how is the turbine coming along?
how is the turbine coming along?
Great looking boat, Thunderbird! I had a '79 Sea Jay/Speedliner tunnel for my first boat. Sorry I do not have any pics. It was a '79 hull I purchase in '82. Gold metal flake cap, rated for 175's. I put an '82 Merc 200 on it. Hydrallic jack plate. Only saw high 70s in it. Can't imagine doing 100 in one though. The Merc 200 stressed the transom so I sold it before much needed work was required.
Good luck with her!
I know a man that has two of these. For 30 years was the fastest boat on the lake, still a very fast boat. One white and brown high 80's, the yellow one has ran in the 100's for over 30 years. I don't remember the exact hull weight but some were around 450# one bad a$$ boat. If you need more info I will get his number for you. He always ran racing mercs that he built himself. The yellow one was called the bumble bee and that is what it sounded like when he flew by you.
I haven't had much time to devote to the thunderbird but I am still trying to find some suitable turbine engine's. the st-6 seems to be pretty scarce. Don't know what to do yet so I am just looking for engines and options. I sure would like to do it right since it is such a great piece of history. Have you ran across anything?
Very neat!!! I remember seeing a couple of those as a kid but don't know what ever happened to them. Thanks for reminding me as now I will try to track'em down. Take care of it neat little bit of histrory there.
I met Bill Wiles in the winter of '77-78 in Kansas City, Missouri.
He was showing one of his boats with local dealer, Smitty's Boats and Motors, at a Boat Sport and Travel show at the KC Arena. I still remember how the red metal flake shimmered under the lights. I was there hoping to find a tunnel hull and I did! I was 19 or 20 years old and it was the first major purchase of my life.
I spoke with him a few times over the years until one call a relative (niece or in-law?) informed me of his death.
I still have that boat today along with its 1980 235HP Evanrude with hydraulic jack plate. Over these many years I've rebuilt the flooring and transom TWICE. Had to repaint over the faded and flaking metal flake, Red with black graphic stripes. Even had to rebuild the rusting out trailer as well. It is now in need of its third interior. It has not been in the water for several years. (I started riding motorcycles instead) But fixing it up once again is still on my list of things to do.
People can't believe the way that thing turn until they have gone for a ride. It was a great ski boat with very little wake. I still love the thing and plan to have it back in the water next summer. Seeing yours rekindles my interest in getting it fixed up once again, thank
I f you were turning a 24" prop at 5800 with a 1.86 gear ratio and the normal 10% slip, you were doing about 63 mph. Speedos can be VERY happy at times. To go 101 at 5800 rpm, you'd need a 38" pitch prop.
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