|Now there is Life,
Liberty and the
Pursuit of Fiberglass...
When we left you last, PIP was just learning to
barefoot with a six inline. Now another neighbor had traded a Commando U2
for a 15' Fantasy by Hydro Craft (about the time McCullough was
commissioning Hydrocraft to build special hydros for their 75s). As you
can begin to see, the neighborhood is full of go-fast boat nuts.
Remember that 11' magazine plan boat from the fifties? Well, it leaked.
Enter the era of fiberglass. As his brother (the commercial artist who
designed the HydroStream logo and the Delta Dagger which became the VIPER)
put it, "now there is life, liberty and the pursuit of
fiberglass". Covering the bottom was a project that took several
weeks and every imaginable thing that could go wrong did; however a basic
knowledge of fiberglass was acquired. It was about this time HP designed
his first glass boat. It had a bottom that looked surprisingly like
Ab Crosby's Hydrodyne, a hard top that looked like a '59 Ford Galaxie and
two taillight-shaped red trapdoors on the transom that opened to stow
water-skis. A glass model was made by tacking hardware cloth to an old
wood ammo box and filling the mesh with plaster and laying up his first
Full scale plans were drawn, frames were cut but the project got put-on
the back burner in favor of a "57 Chevy convertible, drive-ins and
BACK ON THE TIME LINE:
After neighbor #2 blew up a couple of 100 Mercs on his fantasy he sold it
to HP. Now all we have to do is borrow Dad's 85 and we can go racing.
That was in Buffalo City, Wisconsin. The river was so rough that you could
watch the waves break on the floor of the flat bottom hydroplane and each
wave would whip the seat back and give you a kick in the ass. This was the
era of adjustable transom brackets for V4 OMCs. The mfg. of the brackets
failed to tell buyers to use steel bolts and most used the aluminum bolts
that came with the motor. Bottom line, three V4s went in the drink
that day. Back to the Fantasy, a friend had an in at Shell Lake Boat works
and end grain balsa was obtained but this was prior to the use of scrim
(the fine woven cloth glued to the blocks for handling). Therefore all the
little blocks had to be laid by hand like bricks in the resin rich layer
of polyester soaked fiberglass mat. The boat went on to live a happy life
with a new owner and a pair of 45 Chryslers. More fiber technology was
inhaled. Well my fingers are tired, so I will see you next mo.