Posts Tagged ‘classic fiberglass boat’

Remember Cheetah boats? Classic Fiberglass Boats Mercury Outboard

classic fiberglass go fast boat photo image on river lake

Back in 1963 they started out building boats. For almost half a century Cheetah Boats made fiberglass boats in small production runs. Cheetah Boats is now out of business. They were mostly Go Fast low profile sport boats for running around a lake or stretch of river. They made up to 110 classic fiberglass boats most years. They were located in Lake Havasu City, AZ. These all were trailer boats.

Most of their boats got to be powered by a Tower of Power Mercury Marine outboard motor. Say a X- 6 Merc Racing style Motor. Put a 150 Horsepower Mercury Marine outboard engine on a 20’ 9” classic vee bottom 8’ beam Cheetah boat and you got 55-56 mph with a 5 blade 20” pitch propeller with a light load. That was OK speed for running down the river in 1991. Not so fast now, except you were low to the water in a boat that made the most out of the sensation of a speed boat on the water.

A Cheetah Boat was made for a price out of conventional fiberglass construction using standard cloth, mat, and roving with polyester resin. Carbon Fiber and other expensive high-tech fiberglass boat building materials like Plexus advanced fiberglass fusion adhesives, Tricel marine reinforcing, Pre-Pregs, and Nida-Core plastic honeycomb products are not to be found in most Cheetah Boats. They are good boats, even very nice boats, but not the lightest racing weight speed boats on the lake.

Remember the Bertram 31 Moppie?

classic fiberglass boat photo Bertram 31

This is the boat that started the deep vee revolution for boats that go fast offshore. They can go in any weather is the often heard reputation when heavy water boating is being talked about. It is a boat that causes fond memories about how the boat runs in an inlet with conditions that include breaking waves and a contrary running tide.

You know the story, Dick Bertram saw naval designer C. Raymond Hunt’s new boat operating under easy handed control in big seas while they were competitive racing a sailboat. That was in 1958. By 1960, Bertram had a prototype 31’ boat built using the same hull shape ideas.

That boat, named Moppie, won the 1960 Miami-Nassau race, and set a record in some of the worst conditions of the running of that event’s history. That win and it’s follow-up publicity in the Miami Herald newspaper (or was it the write-up in Sports Illustrated?) stopped semi-vee bottomed offshore race boat design and started designers working on deep vee boat shapes for racing wins in open water. A deep v could win a powerboat race because it would stay together when it was rough.

A Moppie has 22 degrees of deadrise at her transom. Some other boat brands later were designed with 24 degrees. A Scarab 30’ has a 24 degree bottom. Much longer boats than 31’ use less deadrise. A Bertram 31 needs horsepower to run with decent speed due to the steep angle of vee in their bottom shape. She is a tender boat. She can be wet. Designers have since come up with solutions in their deep v designs to solve these issues.

Photos from bertram31.  And Bertram Yachts

a classic fiberglass boat photo Bertram 31

the classic fiberglass boat photo Bertram 31

classic fiberglass running boat photo Bertram 31

classic fiberglass boat photo high seas for Bertram 31

2012 Bertram 64 sport fish boat photo image

2012 Bertram 64 yacht running boat photo

Wood and Fiberglass for a Classic Boat

Incorporating flowing curves, rich varnished mahogany and chromed deck jewels, this sport fiberglass hull and wood deck boat resembles the classic Chris-Craft and Riva of yesteryear.

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