Like Tree0Likes

where did the baja hulls come from??

Reply
Old 01-03-2008, 07:59 AM
  #11
Registered
 
The Menace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida
My Boats: 46 turbined Skater
Posts: 3,029
Default

The factory is located in Bucyrus, Ohio, about an hour north of Columbus. Very large and well laid out facility. I visited the factory around 1990 and at that time they appeared to be verticaly integrated and performing all of their lay ups and rigging.
The Menace is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 09:54 AM
  #12
T2x
Allergic to Nonsense
Platinum Member
 
T2x's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Granite Quarry, NC
My Boats: 1966 !8' Switzer Wing "Miss Diablo" 1968 Switzer Wing "Dust'n the Wind 2",, 1960 Powercat 15C , 1977 17' Molinari w/Evinrude CCC
Posts: 5,004
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjw930 View Post
Yes, it did. The owner of Checkmate and the original owner of Baja were in business together back in the 60's. In fact, the owner of Checkmate was a boat dealer that got into the boat building business back in the late 50's, early 60's.

There was a parting of the ways sometime in the 60's and Baja was born using one of the 16' Checkmate molds. Baja was eventually bought by Brunswick after bouncing around a bit. I'm not sure if the original Baja owner sold it to Brunswick or if it has some intermediate ownership. The late 80's, early 90's were tough for Baja and it's from that period that they got such a bad performance / quality reputation.

BTW, I know this because my father bought one of the first Checkmate hulls as well as a resale boat from Bill Combs, the founder of Checkmate, before Checkmate was born. It wasn't pretty from what he told me, porpoised so bad they took the boat back and replaced it with a redesigned version. That was back around '59 or 60, I think. My father has passed so I can't ask him for details.

Filling in some blanks for ya......

Checkmate was founded by Bill Downard.......and Bill Combs, who were partners in a Bucyrus, Ohio Mercury outboard dealership. These two created the first Checkmates in 1964, first by "splashing" a 13 foot Norris Craft, with a semi flat bottom and "runners". Later they "splashed" various Glastron hulls and added basically flat decks to create their Vee bottom models (13', 14' and 16'). The signature attribute of all Checkmates back then was the Metalflake gel coat in a myriad of colors.

Bill Downard's son, Mike, became a Mercury/OMC team tunnel boat driver of some repute and won a prestigious Kiekhaefer Scholarship as I recall. Sadly Bill Downard passed away and the world seemingly forgot he ever existed in later years, but, in reality, he was the brains and the stability of the partnership, with Combs being somewhat of a latter day P.T. Barnum in many respects.

Baja was an early local spinoff and started with "splashes" of Checkmates.

Both of these companies made their reputations on the old Outboard Performance Craft (OPC), APBA and NOA racing circuits, which were the venues in which all of the key performance boats ( Allison, Glastron, Eltro, Hydrostream, Switzer, etc) showed their stuff. Most of the hull design features from that era ( Pad bottoms, Aerodynamic decks, steps, wings, cored construction, bonded decks and hulls, etc) are marketed currently as the "revolutionary" features the world swallows as new from the various Offshore Performance builders of today.

Here's a 1966 Pad bottom, vee hull, balsa cored, Allison with an "aero lift" deck and bow configuration (sort of a "beak" plus).

T2x
Attached Thumbnails
where did the baja hulls come from??-my-pictures-088.jpg  

Last edited by T2x; 01-03-2008 at 10:04 AM.
T2x is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 10:10 AM
  #13
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 9,495
Default

Total bull$hit. Everyone knows Reggie invented all that stuff.
Chris Sunkin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 12:23 PM
  #14
Registered
 
jhiguy377's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lake Oswego OR
My Boats: 377 Scarab
Posts: 989
Default

yeah chris, i think i read that somewhere too......
jhiguy377 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 01:46 PM
  #15
T2x
Allergic to Nonsense
Platinum Member
 
T2x's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Granite Quarry, NC
My Boats: 1966 !8' Switzer Wing "Miss Diablo" 1968 Switzer Wing "Dust'n the Wind 2",, 1960 Powercat 15C , 1977 17' Molinari w/Evinrude CCC
Posts: 5,004
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhiguy377 View Post
yeah chris, i think i read that somewhere too......
Probably in a Fountain ad.......... but he ain't the only builder claiming to have invented the wheel.
T2x is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 03:10 PM
  #16
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
Jassman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 9,371
Default

The OL that everyone refers to in the Baja section....mean Outerlimits, so that must be where their latest hulls came from.
Jassman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 03:13 PM
  #17
Registered
 
cosmic12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Syracuse N.Y.
My Boats: Dreaming of a 32 AT
Posts: 4,951
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jassman View Post
The OL that everyone refers to in the Baja section....mean Outerlimits, so that must be where their latest hulls came from.
They look like one of those Cig boats to me But then they all do
cosmic12 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 04:56 PM
  #18
Registered
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ormond Beach, FL
Posts: 67
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by T2x View Post
Filling in some blanks for ya......

Checkmate was founded by Bill Downard.......and Bill Combs, who were partners in a Bucyrus, Ohio Mercury outboard dealership. These two created the first Checkmates in 1964, first by "splashing" a 13 foot Norris Craft, with a semi flat bottom and "runners". Later they "splashed" various Glastron hulls and added basically flat decks to create their Vee bottom models (13', 14' and 16'). The signature attribute of all Checkmates back then was the Metalflake gel coat in a myriad of colors.

Bill Downard's son, Mike, became a Mercury/OMC team tunnel boat driver of some repute and won a prestigious Kiekhaefer Scholarship as I recall. Sadly Bill Downard passed away and the world seemingly forgot he ever existed in later years, but, in reality, he was the brains and the stability of the partnership, with Combs being somewhat of a latter day P.T. Barnum in many respects.

Baja was an early local spinoff and started with "splashes" of Checkmates.

Both of these companies made their reputations on the old Outboard Performance Craft (OPC), APBA and NOA racing circuits, which were the venues in which all of the key performance boats ( Allison, Glastron, Eltro, Hydrostream, Switzer, etc) showed their stuff. Most of the hull design features from that era ( Pad bottoms, Aerodynamic decks, steps, wings, cored construction, bonded decks and hulls, etc) are marketed currently as the "revolutionary" features the world swallows as new from the various Offshore Performance builders of today.

Here's a 1966 Pad bottom, vee hull, balsa cored, Allison with an "aero lift" deck and bow configuration (sort of a "beak" plus).

T2x
Thanks for filling in the details. Like I said, I only had a story my dad told me years ago. Obviously I had my dates wrong but at least I got the lineage right

As I remember it's likely he bought a boat from Combs while he still had the dealership but before he started building boats. I do know that boat was a disaster and Bill replaced it once he drove it.

It's funny how things tie back to each other. A friend of mine got the idea to build a pad bottomed, reverse chine, stepped transom boat directly from his success racing Allison's. In fact I believe Allison helped him design the hull that was the first V-Bottomed boat to break 100 mph. Any guesses who that "friend" might be
mjw930 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 05:22 PM
  #19
Registered
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 47
Talking

Steve Stepp
spit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 05:29 PM
  #20
T2x
Allergic to Nonsense
Platinum Member
 
T2x's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Granite Quarry, NC
My Boats: 1966 !8' Switzer Wing "Miss Diablo" 1968 Switzer Wing "Dust'n the Wind 2",, 1960 Powercat 15C , 1977 17' Molinari w/Evinrude CCC
Posts: 5,004
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by spit View Post
Steve Stepp
Steve is also a friend of mine for many years.......

He was a champion OPC racer in his own right and drove, among other things, Allisons much like mine pictured earlier in this thread.

He has always credited Allison for many of his hull design ideas rather than claiming that he "invented" stuff.

In fact, with todays drives, engines, composite materials and props, a properly scaled up version of that 1966 Allison design would run as fast or faster than any offshore vee hull today.

T2x
T2x is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
ENFORCER24
General Boating Discussion
44
06-14-2007 09:47 PM
Donzilla
Formula
9
08-17-2005 08:42 PM
thedonz
General Boating Discussion
2
11-12-2004 01:24 AM
Marginmn
Outerlimits
27
08-18-2004 04:21 PM
mmwalters
General Racing Discussion
41
02-06-2004 08:30 AM



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:48 PM.


Copyright 2011 OffShoreOnly. All rights reserved.