Joe Downing...1979 V-King with Mercury 2.4.
My love for the HydroStream look started in 1978 when right out of high school I went to work for the local marine dealership here in Greenville, NC. I wasn't making enough money back then to get one but ever since, when I saw a Stream it would take my mind back to those times. Well sure enough, three years ago I was thumbing through the local car trader and there it was. As it turned out, I knew the fellow who owned it and we struck a deal. After two years of riding the boat with peeling clearcoat and a stock 200HP Mercury, I decided to give it a facelift.
As many of these stories go, this started as a small project and ended...well...let's just say I spent more than I thought I would. The boat has gone from side steering to center, the hull was recored, and the floor replaced. The instrument panel I designed and had cut from brushed stainless steel. The good people at Livorsi Marine fixed me up with a beautiful set of Gaffrig gauges, a set of aviation-style switches, and a carbon fiber steering wheel.
The entire boat top and bottom were sanded and recleared, and new seats, carpeting, and a rear deck was added. I took the motor to a local drag motor builder and had it ported and a few other goodies done.
I could not be more proud of the finished product. Moving the back seat forward a bit to accommodate a 26 gallon fuel cell and raising the motor to 3/4" above the pad has given me a very stable boat at my best GPS speed of 94.3 (downwind, downcurrent, and light on fuel, hee, hee) MPH turning a balanced 27 over-hub cleaver 7400 RPM. Future projects are to acquire a 15" midsection and I've got to put in a stereo.
The boat has gone from living outside under a canvas cover to living inside the garage under a dust cover, and much to my wife's amazement it stays far cleaner than any other vehicle I own. Thanks for all the work you guys do and I hope everyone has as much fun as I am this summer flying their Stream.
- Joe Downing
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