View Full Version : Deck Rider

08-17-2017, 09:22 AM
I often wondered where the term " deck rider " in F runabout got its name and while looking through some old editions of Speed and Spray online I found my answer. My question is did he ride like this the entire race or just to get on plane ?

08-17-2017, 10:09 AM
Great picture Dale. I rode in many of those older boats. They called them side by side. The rider got on the deck to plane out, then went to the deck through the turn. After the turn back to beside or little behind the driver. I rode for Dick Schoenfield (sp) several times from L.A. His boat also had a handle at the back of the deck to put your foot in to hold you from sliding. And you never let him wax the boat lol. They also called the riders riding mechanics, they would adjust the motor if needed. Now they should call the riders crazy!!! Lol

08-18-2017, 06:13 AM
I know this is a bit before your time , 1953 I believe , but any idea who this may be Todd ???

08-18-2017, 07:02 AM
Way before my time Dale 30 years before lol. If I had to guess the number C-86 Buzz Miller comes to mind. If I get a chance I will look after work as I hauled his boat to races for a number of years and he raced the 460 motors for a long time, as well as FER.

08-18-2017, 03:26 PM
Dale- I looked at my pictures. The boat are different and Buzz didn't have all the numbers on when I took the picture years ago. His boat was white with red stripes but the hull design is different. I also thought of the late Bill Boyes but no idea sorry. Maybe Ron Hill might know.

Ron Hill
08-20-2017, 05:48 PM
I often wondered where the term " deck rider " in F runabout got its name and while looking through some old editions of Speed and Spray online I found my answer. My question is did he ride like this the entire race or just to get on plane ?

These DeSilva boats were the old "ROUND SIDES", but this was "F" Runabout racing in Hawaii!

Square sided DeSilva's didn't come out til about 1955.

Fred Hauenstein on Deck, Jay Root driving.

Ron Hill
08-20-2017, 07:54 PM
My sister's husband wanted to ride deck, and he did, once. He got up on the deck, and once the got going he would not get back in the cockpit. The driver pulled his pants down, but he stayed on the deck the whole heat.

C-286 is George Peak with my brother in law on deck... He ain't liking it.

08-24-2017, 07:56 PM
C-86 was Fred Hauenstien Sr.'s boat number. I'm not totally positive, but Sr. quit driving in late '53 or early '54. Unfortunetly the color of the boat doesn't ring a bell. George Peak also ran 'F' hydro. Infact, he gained lots of fame when he built his new 'F' hydro with anchor nails & glue. He was testing at Long Beach and came flying down the front straightaway. He continued on clear down and under the bridge on the South end of the corse. After an hour or so, everyone on the beach started laughing, for on the back straightaway was a patrol boat pulling the first ever surfboard with a steering column! Yep, everything was gone except the bottom, steering column and George! Blue and while were the colors of Curley Owens. He built & drove his own boats. Buzz Miller if I remember correctly was yellow & black. Ahhh!, getting old is a terrible thing. Can't remember didly squat!

08-24-2017, 08:17 PM
Thanks for the update on the boat. Buzz Miller's hydro was natural wood at least the one I seen. His runabout was white just like the one in the picture prior to his last new DeSilva which was orange and natural wood. Not sure of his boat colors prior to that though lol

Ron Hill
08-25-2017, 04:56 PM
At Sparks, 1966, Benny Miller spun his DeSilva Runabout in front of me, a red and white boat, and Sparks being Sparks, I had no where to go but over the top of him. Didn't hurt him too much, fin cut. Buzz Miller worked with investors at Drake Indy engines in 1978-79...Same Buzz?

George Peak's F Hydro, his single step that my dad bought off George, was chartreuse and pink. I think his F Runabout was that color, also, but it came out orangish in Boat Sport.

Curley Owens' F Runabout was gray and blue.......Blue and white Hauenstein Runabout was owned by "FAT", a friend of Ed Kurakowa.

I think that is what I remember.

08-25-2017, 10:34 PM
Ron, not disagreeing with you, but John Toprahanian bought Curley's boat from hin at long Beach. Curley was racing his newly completed 'F'. I remember, because my sister Peggy and I painted John T's number (C-174) on Curley's old boat for the next race. John left it the same color for years. It was blue with white trim. Then after dumping it a few times in the corners, and John having a heart attack, my father started driving it. It was a bear to turn. Just before Green Lake in Seattle 1959, John and dad added a extended non-trip to the right chine. John had also put tunned exhaust on the 460. Repainted the boat mostly black with a big white curved strip going fromstearn to deck to mid-front. Seattle was a bust for me as John had me turn off my fuel after testing. Glen Campbell dumped the 'F' on the front straightaway. While they were towing the boat to the pits, John went to the ambulance to make sure Glen was okay. Then the 5 minute gun for 'A' hydros. Stupid me, I cranked & cranked & cranked. Too late, the one minute gun. Second heat, fuel valve on, I make it to the milling area and my throttle stuck wide open (53mph) and I took an unexpected bath.

Ron Hill
08-26-2017, 11:27 AM
Did Curley have a second F Runabout? Do you know where Bob Marvick got his F Runabout?

The blue and white runabout I was thinking about was Joe Macahdo's, and his crew chief was named "Fat"....no very politically correct today.

08-26-2017, 04:53 PM
Ron, the first picture is the 'F' runabouts the race right after John T. purchased Curely's boat. I seem to remember these two boats were the first attempt at this design. With the second (C-210) was supposed to be the better of the two. C-174 is John Toprahanian driving, Bob Jackson Jr. riding.6280262813

08-26-2017, 05:04 PM
This picture is the start of 'F's' at Long Beach where John bought Curley's first attempt at this desigh. You can clearly see Curley (C-210) closest to you. C-54 Walt Gillo, C-208, having a senior moment here. Forgot, but know. C-174 John & dad in their first home built boat. Right next to it, you can see the front of Curley's other boat. That is the one John purchased right after the second heat.6280362812

08-26-2017, 05:12 PM
Now to answer a question about Marvick's boat. Not really sure if I have the boat maker correct. However C-54, Walt's 'F', was built by the same person that made Chuck Parson's boat of this type. I seem to remember the name 'Phantom', just not really sure. After Parson's first appearance in this style boat, Walt Gillo, Bob Marvick, Al Brooks Jr., and 2 more I can't remember appeared on the scene.6280462811

08-26-2017, 05:15 PM
Great info. Wish attachments were available. I should stop by and,see Casey as he lives less than a mile from me.

08-26-2017, 05:20 PM
It was end of 1956 racing season and early '57 season that dad & John made a trip to Chuck Parson's house in Lodi. It was a fast trip as they were going to measure Chuck's boat so dad, John & grandpa could build one. If I remember correctly, when they finshed the boat, dad & Collie never lost a race that season, including the 'F' Nationals in San Diego Flood Control Channel.6280662810

08-26-2017, 05:26 PM
Here are two pictures of the 'F' Nationals that year. I don't remember which heat they were, but both pic's were second corner, first lap.6280762808 Second pic is Bob Cockburn C-172. Dad & John's second attempt at Parson's copy.62809

08-26-2017, 05:59 PM
One last note as I just had a senior moment replay! C-208 (Simms, maybe Doc). Second on to the original post. The term; riding mechanic came from when this class was first ran. The boats had NO steering wheel! Seems to me that it was called a 'tiller'. The driver steered with his right hand while the left was on the throttle. The mechanic would reach back on the straighaway's and adjust the carb's. Usually guy's welded or attached washers or coins the the hi & lo speed jets. The coins developed a name for one racer. His boats were called two-bits & 4-bits! During the approach to a turn the machanic would have to go out on the deck to compensate for the driver being stuck back by the motor. The main reason for short cockpits in those days. After the additions of a steering wheel the mechanic now became the deck rider. And 'F' runabouts became the star of the racing outboards. That is the reason they were always run last on the agenda. A spectater pleasing event.

08-26-2017, 06:00 PM
My thanks to all of you racers for making me remember the best days of my life!

Ron Hill
08-26-2017, 06:10 PM
Well. XX, was Ellis Esterbrook. The C-210 WAS Curley's second boat and I seem to remember it as gray and blue. Jackie Lowheed or Santa Ana, California was allowed to race his D Utility D-99-C in F Runabout, but was badly beaten and didn't try that again.

The Phantom boats came out of Washington and I think a guy with a last name of Shirley built them. As the first ones we knew of, Rocky Stone had and they were called Shirley Phantoms. Later Wilbur McDonald build copies, Ed Karwakowa had one in his barn when he passed about two years ago.

Before Elgin Gates bought the Mercury Distributorship, he worked for Doc Jones in Spokane, Washington. That is where Egin got the idea to build boats in Mexico, the boats became know as Mexican Floaters.

Ted May and Butch May are driving Mexican Floaters at the Needles Marathon, circa 1968. Butch's bost says, "A", but that is a "B" motor.

Ron Hill
07-01-2018, 03:15 PM
If you go to your name, I think all your posts will be listed. Let me if not, and I can post them.

07-04-2018, 07:54 AM
They look a wee bit different today.

07-04-2018, 08:23 AM
They drove side by side and on the deck in the turns at DePue Nationals in the 70's.

07-04-2018, 08:44 AM
To me , a flat deck DeSilva with a Deflector , Looper or a 460 is very iconic in Alky boat racing but in term of pure safety the new design of the Krier runabout was game changing. I always wondered when looking at a KR from behind how you guys stayed in those boats. Technology and innovation changes everything and usually for the better.