View Full Version : Rudy Raymos, More Than Rayson Craft Boats

Ron Hill
09-03-2006, 10:59 AM
I thought there was a THREAD for Rudy, but I couldn't find it....Rudy goes back much farther than this 1970 Powerboat Magazine...

Ron Hill
09-03-2006, 11:48 AM
I don't know when I "Officially" met Rudy, but I had known who he was long before that....

I'll need to check some facts, and hopefully many will add facts... But let me start by saying Rudy was a Boat Racer 24-7 all his life.

Some Quick Facts About Rudy:

1. Rayson Craft boats got their name from Ramos and Son... Rudy's dad owned a large foundry in Gardena, Rudy worked in and around the business most of his life, but he didn't like the foundry business, he liked Boat Racing...

2. Rudy either started Boat Drags or was the first to ever go over 100 MPH, or both... I'm not sure who would know for sure...

3. Rudy won the Salton Sea 500 three times, I think in a row... He was using an Allison Engine for one or two of the wins, so the rules got changed to car motors only...

4. At the 1967 Parker 9 Hour, Rudy and Ed Olsen drove together in a twin Ford Cobra Powered Rayson Craft...They didn't win, but led for hours...I can still recall those two Corbra's with 16 straight pipes stick up behind the driver... Rudy and Ed ran that mother FLAT FOOTED til she broke...At the time and I still feel this way, I could not have imagine myself driving that boat....I didn't have the hair then, and for sure wouldn't have it now....God they gave that big inboard a ride.....When Rudy had the wheel his muscles would be bulging hanging on... Coming by the pits, roaring, shaking the ground.....

5. 1966, Havasu Classic was won by Don Harper and Dutch Blazer in a 21 foot Rayson Craft with three Mercs... 118 boats, all outboards, no factory support...except for four Evinrude/Johnson Boats...Til that race, everyone thought of Rayson Crafts as INBOARD BOATS...

6. Rudy always "PROMOTED" BOAT RACING, I personally never felt he was trying to promote Rudy Ramos, it was Boat Racing, that Rudy liked to promote...At the 1967 Havasu Classic, Rudy Teamed with Bill Cooper and a young driver named Mike Reagan....(The son of California's governor.) Rudy had some help from Mercury...Bill Cooper drove two hours Saturday and Rudy drove two hours...and without covering old news was in second at the end of the first day....Mike Reagan was at the wheel when the BIG RAYSON CRAFT crossed the finish line first triple and first overall.. Rudy was talking to my brother, at Long Beach, just last month....Rudy said to Russ, "Do you remember when your brother won Twin Engine at Havasu?" Russ said, "YES."... Rudy then added who won OVERALL???? Russ thought and then said Mike Reagan, Bill Cooper and Rudy Ramos...Rudy later had a Twin Engine Jones, that Ron Larson got badly hurt in when he blew it over...Then Rudy ran a triple Jones for years, before he changed it to a KT....

Rudy's boats will always be considered V-Drive boats, but don't forget their OUTBOARD HISTORY...

7. I'm pretty sure that the Super Stock Class was started by Rudy.

8. Rudy donated time and money to promoting GN...He donated $500 to prize money for the 2006 Long Beach Sprint Nationals...Where his GN NUMBER 9 won....Dave Rankin did a great job driving...the Bouncey built engine ran like a song....

9. Rudy made an Anti Bucketing Helmet with under arms straps, I posted pictures here, but can't seem to find them... http://www.boatracingfacts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15&highlight=Rudy+Raymos Link about Rudy's helmet.

10. Rudy raced Offshore and even announced on live radio, many Offshore races. He'd fly over the course in KLAC 570 Radio and tall what was going on. I'd listen to the race, then as it was ending, jump in my car and hurry down to see the boats coming if after the race... Rudy had a 30 Chris Cat called Coors Light...

11. Rudy probably started every Catalina Ski Race...he pulled his daughter, Ronni, with a triple Engine Evinrude powered Scarrab..Ronnie and Stan Leader latter team to win mixed doubles..several times...

12. Rudy's only wife was Frankie Raymos...I think she and Rudy started the Long Beach Boat and Ski Club. The club that still promotes the Catalina Ski Race.

13. Rudy may have been the first to ever put velcro on his life jacket and the seat, so the driver wouldn't fly out as easy...Bill Cooper and Mike Wallace may have done this first...

I'm sure I've left out tons of stuff from Rudy LONG LIFE, hope some of you can add to my post...

Rudy called me often the last few years....I'd stop and see him whenever I was near...Rudy never had a son, but he had many drivers over the years that were like sons to him... My dad always did his propeller work on his outboards...The GN prop that they used at Long Beach was worked by Chad Hill...Rudy always liked to let me know that they USED MY KID'S PROP.

In the spring of 1998, we bought Rudy's 30' cat..Chad worked on that thing for about six months straight Rudy sold it to us at a cheap price knowing it was going to be Chad's job to rig it....

When Rudy sold his medium sized building last year, and moved to where he was, he called me and said I want to to sell this Ships Throttle Thing on E-BAY.....sO, i GO UP TO Rudy's, HE'S GOT THIS BRASS ANTIQUE HELM THING THAT WEIGHS ABOUT 500 POUNDS. I tell him nobody will buy that thing on E-Bay and how would we ship it anyway??? And how much did he think it was worth??? Rides says, it should be worth $1,500... I say, Rudy, I can get $1,000 for scrap brass....He says, well try and sell it...

So, I take a bunch of pictures, and list it for $1,500 first bid....Christ, the things sells for $2,200...I sold in Mexico, and I HAD TO SHIP IT TO TEXAS...I spend a whole day making a crate and boxing this "HELM THING"...Cussing myself for getting in the middle of it...I get the helm loaded on my truck, I pull out the $2,200 and start to give it to Rudy...He say, just give me $1,500....He say, I didn't think you'd sell it and I didn't know how to get it out of the house...He says, "Thanks.".....I say, "THANKS......." Then, he says why don't you take those magazines....? Four boxes of old magazines that 1970 Hot Boat was one..I think he just read them, tossed them in the boxes, as the newer ones were at the top, older at the bottom....

Rudy would call me sometimes 5-6 six times a day...But he never had a recorder on his phone, so half the time I called him back, I couldn't get a hold of him....Many people that bought props from Rudy always asked me were they supposed to pay Rudy or Me??? I'd always joke and say who do you want to et the money, me or RUDY??? Rudy and I have dealt on props for forty years.....honestly, I don't think any money ever changed hands...Rudy sold me lots of props....I always felt I was OK with his deals, and I think Rudy always felt OK with them too!!!!

I went by to see him, after Long Beach, to tell him how proud I was of his WIN....Even though, I told him, I was rooting for Plan B...(Because they had MY prop, not Chad's...) He was in great spirits, told me how much he enjoyed talking to my brother at Long Beach....I told him I really wanted to drive THE TUB of FOOLS in nostalgia....he said maybe.....Maybe is right Rudy, when I see you again, I be ready to drive her...

Rudy always ran NUMBER 9...My outboard number was 9, Chad still uses it....Rudy, I'll keep my promise I'll get a good prop for Lance...

Picture of Rudy, in the 1970 Powerboat magazine...


09-04-2006, 04:42 PM
Interesting you should mention the velcro to keep you in the seat. Back in the late 60s or early 70s, a friend of Dr. Cannan (whose team I was part of) used velcro on his seat and life jacket. The boat capsized and he couldn't get free of it and drowned. If I remember correctly, he was Harley White, and the boat was KM38

Ron Hill
11-29-2006, 10:16 PM
This is a d for Rayson Craft Boats.. February, 1965.

AJ Foyt articles in the same issue...

01-11-2007, 06:24 AM
You know life is a funny thing... I had always heard of Rudy Raymos. Often read about him. Never thought I would get the chance to meet him. Then I met him at long beach in 05 when I asked him for help with our heap. After that he would call me at least once a week to see how things were shakin! I remeber telling my wife when my cell rang on one particular occasion... honey hold that thought... This is Rudy calling to speak with me... her response was... Rudy who??? Mine was... Rudy Ramos! Duh... were buds & now I must talk with him about important stuff!:) Rudy was a real cool guy & had a real serious love for the sport! I am honered to own one of his children & will think of him every time we use it!:)

old rigger
01-11-2007, 09:39 AM
He was one of my heros growing up, and I always took the chance to talk to him at Long Beach when he was in the pits, and later when I was working in the boat shops and our paths would cross. He woudn't have known me if I fell on him, but he was always a blast to talk to, if not about boats, then hot rods. I was invited to attend a CRA dinner a few years ago and he was there too, along with Buck Smith and a few other boat guys who were all car guys first. It was a great evening for sure.
Rudy, Nordskog, Irv Brendel, all use to race either with CRA or on the dry lakes. Some like Nordskog did it pre war too!

Here's a shot of Rudy I found a while back to add to the thread, not a boat, but very cool.


V-Drive Video
01-11-2007, 09:42 AM
Some Quick Facts About Rudy:

1. Rayson Craft boats got thier name from Ramos and Son... Rudy's dad owned a large foundry in Gardena, Rudy worked in and around the business most of his life, but he didn't like the foundry business, he liked Boat Racing...

Hey Ron, great write up!!!

I used to talk to Rudy here and there and interviewed him many times. In one interview he said the Rayson name was from His dads first name combined with son so-> Ray and son = Rayson. Also, the first to 100 is an elusive subject because apparently there were 2 guys that ran 100 on the same day in two different places.

Thanks for the awesome write up and great site. And watch out for Maximus,, I hear he's a light stepper.:eek:

01-11-2007, 04:48 PM
Hey Ron, great write up!!!

I used to talk to Rudy here and there and interviewed him many times. In one interview he said the Rayson name was from His dads first name combined with son so-> Ray and son = Rayson. Also, the first to 100 is an elusive subject because apparently there were 2 guys that ran 100 on the same day in two different places.

Thanks for the awesome write up and great site. And watch out for Maximus,, I hear he's a light stepper.:eek:

Jerry put the pickle jar back! Dammit...:rolleyes:

01-11-2007, 05:14 PM
You can see Rudy's Hot rod at the Peterson Automotive museum in Pomona, right at the fiar grounds adjacent to the Pomona Speedway.

Also, if you go to reply #509 in "Do you Know" on this forum, you can see a very cool AMT model boat of Rudy driving his Rayson craft powered by a SOHC Ford motor.

Though I never had the priviledge to meet him, his accomplishments were incredible.

Luckie Stiff
01-11-2009, 05:10 PM
I just sold a 75 RC daycruiser with a Berkeley in it, any idea how many boats Rudy made with jets?

02-16-2009, 08:38 PM
I was one of the lucky ones to have had the best of all worlds. My dad was a racer and he was selling rayson craft boats on the east coast. Rudy and my dad were really friends even with the West Meets the East!!! I met Rudy when I was 12 yrs old and the race pit brat back in 1961. I would love it when we had to go to the west coast. Rudy was one of the nicest man you could ever have met. There was always candy and lots of laughs when I got there. My dad was Pete Barden and our boat was a gold and white rayson craft called Gaybar S.K. 66 U.S. 1 1961. My dad had the love of racing just like Rudy did. My father would think nothing of jumping on a plane and fly out on Mondays after a weekend of racing to get what ever he needed for boat or motor and of course a few hours of talk with Rudy and Ed. My dad really surprised me when he bought brought home Ed's Cream Puff. My dad raced her for a few yrs. We meant up with Ed at the nationals in Gunersville Ala. with his new Cream Puff. My dad was in a different heat than Ed. My dad placed for the race while Ed had problems with his boat. Well the out come was my dad ran one heat and he had Ed run the other heat. Cream Puff did her thing and was riding high!!!! The boat was on the front of a magazine with all the other boats at the starting line. I wish I could remember the name of the book. Sadly I had it along with all my dads memories and newspaper clippings and they were lost when we moved. My dads next to last race was the President Cup in 1965 . On Sat he won the race with his Gaybar but we lost our other boat Double D to the river with Bill Conklin driving her. It took hrs for the divers to find her but at the trophy dinner we were given the word that they had a line on her and was raised first thing Sun. morning. My dad was racing his Gaybar again on Sun. when all you saw was a big spray and Al Bauer the judge said oh my God its Pete. This was unheard of Gaybar leaving the water she rode like she was on a train track. She went end over end three times and went straight down nose first by the time they got to my dad all he had left was a bucket seat. The divers found her and up she came sides torn off deck half missing motor side ways but those weber carbs. were there in one piece. My dad had finally listen to Rudy and put Webers carb. on the motor and thats what had him more upset than everything else that happened. As he said to Rudy well do you think I can be up and running by next weekend????? Well believe it or not he was up and running again with a new Gaybar. Rudy and my dad pulled it off once again. As my dad was racing he never felt the broken ribs and his eye which came out of the socket. Ice packs and sunglasses hid everything at the drivers meeting. I lost my dad in Nov of 1966 but up till the day he died he was still laughing with Rudy and planning his races for the up and coming season. I will always remember Rudy as a gentlemen caring man and one hell of a racer and be thankful for all his help. Its so true that you become one big family and I couldn't have asked for a better family than all the racers I have met and been with. All I can say is there must be a hell of a race going on up there. Race hard Guys!!!!!!!

Master Oil Racing Team
02-17-2009, 07:33 AM
That's one heck of a story SK66. Thanks for sharing.:cool:

Ted March
02-17-2009, 07:47 AM
I agree. Thanks so much.

02-02-2012, 11:36 AM
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread but just ran across this thread at work. We currently own the Gaybar. It's amazing how stories change and get mixed up through time after getting passed on from person to person especially in comparison to someone who was actually there (sk66). We were always under the impression the Gaybar we owned and purchased from Gay Barden (which might be you) was the only one. We thought that the Cream Puff was the one involved in the accident and that Gaybar, other than trial runs, was never raced. That Pete Barden went to bring the Gaybar down to Florida from New Jersey for its first race, had trailer trouble and was forced to turn around, never making the race. He unfortunately died a couple months later. That's the story we were always told. Very very interesting. I would never question a person that was there, but is it possible your father crashed in the SK-89 CreamPuff (obviously he could have crashed both)? Then raced the Gaybar? Just thinking out loud. Interesting the second Gaybar was not named Gaybar 2. Also ours has 6 Stromburg carbs, not Weber.

I'll have to tell my father about this, thank you!

Ron Hill
02-02-2012, 07:38 PM
Enjoyed every word here, read them several times. I know nothing here, but I call Billy Olsen, Ed's son, who lives at Parker to see if he has in memories of the GAYBAR.

I talked to Bill about two years ago, he mind about old races seems "Sharp as a tack". Maybe he can shed some light here....Oh, I called, and left a message, he didn't "PICK UP"....


I miss Rudy, he was a racer 24-7 til the end.

02-03-2012, 06:06 AM
That's great Ron! Sounds like an interesting guy. I talked to my dad about these conflicting stories and he says he was there (which I knew) growing up in Greenwood Lake, and never saw any boats other than the three (Hootinanny, Creampuff, and Gaybar). Also, my uncle (who was 5 years older than my dad) was OBSESSED with these boats and did all the research on them. It's how he actually found the Hootinanny in back of a gas station in '91 (he had a knack for finding anything he set his mind to finding), found the story of the Creampuff.

These boats were put together in Greenwood Lake, NY at the GayBar Marina on the north end of the lake. Barden was a Rayson Craft dealer as well so you can see the connection with Rayson craft hulls out in California. However, we think that Pete Barden got some shells (my dad saw them) and built the hulls up from the shell. This is something he always knew about, that Pete Barden had modified the hulls in some way. The mahogany decking is not seen on any Rayson crafts I've ever seen, but was a feature on these 3 hulls (correct me if I'm wrong of course). This is another point that's not for certain, but my dad DID see the shells. My uncle also got our 1962 Rayson craft "Temptation" through Pete Barden. That boat is also somewhat famous in Greenwood Lake history. Many people there still know about her. Anyway, my uncle knew Gay and she knew how badly my uncle wanted the GayBar. We got it in 1991, it was purchased 3 ways between my uncle, father, and grandfather. My uncle passed away in '94, but not before gathering all of this info (or knowing it already) about the boat. We know a lot more, including who took the parts off the GayBar before it was put into the crawlspace it sat in for decades. I won't name names, but this individual and Pete had a falling out because he was owed money by Pete (allegedly) and took the parts (both driveshafts, gauges, rudder, and propeller). Through research to see what these new parts would cost (and if they were available) I found it comes to around $5-6k (the custom driveshafts and the material required are the killer). Anyway, once we have that kind of money lying around we will start the restoration.

One last thing. There are pictures around on the web of the Creampuff being raced and THAT one has US-1 on it with Pete Barden driving. There are no pictures of the GayBar being raced, because as we believe to be the case, it never was. Certainly it would also have US-1 on the GayBar if that was the boat that US-1 was achieved in, no? Correct me if I'm wrong but US-1 is a pretty big deal. I've seen people hand paint it on a backup boat at a race, it's that important. I say this about a "backup" boat because if there was a 2nd GayBar and GayBar was the boat that US-1 was achieved it, would it not also be on our GayBar? My dad never heard the story of Creampuff being owned by someone else, but it could be possible, but he is also certain all 3 boats were always there together, he saw them. His favorite was always the Creampuff because of the beautiful pearl white paint. He used to watch Creampuff do trial runs on the north end of the lake in front of Pete Barden's marina. Nevertheless, would love to know what happened to her after the crash, probably scrapped. Hootinanny was already a lost cause in 1991 sadly enough....

steve sr.
02-03-2012, 09:48 AM
Alot of Chuck Stearns ski race victories were behind the #3 Rayson Craft driven by Bill. including several of his Catalina race victories. I think it was a 20 footer and I know it was powered by a FORD

02-20-2012, 09:23 PM
Rudy's first boat was the first plywood flat bottom v-drive ski boat built by Joe Mandella. Rudy got it in 1950. The engine was from Rudy's roadster on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine. Rudy got several boats from Joe. One was on the cover of Speed and Spray. Joe died in June '56. My uncle Ernie bought the Mandella Boat Co. from Joe's widow, Mary. I started building wood Mandellas in Jan '57. We built several boats for Rudy. One was the drag race flat bottom RUMRUNNER. It was the third drag boat to run over 100 mph in a 1/4 mile. After we built the plugs for the glass Mandellas, wood Mandella production stopped. I went to work for Rayson Craft building wood decks and plugs. Later I built plugs and wood decks for Rudy at my shop, in the mid '60s.
A few months before Rudy got his last checkered flag, he sent me pics of his first Joe Mandella boat. It was 16' flat bottom, Hallcraft v-drive, F H Ford from his roadster. I would like to build a clone of this boat. I have drawn pland and have a Hallcraft v-drive. I need a 24 stud F H Ford engine.

07-15-2014, 07:54 PM
Another thread resurrection.

Well. We have to eat our own words so to speak. We found a photo of the "first" Gaybar in a box stored away that was my uncle's. It is of Gaybar with a US 1 emblem on the bow. Obviously destroyed from the crash told by the original poster. Well, we have a Gaybar as well, indicating that the story of "another" Gaybar being up and running for the following weekend after the crash is correct. Our belief now is that our Gaybar engine was salvaged or taken from one of the other boats or US 1 Gaybar. It could be the Gaybar US 1 engine, we are not sure. We were also told that Keith Black may have built these engines, but are not sure about that either. Also of interest is that our Gaybar is not called "Gaybar II" it also has the same racing numbers. It does not have the US-1 shield either.

We additionally found two photos of Hootenanny, the boat that was found rotting in the back of a gas station in 1991. Photos of all the boats (except for our boats) are taken at Greenwood Lake, NY, right in front of Gaybar Marina, Pete Barden's place. Please enjoy the photos






07-16-2014, 10:39 AM
Bob Gilliam told me that he sold Ramos the Allison engine, which Al Thorsen had built. Instead of retaining the centrifugal blower and aircraft injector/carburetor that the fighter planes and U-boats used, Ramos equipped the engine with Webers. The supercharger drive, famously known by Seattle Unlimited fans as the "quill-shaft," was prone to breaking, and certainly would have failed during one of those rough marathons.