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Getting started racing.

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  • #16

    Re: Getting started racing.

    The hook for me was having a next store neighbor at Honeoye Lake, NY having a hydro with a KG7H on it in the mid 50s. Later I had a Minimost with a KG7 on it and then graduated to racing BSH with a 20H popper. Later had a 25SS on a Giles hydro that was raced in New England in the 80s and early 90s. Now it is running vintage Merc motors. Still have the Giles and also a Hansen runabout. MiniMost.jpg P1010080.JPG P1010080.JPG
    deverhart1, M Miner and 2 others like this.


    • #17

      Re: Getting started racing.

      This is a temporary digression from the topic, motivated by GrandpaRacer's memory of the 5 1/2 Johnson that was his first outboard . . . and mine, too. An awesomely-smooth trolling motor, a '56 that my dad got second-hand in '57, and which I just gave away to the son of a lifelong friend, who has little kids to take fishing . . .

      Some of you guys are old enough (Grandpa?) that you might remember this. By the early/mid Fifties, outboard motors were quite reliable, but ten years or so earlier they were not quite so good. My guess is that's why, well into the Fifties, a lot of little shore-side marinas and tiny resorts still had their little fleets of day-fishing rental boats in the form of wooden skiffs powered by little air-cooled one-cylinder inboard motors, mounted in the center of the skiff's bottom. My own first fishing trips, when I was six or seven, were in boats like that, mostly on the Olympic Penninsula side of Puget Sound. Grandpa, you remember putt-putting around in those old inboard skiffs with a couple of lines trailing behind?


      • GrandpaRacer
        GrandpaRacer commented
        Editing a comment
        I am old enough but I do not remember those little inboards in Minnesota where I grew up. My first boat ride was with my Dad and his 3hp Evinrude. I remember being excited when he upgraded to the 5 1/2...

      • dwhitford
        dwhitford commented
        Editing a comment
        My first experience piloting an outboard was in 1948 on Gardner Lake in Downeast Maine: a 7-1/2-horse Martin 60. I was 8.

      • Smitty
        Smitty commented
        Editing a comment
        The Fifties were the high point of the do-it-yourself magazines such as Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, Science and Mechanics, Popular Science, plus dozens of other DIY magazines on subjects such as photography, electronics, ham radio, and on and on. The ads toward the backs of these magazines showed how many little guys were offering plans and kits for building various things, including boats, of course. I think a fair number of guys here got into racing from first having built themselves a Minimax or Skeeter or whatever (good old Hal Kelly) from plans offered in those magazines, clear into the Seventies and a little beyond (a few guys are still building these very same little boats, but the plans now come from internet providers. If you look in the back of the few survivors from those old magazines, say Popular Science, you'll mostly find ads for vitamin supplements and Viagra substitutes, and no boat-plans.

        ANYWAY, I'm getting around to the utterly unimportant point that the same magazines carrying the plans for those little outboard-powered boats were also still offering plans for the older-generation of little air-cooled INboard-powered skiffs that I was talking about. Not only could you get plans for the skiff, but other little outfits would sell you the whole conversion kit of parts to install something like a Briggs and Stratton or Tecumseh in your boat. Of course, people were also building bigger runabouts and cruisers from plywood kits and plans, and for them there were conversion kits, with water-cooled manifolds and such, to adapt various automobile engines to marine use. The men of my dad's generation, having gone through the Depression and WW2 having nothing but learning self-sufficiency and frugality, were avid do-it-yourselfers as they were raising us baby-boomers after the war.
        Last edited by Smitty; 11-27-2017, 10:26 AM.