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View Full Version : Thoughts on the Sonic 24 Spitfire Splash



JayZ
02-11-2016, 09:16 AM
anyone have any thoughts about the Sonic 24 built off the Donzi 24 molds? ...this one come with a big block and at least now has a TRS drive.

83804

Greg Guimond
02-11-2016, 09:42 AM
The Sonic is an excellent boat overall. I have driven them with both twin OB's and a single I/O. They are probably one of the roomiest 24 footers you will find but because of the beam they are not terribly fast. Extremely comfortable for the size in rough seas. It all depends on what your use will be.

smidgen too
02-11-2016, 10:21 AM
I hate to say this but the Sonic Donzi splash has to be better boat than the original Donzi. I have seen to many of Donzi's 24' that have very poor build quality like my Doral. The lack of full stringers is just one of the Donzi's downfalls, & just simply sealing factory drilled hole would have helped keeping the transoms wood dry. If Donzi were built half as good as Bill's restored Spitfire these boats would have some value. Bill's El Pescador is one of very few 24's that is still in good shape from the Donz, but you know he is very, very, very particular about it's up keep. Sonic has also stretched that 24' hull to around 29' & I have not heard much bad news about them. If you have not seen my old transoms pic's before I replaced it here they are. The last pic's are of Bill's Spitfire redone with correct stringers as you can see in that pic of it's new center stringer. Donzi made a crazy wide hollow center stinger, just one more issue. The very last pic is Bill's nice El Pescador..

smidgen too
02-11-2016, 10:38 AM
The Sonic is an excellent boat overall. I have driven them with both twin OB's and a single I/O. They are probably one of the roomiest 24 footers you will find but because of the beam they are not terribly fast. Extremely comfortable for the size in rough seas. It all depends on what your use will be.
Greg I take it you have never been in Bill's El Pescador with twin 250hp Merc Io's that stock Donzi runs 66mph very impressive. His restored Spitfire will be running twin black 383cu Tyler Crockett rockets & should fly !!! My Doral was a race boat running in the 1975 APBA P class & it ran 58mph with these 350cu 300hp small blocks it speed was about the same as Volvo 27' Magnums ran back then.

smidgen too
02-11-2016, 11:58 AM
I wonder if there are any other Donzi's out there with engines built by Johnson Specialties ?

JayZ
02-11-2016, 04:58 PM
owner claims it rans 70 with 502 and 63 with the 454.

I've not seen another Sonic 24 like this one on the web or anywhere else. This one looks like a spitfire ...real sleek not like the Sonic 24 with the hull side windows...

smidgen too
02-13-2016, 12:05 PM
Here is the 24' Sonic story as Bill [redaleart] had this in his archives ..

olredalert
02-14-2016, 10:00 AM
----Thanks, Mark!!! A good friend of mine in Ft. Liquerdale owned this very boat new. Had it for awhile and then got offered stupid money for it by a couple of shady guys. Two weeks later they came back to him and patch some "bullet holes" as he was and is in the Corvette repair business. He complied and never saw the boat again. He is the one who gave me the mag article......Bill S

Greg Guimond
02-14-2016, 10:00 AM
From the archives of olred.........



------As some of you may recall from former posts of mine the molds for the El Pescador as well as the Spitfire were bought by Sonic around 1978. They are now languishing in mold purgatory behind the Sonic factory!
------ Sonic built Spitfires almost exactly like DONZI but called them Super Sports. The very first one out of their mold was powered with healthy twin 454s. Drives were Marine Power System. I have a water-test from "Go Boating" on that boat. The claim was that the boat should have hit 80mph but was propped wrong for the test,and only made it to 75.
------There was some sort of front compartment with berths but it was claustrophobic and very hard to get to,as you had to crawl under a deep full width dash,or drop thru one of two front deck hatchs.
------Had a 98 gallon tank,although one could extend that quite a bit as my El Pescador has about 120 gallons. I have also talked to a fella down in Ohio that has one with 3 tanks totaling around 200 gallons altogether.
------That first SS belonged to a friend of mine when the article was written,and he liked the boat a bunch. Unfortunatly,a while after the test someone offered him way too much money and he sold it. Literally a week later the boat came back to him shot full of bullet-holes(He was in the fiberglass repair business). Hey,he lived in Ft.Laudedale. Bullet holes wernt all that uncommon. He patched it up and never saw it again.
------Do I like the 24 hull? OHHHHHHH YEEEESSSSS.It handles the same water a 27 Magnum SS will,and yet you can trailer it with relative ease. Just what the DONZI doctor ordered!......Bill S

smidgen too
02-14-2016, 11:51 AM
I think Bill will change his story a bit now :boggled: about a 24' Donzi vs the 27' Magnum now that he has a Magnum sport. But we all know Bill's Donzi's are a cut above the rest. :yes:

olredalert
02-14-2016, 04:57 PM
----You have that right, wise one! Once I got Short Circuit up to speed I realised what a difference there is between the two. I do still think the 24 Donzi (Sonic, etc) is a great 24 hull. Dry, beamy, and will run fast if set up correctly.......Bill S

Greg Guimond
02-14-2016, 05:38 PM
The owner of this Sonic 24 has done an incredible job with it. He has twin warmed up 250's and it does 80mph on GPS but not an ounce more with the round bottom. You could always find him and chat as I'm sure he knows the boat you are looking at. He tends to know all the I/O's and O/B's out there.

olredalert
02-15-2016, 10:18 AM
----Is it just me (I may be biased) or is Sonics deck and windshield design just plain ugly?.......Bill S

Greg Guimond
02-15-2016, 10:41 AM
......................

JayZ
02-15-2016, 11:13 AM
----is it just me (i may be biased) or is sonics deck and windshield design just plain ugly?.......bill s


maybe ....maybe not.

83850

Greg Guimond
02-15-2016, 11:27 AM
The deck of the Sonic gives you a huge cabin so you can throw all that eye candy in there naked. It really depends on how you use your boat. If you need a beamy 24 degrees for rough water and want a weekender that is still fairly fast at 60mph and easy to trailer the Sonic is a great choice.

Greg Guimond
02-15-2016, 11:40 AM
If you don't need quite as large a cabin but still want a good rough water boat in that size, but one that is faster and a little sleeker looking there are several other better options that are also a bit newer as 1990's. Carrera 238, Warlock 23XRI, and Hallettt 240 are all full 8'+ beams.

Ghost
02-15-2016, 12:19 PM
For my money, the original Sonic from the GoBoating reprint crushes the rest on styling. Nothing like a flat deck. Good looking boat.

Twin 454s?! Anybody ever get a ride in one of those? Curious what it was like. Even twin small-blocks would have been a shoehorn job--BBCs must have been a real pain to work on. Looks like they had to notch the motorbox hatches for the air cleaners. (Been there.)

I suppose if they were well built and anyone finds an old one, might be a great single big-block conversion. Based on my Cig 24 I'd think the hull would love the switch to a single.

Greg Guimond
02-15-2016, 02:20 PM
owner claims it rans 70 with 502 and 63 with the 454. I've not seen another Sonic 24 like this one on the web or anywhere else. This one looks like a spitfire ...real sleek not like the Sonic 24 with the hull side windows...

If those two motors are stock (415hp and 365hp) I would say that both those speeds are a little on the ambitious side. These hulls are heavy. A single motor is the way to go for sure.

Ghost
02-15-2016, 03:33 PM
Agreed, I suspect either the speed numbers were non-GPS or the motors weren't stock. I'd think the transmission/TRS setup is less efficient or at best equal to a Bravo 1. Don't know, but that's my guess.

Assuming for a minute that it's equal to a B1, with everything dialed in and optimal with a light load at 415 HP, with a 3 blade Mirage and trimmed all the way out, I'd guess 65-66.

I thought at least one of the highly-tuned 454s was 385 HP stock, no? For 385 horse, with the above assumptions, I'd guess it'd top out at 63-64. If 365 horse, maybe 61-63 best case.

None of which is a knock on the boat at all (I dig it--looks like it might basically be a Spitfire, perhaps better built), just making my best WOT estimates given my experience with a 24 foot Cig, 2 inches narrower, with a B1.

Do we know if the keel is a sharp V or a rounded V?

smidgen too
02-16-2016, 10:05 AM
After reading some of these post I know most have never been out on one of these 24' Donzi's. As I have said Bill's 24' El Pescador runs 66mph with 2 barrel 350 Merc's, show me another hull this size built back then running that speed with that hp. Working on a twin big or small block 24 Donzi is a piece of cake. With the bulkhead being removable the front of the twin engines accessibility is good. The hull has a inner liner even in the engine bay making it easy to work on the outboard side of the engines. Big blocks need 33" centers small block 30" centers leaving lots of room, look at the pic on my 24 Doral. I'm 62 & have no problem. You want to see tight my 24' 7' beam twin engine Cobra, now that's a little tight. My Doral has the same size cabin as the Sonic & the Donzi Spirit has a cabin too. As far as the single engine I have been out on the Spirit with a 280Trs it's was a 45mph boat about what you would think for that power train set up.
The Donzi 24' is a good boat for the era it was built, it's not a Magnum nor is it a modern hull like a Warlock or Formula but a mid 70's classic. When we finish Bill's Spitfire with modern power & that so called power grabbing Trs drive & Borg Warner trans :eek: It's performance will be impressive. Again how fast do you really want to go in a 24' ?? If speed is what you want just go out & get a Skater cat or Vee they will out run most anything. If you can find a 24' Sonic Or Donzi at a good price give it a second look.:yes: Mark

Greg Guimond
02-16-2016, 11:16 AM
Anyone have any thoughts about the Sonic 24 built off the Donzi 24 molds? This one come with a big block and at least now has a TRS drive.

I'm sure that the current owner of the Sonic 24 is asking $10,000 for the boat turnkey ready. The alternative is you could buy a Carrera, Warlock or Hallett for $20,000. With the old 454 Magnum (385hp) and a Bravo One each of these 3 boats will run an honest 62-65mph on GPS any day so that is a wash.

JayZ if you would use the bigger cabin, I'd save the money and buy the Sonic 24 for $10k. If a regular size cabin is ok, IMO I'd rather spend more and have a 10 year newer boat and drive train like one of the other three pictured below depending on which one's visual lines you like better as all three are full 8'+ beams as well.

Now if the Sonic is clean and less than $10k ........... I'd just grab it before Spring and use the hell out of it for a year.

olredalert
02-16-2016, 12:14 PM
----So, did you guys look at the amount of room in Marks 24 engine compartment? My batteries will be mounted elsewhere and my center stringer is less than half as wide as Marks. The bulkhead and rear seat will come out easily as well. Tons of room. I wish I had anywhere near as much room in my 27 Sport. My motors were built for reliability and long life and they dynoed at 415hp and 460 ftlbs of torque. If you want to place a little wager on top speed I'm up for it. I'm saying 75mph but that may be low! Let it be known that I am not a top speed fanatic. I like a good high cruise and that's what my Spitfire will be propped for. That Sonic my friend bought new was propped all wrong and the speedmasters were hung WAY to low. Just look at the pics from the article. It was the 1st 24 Sonic put together and I'm certain that later boats were better.
----Ryan Smith, the main guy at RCS restorations, that re-did my Spitfire, also did another one prior to mine. It was done with a single and Bravo I think and was equally as nice as mine. It was rigged by a very good rigger here in MI. that has since moved to the Carolinas. I believe the engine was somewhere around 550hp or a bit more. I never heard how it ran but would love to know. The owner moved to Florida shortly after the boat was finished. It was Navy blue a little bit different shade than mine. Has anybody out there in Fla. seen it? I would love to hear some performance figures. I like twins so I think I made the right choice for me, but am very aware that it wouldn't be every bodies choice.
----Ghost, You are obviously correct about lack of GPS as the article was written long before GPS was invented. But,,,they could have had a radar unit on a bridge as the test took place on the intercoastal between Ft. L and Miami. Back then there were only a couple of posted speed limit areas and plenty of bridges. I know as I ran the intercoastal all the time right in that area back in the day. I used to go to Donzi from John Chisholms off Las Olas in Ft L about once a week. Now that was a great commute........Bill S

Ghost
02-16-2016, 06:13 PM
Sorry, wasn't clear. I wasn't talking about non-GPS from the article, but rather, from the speed quotes from the gentleman who said his boat had run 70 with a 502 and 63 with a 454. (

The Doral looks like it has (magically :) ) a LOT better access in the motorbox than the brochure pic of the Sonic's motorbox. The Sonic motorbox with the twin big blocks looks impossible. Maybe it's just fooling my eye.

Didn't realize the bulkhead came out though. That's gotta help a lot. (Though I consider taking out the bulkhead to be something of a PITA of its own. :) )

I'm REALLY eager to hear how your Spit runs, Bill. (Really love to SEE it, actually. That's one of my favorite projects around here.) I bet it's very fast, but you've got 2x pretty major power in there, right?

For clarity, all my estimates about the Sonic 24 performance were for stock singles. I'd expect my 7'10" beam 24 Cig is pretty similar to the slightly wider Sonic, so that's what I'm going on. Mine's not very fast--all I have is a stock 496 HO. I've gathered some decent data on different 24 Cig singles when I've run across them. Takes some non-stock HP to get any of them to 70+, as far as I can find so far. 500 HP or so to get to 70, maybe 575-ish HP to get to 75. What I DON'T have with any of those numbers is whether the x-dimension was raised. Based on some back-of-the-envelope HP math, my guess is the numbers I have would be for boats without a significantly raised X.

To be fair, I could be way off if the Cigs are notably slower than the Sonics/Spits. I'm only assuming they are similar.

Bill, has your Spitfire been in the water yet? Sounded like not, but wanted to make sure I heard right. I'd love to know more about how it does. Nuts about that boat.

smidgen too
02-16-2016, 07:21 PM
We are hanging the gimbals tomorrow on Bill's Spitfire, let the rigging begin .:nilly:

smidgen too
02-16-2016, 07:33 PM
Bill wants to see if it's true that Spitfire owners have more bikini clad fun.:boggled: Or maybe not. :eek: I know it work with my Doral.:yes:

Ghost
02-16-2016, 07:53 PM
Hopefully it's 24 owners... :)

bertsboat
02-17-2016, 09:00 AM
That red bikini would look better on the floor Mark....


Bill wants to see if it's true that Spitfire owners have more bikini clad fun.:boggled: Or maybe not. :eek: I know it work with my Doral.:yes:

bertsboat
02-17-2016, 09:02 AM
Post a picture of the engine compartment please. It looks better than most, if not all..


We are hanging the gimbals tomorrow on Bill's Spitfire, let the rigging begin .:nilly:

smidgen too
02-17-2016, 12:11 PM
Post a picture of the engine compartment please. It looks better than most, if not all..
Bert here is Bill's Spitfire's engine compartment.

Greg Guimond
02-17-2016, 12:15 PM
.
Here is a Sonic 24 undergoing a fresh repaint. I asked a buddy who owned one and he said that they have the round bottom that we all know so well and 24 degrees. Also said that you could get the interior with a little sink set-up but that was pretty rare. IMO I'd turn the hatches into flush mounts and clean up the deck. Wave crusher being heavy and having the round keel.

smidgen too
02-17-2016, 12:31 PM
That red bikini would look better on the floor Mark....
Bert As the day went by it did get better. :yes:

smidgen too
02-24-2016, 11:09 AM
I knew I had a pic of this 24' Sonic that I believe Bill talked about when it was for sale a few years ago. The blue & white may have been added when they repaired the bullet holes in the sides. :eek::eek::eek:

olredalert
02-25-2016, 05:27 PM
----WOW! Look how low the props are. This boat was built a long time ago without todays advancements. A set-up like this (this low an X) would probably yield nothing even with these slick drives. Of course they had far less info to go on back then about "surface piercing drives". Oh,,,and I dont even want to get into prop advancements in the last 30 years. Set up correctly with our present knowledge this old 24 would have been seriously fast!.......Bill S

OFFSHORE GINGER
02-26-2016, 12:23 PM
Mark , i always like to see pics with Stern Power attached to the back of the boat .

smidgen too
02-26-2016, 01:34 PM
Mark , i always like to see pics with Stern Power attached to the back of the boat .

I had these drive on two of the 15+ offshore boats I have had & they were strong & worked well. I don't know if they are still in business though. The SSP drives like the ones pictured had a nice prop setback like a extension box would, now knowing that you could raise the drives even higher today.