Larry Swanson...1976 Bicentennial Viper with Mercury 115.
is my recently acquired Viper. This
is my first speed boat and I have only had it in the water once. The
bicentennial model was only made in 1976 to celebrate 200 years of American
history. Reportedly less than
30 were made. As shown it is painted red, white and blue with stars for
trim. This boat has been in Minnesota all of it’s life and I am the
third owner. The second owner
only had it a short time. Apparently the first owner did not use it much
either. It looks like he stored
it in the living room. I have owned and restored several old cars, but
have never seen anything 27 years old look this good. The only marks on it are some scratches on the hull from putting it
on the wrong trailer. The black
seats are still shiny as new.
boat has a Merc 115 inline 6 cylinder. It is a 1978 motor so I suspect it is not the original motor. If someone knows what it came with I would be interested. I
have only made one timed (GPS) run
with it. My son and I were
aboard ( nearly 400 lb.) with maybe 30 gallons of gas. I was able to get 56 MPH at 5800 RPM. Some of you hot shoes may be
able to trim it for more, but I was plenty scared enough and did not really
want to hold that RPM very long. (This
was day one remember? ) This was with a SS 21P prop.
Having never driven a Viper, and
only having had experience with my son’s Glastron V-142 Jetflite, I am
impressed. It comes on plane
amazingly fast, even when loaded. The acceleration is good from medium
speeds and it handles waves much better than I expected from a 15’ boat.
When pulling a tube it still reaches plane no sweat and can make the guy on
the tube do the same. With this prop it doesn’t like water skiing much,
but I have a 19P that I am anxious to try.
would be interested in E Mail from other Viper owners and would like to hear
about outings in the MN Wisc area.
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