View Full Version : How Ron Hill Would Plan for a 20 HP Four Stroke Class

Ron Hill
03-14-2023, 07:06 PM
I think, number one would be to establish a "Soap Box Derby" class. Also known as DIY 20 HP Class>

This boat would be old school. Like 10'6" long, 22 inch bottom, fin on the bottom, 10" high sides. I'd have a transom pattern and a center rib pattern.

This would be a sit down class, designed to be built with Home Depot wood and a 200 pound driver. Driver would be required to sit in front of mid ships (5 feet, 3 inches from the inside the transom).

If I can get Ernie Dawe to build one, I will make templates of the transom and center rib...

Soap Box Derby Class

Every race would consist of:

1. Two rules at a slalom course for time. As a chance to see if the driver can drive.
2. Two 15 lap qualifiers.
3. Double elimination 660 Drags
4. 30 Lap main event
Total points for the top three trophies.

I would still encourage 3 lap heats in B Hydro and B Runabout....

5. There would be a Youth Class, 10-14 years olds , that runs one 15 lap heat.

Ron Hill
03-15-2023, 07:58 PM
Ernie and I have been friends since about 1959. We raced hard against each other. He won Nationals and I won Nationals. Ernie has probably built 200 boats.

I have done his props, Steven's props, Tammy's props for every Now, I'm working with granddaughter Kara.

Tammy Dawe passed, at 42 years old about ten years ago.

Her sister is Mandy Dawe, is taking over my wife's Eye Doctor position. Kara is Mandy's daughter.

I don't see this class becoming bigger the "Bubble Up" but I think what I will offer: Anyone buys the plans for $25.00, proceeds going to the class. Yu show me a completed race "Soap Box Derby Boat" with legal Merc or Tohatsu 20 HP on it, I will give you a race propeller.

Here's our boat, just want it to be 2023 and a sit down...

Ron Hill
03-15-2023, 08:06 PM
The picture of me driving a Quincy on a Hill Runabout was for the ARR Runabout Kilo record, of 70. The newer, mahogany and blue boat upped the record with Carl Meyers driving it.

Ernie and drew the boat out on the floor of our apartment in college on the back of wall paper. A few beers and a few arguments but we built the boat.

Ron Hill
03-15-2023, 08:10 PM
Tell me if you can see the "Secret" as to why Hill Runabout were very fast. A very clear picture as to why. ARR Kilo record, 70 plus, 1966.

03-16-2023, 06:12 AM
Tell me if you can see the "Secret" as to why Hill Runabout were very fast. A very clear picture as to why. ARR Kilo record, 70 plus, 1966.

Of course the secret is that Ron Hill is driving it. On a more serious note it's because the boat runs loose on the last inch or two of the bottom. All my runabouts were made to run like that, which is what made a runabout more fun to run than a hydro. If it wasn't running loose, then you might as well be driving a log.
Bill Rosado

03-16-2023, 11:30 AM
Your butt is behind the transom at the waterline.

Ron Hill
03-16-2023, 11:47 AM
When my butt looked like it was behind the transom, I had a 4 inch set back, an unheard of set up, 1966.

Looking at #9, Hill 12 foot runabout with a 40 Tohatsu on it....We may need a deeper boat than I'm thinking for a 20 Tohatsu.

03-16-2023, 05:00 PM
When the OMC came out for the J, I built boats with extended transoms to use the engine weight to counterbalance the boat weight forward of the transom. At the time, everyone was moving the engines into the boats to try to get as high as possible with the engine. I did not care about engine height as my focus was on the weight distribution across the entire length of the rig. I could put a single sawhorse at the transom and both the hydro and runabout would balance on it. Many were sure my rigs would not go fast, yet they ended up being the two fastest J rigs in the country running 40 and 60 lbs overweight and my son able to sit in the middle of the cockpits able to drive with comfort. The only thing everyone saw was how deep we ran the engines and they could not understand why they went so fast. Bill Rosado

Mini Max
06-17-2023, 08:17 AM
My first race was Jessup marathon, as in first time I ever raced a boat. I love my seat. Fixed the sliding seat after the first day. The steering slides 18 also. It was like working out on the rowing machine at the gym while playing the trombone. I did not have the thrust jack stop nut tightened properly so I had 5 degrees of tuck by the end of the race. I also learned to reduce throttle on right turns after the first 5 spin outs. Must do better.

Fitted 20 hp to a Desilva and building a new boat for another 20 for TOPO if they let the class race.79855

Ron Hill
06-27-2023, 03:44 PM
When was this marathon? How long was it? How many entries?

Mini Max
06-28-2023, 03:59 AM
When was this marathon? How long was it? How many entries?


The Marathon was timed, 20 minutes. One Marathon Saturday, One Marathon Sunday.

Howie Nichols was the race Director and stated there were 144 pre-registrations.

CSR Marathon with perhaps 5 or 6 boats and one DSR

I took my 20 hp Tohatsu to the race and Kurt Romberg displayed it at the inspection tent.

Mini Max
12-24-2023, 06:02 AM
Different strokes for different folks.

We have a number of 20 hp Tohatsu/Mercury engines being fitted to existing or new boats.

Ron Hill, a kneeler and a sit down
Jim Gardiner, a new short course and a new marathon sit down.
Kerry Hamlin, short course/marathon fitted to a Brinkman BSR.
Carolina Virginia Racing Association (CVRA) New Runne boat for for Driving School and Racing.
Harry Schoell (80 yr old) sit Down Marathon for TOPO


01-14-2024, 08:03 AM
Just an idea for steering should anyone want to use cables vs a Morse system. Gives you a visualization of what needs to happen with your 4 stroke motor.

GoFast Cracker Bay
01-25-2024, 07:39 AM
Just an idea for steering should anyone want to use cables vs a Morse system. Gives you a visualization of what needs to happen with your 4 stroke motor.

Were the powerhead bolts not suitable to bolt a steering bracket to? The difference being you're steering through the motor mounts on that bracket you have pictured, right?

01-25-2024, 09:16 AM
The triangle formed by the steering bars and cable could be a problem in a flip. In the mid 60's, I rolled my AU and got my head caught between the bar, cable and transom of the boat and nearly drowned. Somehow, I ended up with my head between the bar,cable and transom with my head toward the lower unit and the engine turned in such a way that it trapped me in a snare that was not large enough for my helmet to come out. As the boat settled and the engine weight took the back down, it took me under water with it. I remember trying to get free and apparently I did just as I went unconcious. The next thing I remember was another driver in the water trying to hold me up. That was all with the conventional rear mounted steering bar that bent forward. Don't know how long I was out, but it apparently was my last lunge that got me out and let the life jacket float me up to the surface. I could see this bar configuration trapping a body part in a flip.

Ron Hill
01-25-2024, 04:09 PM
Well 7-B I never heard of this happening but I could see it happening with very bad results.

In 1986, I ran three boats with six women drivers in C-NOD. 30 HP Tohatsu, aluminum prop required.

We used Morse or such cable steering and never had any trouble. My Six Snapper CHICKS AS I CALLED THEM, NEVER TURNED OVER AND THEY WON ALL THE TIME.

01-25-2024, 09:59 PM
It happened in 1966 northeast divisionals and ended up being the only race I lost that year. It was the first year of the stoppage of a heat rule and it happened duting the first heat while I was out front. I caught a roller while turning and rolled the boat. I was brought in and put in the ambulance. They had a couple of restarts, which gave my dad the time to dry it out and get it running, and I got out of the ambulance, jumped in the boat and won the first heat. The second heat, I came out of the first turn in 2nd and knowing that Don Tillitson was out front and had finished 3rd in heat 1, I just followed him around knowing that my 1st and 2nd had the win as Don was pretty quick and I did not want to risk blowing the win for a 1st I did not need to get. Anyway, I did not even know about the heat stoppage rule, but Bob Hawie did and put in a protest with just a few minutes left to do so. So, I lost the 1st heat points and got moved to 4th, finishing the season with 21 firsts and one fourth including winning the nationals, the national high point and the John and Flora Blank Award (now the Waldman Award). as well as all the Region and State awards.