View Full Version : 96 classic 16 o/b w/69 Merc 1250

damn donzi
02-02-2011, 04:36 PM
For my first thread I wanted to show my '96 16 o/b (yes 1996 o/b) with my low hour original 1969 Merc 1250. Being a long time Merc mechanic and inline 6 fan I decided to retro my 16 to try and resemble the original 16 o/b baby except for the seating arrangement which mine has 2+2 seats but with the red upholstery color I think it pops. excuse some of the pics as I could'nt snap a full on side shot in the garage, but I focused on the 1250. Lets just say after about 6 yrs starts and stops due to time & money neither of which I had much of until finally finishing in early 2008. It was a love hate relationship and (I love my Donzi) to get a 35+ y/o Merc to fit and rig properly on a 3" thick transom, transom bracket, jack plate out of the question for me. but with much thought and no modification to the transom it just fits. Enjoy the pics and let me know what you think, Rick.

02-02-2011, 04:49 PM
I"ll be one of the first to say sweeeet ride. The tower of power crowd is alive and well.

damn donzi
02-02-2011, 05:08 PM
Wannabee : Thanks for the comment I think it turned out good.

damn donzi
02-02-2011, 05:11 PM
Anybody able to decipher HIN # breakdown regarding production number built ?

HIN # (DNAC6046K596)

02-02-2011, 05:48 PM
Very neat one of a kind! Love the old the old 6's, I had one on a G3 it was a scream!

02-02-2011, 05:50 PM
Anybody able to decipher HIN # breakdown regarding production number built ?

HIN # (DNAC6406K596)
carefully check that number again...

damn donzi
02-02-2011, 06:19 PM
Good catch Buizilla my bad lets try # DNAC6046K596 I'll update previous post thanks.

02-02-2011, 07:14 PM
Looks like hull #046........I have no Idea how many 96-97's they made though.

Very nice ride.

02-02-2011, 07:24 PM
mine is #047 in sequence

only 5 were built, mine came with a 115

you can follow my pictorial resto thread on .org soon, I was going to start last weekend but I have an ongoing family emergency delaying things..

02-02-2011, 08:00 PM
The last part is May of 96

damn donzi
02-02-2011, 08:48 PM
Thanks, I appreciate all the info.

Greg Guimond
02-02-2011, 09:06 PM
Ok D2, now I am glad I coaxed some photos out of you. Eggbeater 16's are popping up left, right and center lately. VERY unique retrofit and now you'll have to answer all kinds of questions starting with more info on that mint motor. Is it fair to say that model would have been stock power if you ordered a 16 Baby back in 1972? It is just a bit before my time :)

02-03-2011, 08:43 AM
That retro set up with the restored merc looks great.. :) :yes:

02-03-2011, 09:01 AM
D2, if I can make either of the Tavares shows i'd like to see your boat

we have now found 3 of the 5, and I think one of the missing 2 is in Pompano Beach somewhere.. it was for sale on ebay last year sometime but I lost the info

Just Say N20
02-03-2011, 09:05 AM

I love the retro gauges.

To non-Donzi people, it will look like an immaculate, original 1970s Classic 16 O/B.

To kinda-Donzi people, it will look like an immaculate, original 1970s Classic 16, but they might be confused by the twin front buckets.

To Donzi people, it will look like a fantastic installation of a classic Tower of Power onto a recent Classic 16 O/B.

So no matter who is looking at it, they will all be very impressed.

Well done. Thanks for posting the pictures.

Greg Guimond
02-03-2011, 07:31 PM
D2, I'm not sure if the boat is right in your garage but would you mind letting me know how wide the pleats are on your upholstery when you have a chance? Thanks

02-04-2011, 07:50 AM
Greg, I'm not sure if you saw my other response to your question. Without me looking in my notes I believe usually the finished pleat width is about 1.75" wide on the main pleats if my memory is correct, but they do change when going thru turns. ;) Hope it helps you :) Jamie / Lakeside

damn donzi
02-04-2011, 11:08 AM
Greg I checked my upholstery and its 1.75" on the main pleats also. To answer your question about stock power, for 1972 Mercs biggest gun was a 1400 140 hp as well as having a 1150 115 hp inline 6. Merc used the o/b baby in multiple ads for '72, as well as Evinrude using a '72 125 v4 or 135 v4 in '73 and on. As far as the 68-69 1250 inline 6 if you look in 1972 ad archives in our registry it shows a 68 1250 on a o/b that appears to be a prototype looking at the notched transom . Anybody know history behind this boat ?

Greg Guimond
02-04-2011, 11:19 AM
D2, is this the 16 OB picture that you are referring to ?

02-04-2011, 11:34 AM
The boat in the picture appears the have the slotted spoke wheel which was typical for a '67 or '68 era boat.

damn donzi
02-04-2011, 11:39 AM
Yeah , I took it as an earlier 16 o/b because of the transom but also because the motor is a 68' 1250 which I thought in 71 or 72 donzi would be using a 1350 or 1400, which they always used the top of the line motor. Also look at the steering helm port side is wrong for an o/b, did they use the early bucket seat with side braces like ski sporters or always use deep wrap around bucket seats. And the anchor light is off to the port side vs. dead center ahead of motor. This must be a early 16 o/b.

02-04-2011, 11:41 AM
or a converted IO :wink:

Greg Guimond
02-04-2011, 11:49 AM
There is quite a bit of controversy on when the first 16 OB Baby was built. Seeing as this is before my time, I want to ask if the OB motor in the left drive photo I posted is, in fact a verified 1968 Mercury 1250? Is that true D2?

damn donzi
02-04-2011, 12:48 PM
Greg Definitely '68 Although I the said 1250 to the archive photo the one you show is different. After blowing up your picture I believe it is '68 Merc 1000 ss. If you look at the back of the wraparound cowl you'll see what looks like model number 1000 more than 1250 and the sides of the wrap around dont show as much chrome pinstriping above or below the "MERCURY" script like a 1250 ss would or show in the 1972 archive photo which made me believe it is a 1250 Merc anyway '68 for sure.

Greg Guimond
02-05-2011, 10:23 AM
Interesting D2. It looks like I may have tracked down the first 16 OB Baby ever built, just waiting on pics and I'll post when I get them to see if it helps with the mystery.

damn donzi
02-05-2011, 10:48 PM
Buizilla As far as Tavares I'll try to make it probably to the Antique show on Sat. I was thinking of showing the boat, I'm member in the antique o/b club but I think I'll put in @ Gilbert Park and run up to the show with the boat. Keep me posted to get together, Rick.

02-05-2011, 11:37 PM
I had one of those merc,s in line 6. I was told that it was a 150hp. The cover said it was 150hp.I ran it on an older boat and cracked the transom on the way home from Key West.I pulled it up on the trailer before it could sink.I then sold the motor and gave the boat away for free.But, The girl I sold the engine to blew it up(we did a compression check on it when she bought it) and after she blew it up she called me and said that her mech. said it was a 115hp.The mercury ran great when I owned it. Its cool to see one again.

Greg Guimond
09-24-2011, 07:53 PM
Speaking of rare 16 OB's, this looks like one of the 1996 factory 16 OB's like Buizilla has. I stumbled onto it and wondering if anyone has ever seen it. Looks legit with the rounded splashwell that the mid 90's OB Baby hulls had?

joseph m. hahnl
09-25-2011, 09:02 AM
Nice paint " Evinrude 100th anniversary". I couldn't see one Donzi sticker on it.
would've be cool to here what that E-tec sounded like.Boat looks to be on the hairy edge of chine walk:shocking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbVdBlgz7po (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbVdBlgz7po)

Greg Guimond
09-25-2011, 05:29 PM
If Donzi only built 5 of these OB Baby's in 1996 then it looks like this could be one of them. Perhaps Evinrude was using it as a promo boat for there ETEC motors and therefore painted the whole hulls sides. The thing that is peculiar is how a driver with so little skill would have gotten a hold of a promo boat and why would Evinrude pick a 1996 Donzi 16 OB out of all the stuff they could use. I guess it could be a pop but that rounded splashwell?

09-25-2011, 07:35 PM
all 5 of the 96 16's had Merc power....

at least the ones that DONZI built.. :wink:

Greg Guimond
09-25-2011, 07:58 PM
What do you think Jim, is this one a pop?

09-25-2011, 08:20 PM
The fact that they all had Merc power is probably why they are being repowered.:hangum:

09-26-2011, 12:43 AM
Link to broker with 3 of them; http://asbrokerage.blogspot.com/search/label/speedboat

Can't wait 'till these kids get better video cameras!


Unfortunately these little Donzi 16's are 20 hours flight away. What a great place to grow up though, if Your parents had the bucks to give You one :cool:

Produced locally, so labor cost should keep the price down :pimp:

P.S. Hats off to You Rick. I think most of Us got so inspired by Your fantastic boat that We start seeing Donzi 16 OB's everywhere!!! D.S.

Greg Guimond
09-26-2011, 09:55 PM
Looks like a "down under" gathering of 16 OB splashes. They must all be trying to get to a rally :wink:

09-27-2011, 11:33 AM
With a newer 115 or 125 Merc for like $6300. Look under Pensacola, FL Craigslist. My favorite color as well, white & baby blue.

09-27-2011, 12:02 PM

the black and white pic you posted is most likely hull 452 . which was all red side and bottom, white deck, red deck stripe it was produced in the summer of 67 and sold fall of 67. it was noted as an outboard and experimental. at first i thought the red brochure boat could be 452 but that is a rh helm OB and appears later than 67 in the brochure. the lh helm and the teleflex wheel are dead give aways for this time period. They were popping 16 ski-sporters like wildfire at that time my 67 was 410 and was an april boat jay's 67 was 420 also an april boat, by summer the number had jumped to the 450 . that's 30 boats in 3 months!!!. Sorry my point was at that speed it would be hard to stop and re-work the entire deck mold switching to RH so the first OB must have been left handed helm. Which goes against my previous beliefs that all production OB were right handed

hard to to tell from the b&w pic that hull could be red or grumble green but i would lay good odds it was hull 452 and red.

another tell tale sign would be the inner strakes an early proto-type would have the very short strakes like the early skisporters and the production babies would have the longer strakes like your boat. the 96 has whatever strake setup the splash omc took their 16 molds from.

D, nice 16 !!!

Greg Guimond
09-27-2011, 01:58 PM
Matty, that is very interesting information. I tracked down Dr Lou Benz and he sent me this picture of what he claimed was the first Donzi 16 OB Baby ever built. He sold it to a fellow in Germany about two years ago and said it was a 1965. Check it out............

09-27-2011, 02:04 PM
that looks more like a re-worked I/O with the floor vent and recessed shifter cut-out. maybe the OB historians can add a piece to the puzzle all the outboards i remember from that period used their own control/shifter boxes including the 1964 west bend golden shark 40 hp I had on my first boat. the shifter box had the throttle shift controls ignigtion switch electric choke connections. were the merc's of that period the same?

09-27-2011, 02:14 PM
Were any port side helm OB's ever made?

09-27-2011, 02:19 PM
Look at the pics above!

09-27-2011, 02:21 PM
according to greg's pic yes i do believe so from the factory not re-worked I/O boats.


if you look at the 70 brochure boat notice the small black hole and what looks like control cables emerging out side the gunwale just behind the driver. That was part of my point with the proprietary control boxes most I recall had the cable connections externally not from behind like the morse of the i/o's

09-27-2011, 02:32 PM
Another thing I notice in both pics ( Greg's 's LH boat and the brochure boat) is there are no gauges cut into the dash but just a tach mounted on the deck near the helm. that is pretty interesting.


09-27-2011, 03:06 PM
Matty, my buddy's 16 is a 72 and had the cables entering like in your picture. It had a small clamshell vent covering it at a slight downward angle to keep rain water out. It also had speedo, tach, temp, fuel and amp gauges cut into a panel on the dash with a black outline. Some other gauges were also added later on, but we're cutting the number of them back down. You can see a ghost of it's shape in this picture.

09-27-2011, 03:25 PM
Am I seeing things or does the red brochure boat have a canvas snap on cover for storage with no side hatches?

09-27-2011, 03:33 PM
yes in that pic and also Greg's pic there seem to be snaps in that area. the red boat definetly looks to have a tonneau cover there in the back. Yes I can see a 72 having gauges but on an early OB what did they have the need for gauges?? tach and fuel site gauge in the floor in 72 maybe trim, temp,speedo as the OB were more advanced

Greg Guimond
09-27-2011, 03:53 PM
Is it pretty much confirmed that ONLY the I/O 16's had the floor vent and NOT the OB hulls? The reason I ask is if that is fact then there is no reason the picture's I posted could not have been the first experimental OB built by the factory. Someone on the board with intimate knowledge of what Mercury was offering for an OB back then would have to provide some insight but based on how busy the factory was building 16 Ski Sporter's at that timeframe, the only reason they might have experimented with possibly building an OB version of the 16 was because of a pending "new Mercury" OB being offered. If 1968 would have been the 1250, then the question for the historians is what would Merc have had in 1964/65?

Would a powerful enough eggbeater have been offered then (1965) to warrant the factory starting to prototype a 16 OB?

09-27-2011, 04:37 PM

a color photo of that 16 would be great, the records show 452 as an outboard filed in with skisporter records. so 452 would most likely be a LH helm and skisporter deck. but the cutouts for the floor vent and dash plate would not be there why would you cut a hole to ventilate the sealed well?

and a factory outboard would have the small hole behind the driver for the control cables.

The 67 catalog makes no mention of the baby not until the 70 catalog does any mention of the baby appear.

hull 452 sold in nov of 67 basically 68 . alot happening in 68 ownership changes the model lineup expanded .the first production baby was popped in aug of 1970.
that would give the Chisholms a year to to settle in and a year to develop the baby.

I don't think donzi gave any consideration to OB motors or who was developing what the baby was all about price point. most if not all of them left the factory unrigged.

from what I know of merc eggbeater. When they went to black paint they were black and silver then they went to black silver and red then black silver and blue the real early ones had kiekaffer on them.

this could all be bull**** and the negative of that black and white picture of the 16 could have be reversed when developed :eek: :p

09-27-2011, 06:16 PM
nope not a reversed developement. maybe a dopplganger from a parallel evil universe/?? i would say it is a valid left hand helm factory 16 ob 1967

Greg Guimond
09-28-2011, 08:55 AM
Well it looks like 1967 is a lock for early 16 OB's but I'm still wondering about the 1965 hull that Dr Benz sent me photos of. Here are a couple of pics of 1964 Merc OB's, the 850 and 1000.

09-28-2011, 09:15 AM
well a lock for atleast one.


If you get a chance measure the distance from where the inner strakes end to the transom that will give some idea of time frame.

09-28-2011, 09:20 AM
i'd like to see a positive hull # verification before we authenticate this...

09-28-2011, 09:48 AM
hey Greg was is this a Kennedy relative's sexual assault trial ??? what gives with the green blockouts

what are you hiding?? ;)

Greg Guimond
09-28-2011, 12:19 PM
Agree Buizilla, but the purported 1965 16 OB hull I posted a pic of is now in Germany so no hull # verification would be possible. The only thing I can say is that Dr Lou Benz, who no longer posts on this site, was very matter of fact about the hull's history and the involvement of Gerry Walin back in 1965. Here is the snippet post.........and a Brownie tie in. Hmmmm

Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 113
Big Bad Donzi: The boat was made this way by Donzi, Walin was a Donzi & Evinrude Dealer up north and sold both inboards and outboards. Don knew him very well. This was Gerry's personal boat He put a 135 hp Evinrude Starflite motor on it. Brownie said that Gerry died in an accident, I purchased the boat in 1976 when I worked for Bertam in Miami.

Matty, those are block outs of the top secret Surface Tension motors which I intend on using extensively for my board racing activities.

09-28-2011, 01:37 PM

i'm glad it is a skunkworx for surface tension and board racing
i didn't want to see you pop up on court tv :p

Greg Guimond
09-29-2011, 07:22 AM
Does anyone know when Evinrude came out with the "Starflite" series of OB's? That might help authenticate that the 1965 hull was the first ever 16 OB.

09-29-2011, 07:34 AM
135 hp starflight 1973-76


09-29-2011, 10:03 PM
Not measured yet matty, but here's a picture.

09-30-2011, 08:19 AM

hard to tell from the angle of the pic. the 16 bottom was re-worked sometime in the early 70's. I don't have the exact measurement in front of me right now. But the original Walters design on the skisporter has short inner strakes ending like 3 feet or more from the transom. The baby and the early 70's 16 skisporter have inner strakes that are longer ending like 2 feet or so from the transom. There was a grumble green 73 or 74 16 skisporter with an e-drive for sale here a year or so ago it had the longer strakes.

Greg has the measurement on one of his babies. That would be the way to tell a production baby from an early i/o or proto type baby.

I am tracking all this info down as it seems that the designers that took over after Walters and Don left felt that the inner strakes needed to be lengthened. This was also done on the Hornet as well as adding some deadrise.
I would also like to expierence the ride in a 16 with the longer strakes to see if the ride or handling is any different from the ride I know in the 16 with the short strakes.

here's a look at the short strakes from the famous R. Stones yellow 16 air shot .

Greg Guimond
09-30-2011, 10:15 AM
Matty and maddad,

It's hard to believe that Mike is no longer with us but here is his post on his OB. I tell you, between my brush with death and then Mike's tragedy, it really took the wind out of my sail on the Surface Tension project this year.

mattboy, Just went out and measured mine, 1976 #151. Strake ends 21" from transom. Michael "HIGH LIFE"

09-30-2011, 12:43 PM
The lifelong carpenter in me says my pictures show 20"+/- vs. 30"+/-.
I'll get a hull # shortly.

09-30-2011, 03:00 PM

yes that is a long strake and a production baby 1970 era.

yes it was a shame about High Life :(

Greg Guimond
10-01-2011, 09:48 AM
Matty, the picture you posted of the airborne yellow R Stone 16 Ski Sporter looks like the inner strakes may have terminated as much as 3 feet or more from the transom. Do you happen to know the exact length on that? Very interesting.

When The Mule's bottom was redesigned with input from Bob Magoon and Don A, it is interesting that not only did they suggest a pad be added but they also suggested that the inner strakes be brought back to the transom. Clearly, that must have been a follow on to the fact they'd already thought of adding more strake length to the hulls that were in production.

10-01-2011, 09:59 AM
i think it is close to 4 feet, the changes to the hull design i mentioned is way after don left they would be early 70's when don was at cigarette racing . that's 2 companies after donzi. the bottom on the hornet is the same inner starkes end 4 feet or so from the end ,so does the strakes on the 1972 19 foot cig another Walters design.

10-04-2011, 10:00 AM
here's a pic of the 16 prototype, and a rounded keel 18 this re design was in 1968 over a sharp keel full length inner strakes. the only rounded keel non padded full length inner strake deep vee would be one of the 4 winns u boats I think the 17 which chinewalked like a mutha. I think 4 winns redesigned the bottom and cut the strakes after the first year.
the Walters designs all seem to have the rounded bottoms and the shorter strakes. probably a better ride but more wetted surface so they were a tad slower than a bootom with more lift.

the prototype 16 , the 18 sharp keel , the hornet 19 , the 18 round keel