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Thread: Charleton hydros

  1. #1
    Team Member smittythewelder's Avatar
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    Default Charleton hydros

    About 1966 or '67, J Dub's dad John Myers acquired a Charleton hydro. Don't know if it was new or used, or where John got it. If memory serves, it was nominally a C Stock boat, and John might have used it for that without my having noticed; what I remember is John's dad, Bill Myers, a wonderful guy (and OLD, it seemed to me as a dumb twenty year old kid)(Bill was fifty then, LOL), running it first in BOH with an old Konig deflector twin, and a little later with a Quincy loop A. The Charleton (correct my spelling if needed) was the only one out here, rather exotic, even a little weird-looking with its enormous-looking cockpit and big round cowl edge but a flat fabric cowl, and odd non-trip angles (steep angle for the sponsons, shallow for the afterplanes). Rode rather flat, seems to me, but I don't recall what the Myers men thought about the ride or handling. I don't know where the boat went after Myers were done with it.

    I know that Charleton had been building boats for many years before we saw this one in Reg 10. I never hear anybody make reference to these boats, and it isn't right that they should disappear from our collective memory without a trace. Who can tell us about this boatbuilder? John Schubert will know, I bet. Who used and liked them? When did they cease production? Anybody have photos?

    (I hope I haven't asked about this before, and forgotten. I have an excellent memory, but short, nano-seconds sometimes. I couldn't find anything with the Search).

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    Team Member DeanFHobart's Avatar
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    Mike Raich also had one for CSH and / or DSH. He went back to a Sid-Craft the next year.
    Dean Hobart

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    They were built around Ft. Lauderdale. I remember them when I was station in Tampa. That was 1969 and I can't remember a new one being built after that. Dave Rawson was building boats and he had worked for Charlton before that . In the water I always thought they looked cool and like a alligator. If you put a pair of eyes near the top of the cowl and with that long nose that's what it looked like to me. There were a lot of them built in the fifties but you never see one now.
    FLYER
    Leigh

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Bob Brown Won the CSH Nationals in 1958 and 1959.

    I don't think I'd ever seen a Charleton until I was in Seattle, 1959. As a "Nosey" young man I asked Bob Brown why he had a water pick up on the bottom of his sponson fin. He said, "Well, when was quits squirting out of the fin, I move forward." He said, the boat rode so smoothly you could not feel if lift, then, you'd "Blow Over". His water pick up, much like a speedo tube" was his "Anti Blow Over" device.

    I have much more in my head, but, the interesting thing, Elgin Gates, the So Cal Mercury Distributor has some A-B hydro built in Mexico that I always felt the Charleton was copied from. I will look for some pictures tomorrow and continue my story!

  5. #5
    Team Member smittythewelder's Avatar
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    Pretty clever idea! When I got my first alky motor, an old 2-pipe A Konig, somebody told me, "The two best moments you'll have doing this stuff come right before disaster strikes. First is when the boat starts to get nice and light and loose, and the ride gets real smooth and quiet, . . . just before you blow over. The second is when the engine starts running real clean and even and really winding out, really singing, . . . just before it sticks."

    What was that about somebody getting a boat built in Mexico? Were there any racers from there in those years?

  6. #6
    BoatRacingFacts VIP John Schubert T*A*R*T's Avatar
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    Default Charleton Hydros

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hill View Post
    I don't think I'd ever seen a Charleton until I was in Seattle, 1959. As a "Nosey" young man I asked Bob Brown why he had a water pick up on the bottom of his sponson fin. He said, "Well, when was quits squirting out of the fin, I move forward." He said, the boat rode so smoothly you could not feel if lift, then, you'd "Blow Over". His water pick up, much like a speedo tube" was his "Anti Blow Over" device.

    I have much more in my head, but, the interesting thing, Elgin Gates, the So Cal Mercury Distributor has some A-B hydro built in Mexico that I always felt the Charleton was copied from. I will look for some pictures tomorrow and continue my story!
    Yes he did but stuffed in Beloit 1960. Guess the water thingy didn't tell him about when is was about to stuff.. He also had a padded MK30 block.There also was a guy in Mass. that had one, pretty fast until I beat him on time in 1961 with my C-D Sid. Smitty, the only oither hydros that I drove was 2 races in a Swift in 1953 then switched to a Jacoby through 1955 when my dad convinced Sid to build a hydro. I had the 1st one in 1956. Always drove Sid's thereafter. Forgot to mention, Chris Ernestson from Ft Lauderdale won BSH in 1957 at Worster, MA in a Charleton. He was one of a couple that were legal on the stat of the second heat. I wasn't, had high hopes after winning the divisionals. BTW Chris had a 20H as I did, several Hot Rods also in the finals.
    Last edited by John Schubert T*A*R*T; 11-05-2015 at 07:03 AM. Reason: additional material

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    BoatRacingFacts VIP John Schubert T*A*R*T's Avatar
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    Default Charleton hydros

    Quote Originally Posted by FurnalFlyer View Post
    They were built around Ft. Lauderdale. I remember them when I was station in Tampa. That was 1969 and I can't remember a new one being built after that. Dave Rawson was building boats and he had worked for Charlton before that . In the water I always thought they looked cool and like a alligator. If you put a pair of eyes near the top of the cowl and with that long nose that's what it looked like to me. There were a lot of them built in the fifties but you never see one now.
    FLYER
    Leigh
    Anybody remember the Mishey hydro? From Phoenix I believe. They kind of reminded me of the Charleton because of the front deck.
    Last edited by John Schubert T*A*R*T; 11-05-2015 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Correcting input

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    Team Member smittythewelder's Avatar
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    But who was the man behind the Charleton boats, where was his shop (oops, Flyer says Ft. Lauderdale), when and how did he get started, when did he stop building, etc., etc.?? And is he still with us? I just think we ought to have stories on these guys while a few still remember.


    Gotta remember (duhh) to call Bob Rhoades, who hasn't been involved in a long time, and see if he will come here and tell his story. Bob's boats, most of which were built with the assistance of his brother-in-law and fellow C/DSH racer Jim Daniels, were some of the best-handling, best-turning hydros of their day, as were those of another Seattle builder, Ed Karelsen. Maybe we can locate Larry Goff, too, whose hydros were so beautiful they should have gone straight into art galleries and museums. I don't know anything about any of the local builders of recent decades, so at some point maybe the younger crowd will tell us about them.

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    I remember one in the 60's, owned by a guy from Ottawa, Ontario ( Ross ? ). Someone else described the ride as in rough water as driving a big sponge.

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    Team Member F-12's Avatar
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    There was also a Cajun by the name of J. C. Smith, from Ft. Myers, FL, who had a BSH Charlton hydro. He did really well in FL but never traveled to out of state races. Quite the colorful racer......
    Charley Bradley


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