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Thread: Crackerbox forerunner?

  1. #1
    Team Member seacow's Avatar
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    Default Crackerbox forerunner?

    I found this interesting Century Thunderbolt. In 1933 it came as a 14 foot single step hull. It was built to the specs of the 2 litre class and ran at 42 mph with a 4 cylinder motor. The redesigned version came out in pre-war 1938-1939 and was apparently a flat-bottom runabout with a length of 15'6" with a 244 ci six. It ran at an impressive 50mph back then. The crackerbox class emerged 2 years after WWII. Based upon appearance and specs my guess is that the Century Thunderbolt was the model, template or inspiration for the post war crackerboxes.

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    There's a clear link there, at least stylistically. The advent of home built boats spurred by the availability of marine grade plywood, still a relatively new material after WWII, would have naturally pushed the evolution of the Century Thunderbolt design in the direction towards what became the Crackerbox class. Glen-L Witt, probably the most influential force in home built plywood boats, had a Crackerbox design but I find it to have too much freeboard rendering it much clunkier looking then the Century Thunderbolt and certainly nowhere near as sleek as the Patterson style which became the norm for west coast racing.

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