View Poll Results: Is she worth saving
No - Surfury & her heritage of no interest any more.
0
0%
Yes Surfury must be saved
25.00%
Yes - Surfury must be saved and I am willing to help
8.33%
Bring her to the USA we can help her!
66.67%
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Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

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Old 02-12-2006, 09:40 AM
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Default Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

I am entering the forum with the sole purpose of trying to publicise the plight of one of Offshore powerboatings greatest remaining craft.
Surfury, designed by Sonny Levi, competed in 1966 Miami - Nassau & was the winner of 1967 Cowes Torquay and enabled Charles & Jimmy Gardener to be world Champions. She was donated to the British public after her last race when she came 3rd in the same race in 1970 some 5 years since build - an amazing achievement as her technology had been long passed by the Cigarettes and outdrives.
Unlike the USA where the heritage of offshore classic boats in nurtured and respected, for some reason here in the UK this is not the same, there is no commercial support for those few examples that are left.
Surfury is now in Basildon Essex, respected and admirably housed by the curators in the Motorboat Museum. However she has seen no maintenance nor preservation in 35 years as no direct funding nor sponsorship has been enabled to maintain her. Please see website www.surfury.co.uk
for a full detail of her past and of photos.
Surfury remains as she did on the last day of competition, her uniquely Sam Sara engineered tandem Daytona Scarabs linked into a single V drive are intact as are all her controls. Charles & Richard are sadly no longer with us, but I am aware Charles family are concerned over her future.I have met her engineer Ivor Verlander and he would also hope Surfury could be saved.
I have tried contacting UK major manufacturers such as Sunseeker for technical or financial help but up to now - No response.
Recently Barry Cohen who has admirably preserved Jim Wynns Ghostrider in such fantastic order has expressed interest in getting her over to the USA as static display at a couple of shows for this season.

My point is & the challenge is to all fellow enthusiasts out there is that unless some funding is forthcoming this incredible example of Anglo/USA engineering will simply fall apart.

What does the forum think,is there any body out there willing to help, would a trip to the USA possibly raise funds for her preservation, any corporate stake holders?

Please let me know [email protected]
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Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly-surfury-wills-68-comp-b-.jpg  

Last edited by kipstone; 02-12-2006 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

kipstone,
Interesting .. never knew of this boat or any of its history. I would like to see the webiste but the www.surfury.com address does not take you to a boating site? Check it out
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:55 AM
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Re: Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJgr8ful
kipstone,
Interesting .. never knew of this boat or any of its history. I would like to see the webiste but the www.surfury.com address does not take you to a boating site? Check it out
Apologies - Good old Microsoft prompt took me to the original site that I was then unable to secure.
The actual & the correct site it is www.surfury.co.uk
Sorry for the confusion
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

Quote:
Originally Posted by kipstone
Apologies - Good old Microsoft prompt took me to the original site that I was then unable to secure.
The actual & the correct site it is www.surfury.co.uk
Sorry for the confusion
That's better Couple amazing pics considering they're from late 60s! I would hope she gets all the needed attention and funds to restore and preserve her to her former glory days


Here's another shot and caption from the website
Surfury at near full speed on her way to winning the Wills Trophy 1968.
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

We are trying to do the same thing over here with our old race boats. We have started an association called HISTORIC OFFSHORE RACE BOAT ASSOCIATION....HORBA.

We have our own USA history with a boat of this same design.

Here is an early Thunderbird / Formula race boat with Dick Genth driving.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Top Banana
We are trying to do the same thing over here with our old race boats. We have started an association called HISTORIC OFFSHORE RACE BOAT ASSOCIATION....HORBA.

We have our own USA history with a boat of this same design.

Here is an early Thunderbird / Formula race boat with Dick Genth driving.

I believe this boat "Thunderbird" was built by Sonny Levi for Merrick Lewis and should have been driven by Rocky Marciano the boxer! It is of the same group of Delta line boats that Sonny designed which also included Surfury, Delta Sythesis, Delta Blu which was raced by the great Vincenzo Balestrieri. The boat was sunk racing in Florida & then refloated which I would imagine is a good reason as to why she never raced again
Chris Grayer
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

The wooden boat muesum in Clinton, NY has a bunch of classic wooden race boats. Very cool place!
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:28 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

A good Sunday to you, Charley and Chris........and members
Barry and Barcone Marine Corp. and Ghost Rider certainly have expressed interest and more to the fate or future of the crisp lined Surfury.....a truly great boat: and in keeping with the HORBA mission of getting pure raceboats back onto the racing circuits (aka Poker Runs ) and displayed as examples of Yankee Engineering for the Seaborne Competitors, Barcone can provide a friendly port from the same team that recently retrofitted Ghost Rider for the Surfury project.
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Surfury an Anglo/USA Classic Decaying Slowly

this article is a remebrance of the power of these type of craft and crews.
Demolition Derby
SUBSCRIBE TO TIMEPRINTE-MAILMORE BY AUTHOR
Posted Friday, May 19, 1967
OCEAN RACING

If Monaco was a dice with disaster, the Bahamas 500 ocean powerboat race last week turned into what one contestant aptly termed "a demolition derby." The general idea of ocean powerboat racing is to take a boat out into the deep, open her up to 50-60 m.p.h., and pray. The Bahamas 500 was designed as the granddaddy of them all—a 512-mi. circle around the islands from Grand Bahama, and all for $50,000 in prize money. It should have been $1,000,000, considering the carnage.

On race day, a stiff 22-knot wind built up 6-ft. to 10-ft. waves. But out they went, 63 of the fastest, most expensive outboards, inboards, diesels and stern drives ever assembled on one patch of water. Bill Petty's ***** Cat, a 23-ft., 550-h.p. Sportsman worth $20,000, was barely clear of the harbor when it caught fire and burned to the water line. Minutes later, Bill Lewis' 40-ft. Formula came apart and sank. Only 32 boats reached the initial checkpoint at Bimini; of these, twelve never reached Nassau.

At that point, the leader was Bill Wishnick's 32-ft. Maritime, Big Broad Jumper, powered by two monstrous 700-h.p. Holman & Moody engines. Then the rudder fouled. That left the race to Mono. Lou III, another 32-ft. Maritime powered by twin 427-h.p. MerCruisers and piloted by Florida's Odell Lewis, 34, who used to wrestle alligators for sport until it got too tame. Bounding along at an average 50 m.p.h., he finished in 12 hr. 36 min. 20 sec., just as darkness closed in on Grand Bahama. "I ain't afraid of alligators," he said, "but nothing is going to keep me out there on that ocean after dark."

Skippers of the 15 other survivors had to live through some dark moments before they came limping in during the next 22 hours. By what seems a miracle, no one was killed in the race, or even seriously injured.

From the May 19, 1967 issue Time Magazine
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