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Powerboat history

Old 07-09-2002, 04:11 PM
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Default Powerboat history

So.... after hanging out in these forums for a while, it seems to me that there are some stories that you are assumed to know, especially regarding companies and people and how they are related. For example, I didn't understand the relationship between Hustler and Outerlimits until I read a story in Powerboat - then the light bulb clicked on.

Similarly, it seems like there is some history between Apache and Cherokee and maybe Cigarette? And I saw a post today about a Sutphen that's for sale - heck of a nice looking boat, but I'd never heard the name before.

I searched out and read T2x's posts about "Great moments in Cat history" a while back, and while I didn't know half (OK, most ) of the names it was an enjoyable read.

So which of you OSO members can give a short history lesson on some of the more obscure offshore brands? How are Active Thunder and Powerplay related (or are they?) Sutphen? Magnum? I'm just scanning the Owner's boards section and realizing that I've never seen an example of most of the brands listed... how 'bout schoolin' me up on this stuff?
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Old 07-09-2002, 04:39 PM
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Since no Offshore historians seem to be present at the moment, here is a great place to start...This is a truly great Offshore [power]Boating website:

NJPPC Archives

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Old 07-09-2002, 04:42 PM
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Magnum, Cigarette, Donzi, Formula,Squadron, and USA Racing were all built by Don Aronow. He also had a hand in designing some Apache boats. Sutphen is built by Ritchie Sutphen out of Florida not sure about some of the others, hope that this helps you some.
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Old 07-09-2002, 04:46 PM
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Please chime in to fill the holes or even incorrectness of my history this is what i have been able to peice togther so far on my boat & the start of the Offshore Performance Boat lifestyle...................................

When Donald Joel Aronow, landed in Miami in 1961 after retiring from his construction business in New Jersey, he became fascinated with the local racing crowd, then dominated by Dick Bertram. Don wanted a piece of this action, so he created a company called Formula Marine in 1963 for the sole purpose of making race boats & beating Dick Bertrams Moppies. Formula was really a loose association of people interested in race boats and was conceived more as a tax shelter than a production company. One of the people involved was a fellow named Jim Wynne. Jim and his partner Walt Walters designed one boat for the "formula" company. This being the famous 233 which used his sterndrive system, and was, as far as I can tell, his very first production boat design. Formula had two models at the time, the other being a 27 footer designed by Peter Guerke which was an inboard. Formula Marine was sold to the Thunderbird Marine company, run by Dick Genth in 1964. By 1965, Aronow's new company, "Donzi'" was exploding with brand new Wynne designs: A little 16, which was heavily influenced by the design of the Wyn-Mil II, two 19 footers and the Donzi 28. In 1966, Wynne and Aronow had a fallingout of sorts. This involved the winning of a race by Wynne and a t-shirt with the number 009 on it. And Wynne went on to design boats for Genth's Thunderbird Formula Company & Don went on to start Cigarette. The 233, still has features that show Ray Hunt's influence on Wynne's early work. If you compare the strake to chine patterns of the Jr and 233, you'll see they are more Bertram than Formula

books to check out :
King of Thunderboat Row & SeaRace
Also See's.htm
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Old 07-09-2002, 04:53 PM
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That's close. You left out Magnum in the gap between Donzi and Cigarette. I worked for Don at Donzi, and was sold with the company to Teleflex. If you have any pointed questions, I did 30 years at Donzi, Nova, Cary, Magnum, Cougar, Cigarette, AlphaZ and a few others.

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Old 07-09-2002, 05:04 PM
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I was hoping we would here from you Mr. Brown

I never can get that quite right need your expertise
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Old 07-09-2002, 06:22 PM
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hey brownie, do you have any cool info on the 27 sport magnum. it has to be my favorite boat of all time. i dont own one yet but i am seriously looking for the right one, a project if possible. would like to run small blocks and brovos. i here they still have the molds at magnum.

great idea for a thread dockrocker this ought to be good

oh . . .an several of the apache molds were bought by saber marine and are being built in limited numbers. they are a custom builder up here in michagan. they turn out some nice units.

Last edited by glassdave; 07-09-2002 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 07-09-2002, 06:37 PM
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Brownie Didn't you name Magnum after a Bogart movie or something??????
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Old 07-09-2002, 06:38 PM
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Glassdave, last report has it that Magnum will still build you a 27 Sport, but it won't be cheap! Also, Magnum Marine recently built a few outboard center-consoles using the original 27 hull, and that boat was shown at the 2001 Miami International Boat show. For the first time ever, the were no Magnums or Magnum Marine booth at the most recent (2002) Miami Show.

Brownie or anyone, do know what's up with Magnum these days and why they wern't at the show?

How 'bout Magnum 27 Sport, stroker small-blocks, and Arnesons?

. . . still working on getting the Arnesons!

Last edited by ForrestC; 07-09-2002 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 07-09-2002, 06:52 PM
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Glasdave the original 27 Magnum was actually 28 and built by Harry Schoell and there was also a 23 Magnum the Scarab 38 was a stretched from a 27 Magnum as I understand the story .

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