View Full Version : history of the 16

04-23-2012, 04:22 PM
can anyone tell the history of the 16. ie year changes equipment etc

04-23-2012, 04:27 PM
yes I can but the history on the 16 is pretty lengthy what are your questions? and I'll see if I can help

04-23-2012, 04:30 PM
Well - it was Don's favorite.

What else ya need to know?

Lots of great info buried in these old ads: http://allardmarine.com/donzi_literature.htm

04-24-2012, 07:28 AM

I am in the process of documenting all of the donzi classics for the new Lake George Donzi Classic Club website.

one section will be dedicated to "how to Identify" a classic and the different changes made over the years in each model line.

the 16 section on that is 20 pages and growing. the new site will launch on or about June 1.

until that time if you have specific questions I would be happy to
answer them.

joseph m. hahnl
04-24-2012, 09:32 PM
Here are some articles on the conseption of the 16.

*note some articles may contain false information

Our lead investigator on the history will be able to point out any information that may not be true.:D

One thing can be agreed upon now. - The 17' Formula Jr. was Jim and Walt's design, a variation of the original Wyn Mill and that the Donzi 16' was a direct descendant of the Wyn Mill II - a totally different design.

As stated in the Donzi brouchure in 64, the Donzi 16 was "Designed by a team composed of Don Aronow, Dave Stirrat, Jim Wynne and Waltman W. Walters, internationally known marine consultants, designers, ocean racers and builders,(the same team that designed, raced and owned the Formula 233, 275 and Formula Jr.).
"The Donzi 16 has been refined, tested and proved for 3 years. Hull and strake designs have been proven in the Wyn Mill II, test model holder of 8 world marathon records."

And as powerboat writer and sometime racer Bill McKeown wrote in BoatCraft Magazine in June/July of 1965, when writing about Donzi Marine and the 16', -
" Last year Aronow sold Formula to Thunderbird Boats and called in Wynne and Walters to design a different line. During Wynne's testing of his creations, he won the world's offshore championship for 1964.
The Donzi 16 was several years in preperation however. We watched Jim Wynne and Tommy Sopwith drive early prototypes for the Six Hour Endurance Race through the steep chop of the Siene to a class win in Paris three years ago. Wynne repeated the performance two successive years at the Miami Nine Hour as well, and set a number of international records with the little 'Wyn Mill II' along the way."
Bill's article ended as follows:
" And when its rough and you still want to go, she can take it if you can. We remember the first time we saw this in action several years ago. A boisterous Bahama day had blown up for the Around New Providence Race after a flat-sea-go from Miami to Nassau. Running easily on the rough sea in a Formula 23 with Jim Wynne driving, we watched Briggs Cunningham jump his big 38 foot twin diesel cruiser out of the water occasionally in the bumby going. Then behind we saw a little rocket flying low over the water. Sure enough, there came the indomitalble duo, Cox and Joyce, driving Wyn-Mill for all they were worth, and passing the bigger stuff struggling through the seas.
That was a prototype, but now anyone can drive the real thing in a Donzi 16, if they feel up to it."

In the Donzi 16' Ski Sporter boat, Volvo and the outdrive for powering boats was matched up and shook the boat industry with a bang!
Jim Wynne had Ray Hunt design him a 17’ boat for the sterndrive from the Volvo company. He was to bring attention to the penta outdrive by winning boat races with this boat.Wyn-Mill, as she was named, did not do the job. But the idea, this size boat matched to the stern drive by Volvo was about right.

Jim then, himself, designed a 17’ boat named Wyn-Mill II and promptly won eight world marathon records.
The difference between the two boats was mostly in the running strakes and the chine location.
A 17′ mold from the race boat wooden plug of the Wynn-Mill II, with a different deck, was pulled for some prototype fine-tuning by Don Aronow.
Once he sold his Formula boat company, Aronow shortened that boat mold to make his boat, the Donzi 16' Ski Sporter.
Now the world turned upside down in small boats, with the Don Aronow Donzi 16' Ski Sporter, powered by a 110 Hp Volvo outdrive.
It stole the hearts of every young or want-to-young male that saw it; on the water, at a boat show, or in the window of the famous specialty store Abercrombie and Fitch at their 5 th Avenue Manhattan store.

http://www.seabuddyonboats.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Donzi-Sweet-16-Ski-Sporter-boat1.jpg (http://www.seabuddyonboats.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Donzi-Sweet-16-Ski-Sporter-boat1.jpg)

Note the Ski Sporter name on the trailer for this Donzi Marine 16'

Jim Wynne first showed his (or Charlie Strang’s) new out drive with a Volvo engine at the New York Boat Show in January of 1959. This was the beginning of the modern stern drive. One of the first boats that Jim used to promote that stern drive was a wood 18 foot boat made by Woody Woodson. Wynne had success on the race course with that boat. Seeking a lighter boat to go with his small Volvo engine and now Volvo-Penta Aquamatic I/O he designed a 17’ boat in wood that he called the Wyn-Mill II. That boat but used a deep vee hull with a low profile and therefore was lighter than the Woodson made boat. He won eight marathon racing records with his new boat powered by an out-drive over the next few years. Most of the boats that he beat used far more horsepower than what Wynne had in his Volvo engine and Volvo stern drive powered 17’ boat. Jim by now worked for Don Aronow and he was a boat builder. One of his companies wanted a small sport boat to zip around and they thought that by using the Wyn-Mill II as a starting point for a new boat with a 110 Hp. Volvo gas engine and its Aquamatic drive. They did not splash it, as the final production boat had differences like were the strakes were located and they also shortened it to a 16’ 71/2” long with a 7’ beam and 24 degree deep vee hull bottom fiberglass boat. These Donzi boats were designed to be small, light, and a fun ride. This boat was originally called the Ski Sporter Donzi and later the Donzi Sweet 16. With the Volvo engine and out drive its top speed was in the 41 to 43 MPH range. Both Jim and Don were racers, however, and when Volvo did not come up with their own small block V-8, they got Volvo and Holman Moody Marine to match up one with their 16’ boats. For background, John Holman liked boats as his hobby while Ralph Moody was into airplanes. They got Dinny Phipps to run the H-M marine business out of Miami, FL. He led the marine engine program with a 300 cubic inch six cylinder engine and 289, 302, 351,427, and 460 cubic inch V-8 engines and perhaps other engines as special orders. These motors often made more power than the Aquamatic Volvo drive could handle, however, and they offered vee drive and inboard versions as well as the I/Os to cover all the bases. Holman Moody also became a US distributor for the Volvo stern drive.

04-25-2012, 07:42 AM
Joe good stuff do you have the footnotes for those quotes would be nice to see where they came from

Bobby D
04-25-2012, 08:55 AM
The orange and white 1970 Donzi ski sporter was my old boat and the Donzi in the upper right corner is the new one. Check out the registration the new owner had to call in a favor to get that number PA 1970 D.

05-05-2012, 11:49 AM
This is good stuff...always love hearing some more history on our little 16s. I'd like to learn more about the origins of the Eaton outdrive like I have.


05-05-2012, 12:51 PM
eaton was one of those 16 other mfg'rs that jumped in the fray