This past saturday, I had lunch in my Tiki hut in Islamorada with Dan Spurr, the author who penned 'Heart of Glass', the bible of the origins of fiberglass boat building. He was interviewing pioneers of the business, and I invited Howard Abbey to join us. I would be surprised if any of you have heard of Howard, but he is a no-s**t pioneer and master of the art. F'rinstance, he built Don Aronow's first raceboat, 'Claudia' for the 1962 Miami-Nassau race, Jim Wynne's 'Wyn-mil' for the 1960 Paris 6-hour, and Del Daly's 'Oh, Mona', an F-Service runabout that won about 100 heats in a row.
Howard held the straightaway record in that class in the fifties at about 90mph, and held the 6 hour record also in his F-boat 'Hurricane'. He was a major player at Bertram, Hatteras, Grandbanks, Cigarette and several others. The modern bunch of builders, with rare exceptions, couldn't carry his jockstrap. We laughed about old times and old tales, and had some chilled shrimp and cold beer. Howard could rightfully be called the dean of fiberglass boat builders. He's 84, and when he goes, he will take a ton of experience with him..... I'll keep you posted when Spurr's story comes out.
Brownie you said it all....when a lot of guys go, they will take so much information and knowledge with them, it will be lost forever.
Hint, hint...those guys that are still up and running around, should put in some time on the books they are writing.
If you don't want to finish the book, at least put up one story a week on here....hell, you would have enough info left over for ten more books.
That's awsome Brownie, but you also are in the ancient history because you know as much as they do as well. What's going on with your book of 188st. i want a copy with your autograph
It is a Skater Nation!
Brownie...here's some more history for you. My introduction to the hot boat scene in Miami in '63 Mike Gordon. This is his boat Fish Peddler.
Also Jack Stuteville who many may remember as Bobby Moores partner in Bob and Jack's Custom Rigging
I remember Jack as a driver first in the old Orange Bowl races. Oh Mona was always a big winner in those days, I remember that boat well.
I always like to hear the history of our sport. You, yourself are one of the living legends.
Brownie's forgotten more than most of us will ever know when it comes to offshore and boat building.
He doesn't post as much as I wish, but when he does, it's always worth reading.
I love hearing stories like this. BROWNIE - share more of that knowledge with the rest of us.
I'm sure that there are some members that would like to take it to the next level. Don't let the knowledge die.
Thanks for the post!
Bad Girls Make Good Company
Brownie, didn't Mike Gordon run 427 Ford's in that GN boat??? I grew up down the street from him and seem to remember that, could be wrong though... him and Dave Craig were ALWAYS out playing in the North Bay with their boats and I could see them out my living room window all the time hamming it up. When Dave had that early catamaran with the stacks, you could hear it coming for two miles..... I sat in my backyard and watched the Pelican Harbor races and the Miami-Ft Lauderdale endurance races... then there was Howard Weiler and Jerry Langer in the Johnson outboard boats... Duff Daly.. Jim Brueil... Forrest Johnson... Mark Hauptner... those were GREAT days eh..
Last edited by BUIZILLA; 03-01-2006 at 08:28 PM.
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