The business of selling people boats and motors has been taking giant steps since the arrival of the five-day week. The U.S. now has a boating population of five million and a boating industry driving on past the billion-dollar mark. The effort to get a share of this bonanza has led manufacturers to still more imaginative designs in wood, aluminum and plastic. On the following pages, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED shows some of the latest attempts to catch a skipper's eye.
Developed as a fast, dry offshore inboard, 21-foot Bristol Bonito makes 30 mph with a 100-hp Gray, handles well even in a heavy chop, seats nine comfortably. Price $3,035-$3,260 f.o.b.
Influenced by current auto styles and making use of complex hull lines possible in fiber-glass construction, 19-foot Lone Star Caribbean outboard has twin bunks in cabin. Price $1,895 f.o.b.
The 15-foot Century Colt is one of the first hulls to come equipped with Fageol Vertical Inboard Power, a 35-hp, four-cycle, four-cylinder plant that is mounted with flywheel at the bottom and has a right-angle outboard-type drive. In addition to the roominess afforded by the positioning of the engine astern, the VIP installation makes for an extremely maneuverable hull, since the propeller powers the turn, with the entire engine rotating on a ball-and-socket mounting. Combining some of the best features of inboard and outboard engines, the motor gains in efficiency over the conventional inboard because the drive is in a straight line with the direction of travel, and in fuel consumption over outboards because of the four-cycle inboard engine's inherent fuel efficiency. The VIP is easily removed from motor well, can be mounted in many outboard-type hulls. The throttle and gearshift are controlled by a single lever forward. Price of the Colt with VIP $2,255 f.o.b.
STATION WAGON SET
Three-section plywood Whittle Pack Boat can be assembled in seven minutes with wing nuts to make a sturdy 12-foot hull. Foam rubber at joints keeps boat dry. Weighing only 100 pounds, hull fits into rear of station wagon or car trunk. Boat can handle outboards. Price $185 f.o.b.
Thompson Lapchine outboard is 14 feet, has lapstrake chines to combine dryness of lapstrake hull with economy of sheet-plywood construction. Boat seats five adults, has top speed of 33 mph with 35-hp outboard. Price $440 f.o.b.
Thunderbird Flamingo features full utilization of hull space, with ice or bait box molded into center seat. Double fiber-glass hull provides ample flotation and a flat floor from stem to stern. Provision is made for mounting full steering wheel. Price $595 f.o.b.
THE NEW OUTBOARDS
U.S. outboard manufacturers will show two-tone color schemes and higher horsepower to lure the 1957 buyer
Top motor in the Scott-Atwater line, the Royal Scott is a 40-hp platinum and gold design by Raymond Loewy with a fiberglass hood, has a fuel system that saves one-third in gas, turn-key starting that eliminates priming, owner's initials on name plate. Price $675 f.o.b.
Hinged front conceals controls on Johnson's Deluxe 35 model while still, leaving them accessible. Designed by Brooks Stevens, 35-horsepower Javelin is gold and white, has edged device that cuts fishlines before they entangle hub, owner's initials on front. Price $625 f.o.b.
Designed as a fishing motor, the 10-horsepower Trol-Twin has switch which retards magneto for extra-slow trolling speeds. Motor mounts at angle, slips over stumps easily. Gearshift is located on handle together with throttle to allow one-hand operation at all times. Price not set.
MERCURY MARK 75
Biggest production outboard on market, 60-hp Mark 75 has six cylinders and short-stroke pistons which reduce wear. Throttle and gearshift are remote-controlled by single lever. Rubber bushing in hub eliminates shear pin. Generator recharges the battery. Price $975 f.o.b.
Thirty-five-hp Lark comes with optional generator which can power running lights and cabin radio on cruiser. Regular features are fishline cutter in hub, rubber slip clutch which eliminates shear pin, salt-water-proof insides requiring no flushing. Price $635 f.o.b.
Thirty-five-horsepower Oliver has removable power head for easier portability, protection from weather and theft.' Motor can be adjusted to desired angle with transom of boat by turning screw at front. Oliver also carries generator for 12-volt power system. Price $610 f.o.b.
Built by Neptune, the Mite is smallest outboard, weighing only 17 pounds. Less than a yard long, it can be taken in light planes for use in remote spots. Motor develops 1.7 horsepower. Price $89.50.
Electric-powered two-hp Silvertrol is built by Silver Creek Precision Corp., runs eight to 12 hours without recharge on one or more six-volt auto batteries. Its silent operation is prime asset. Price $99.50.