View Full Version : Boat Racing is Circling the Drain

Ron Hill
08-21-2022, 04:59 PM
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Hi Ron. Any ideas on where stock and mod outboard should be heading at this point? The ship seems to be captainless and rudderless at this point. We have a multitude of people looking for J equipment up here. Bob Abbott himself is looking for 17 J engines right now OMC/Merc or anything else that may work. There are TORC members looking for engines. Right now we are chasing our tails. What should we be looking at for solutions? I have people all the time looking for equipment and cannot send them anywhere for a new motor other than talking to Ric and getting on the list with Mike for a new Yamato. Haven’t seen any updates on the Merc 20 4 stroke project in forever. What’s going on with Sidewinder LLC since Ed passed away? It’s easy to see why people leave this deal and go to other forms of racing. I don’t understand the deal with mod either. Chasing stock Yamato gearcases because they don’t want to change the rules to allow the use of brand new pro gear cases. Does that make any sense? Anyways, looking for your thoughts on the current picture and what it should look like moving forward. Thanks. (Not Ron Hill)

I am leaving the writer's name off to protect the guilty!

Ron Hill thinks.

1. I have made a very good living making propellers for 53 years. Where have in the past made money, lots of it, and now is NEW MOTORS. Boat Racing in general has embraced old motors forever, but the guys that win have the good motors and they won't sell them.

Problems that I am aware of:

A. Buying motors from Mike Ward is great but there are few that hit the USA. Yamato his changed motors from the Model 80, the 101, 102, the 302 and the 321. What will be next.

B. Lee Sutter has some very good Yamato Motors, I asked him to sell me one, he said he'd get back to me.

C. Word from Bob Wartinger is that Ric Montoya has 65 motors in boxes just as they came from Japan. Mark Tate tried to buy all of them. Ric would not sell any. They are his motors and he should be able to keep them if he wants.

D. Mike Jones told me he had 12 OMC "A" Motors. He sent pictures of four. I offered $1,500 each. He said, "Too cheap, talk to Sutter or Frank Erion". I talk to Sutter, I E-Mail Frank. Both said , "Prices look fair." I E-Mail Mike, no answer. Sutter says, "Jones doesn't want to sell them."

E. When the "Champion Hot Rod" came up for sale, before Runne took the project over, my brother, Rod Zapf, Bill Boyes and I discuss buying the "Business". We concluded that why would we go to the trouble to build a 1955 Outboard engine? We discussed making a motor on a new sheet of paper but then realized we sell how many? (Rod, my brother Russ each had enough money to fund this project, Bill Boyes and I were on the low end of the dollars. But as an investment, we'd be better off sponsoring races).

2. Safety: I have an 11 year old grandson, that I would not put in a race boat. If you watched the video of that J Hydro accident, you realize someone could easily have been killed. Kelly Hannon getting hit in the neck and getting very lucky not to be killed only a major cut.

A CUT SUIT IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAT A CAPSULE WOULD BE. Anyone know how many people have been hurt in a Tri Hull Roll Cage????

3. 300 entries at 2022 Nationals, WOW. 50 people running 6 classes. Three heats is better that two. Longer heats. Combined classes. People own more boat so they can race more. Look at the Chilli Bowl in Oklahoma 500 plus cars in one class they race all week.

4. In business you change the people or you change the people. In boat racing, I started the Mini Boats, I start Sport C, C Poduction UJ, I name the class MOD VP. Co founded COR, OK'D TRI HULL RACING, OK'D SUPER SPORT (BOTH WHILE APBA OPC VP)wrote the rule for the NEW Parker ENDURO 2004-2022. BUT IN EVERY CLASS I STARTED, the drivers rewrote the rules to fit their needs, except Tri Hull.

John Schubert in TEXAS HAS RUN THE Tri Hull CLASS since 1999. He wrote the rules, he enforces the rules. At this time I don't know if it is a National Class or not, but they don't care.

5. Dumb rules send people away. If have a friend that has raced since maybe 1956, he and his granddaughter went to DePue. They gave her a prop to test but APBA gave her a different one to race. She didn't get on plane for she first heat. Second heat she got on plane but her throttle wire pulled out. How is it possible to have this happen? We had two new racers at Bakersfield (Thanks to lan Sutfun and Buzz Rasmusen for selling them some equipment). But one of kids throttle got hooked up wrong and stick wide open, again this could have been bad.

OK. I have spelled out enough problems, now for some answers.