Monday, May 31, 2010

Don Aronow's Last Race Boat Available for Sale

Historic Offshore Race Boat Association (HORBA) Managing Director Charlie McCarthy has posted in the Offshore Only forum that he is considering putting up the 35' Benihana Cigarette up for sale. One of the better-known boats from a golden period in offshore racing, it is the last offshore race boat that Don Aronow ever built for himself and registered with the APBA under his favorite racing number 4. According to Charlie:

"The boat was not finished in time for the start of the season and Don was testing another boat and was injured and decided against coming out of retirement. The boat sold immediately to Hal Sahlman who raced it as Spirit and he sold it at the end of the season to Rocky Aoki who raced it as Benihana. The boat won the Bahamas 500 twice, the very last Miami to Nassau race, the Bushmills twice, The Stroh's race, the Hurricane Classic, and the Marina del Rey race while setting five new world speed was a very special boat built for a very special guy."

As Charlie indicates in his thread, this special boat would be guaranteed to be the center of attention at any poker run or race gathering you would attend. The boat will come with a letter of authenticity signed by Aronow's son Michael, as well as many original parts including windshield, trailer, Kiekhaefer tabs, fuel fills, gauges etc etc. and more.

"The Engines and drives can either go with it, or repower it with something brand new like Ilmors...your choice," says Charlie. Whatever a buyer might choose to do, this is a real opportunity to pick up a piece of offshore racing history.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

OPA Kicks off Great Summer of Racing at Ocean City

Summer officially arrives on Memorial Day weekend, and Ocean City MD is the first stop of the Offshore Powerboat Association’s (OPA) 2010 Offshore Racing Series - presented by Geico. This year's race will feature teams from across the country, a team from Qatar, and races by the Jersey skiffs and garveys — flat-bottomed boats that were originally designed for clamming. Over the years, thrill seekers have replaced the wood with fiberglass and now race the small vessels.

PHOTO CREDIT: Delmarva Daily Times

Last year, the racecourse was altered to move the action closer to the shoreline in order for spectators to get a better view. According to OPA president Ed Smith, it was difficult for spectators on the beach to see the races in 2008, so after visiting with the Ocean City representatives, one turn near 14th st. was moved closer to the shore in 2009. Now just 600 yards offshore rather than a mile out, it's much more spectator-friendly. The course is a total of 5.8 miles from 13 to 35th streets.

As usual, spectators will be able to view Sunday’s races from the beach, but for safety reasons, no one will be allowed in the water from Seventh to 22nd Streets from noon-12:45 p.m. and 2-2:45 p.m. Eight classes of boats will fight it out, with about 40 boats competing. Before the races, fans are invited to Sunset Marina in West Ocean City this (Friday) afternoon and all day Saturday to take a closer look at the boats and to meet the crews.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Run Through a Propeller Checklist to Ensure Top Performance and Safety

Springtime is the official start of the boating season and it's also a good time for performance boaters to run through a prop check list -- because the wrong or damaged prop can negatively impact performance, increase fuel use, and lead to potentially expensive problems at the worst time: while you're out on the water.

I'm especially aware of this because I have some prop issues of my own - some minor dings that I picked up - courtesy of some unseen rocks that I drifted into last year.


“Even if you don’t suspect prop damage, you should check for it,” says Brett Anderson of BBLADES, one of the country's best known full-service propeller companies. “A ding or a dent – or worse – could have occurred when trailering the boat for the final time last year, while the boat was in transit or even in storage. Look for the obvious, and then look closer for cracks that may run through one or more blades.”

Anderson suggests a magnifying glass could help locate pitting or hairline cracks that could lead to bigger problems later. He also points out that over or under propping can not only affect boat performance but also fuel economy by causing an engine to work harder.

“High engine rpm that is the result of an inefficient set-up –how high or low the prop sits in the water, or the result of a high prop slip percentage, can often be corrected by changing to a propeller that has more blades, changing the depth of the prop in the water or changing the pitch, diameter or other prop geometry,” he explains. Anderson defines “slip” as the difference between actual and theoretical travel created by one revolution of the prop.


Racers are always focused on the condition of their props, but sometimes the rest of us may neglect to consider the importance of the propeller that's on our boat. The propeller is the final link in the boats drive train, and is the piece of the puzzle that connects the horsepower to the ensuring its proper care and performance is vital. Professional prop shops like BBLADES can help a boater determine prop slip over the phone in many cases, and offers test programs to help boaters determine the right prop and the right drive height.

For more information, contact them at - or call them at 920-295-4435.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Can't Stop Smokin' The Sound OSS/SBI Races This Weekend

For the first time, the Offshore Super Series and the Super Boats International circuit will team up together to hit the waters of Biloxi, MI. Racing along the the eight-mile course will be nine different classes, including the always exciting Turbine Extreme and Supercharged.

“In the past, we’ve averaged between 28 and 30 boats," race promoter Rusty David explains, “with Super Boat International joining up with OSS, we now expect 40-to-45 boats."


The exciting weekend is set to include spectacular parties, great local entertainment, and new for this year -- a Poker Run. One of the great features of this race is that no binoculars are usually needed to enjoy the action. Spectators can see all of the excitement up close at any of the premium or VIP viewing areas, which offer an awesome panoramic view of the 8-mile race course and Gulfport Lake.

While there's plenty of excitement about this early-season event, one big concern among the drivers has been the oil spill in Gulf of Mexico. According to David, a number of safety measures are already in place for Saturday and Sunday and no oil is expected on or near the track.

“We have been in contact with the racers every day about the oil,’’ David said. “Since Day One (of the oil spill) the race has been on and now the oil is further away from us."

Oil Hits Louisiana Marshes on the Gulf Coast

“We hope to get some national media down here to let the rest of the country know that our beaches are open and Biloxi is alive and well, he added. “The one thing we will do on Saturday and Sunday is move a boom that’s set up inside Deer Island before the race. We will do that before the boats are put in the water.’’

Monday, May 17, 2010

Useful Tips for Getting Oil Off Your Boat

Matt Trulio, former writer for Powerboat magazine, has posted some very helpful (and timely) guidelines for getting oil off your boat. Given the recent environmental disaster we are seeing in the Gulf of Mexico, it's some good advice, originally provided by the folks at Meguiars.


There are many performance boaters on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi -- not to mention Florida, which probably is considered the home of offshore powerboating. Considering the current conditions in the Gulf, it's almost inevitable that boaters will find oil residue on their hulls. Matt has sorted out the basics on how to handle the problem here.

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