View Full Version : Hornet 19' V Drive help

01-21-2014, 07:30 PM
OK, so Ive decided to go ahead with the restoration on my Benchseat Hornet.
I have found some very good threads here on this site. I love coming here and dreaming about I can eventually have.

Anyway, My hornet has no running gear, so I am trying to track down the proper parts.

It is a mid 60's V drive hornet. I am planning to drop in a Crusader 454 that I already have(good idea or bad? and why)
My main question is what Vdrive am I looking to get for a 19' Hornet? What angle and what gear ratio? I believe Donzi used Casale Vdrives, but I do not know.

Also, does anybody know where I can get a transom mounted rudder?

Finally, I cannot seem to find any numbers identifying this Benchseat. Anybody have any places that I should look? The deck will be coming off and I would love to find it somewhere.

Thanks for all your help

joseph m. hahnl
01-21-2014, 07:49 PM
Scott Pearson has 2 V drive Hornets :propeller: He is going to be the go to guy for the V drive info. Mattyboy also knows a thing or two and where to look for the HIN. Can't go wrong with a 454 and a Crusader is good inboard motor, even better when you already have one:hyper:
Don't be afraid to PM them:lookaroun:

Scott Pearson
01-22-2014, 10:03 AM
Donzi used Casale and Crusader. My one Hornet has a Crusader and so does my Corsican. My other Hornet has a Casale. They are 1 :1.28 driven.

As far as finding the hull Numbers...On the Bench Seat Hornets the numbers are written directly under the deck in front of the helm in Black magic marker with a layer of glass over it. Depending on the year it should read like 19H-23. If its a later Bench Seat they might have written it on the bow eye wood plate.

What does the deck on your Hornet look like around the vent areas? Is it raised or flat? What does the dash look like? Do you know the original Gel color or does it have the original V-Drive that you can get a number off of.

Let us know.

01-22-2014, 11:29 AM
Thank you for getting back with me
It is the original gel coat and it's dark green.
The vents are raised.
Going by those 2, I am assuming that its an older model.

Forgive me for not knowing much about Vdrives, but what angle should I be getting? Also is that the only gearing that I want for this model, or will others work well also?

I have looked, but found nothing under the deck anywhere. When I pull the deck off, I am hoping to find the numbers.

I will be pulling it out of storage today and I can take pics of whatever if you'd like.

01-22-2014, 11:43 AM
Also, can I mate up a Crusader engine with a casale drive if I cannot rundown a crusader Vdrive?

I am not 100% using the 454 as I have a 35' HackerCraft that is suppost to house 2 of them.

Anybody want a 35' Hacker?:biggrin.:

Scott Pearson
01-22-2014, 03:51 PM
Yes, Sounds like an older hull. Is there 1/2 balsa core through the entire hull? (See Picture) Not the deck...just the hull. Does it have a 4" fuel filler or 3"?

As far as the angle of the shft log. It could be 8, 10 or 12 Degrees. Depending on the set-up that it originaly had. If its a Gleenwood Shaft log I would say most likely 10 Degrees.

You can mate anything to a v-drive...Its just a drive shaft that goes to the transmission. What you need to have is a bell housing for motor you will be running that the Borg Warner trans bolts to.

Take some pictures and post them so we can get a look.

01-22-2014, 07:31 PM
Awesome replies and help. Thank you.

OK, so here's some new info

The fill hole is 4"
The shaft log is Glenwood
The hull is glassed over wood. Not sure what kink of wood. The hull is very solid.

I was still unable to find any identification numbers anywhere. Under the seat there was some writing that I am unable to figure out. Maybe someone else can figure it out.787047870578706787077870878709

Scott Pearson
01-22-2014, 07:46 PM
Did you look under the deck in front of the helm? It will look like what you put a picture up of...same writing and glassed over.

Are the air vents on the raised areas clam shells or flat loovers?

Also it looks like this has a twin cable helm.

01-22-2014, 07:57 PM
I could not find any more writing on the underside at all except on the stbd side under the deck about where the windshield goes, it said "front"
Under the Carpet, there was a name that said "Sierra Moonlight"

There was no deck hardware when I got the boat, but my guess would be louvred as there are 6 screw holes.

Yes it is a twin cabled helm. Is that good, bad, or whatever?

More pics
Plus more tomorrow if needed as I am going to be cleaning out the bilge etc...787107871178712

Scott Pearson
01-23-2014, 07:56 AM
Is it raw fiberglass under the deck or was it painted at sometime? Yes...6 screw holes would have been loovered SS plates.

I have only seen a few twin push/pull helms on Donzis and only on BB powered boats. Maybe this is something the did every now and then, not sure.

So are the sides cored? You said the hull is glasses over wood...is that on the sides and bottom? Easy quick way to tell is pull the thru hull fitting off for the V-Drive water outlet and see how thick it is and if you see coring.

What happened to all the deck hardware? Is your plan to put it back to the original? If so your going to have to have alot of it cast. The original lift hatch catch rings you will not find anywhere. I have my originals and some new ones in raw casting. The deck vents and transome vent you will have to have a machine shop make.

I have all my original hardware that I can help you do that with if thats the route you want to take.

Does it still have the original prop shift strut on the bottom of the hull? If so is that where the raw water is pulled from or is there a different location?

01-23-2014, 08:30 AM
being an all GG color I would think a quick card search would discover the number history...

01-23-2014, 09:00 AM
like the early 16s all being white with a colored stripe, the early hornets were all grumble green with a white stripe " The Green Hornet"

the raised vents is hull 33 or earlier .

is the original fuel tank still in place?? that would have a mfg'r date that will lead to a general date of the build.

unusual it has the 16 dash plate cut out? so I would think it is not a turbo boat and it didn't have the later hornet dash plate this may be a very early one before the records

01-23-2014, 09:20 AM
the extra large shifter hole is interesting..

01-23-2014, 09:38 AM
nothing interesting about the shifter cutout looks to be the standard cutout for the white recessed shifter housing seen on many donzi of that era

Scott Pearson
01-23-2014, 10:05 AM
This is to early of a hull with no line card available for it. I would think it's even earlier then mine being that's it's all green like Matty states. Hope a number is found so we can varifiy this.

01-23-2014, 10:24 AM
I thought this was the boat with the 4 docking lights and the wood struts under the deck but it is not. that was also a raised vent boat and grumble green

is there and evidence of the word Hornet up on the character line in the back or holes from the donzi script?

01-23-2014, 12:19 PM
Wow, thanks for chiming in everyone.

There are no screw holes on the sides for any plates
I will be removing the original tank as well as the deck and hopefully I will find some numbers.
I will look today on the coring. Believe everything below the deck is wood. Raw fiberglass with no paint on the underside of the deck.
I would love to find the original hardware. Directly across the street from my house is a boat company that was a donzi dealership in the 70's on up(possibly the 60's but not sure) You should see some of the old boats in their storage area. Their backrooms are full of old hardware. There are rooms and rooms full of old stuff that's never been inventoried or anything. I suppose that I would just need to know what to look for.
Matt, that is exactly the shifter I have.
Unfortunately there is no strut there, but I will check to see if there is another raw water inlet.

Thanks again everyone. You are all a huge help

01-23-2014, 07:52 PM
OK, did some more work today and found a couple things.

I found screw holes in the back where there would fit the Donzi Marine chrome emblem, but only on the stbd side.

The fuel tank has a clear class cover that tells the fuel level. Not sure if this was on all of them or not as my 3 Formula Jrs had it.

Still no writing to tell the model ID 7871878719number

01-23-2014, 10:37 PM
Glad you are getting started on your Hornet Gerk, I wish I could say the same. I should be back in CA in a month or 2 for R&R and can lend you some parts if you need them for reference (V-drive stuff ect.). I'm gonna make a wild guess that this was sold in Tahoe which is a hotspot for Donzis. The guys on this site are an in-valuble resource of bench seat hornet info. Let us know if you find the hull number, I am still looking for mine.


01-23-2014, 10:51 PM
Thanks Pete.

Good to hear from you. Glad to hear that you will be coming back soon as it can't be fun over there

Im still looking for numbers and hopefully I will find it somewhere.
Borrowing some parts would be a huge help. I talked to the boat company and they said that I could go through their parts, but if I can't find anything, I could send stuff to their casters to make new.
I saw an old post that you needed windshield and seats. You can for sure use mine as templates for your upholsterer. Mine are still in great useable shape. I also have a few windshields

I bought this boat in the Delta from a tow company that said they wanted it off their property as it had been there forever.

I'm not gonna say what I paid. :hyper:

01-24-2014, 07:57 AM
my 68 no site glass fuel level was a gauge in the dash

Scott Pearson
01-24-2014, 08:05 AM
The fuel sight eye was used on a lot of Donzi's. Perko made this piece. Do you have the glass and steel snap ring with it? My hornet had this as well. The later hulls used a fuel gauge.

I was also thinking about something you can check. If this is the origial Bilt-Rite interior you might be able to find a year on it. John Harmon use to write the year on the foam with a black magic marker sometimes. See if you can check it out...this might give you an idea. I would say this is a 1966 hull.

You might have a hard time finding the correct green lexan for the windsheild. Years ago we found a guy who had about 10 sheets left and we bought them for our restorations. I might be able to get you a sample.

Scott Pearson
01-24-2014, 08:23 AM
Is there a hole cut on the deck in front of the helm? Its hard to tell from the pictures. If so...The original hull numbers might have been cut out when this was done. Because thats about the location they would have been written.

01-24-2014, 11:00 AM
Yes there is a hole above the helm. What is that for? I am assuming a compass?
I found some writing in that area and I spent lots of time trying to figure out what it says. Looks like it says "Front" as well but backwards.

I will check on the foam for numbers

I have the glass and the chrome surround. Unfortunately it looks like the tank is rusted inside. Looks trashed78721

01-24-2014, 04:45 PM
the general build features seen on this boat are consistent with the builds of hull 33 or less and would be pre 1967.

In 1968 they changed some features like an upgrade from a site glass to electric gauge making the smaller arched 16 dash plate obsolete so the standard Hornet dash plate was used . gone were the raised vents

01-25-2014, 11:15 AM
I have flipped the markings every which way but loose and can't really see anything as Scott said the numbers should be in one of these formats

19HXX or the real early boats may only have 19-XX as the H was not needed as the hornet was the only 19 footer once the St Tropez came along they needed to put the H for Hornet and the F for Fishing model

the early 16 in some cases were not marked as they were going like hotcakes the build time on a hornet was not so , the 16 was quoted as a 4 week turn around from order to the water the Hornet was 12 weeks 3 times as long. If they were marked the author may not have had a great position to write the numbers so they may be hard to read.

the cutouts on your boat are the same as the cutouts on the hornet that bertsboat has been posting on.

that is hull 31

01-25-2014, 12:39 PM
it may help if you can investigate what power or v drive was in it , that may help id the boat would the motor mounts tell what motor was in it ford mopar or chevy ???

01-25-2014, 01:03 PM
That's a good call.
I am going to also talk to the boat company across the street because they may have possibly sold the boat originally.

Heres a few pics787327873378734

Morgan's Cloud
01-25-2014, 03:04 PM
Gerk , that is a great project . And IMO it's in the kind of shape that one would want for the type of rebuild that you want to do.

Like the others have suggested , the BS Hornet that my friend had had the number written behind the dash where the instruments are located which is kind of a dumb place because the factory could easily obliterate it with the installation of the gauges , steering etc.
BUT it could be of a vintage where there was no numbers either . Like I suspect mine is .

Take your time and don't cut any corners . But if it was me I wouldn't get too stressed about 'original' hardware. There's only a few people that would pick up on that ,and they're all here on this site , and I doubt you'll be selling it anytime soon to anyone anyway . :D

01-25-2014, 03:33 PM
Could it be this one?

01-26-2014, 09:21 AM
it could be

01-28-2014, 07:25 PM
Hey Gerk,
Was that formula Jr. that just sold yours?

01-28-2014, 09:57 PM
Well, I have a Jr for sale but has not sold yet. I think all the interest is on the East coast and shipping across the country always throws the sale. Oh well, I may tuck it away and finish it after my bench seat hornet, and 2 Chris Crafts.
I love the Jr so it does not hurt my feelings that it did not sell

02-21-2014, 04:05 PM
So my buddy kept telling me about his dads benchseat Hornet and how he had it here in Tahoe in the 70's and Early 80s.
He finally got me a couple pics and I am starting to think it may be the one I just picked up.
Here are a couple pics. I have certainly asked for more so I am just waiting now.

How many do you think ever made it out to California?7892478925

02-21-2014, 04:29 PM
That wheel was only used in the 1967 model year

would help if you can find the dealer name and what was the original power plant

Hull 32 is a 67 and matches the color scheme

02-21-2014, 09:07 PM
My buddy said that his dad told him it was a 67. I am waiting on more pics, but I am assuming this is his old boat.

Thanks Offshore Ginger, but mine is so far from being done. There are some sweet ones on here tho that hopefully I can get mine to come close to theirs.

02-22-2014, 08:56 AM
yes traditionally there are more Donzi in the eastern part of the country but they did manage to get a few out to the western states. several hornets and GTs have come up for sale in Tahoe.

the switch layout looks to be the same in your pic and your friends pic

any sign of the name on the transom?

Scott Pearson
02-22-2014, 11:01 AM
I dont think thats the boat you have. The one you posted pictures of does not look like its has raised vents and is a later model.

02-22-2014, 11:22 AM

look at the shadow or line under the port vent's opening doesn't that look like it could be raised? hard to say with the angle of the pic for the starboard side vent

are you back on the east coast now?

joseph m. hahnl
02-23-2014, 12:03 PM
Back in 1999, there was a mint condition yellow/white Corsican for sale at a high end foreign car dealer:convertib: in Newport Beach, Cali. It was love at 1st sight, but it was priced as if it was a Ferrari:doh:

02-23-2014, 12:37 PM
Is it this one?
This is across the street from me


Scott Pearson
02-23-2014, 01:50 PM
A lot of the wrong hardware on that Corsican along with the windshield being incorrect and way to high. Shame...all that work. Looks way to modern with the wrong steering wheel and gauges.

I really think that when someone does things like this it takes away from the classic look and style that Donzi had on these older classics.