCM, who organizes the Krusin’ for Kids charity event (which Edwards attended). “I met Bob Teague and Cherilyn’s husband Josh putting up the Teague banner, and said to my brother, ‘I gotta go say hello to Bob—this bloke is my idol!’ After saying, ‘G’day’ and shaking his hand, I turned to my brother and said, ‘Wow my trip is done—I’m a happy man.’ The next thing I knew, Bob stunned me by inviting me to go for a ride with him. I was pretty speechless. Not only did he take me for a 155-mph ride, but then he plonked me in the driver’s seat and said, ‘Right. Now it’s your turn!’ I was dumbfounded. I got to drive Bob’s boat. I can die now!” Edwards says his trip only continued to improve, taking rides in five more boats, including Brad Macaulay’s and Win

TCM’s Bob Teague chats with Edwards at the awards ceremony.

Farnsworth’s DCBs. “We went all the way down the lake and back and then through the Channel,” Edwards says. “ I had never seen a sight like this before, and Win taught me a new word—pasties!” he laughs. “That’s my new favorite word.” Over the next couple of days, he met other high-performance hotshots, among them Dave Hemmingson and Rob Blair of DCB fame. “We sat at the Blair table during the awards dinner,” he says. “During the shootout awards, Brad Macaulay won First in Class, then walked up to me and said, ‘Here, you take this back with you.’ To say the least, I was gobsmaked. I don’t think I’ve hugged a man that hard before. Then, to top it all off, when the Shot Ski was raffled off, to my bloody amazement, Rob Blair, Brad Macaulay and Win Farnsworth all put in the highest bid together—an amazing $20,000—on the proviso that I take it back to Australia. “At that point, I shed a tear, and it wasn’t the onions,” he grins. “It was a great trip—the best thing I’ve ever done, apart from the birth of my two lovely daughters. And it turns out that the boats weren’t the best things there. It was the people and their love and generosity that made this trip, and they gave me a new and improved outlook on life. I thank you, my friends!”

The infamous ‘Shot Ski’ is auctioned off—and donated to Edwards.

Far left: Edwards’ ride is Purple Haze, a Camero Legend ski boat designed and built in his native Australia. It’s powered by a 350 Chevy with “400 measly ponies,” he laughs, “but I love driving it so much.” Near left: Edwards with his two daughters, Isla and Keely.

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Photos by Kenny

The Street Fair in Havasu has a unique vibe: by most accounts, exhibitors tend to get more action from potential customers than most of the actual boat shows they attend. It’s also the perfect way for East Coast builders like Mike Fiore from Outerlimits and Peter Hledin from Skater to reach out to West Coast boaters. Attendees are afforded a closeup view of unimaginable bling.


The 1987 Watercraft Sports King ‘Boater Home,’ a unique, detachable craft.

Megalift’s fully adjustable lift: perfect for moving heavy drives.

Boat fenders and other custom parts were proudly displayed by Wes Nielsen at Fenders N More. Henry Motors’ 44SL Outerlimits, powered by Mercury Racing 1350 turbos.


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Hardware and accessories giant CP Performance displayed its wide range of products.

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The team at Performancce Boats, led by Ray Lee, sold subscriptions and conducted interviews.

Boostpower displayed its popular 725 hp EFI engine (left) and race twin-turbo EFI drive-by-wire (above).

Nordic’s outboard-powered 28' SS Coupe, powered by twin Mercury 300XS outboards.

Bio-Kleen displayed its biodegradable cleaning products, as well as its 35' Cigarette Café Racer.

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Photos by Ray

Sponsored by Teague Custom Marine and Prolong Super Lubricants, the 23rd Annual Lake Havasu Boat Show—not technically part of Desert Storm, but shrewdly timed—featured 19 different high-performance boat brands, including Advantage, Caliber 1, Cheetah, Connolly, Conquest, DCB, Domn8er, Hallett, Howard, MTI, Nordic, Outerlimits, Schiada, Shockwave, Skater, and Ultra. During the three-day boat show, just under 10,000 people went through the gates including paid show attendees, exhibitors and special event participants. There was something there for every price range from $5,000 to $500,000, and every style of boating.


The newest Miss Geico, a 44' Victory, sported an all-new paint job. This gorgeous M29 from Dave’s Custom Boats was finished just in time for the show.

Above: the stunning girls of Pirate Cove Resort, the secluded California oasis located at Moabi Regional Park, promoted the facility at their booth. Below: Howard’s 28 SCS with Teague 1000 with a supercharger from Whipple Industries (below right).


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Whipple Industries’ supercharged 525 EFI Mercury Racing engine.

The family-owned Place Diverter displayed its world-famous nozzles. Dori Sarafin of Domn8er displayed his deckboat powered with a diesel engine and IMCO drive.

Max Machine Worx displayed its drives with a variety of prop styles.

This Nordic 28' Heat was sold shortly after the show.

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Shockwave’s 22' Deck Boat offers seating for 10.

Above: Hallett Boats’ completely restyled 285 Party Cruiser features an 8-foot-6-inch beam. Left: Some of the wild hardware from Teague Custom Marine, as well as TCM’s 825 EFI precision-built performance engine package, which runs on 91 octane fuel (bottom left).

Mercury Racing’s 540-c.i. V8 engine features a CNC cast iron cylinder block and 8.6-liter multiport fuel injection.


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Mission Viejo, CA-based securities broker Bryan Hakola likes to joke that he’s the first president of a boat club who is essentially boatless. The current head of SCOPE (the Southern California Offshore Powerboat Elite), Hakola has always been passionate about boats: as a younger man, he seriously considered purchasing an Eliminator before opting for one of the original Yamaha WaveRunner PWC. But his first actual muscleboat was a 35-foot Fountain. “I decided that when it came time to buy a boat, you either go big or go home,” he says. “I realize that 42 S P E E D B O A T | May/June 2014

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there are bigger and more expensive boats, but for me, that was pretty big,” he grins. Regrettably, hard economic times forced him to sell it, but don’t feel too sorry for him—as the head of SCOPE, a fiercely tight-knit group, he has his choice of rigs to hitch a ride on. And it would never have happened if not for a quick trip to the local grocery store, when a fellow customer at the deli department noticed his Fountain baseball cap and asked him if he’d ever heard of SCOPE. “I had to admit that I didn’t, so I when I got home, I looked it up,” he says.

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Story by Brett

Bayne • Photography by Ray Lee


The Southern California Offshore Powerboat Elite is scoping out new members—and donating to an exceptionally worthy cause.

Fred Inman Jr. in his colossal Nordic.

“Then I joined, got involved and started to donate my time, because I really enjoy it.” SCOPE is currently ramping up efforts to increase membership in time for its next big poker run, to take place in San Diego. The run is significant because it will offer (among other things) the flexibility of choosing from two different courses: a long one for offshore boats, and a shorter course for smaller boats that opt for calmer waters inside the bay. The decision to offer the calmer, shorter course is part of SCOPE’s efforts to lure new members who don’t necessarily own huge offshore

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muscleboats. “People think that SCOPE is a club with just big offshore boats,” Hakola says, “but we go to the lake and to the river. We want all shapes and sizes—we want to increase membership and get more people to come out and enjoy the fun. We want the lake and river boaters to come to the bay and do the poker run.” SCOPE’s most recent event was a collaborative effort with PTTOW (Plan to Take on the World), an invitation-only network of marketers who gather for regular inspirational summits. “PTTOW brings together the dynamic of leaders and S P E E D B O A T | May/June 2014


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Among the SCOPE members who gave PTTOW marketers a thrill ride: Ed Herbst in his 40' Hallett (top), Bill Steiner in his Cigarette Top Gun (second from top), Scott Struthers in his quadruple-outboard Hydra-Sport (above) and Art Kaiser in Impaction, his 40' Schiada.


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innovators who influence our culture,” explains group representative Chelsey Brei. “They do so many game-changing projects, so we try to bring them together and do something fun and inspiring.” So in exchange for making a donation to Operation Gratitude, a charity that sends care packages to the men and women of the U.S. military, members of PTTOW were given the ride of their lives on boats owned by SCOPE members. “We wanted to provide a memorable and lifelong experience, and going 100-mph down the coast was exhilarating and really incredible,” Brei adds. Among the SCOPE members donating their boats to the effort: Art Kaiser (owner of a 40' Schiada), Bill Steiner (Cigarette 38' Top Gun), Ed Herbst (40' Hallett) and Scott Struthers (quadrupleoutboard center-console). For more information about SCOPE, please visit

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The SCOPE board of directors. From left: John Grooms, John Glover, Tom Whittam, Dave Davis, Chris Grayson, Bill Steiner (kneeling), Jim Dunphy, Norton Alderson, Bryan Hakola and Wayne Lee.

SCOPE’s Hearty Party To celebrate the opening of the 2014 boating season, members of SCOPE assembled at Pfaff Engines/BACA Marine for a kickoff party royale. In attendance were members of PTTOW, as well as Carolyn Blashek, the brainchild behind the Operation Gratitude charity. “It’s the best kickoff party we’ve ever had,” says club president Bryan Hakola. “We had outstanding attendance, and new members signed up—we got a lot of positive feedback from everybody. Excitement is really back for the club. Plus, we had a great live band. BACA and Pfaff stepped up and provided us with a great venue, and helped sponsor the event as well.”

Above: Partygoers enjoy the food at Baca Marine. Center right: Bill Steiner Carolyn Blashek Operation Gratitude the i iintroduces t d C l Bl h k off O ti G tit d tto th crowd. Above right: SCOPE raised money by holding a special dyno raffle: attendees were given the engine specs (i.e., boost and cubic inches); for $20, they guess how many horses the engine has. The club gets half the proceeds; the winner gets the other half.

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Driver Ryan Hudson and Navigator Nick George brave the Salmon River’s notoriously rough waters in their FX12 boat. They came in second in FX class and were 12th overall.


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Story by Norm

Klobetanz • Photos by Frank Mignerey

RIGGINS RUMBLE Ross Schlotthauer Snatches the Salmon River Crown A last-minute entry, Ross Schlotthauer of Spokane, WA, raced his Unlimited U377 boat to the lead in leg one—and proceeded to win every leg, all 10—to be crowned the overall winner in the 30th Annual Salmon River Jet Boat Races. Riggins race committee chairperson Kim Friend revealed to the crowd at the awards ceremony that Schlotthauer took “a huge risk” coming to this race in reference to the chances of wrecking his boat on the sport’s most difficult river. The reason: Schlotthauer was scheduled to leave the following Wednesday for Mexico to compete in this year’s week-long World Championship jet boat race. (He wound up taking second place overall.) Sunday’s four legs—with no red flags to stop the racers— were uneventful compared to several wrecks on Saturday that delayed the race and highlighted the difficulty of the Salmon River, which had higher flows than usual for the race. Even though Schlotthauer won every leg, at the awards ceremony Gary Labrum, the race director, pointed out that nine boats this year finished every leg, making the race very competitive. At these flows, he said, 75 tons of water passes by every second, making the river especially powerful and contributing to the difficulty of the race course. Finishing second overall and first place in “A” Class was Ryan Rogers of Clarkston, WA, in his new A285 race boat. Rogers had the second fastest time for every leg and finished with a total time of 54 minutes and 2 seconds. (Schlotthauer’s winning time was 50:53.) Rogers comes from a long tradition of jet boat racing in that his father was very active in the sport’s heyday in the Pacific Northwest. It was pointed out that his efforts have been a big contributor for the recent resurgence of American drivers, races, and the number of American boats competing. Canada, in Alberta and British Columbia, has emerged as the hot bed of whitewater marathon jet boat racing in North America. Approximately one third of the racers in this year’s race were from Canada.

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A Class competitors Jake Barney and Adam Steffes, both of Lewiston, ID, were third in their class and eighth overall.

#U377 Burley, with driver Ross Schlotthauer and navigator Chad Yackel, were first in their class and the overall chapions with a time of 50:53.


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Ryan Rogers (D) and Larry Keatts (N) were first in A Class and second overall.

In third place overall, and first in CX Class, was Gary Peters of Lewiston, ID, driving boat CX206 in a very impressive and challenging time of 56:54. In fourth place overall and second in CX Class was Trevor Yochum from Clarkston, WA, in boat CX 225. When receiving his awards Yochum, told the crowd that he was just happy to have his boat on the trailer in the parking lot. He sank his boat last year in a dramatic wreck at Time Zone Rapids. Riggins racer Duane Carmont in boat U321fought mechanical problems, but took second place in the Unlimited Class. Keith Kendal in boat A203 took second in A Class and fifth overall. Locally very popular, Shay White with his brother, Grady, from Boise, Idaho won the FXV/FX Class in boat FXV51. Race Director Labrum pointed out that in three years competing in the Salmon River Race, the White brothers have started and completed every single leg—an impressive statistic. Trophies, certificates, and money were awarded to the drivers that included $15,000 in prize money and $3,000 in leg money. Race Safety Director Janeen Eggerbrecht awarded Jeremy Hand, who drove boat CX277, the OMG prize for becoming a “rock star.” Hand lost control in Time Zone Rapids on an up-leg Saturday and ran into the rocks on the bank almost in the same spot last year where a race boat wrecked and sunk. Hand’s boat was later re-floated and he continued to race. (OMG, of course, stands for “Oh My God.”) In accepting the Idaho Cup trophy for his overall victory, Schlotthauer thanked everyone and said the river was a top-notch course. He started his racing career here in 2010, and it was appropriate that his first overall victory in the sport was this race. He said the river is real challenging and he almost feels the least safe on it compared to others, but that the safety crews and people in support on this river are so effective that he ultimately

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feels the safest. With a twinkle in his eye, he said that actually Kim Friend tricked him in to coming at the last minute. He was concerned about the high water flow, and she said it was no problem and would be running about 10,000 CFS. (As he spoke, the river was almost at 19,000 CFS.)

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Trevor Yochum of Clarkston, WA (driver) and Chris Yochum of Lewiston, ID (navigator) were second in CX Class and fourth overall with their time of 58:45. This is a new boat for the team after their boat sank last year in the Time Zone Rapid. It was never recovered.

Driver Rick Serhan and navigator Mitchell Krzysztan, both of Peace River, Alberta, Canada, were fourth in CX Class and seventh overall. 50

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By Mike Finnegan

This 454ci BBC’s distributor is worn out, so we’re going to upgrade it with a more powerful and feature-packed unit from Performance Distributors.

NEW FIREPOWER for an Old Engine


This vee-bottom cruiser underwent a full restoration and while the hull and interior garnered the full attention of its owner, the bigblock Chevy between the stringers did not. By the time a full rewire was performed and it was time to fire up the engine, it had sat for several years without proper rust-prevention methods employed. The original High Energy Ignition (HEI) distributor was wore out to begin with and the rust from exposure to the elements sealed the deal—it was time for more firepower. Performance Distributors offers the Davis Unified Ignition (D.U.I) line of HEI distributors for Chevy, Ford, AMC, Chrysler/Dodge, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Buick, Cadillac and Toyota engines. The beauty of the HEI distributor lies in its simplicity; the coil and ignition module are built into the cap of the distributor, making installation quick and easy. Also, there’s no external ignition box to mount and only two wires to connect. 52

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She looks ready to run but the truth is the cam, cylinder bores and distributor shaft all have rust on them for years of neglect. Once the distributor is replaced we’ll have to address the other problems.

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The original distributor contains a vacuum advance mechanism that wasn’t functioning properly. Our new distributor features a centrifugal advance mechanism.

Unlike the original oil-filled coil the DUI coil is designed to run cool and the plug wire terminals are spaced further apart on the DUI cap than the stock cap to prevent cross-firing.

Every distributor is test-fired on a machine and the advance mechanism is calibrated before it’s shipped to the customer. You can see the initials of the guy responsible for ours.

The external timing knob re-clocks the reluctor in relation to the wheel whenever fine-tuning of the advance mechanism is needed. Simply twist the knob and you’ve got up to six-degrees of tenability at your fingertips.

The new part is larger than the old distributor and has a billet shaft instead of a cast part.

Although a bronze gear is an option for use with steel cam cores, we stuck with the stock-style cast-iron piece for our factory cam.

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mikefinnegan With the distributor out it’s a perfect time to prime the oiling system of the engine to pre-lube the bearings, lifters, pushrods and rocker arms. This tool from Proform slips into a power drill and drops right down into the oil pump drive rod.

The end of the tool indexes into the drive rod and when the drill spins it turns the oil pump, pumping oil throughout the engine without having to fire it.

The cap drops into the distributor hole and prevents the drill and tool from walking around during use. Time to drop in the new distributor. We cranked the engine over until the No.1 cylinder was on the compression stroke (both valves closed) and indexed the oil pump drive rod so that when the distributor dropped in place the rotor pointed toward the No. 1 cylinder.

A plastic washer and gasket were needed to set the proper mesh between the cam and distributor gears when the distributor was securely clamped in place.

D.U.I distributors for GM engines retail for $369.00 and are reportedly capable of firing up to 10,000 rpm and allow for spark plug gaps up to 0.055-inch wide due to the extra long dwell time afforded by the upgraded ignition module and high-output coil. We opted for the external timing control knob option, which bumped the price of our distributor to $449.00, and allowed us to fine-tune the ignition timing advance up to six degrees without using any tools. We also added a set of low-resistance, 8mm Livewires plug wires for an additional $119.00. Here’s a look inside the installation of these great products. 54

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Next, we installed the distributor cap and plugged the tach signal wire and battery power wire into the terminals.

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Our new set of Livewires came with aluminum wire separators and dielectric grease to keep moisture out of the boots.

A generous helping of grease was applied to each boot before they were installed onto a new set of plugs and the distributor terminals.

A t-handle Allen tool made quick work of installing the wire separators.

That’s all there is to it. She’s ready to rip.

Sources Performance Distributors 2699 Barris Drive Memphis, TN 38132 (901) 396-5782

We set our base timing at 20 degrees and full advance yielded 36 degrees of total timing. Any further adjustments can now be made via the external knob.

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Photos by Todd Taylor




taking e r a d n a Foreh n a i r B d an storm. n y e b s n n o n s a Doc J at sea o B r e p u S the 2014 56

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Any way you slice it, 2014 is turning into a pretty great year for Michael “Doc” Jannsen and Brian Forehand. In addition to setting a new vee-bottom kilo record in North Carolina with their SV-29 Outerlimits on April 29 (see story, Page 12), the pair hit it big at the inaugural Super Boat International race in Charlotte Harbor, FL, taking first place in Superboat Vee class with the Snowy Mountain Brewery Outerlimits on April 13. “The race had a great turnout,” Jannsen told Performance Boats. “We did very well—we’ve taken two world championships and set a kilo record in a year and a half since we produced that boat.” Jannsen originally partnered with Forehand after building the Saratoga Stampede competitor in 2009 when Forehand was manager of the Fountain Boats factory. After Fountain closed down, the two continued to design and build boats with Outerlimits. After successfully campaigning Saratoga Stampede in Extreme class, Jannsen says he realized that the future of boat racing would be in classes that featured “a lot more boats in a specific class rather than just keep running Unlimited, where people are rewarded by simply spending the most amount of money,” he says. “Eventually that class dropped out and doesn’t exist anymore. In 2010, we built the first Fountain Super Vee Light, ran it for two years, won a world championship, and then partnered with Outerlimits to do the same thing in the carbon fiber boat. We learned a lot—how to design it, how to set up the center of gravity, how to work on the bottom, and really take advantage of what we think is the best technology. And with the world championships and the kilo record, we’ve been very blessed.”

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6/11/14 7:52 PM

New Products Flanged O2 Sensor Ring

High-Flow Electric Water Pumps PRW Industries, a leading manufacturer of high-performance engine components, has launched a special rebate program with a special incentive for boaters. Keep your engine running cool on a budget with PQx High Flow Electric Racing Water Pumps. Under PRW’s PQx (Performance Quotient) brand, these electric water pumps were designed to alleviate the power drag produced by conventional pulley drive units. A heavy duty electric motor, turning at approximately 1,500 rpm, is more than adequate to fulfill cooling needs without draining horsepower from the engine. The unit can be wired to operate manually, even with the engine off. The motor life has been tested to 2,750 hours of continuous operation at 176°F insuring a long service life. The kit is complete with gaskets, billet aluminum inlet fitting, mounting hardware, pigtail connector, and timing cover block-off plate (Ford applications). At only 7 pounds each, the High Flow Electric Water Pumps are lightweight, made of die-cast aluminum and are suitable for street or strip racing. They are free flow rated at 35 gallons per minute and draw only 6-7 amps. PQx High Flow Electric Water Pumps are available for both Chevrolet and Ford applications. Inlet hose sizes are readily available in various diameters and lengths to easily adapt to most any application. Regardless of the application, PRW builds quality into every component for lasting durability. Through the end of June, consumers who purchase PQx High Flow Electric Water Pumps from an authorized distributor are eligible for a mail-in $15 Visa gift card. For more information, contact PRW at (855) 899-6381 or visit 58

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Costa Mesa, CA-based Burns Stainless has designed an O2 sensor ring that provides maximum support to the O2 sensor and tubing. The new flanged design distributes the load of the sensor and wire harness over a larger area, minimizing cracking and breakage. With a conventional O2 sensor ring, i metall fatigue f i occurs, especially with thin wall tubing. The fatiguing leads to cracks and eventually to complete failure. This new O2 ring is said to greatly reduce the issue, welds easily, and is made with full-CNC 304 Stainless Steel. Currently, the company offers these flanged O2 rings for two sizes of tubing: 2" for header primaries and 3" for tailpipes. These rings are used extensively in NASCAR, NHRA, ALMS and other professional race series. Without modification to the flanges, the rings will fit approximately 0.25" larger or smaller diameter tubing and will secure an 18mm sensor. For more information, call (949) 631-5120, or visit

New Sunsation 29CCX Building on the popularity of its original Center Cabin Xtreme series, Sunsation Powerboats is releasing the 29CCX with twin Merc 300 outboards, making it one of the fastest center consoles in its class. The 29CCX provides the speed and handling of a high performance vee-bottom while offering the versatility and comforts of a luxury center console. Base model will be powered by 150-hp four-stroke Mercs with optional power upgrades available up to twin 300 Verados. Standard features include twin heavy duty marine batteries, dual bilge pumps, trim tabs, six low-profile pop up cleats, deck rails, stainless steel rub rails and McLeod interior, head and Fusion stereo with Polk speakers. For more information about the the new 29CCX, contact or call (810) 794-4888.

6/12/14 2:12 PM

Fuel System Treatment Premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple of Porter, TX, has introduced a new six-ounce size for its MaxClean fuel system treatment, a highperformance synthetic cleaner designed to restore lost fuel economy, maximize horsepower, help maximize fuel system performance and prevent harmful deposits and buildup. Previously only available in 20-ounce containers, the new six-ounce bottle of Max-Clean is a cost-effective option for boat owners who are serious about keeping their engines clean—along with the added benefits of Max-Clean’s fuel stabilization, reduced emissions and increased horsepower. One six-ounce application treats up to 20 gallons of fuel and can be used with every tank of fuel for maximum performance, or at every 3,000 miles to keep engines clean. The new, six-ounce MaxClean is also ideal for total fuel system cleanup in small equipment and motorsports applications, for which it can be used at a more concentrated dose of one ounce per gallon. Max-Clean is formulated with state-of-the-art detergents to deeply penetrate and clean injectors, carburetors, intake valves and combustion chamber surfaces. Regular use of Max-Clean will: • Restore lost fuel economy • Maximize horsepower • Prevent harmful deposits and buildup • Reduce emissions • Stabilize fuel during storage. Royal Purple Max-Clean is both EPA and CARB compliant and is safe for use in all 2- and 4-cycle gasoline and diesel engines. It is compatible with ethanol blended fuels and will not harm vehicle emissions equipment. For more information, point your browser to

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6/11/14 8:11 PM

industrynews Lonnie Fluent

(Cont. from pg 12) SALES & SERVICE MerCruiser, Volvo, OMC Stern Drives

(714) 540-8908

V-DRIVE SPECIALIST COMPLETE BOAT RESTORATION Wood Decks, Paint, New Installations In-house Machine & Welding Distributor For PHENIX AN/SS Plumbing & LUCAS Marine & Racing Products

601 E. Alton Ave. • Santa Ana, CA 92705 •

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He famously worked for Karl Koster, builder of the Reinell line of runabouts, and raced circle boats in the 1970s. He was also a driving force on the Catalina Ski Race circuit, at one point driving a boat that pulled his son, Aaron. During his stint at Nordic Boats, Fluent and then company owner Orville Sommerstedt built molds for a special 21-foot Nordic with a large blower motor to compete in ski racing. When Nordic changed owners, Fluent worked with Ray Jones at Long Beach Yacht Sales in Southern California and helped son Aaron launch Absolute Speed & Marine in Lake Havasu. In recent years, he worked for Magic Powerboats and also sold boats for his friend of 30+ years, Bill Draper, at The Boat Brokers & RV in Lake Havasu, where Fluent had worked back in the 1990s. “All of the boatbuilders knew him,” Draper said. “He didn’t know a stranger, and he was loved by everybody.” Fluent, affectionately described as “a gentle giant” by his friends, had recently finished restoring a 1982 Sanger V-Drive 20 Mini Cruiser. “It was in a fire in Northern California and a total disaster,” Fluent told Performance Boats in 2013. “I worked on it for almost three years, and put in two shows and won them both. Everybody goes crazy when they see it.” On May 17, Fluent told friends and family members that he was entering a hospital in Las Vegas for triple bypass surgery the next day, because “I’m 90% clogged up,” he said. The procedure turned out to be a quintuple bypass; although the surgery was reported to be a success, Fluent died several days later. The outpouring of affection on Fluent’s Facebook page from friends and business associates across the country speaks volumes about how beloved this industry veteran was, and the staff of Performance Boats offers its condolences to his family. Grand Prix. PB

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Wicked Resto!

SANGER Billy B’s Needles

Speed Blowout

TRUE BLOOD Arkansas TX-19 Transormation

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THAT! After cancer claimed the life of Roger Welch Sr., his magnificent Sanger restoration was completed by his son. Photos by Ray



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The Sanger’s 565 Merlin has a Blower Shop 1471 blower.

In 2008, Roger Welch Sr. took possession of a 1979 Sanger picklefork ski hydro— and promptly trashed everything except for the hull and the steering wheel. Four years and $100K later, the boat (originally solid orange with stickers) sports a wicked Billy B paint job and racks up awards and prizes at virtually every show it attends. It’s a bittersweet story, because cancer claimed Welch Sr. about three-quarters of the way into the restoration, which was completed by his son, Roger Welch Jr. of Alta Loma, CA. The father-son team had previous restored a 1980 17'10" Cole TR-2. “We waterskied with it until 2005, at which point he didn’t want it anymore, so I bought it from him,” says his son. “He 64

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enjoyed doing the work so much that we started restoring the Sanger together.” Previously owned by Mike Abbott— Sangster on the PB forums—the ski hydro has experienced a truly impressive transformation that has been massaged by high-performance wizards such as the late Ron Braaksma and legendary rigger Bill Diaz of Ace of Spades Racing. All fiberglass and flooring work was performed by Pat’s Fiberglass of Upland, CA (909-946-3089); Braaksma fabricated all of the hardware, including steering and props (the last boat he worked on before he passed away in August 2011, according to Welch). The 565 Merlin was built by Paul Fitzgerald of Southern Thunder Marine in North Carolina (704-902-7229);

it features a 1471 Blower Shop blower with birdcage injection and runs on alcohol. The Casale V-drive spins a two-blade prop made by Braaksma, while exhaust is managed by Bassett zoomie headers. Meanwhile, upholstery was created by Mark Lopez of Elegance Auto Interiors of Upland (909-981-6363), which also wrapped the rechromed steering wheel in leather, and the dash is adorned by Autometer gauges. The boat sits on a Competitive trailer, purchased new in 2009. “At almost every show we take it to, we put it in the water and do a couple of easy passes in it,” Welch says, adding that it hasn’t been run at WOT. “But Bill Diaz said it should do about 165 mph.”

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NON-STOP Billy B of Krazy Kolors throws another party in Needles, and look who came to play.

Photos by Tom


The Route 66 Hot Boat and Custom Car Show recently entertained showgoers for the sixth year running in Needles, CA. The weeklong event, which encompasses a golf tournament, barbecue, raffles, a parade down historic Route 66 and a massive showand-shine, is organized by famed boat painter Billy B of Krazy Kolors. The gathering included hundreds of custom boats and classic cars at Jack Smith Park; a golf tournament, sponsored by Big O Tires and NAPA Auto Parts, was held at the River’s Edge Golf Course in Needles. As always, special thanks to the Needles Chamber of Commerce, as always, for continuing to make this event an enormous success!


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Bill Duke airs out his Hard Times Super Stock competitor.

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Dirk Olsen’s Canyon #787 boat was previously owned by Bill Duke.

Left and above: Scotty Smith’s immaculate Schiada.


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Ed Carpinelli of Arcadia, CA, drives the last “Gold Emblem Boat” custom built by Brummett (finished in 1970 after Lou’s passing).

Wayne Herbert shoes Jerry Griffin’s K-32.

Charles Rolle in his K-55 Biesemeyer.


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The 1978 Youngblood TX-19 you’re looking at is a far cry from how it appeared a scant six years ago, when Arkansas native Coby Burrows acquired it. “It was pretty much of a basket case,” he recalls. “The stringers were bad, the bulkhead was bad, and the small-block Chevrolet wasn’t any good. The pump was pretty tired as well. It was just rough.” The hull was white, with yellow, red and blue stripes running down the sides. “They looked like hockey sticks,” Burrows says. “And the deck had the same kind of hockey stick graphics on it.” 70

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So Burrows got down to brass tacks, stripping the boat bare and prepping it for a full-scale restoration. His pal Scott Seastrom of Scott’s Marine and Welding in Hot Springs, AK (501-624-0137) fabricated the stringers and bulkhead, and performed fiberglass work. After the stringers were replaced, Burrows flipped the boat over in his shop and had stripped all of the previous coats of paint down to the original gelcoat. The new paint scheme is a copy of a Taylor boat Burrow had seen. “I added more color and made it a little

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Photos by Brett

Bayne and Alesha Helms

With a little help from his friends, Arkansas native Coby Burrows gives a new look to his Youngblood TX-19.

bolder than their pattern and to make it look a bit different,” he says. After the bottom was repainted, the boat was flipped over again, put on the trailer, and the top of the boat got the same treatment. Burrows did all the prep work; the actual painting was courtesy of Action Automotive, Magnolia, AK (870) 2344699). The intake was reset and Burrows built a new pump. The initial engine, a 496, came from another boat; Burrows used it for a year and then set about building a 555 for it. He performed

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all of the rigging himself, as well as the wiring and plumbing work. He ultimately upgraded to steel tanks, installed a nitrous system and even bought a new trailer. “The 555 was a pretty stout motor,” he admits. More recent work has included new upholstery from Seastrom and the addition of a new scoop (performed after our photo shoot). “The project has been the joint effort between a bunch of people, but I did a lot of the work myself,” he says. “The boat goes little over 100 mph. It looks good and ride and runs good. I’m tickled by the performance.” S P E E D B O A T | May/June 2014


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Above left: the boat is flipped over and all of the previous layers of paint were stripped away. Above: Burrows got a new scoop from a friend who had a dragster; he repainted it to match the color scheme of the boat. Left: the new scoop sits atop the 555 engine, which makes a total 825 hp on nitrous. Below: a look at the Youngblood’s dash. Bottom: Burrows enjoys making passes on Broken Bow Lake on holidays and special outings.

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Photos by Mark


Racers in Havasu got to qualify, but their dreams of perfect weather were totally blown away. Spectators at the Ken Smith Memorial Lucas Oil Drag Boat race could be forgiven for experiencing a feeling of springtime déjà vu: For the second time in a row, high winds put the kibosh on dragboat competition in Lake Havasu. Last October, the weather cooperated 74

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long enough on Friday and Saturday for qualifying runs during the Thunder on the River race, but when the wind kicked up, racing was called to abrupt halt to ensure safety. And that’s pretty much how things played out in May—all classes except Top Eliminator got an oppor-

tunity to qualify, but high winds pulled the plug on Saturday afternoon after the #550 Screamin’ Eagle Crackerbox crashed, injuring driver Andrew Games and rider Josh Dollar. (See sidebar, Page 78.) Sunday was an almost total loss, as

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Speed Sports Special, owned by Lou and MaryAnn Osman and driven by Jaret Silvey, is shown here on their first test and tune pass of the weekend—and burning up a few parts. Qualifying for the SSS boat put them in the #4 spot before sinking down track as it was taking on water after its 3.77 second, 187-mph pass.

photographer Mark McLaughlin reports. “Brian Lennox in the #212 Just 4 Fun machine went down the track at about 9 a.m. Barely 7 minutes later, the water looked like you were going to Catalina Island,” he said. “Two Pro Mods went down the track, and I was afraid both

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boats were going to crash. That was it— they closed the track.” All racers were instructed to return on Monday, which had been prearranged in case of bad weather, but the winds were already roaring by 5:30 a.m., and the race was called at 6:15 a.m.

However, the second round of bad luck hasn’t discouraged race organizers, who say they will continue to bring drag boat races to Lake Havasu. “We’ll study some wind data to see if there’s a better time of year to hold it,” said Ken Dollar, race series director for Lucas Oil. S P E E D B O A T | May/June 2014


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Brandon Davis shoeing the Centless hydro to a respectable #5 spot in Quick Eliminator class. The machine ran a 6.06 second, 141-mph run.

Dan Jensen’s 8.00-second Without a Trace moves up to the #3 qualifying spot, with an 8.23-second pass.

Crackerbox competitor P-74 Clean Logic, with driver Brandon Brodecki, won its fourth race in a row.


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The world’s quickest and fastest propeller driven drag boat, Problem Child, driven by Daryl Ehrlich, and owned by Eddie Knox, had some takeoff problems during qualifying. The boat launched real hard, but it didn’t seem to want to come back down to Earth. So Ehrlich clicked it off early and coasted in to the #6 position in Top Fuel Hydro.

Tom Roberts in his Outta Control Quick Eliminator. He qualified #13 with a 7.96 at only 98 mph on the 1,000-foot course. He must have had problems, as he ended up in the bottom half of the qualifying ladder.

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The cracker box pros came out after the drag boats were pulled off the water Saturday due to wind and rollers. Apparently, the P-550 boat, driven by Andrew Games with rider Josh Dollar, hit a roller and launched into the air. On impact, the deck peeled off the boat, sending debris all across the water.

Lee Warren’s Pro Mod, Say When, took a few hops at the end of the track, followed by a hard right with the chutes open, dug the sponson in and ejected the capsule. Unhurt, he managed to put most of it back together and made it to the show and shine later on that evening. 78

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Top Fuel Hydro driver Scott Lumbert, driving for Dave and Dewana Kirkland, put the Spirit of Texas into the #1 qualifying position with a spectacular run of 3.51 elapsed time at over 249 mph. Scott is currently #1 in TFH points.

The Hillbilly Express Pro Mod Hydro, driven by Jimmy Booher, moved up the qualifying ladder to the #3 spot running 5.74 at 156 mph. The Pro Mod class boats were running the 1,000-foot course for qualifying due to wind conditions.

Vic and Christine Esposito’s Pro Mod moved up to the #1 slot with a 5.72 at 149 mph for the Freak Show machine.

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firedup The Lucas Oil Shazam Top Alcohol Flat, owned by Tommy Thompson and driven by Tony Scarlata, put a new leg on the record in the class with a blistering 5.15 elapsed time. The old record remained, as the boats were not able to run the remainder of the weekend.

In the River Racer category, Rob Miller put his boat into the #1 spot with a 12.38 elapsed time at 79 mph.

Lee Warren heads down the track in his Pro Modified boat before his capsule got ejected out of the boat, ending his weekend. 80

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raylee (Cont. from pg 7) Their annual event is coming up on July 12, 2014, at the Municipal Ball Field and Public Docks in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information and donations, visit But children aren’t the only group that benefits from boaters. The brave men and women who serve and have served this great country of ours get the love as well. Operation Gratitude is one of these organizations. Led by Carolyn Blashek, this group annually sends more than 150,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Blashek found that her own son that had been deployed was quickly losing morale and felt “alone.” That brought her to start this organization in 2003. SCOPE (the Southern California Offshore Powerboat Elite) has teamed up with Operation Gratitude and will donate all of the funds raised and donated from their A Day on the Bay Poker Run in San Diego, CA, on Sept. 27, 2014, after expenses. SCOPE Director Bill Steiner hopes to get a large turnout at the event so that the proceeds will in turn support our troops in a very big way. For more information, please visit to and operationgratitude. com. (See story, Page 42.) I’ve been to these events. I’ve met these people. They’ve touched my heart. It’s a rewarding feeling to know that you, in some small way, have made a memory in someone’s life that will not soon fade. I’m proud to be a part of this community like this. One that so openly and freely “gives back.” Not because we have to—but because we want to. And because we can.

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Speedboat June 2014  
Speedboat June 2014