New OPC Class
Well, the racing/boating season is finally over
in Minnesota, and I have a chance to collect my thoughts over
conversations with Howard William Pipkorn, the founder and father of
HydroStream Boats. It was an unheard-of late fall, with the last race in
October (it was inevitable that with five Streams in the family that
sooner or later I would be dragged kicking and screaming into racing) and
bench racing still going on in November. Pip has come up with a new OPC
class which he hopes will light local racing on fire. We tried it
out a couple times and people were impressed. There was a Vixen, a Viper,
a local Pace Craft and a Lee Craft all powered by three cylinder OMC's.
Most everybody thinks there will be at least 9 or 10 by next May.
I have already got a ride. Jerry Johnson has all the parts for a Vixen
powered by a 700 Merc and has tapped me to start the season.
The class is weird and best of all cheap. You start by finding an
old tired race/high performance hull at least 13' long, that can be gutted
of upholstery and end up at less 500#. Then you go out and buy another old
boat (this is the scam), a 15 or 16 foot bow rider with a 70 Hp. You
rob the mechanical steering and anything else that is useful and sell the
trailer for about $300, what you paid for the whole rig. (He showed me
several such on craigslist.) Now there is a guy who will pick up any boat
for $20, no he pays you. Then all you need is a life jacket, helmet, kill
switch and a race number and you are set. Sorry, mine is taken.
Oh, the total rig with you included must weigh 900#, the prop shaft must
be 5" below the bottom, no trim, mechanical steering only, you have
to drill two 1" holes in the unit above the cavitation plate (to let
the noise out that can be closed with drain plugs for water skiing) and
every entry must have a national sponsor.
If you have to spend over 2 grand, you are not paying attention.
Can you see ten of these fifty MPH "puffer bellies"
flip-flopping around the first turn? Trust me, it won't be a parade.
These boats look sharp and put on a great show.
Next month I will relate how Howard Pipkorn esq. got into boating and how
now he is exploiting the Boy Scouts for personal gain.