I FOUND MY 81 VULTURE IN THE BOAT TRADER. I BOUGHT IT WITH TRAILER AND NO MOTOR FOR ABOUT $1000. IT WAS ORIGINAL SETUP. FIRST THING I DID WAS STRIP IT. I DROPPED IT OFF AT A BUDDIES SHOP WHO SPECIALIZES IN MARINE FIBERGLASS AND PLASTICS. HE PULLED OUT THE FLOORS, BOXED IN THE STRINGERS AND GELCOATED AND SPLATTER PAINTED THE BARE FLOOR. NEXT I HAD HIM MAKE A SUNDECK AND FARING OUT OF PVC AND POLYESTER, MOVING THE REAR SEATS FOWARD ABOUT 2 1/2 FEET AND MAKING THE SEAT MUCH WIDER AND ALLOWING A SPACE ON THE BACK TO ENJOY THE RAYS.

I BROUGHT IT HOME AND SANDED IT FOR DAYS, THEN TOOK IT IN FOR THE NEW PAINT JOB. AT THE SAME TIME I TOOK PAINT SAMPLES TO THE UPHOLSTERER TO MATCH THE NEW PAINT. I GOT ALLISON BUCKET COPIES BECAUSE THE UPHOLSTERER HAD THE PATTERNS TO MATCH.

THE GARAGE WAS FULL OF NEW HARDWARE AND IT WAS TIME FOR THEM ALL TO COME TOGETHER. DUAL RIDE GUIDE RACK, 10" COOK MANUAL JACK PLATE, HOT FOOT, TRIM ON THE WHEEL, EMERGENCY CUTOFF, ABOVE WATER EXHAUST, LOW WATER PICK UP AND MEDALLION GAUGES TO MONITOR THE ENGINE. FOR GOOD MEASURE I HAVE A HEAD TEMP, ALARM AND PYROMETER ON EACH HEAD. I WANT TO ADD A FUEL PSI GAUGE. I BOLTED IT ALL TOGETHER, PAINTED THE JONNIE BLACK (TO MATCH THE BOAT) EXCEPT FOR THE COWLING AND PUT IT IN THE WATER. IT RAN STRONG WITH THE STOCK OMC IT TURNED A 29" SRX 6700 RPM. I NEVER DID THE MATH BUT IT RAN IN THE MID 80'S.

AFTER THE FIRST SEASON, I TOOK AN OUTBOARD MECHANICS CLASS AND BROUGHT MY POWERHEAD IN FOR THE PROJECT. WE PORTED BALANCED AND BOLTED ON EVERY HI PERFORMANCE PART WE COULD GET OUR HANDS ON. I NEVER DID FIGURE OUT WHY THAT THING KEPT MELTING PISTONS. THERE ARE A LOT OF VARIABLES INCLUDING MY QUESTIONABLE PORTING SKILLS.

FINALLY I SENT MY POWERHEAD TO GORDON MONTIGUE AND LET HIM WORK HIS MAGIC. AFTER SEEING HIM AT THE RACES WITH HIS 500 HP OMC I KNEW HE COULD DO WONDERS FOR THIS OLD BLOCK. IT IS A 30 OVER 3 LTR. IT HAS ALL GENUINE OMC PISTONS THAT HAVE BEEN CUSTOM FINGER PORTED. THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY WAS RACE PORTED AND BALANCED. THIS SET UP USUALLY DYNOS BETWEEN 285 AND 300 HP.

I PUT 6-8 HRS OF HOSE TIME AND WAS READY FOR THE RACES. THE POWER DIFFERENCE WAS STARTLING. I HAVE ABOUT 30 HRS SEAT TIME AND I'M JUST FEELING COMFORTABLE WITH THE TOP END. IT NOW WILL TURN MY WORKED 28" CHOPPER OR MY SRX 29 7500 + RPM. I JUST PUT IN 8500 REV LIMITERS AND WILL START ADDING MORE GO FAST PARTS AS TIME AND MONEY ALLOWS, PORTED REED CAGES, V/8 CARBS ETC. I DON'T KNOW WHAT MY TOP SPEED IS, BECAUSE I SWAPPED A DUAL HEAD PYROMETER IN THE HOLE WHERE MY SPEEDO WAS. EVEN IF I DID HAVE MY SPEEEDO HOOKED UP, I DON'T FEEL THE NEED TO POST TOP SPEEDS. I GUESS IT IS JUST A MATTER OF PRIORITIES NOW. I JUST WANT TO KEEP IT TOGETHER AND ENJOY THE RUSH OF LIVING ON THE EDGE.

DENNY

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