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scippy
02-01-2017, 08:09 PM
On this Friday, the 3rd of February will mark the 30th anniversary of the passing of Don Aronow. If All the things that happened
that day not occurred and he lived to carry out his dreams, what would the face of racing & design be today? .....it's a curiosity
with no answers, but if his career were an example of what could follow then surely he would have another home run or possibly
grand slam left.
his offshore racing career broke records and his 5 boat companies were all successful ..........I am a fan and admirer and don't
wish to dwell on the mystery of that day, but rather ask what would've been if he lived?....I know he planned to get back into
offshore racing with a new team and new hull designs, but we can only imagine ....so, what would the industry of high-performance
boat building and hull design look like today if he had lived?..............................your thoughts?

scippy
02-03-2017, 01:34 PM
Crickets......amazing!

Conquistador_del_mar
02-03-2017, 02:40 PM
Pete,
I remember that day like it was yesterday when a friend called to inform me. I have actually wondered the same thing since he was so innovative. Bill

scippy
02-03-2017, 06:02 PM
Pete,
I remember that day like it was yesterday when a friend called to inform me. I have actually wondered the same thing since he was so innovative. Bill

Bill every boat I have owned (Donzi, Magnum, Cigarette) was a Don Aronow production hull.....these were race proven hulls - Aronow hulls broke more records worldwide
sold more hulls worldwide inspired more interest worldwide than any other since -and frankly, this site would not be in existence if not for Don Aronow and nobody has any
thoughts? ...sad!

Lenny
02-03-2017, 09:48 PM
Great post Scippy. Yes , there are thoughts here. In looking at the state of the sport today, turbines, MTI and all the rest, drives, I also have to ask myself " what hasn't been done " since then ?

Who knows.



RIP Don

tmdog
02-04-2017, 02:29 PM
I was a long time resident of S. Fl. and resided there when Don A. was killed. His dubious dealing is what got him killed. I'll stop right there. Those who were closely involved in the boating industry are aware what happened. Scippy, that is why the silence.:frown:

Marlin275
02-04-2017, 02:33 PM
Don did it all, what was left to do?

There are no more Miami / Nassau, Bahama 500s or Miami / Key West powerboat open races anymore.

That is another legacy of our sport that is its greatest loss.

scippy
02-04-2017, 05:46 PM
I was a long time resident of S. Fl. and resided there when Don A. was killed. His dubious dealing is what got him killed. I'll stop right there. Those who were closely involved in the boating industry are aware what happened. Scippy, that is why the silence.:frown:

I get what your saying about "dubious dealings" I've read a lot about the man's life and realize his murder wasn't a random act, but I mention "not to dwell on that day" meaning (probable causes)
but express thoughts on how the face of racing and design would have changed for good or worse had he lived........if you look past the murder or what "might have" lead up to it...I think you can
separate the flawed Don Aronow from the Genius of Don Aronow................I know more of the "latter than the former" and hoped most here would give thoughts on that.

Conquistador_del_mar
02-04-2017, 10:11 PM
I get what your saying about "dubious dealings" I've read a lot about the man's life and realize his murder wasn't a random act, but I mention "not to dwell on that day" meaning (probable causes)
but express thoughts on how the face of racing and design would have changed for good or worse had he lived........if you look past the murder or what "might have" lead up to it...I think you can
separate the flawed Don Aronow from the Genius of Don Aronow................I know more of the "latter than the former" and hoped most here would give thoughts on that.

Pete, you pointed out exactly what my thinking is about his accomplishments versus his personal character traits. Here is a good read: https://books.google.com/books?id=M_Q1AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA60&lpg=PA60&dq=first+cougar+cat+boat&source=bl&ots=_XxxMiR3Qi&sig=u1z-P0M98hMkqJQ7QdwYm5RRkgc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiFv-Tm-_fRAhUO82MKHUFqCkYQ6AEIUjAM#v=onepage&q=first%20cougar%20cat%20boat&f=false

Greg Guimond
02-05-2017, 07:50 AM
.........
Yesterday I happened to watch a 1 hour broadcast that explained the Super Bowl half-time shows over the many, many years. Talked of how it went from a few marching bands and some balloons, to ground breaking productions the whole world doesn't miss, even if they don't care about the football.

That's how I see Don A. He went from building strip malls in New Jersey to completely blowing away an entire sport and industry. Epic on all fronts. The only guy I think of in the same category is Ali. Both were larger than life.

RIP Don

Ghost
02-05-2017, 12:06 PM
I'm not sure the industry or the sport would have been much different, as a whole. Feels like a lot had run its course by the late '80s. Don's latest company had already produced cats. Drug interdiction was starting to get pretty advanced--running loads by fast boats was probably making less sense every day. Weren't the old, true offshore races already disappearing by then? Engineering was going to drive toward cats and stepped hulls, especially as the races became less offshore. Part of what drove the heyday was that it was all new, and the boats were advancing really rapidly.

I would like like to see one big race come back. Maybe Miami-Nassau or something. Tied in with some other events to make the pie larger, such that even the non-boating crowd would be exposed to it and perhaps pay attention. If there were a Super Bowl in FL, perhaps that would do it, at least for a year.

scippy
02-05-2017, 03:34 PM
Just the spirited exchange I was hoping for!.............I agree that the offshore racing circuit was in the waning stages and his latest split design of a 35' hull to cat form lacked in performance
although the CG contract went through...(probable help from George H. Bush) .............just consider he was about to get out from a "no build clause" which in my opinion held back some of
his new ideas that had to be curtailed because of that contract. We'll never know for sure, but just imagine if Don Aronow had not come along?....would there be Formula? , Donzi? , Magnum?
Cigarette, USA racing team?.......would there be a Cigarette hull at all?...one that captured the most wins in all of offshore racing?.........let me reverse things now to ask, what "would've been"
to now suggest what if there "never was" a Don Aronow???

Marlin275
02-05-2017, 04:39 PM
.....let me reverse things now to ask, what "would've been"
to now suggest what if there "never was" a Don Aronow???

Bertram would have the best shot without Don.
Their design was all there and proven.

Wynne would have evolved into some strong competition.
Walters in there.

Don was the glue with them.


The 1960 Miami-Nassau powerboat race was a watershed event - it
marked the birth of Bertram Yacht and the advent of the modern
powerboat with its fiberglass construction, deep-vee design, stern drives
and larger engines. It was also one hell of a bad day to be out there
racing, and it was Bertram's first competition. The seas ran 8 feet, some
say 12, and winds were steady 30 knots, gusting higher.
"What happened on that gusty April day in the Gulf Stream and on
across the clear, rough waters on the Bahama Bank would forever alter
powerboating," reported Soundings magazine (May 1994). "The race
was won by Moppie, a 30-foot wooden prototype designed by
C. Raymond Hunt for Miami yacht broker Richard Bertram and named
after Bertram's wife. With a constant 24-degree deadrise running fore
and aft, Moppie ushered in the era of the modern deep-vee hull. The
Ray Hunt design turned out to have a terrific ability in rough water,
and it really set boatbuilding on its ear."


Glass Moppie wins the 1961 Miami Nassau Race (http://www.bertram.com/img/history/article-1961-repeat-performance.jpg) in 4 hours and 20 min. Shattering the old race record. Conditions in 1961 were much calmer but it showed the boat was a capable speedster in flat waters. Glass Moppie went on to win the Miami/Bimini/Miami and the Round Long Island Race (http://www.bertram.com/img/history/1961-Round-Long-Island-Race.jpg).




http://www.donzi.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=85658&d=1486331216

Morgan's Cloud
02-06-2017, 02:34 PM
Bertram would have the best shot without Don.
Their design was all there and proven.

Wynn would have evolved into some strong competition.
Walters in there.

Don was the glue with them.


The 1960 Miami-Nassau powerboat race was a watershed event - it
marked the birth of Bertram Yacht and the advent of the modern
powerboat with its fiberglass construction, deep-vee design, stern drives
and larger engines. It was also one hell of a bad day to be out there
racing, and it was Bertram's first competition. The seas ran 8 feet, some
say 12, and winds were steady 30 knots, gusting higher.
"What happened on that gusty April day in the Gulf Stream and on
across the clear, rough waters on the Bahama Bank would forever alter
powerboating," reported Soundings magazine (May 1994). "The race
was won by Moppie, a 30-foot wooden prototype designed by
C. Raymond Hunt for Miami yacht broker Richard Bertram and named
after Bertram's wife. With a constant 24-degree deadrise running fore
and aft, Moppie ushered in the era of the modern deep-vee hull. The
Ray Hunt design turned out to have a terrific ability in rough water,
and it really set boatbuilding on its ear."


Glass Moppie wins the 1961 Miami Nassau Race (http://www.bertram.com/img/history/article-1961-repeat-performance.jpg) in 4 hours and 20 min. Shattering the old race record. Conditions in 1961 were much calmer but it showed the boat was a capable speedster in flat waters. Glass Moppie went on to win the Miami/Bimini/Miami and the Round Long Island Race (http://www.bertram.com/img/history/1961-Round-Long-Island-Race.jpg).




http://www.donzi.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=85658&d=1486331216



One has to wonder what would have happened to the whole timeline had Dick Bertram never spotted Ray Hunt's specially built 24 foot 24 degree tender from the deck of the America's Cup boat he was crewing on .
No doubt Hunt would have gone onto become a successful designer but Bertram sped up the time line and then Don came along and it was the Bertram 31 that was his real competition .

What would/could he have gone onto had it not been for his untimely demise ? Who knows . He might have decided after another few years to just put his feet up and watch everyone else .

Marlin275
02-07-2017, 08:53 AM
One has to wonder what would have happened to the whole timeline had Dick Bertram never spotted Ray Hunt's specially built 24 foot 24 degree tender from the deck of the America's Cup boat he was crewing on .
No doubt Hunt would have gone onto become a successful designer but Bertram sped up the time line and then Don came along and it was the Bertram 31 that was his real competition .


What is truly amazing in the 1961 Miami-Nassau Race is the #19 finish of a Boston Whaler with a 75 Johnson in 7 hours 51 min., also designed by Charles Raymond Hunt.
That was the best boat we had before Donzis showed up, and some thought we might make it to Bimini, on a good day, in a Whaler, in Florida, in the 1960s.

http://www.donzi.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=85659&d=1486475385

The late Joseph Gribbins was the editor of the long defunct Nautical Quarterly magazine, wrote this:

C. Raymond Hunt, The New England sailor and designer was father or godfather to the deep-vee powerboat, the ubiquitous 13' and 16' Boston Whalers, the Concordia yawls, the modern spinnaker, the amidships cockpit sloop, the lively 110 and 210 day-racers, an improved destroyer hull design for the U.S. Navy, world-beating 5.5-Meter yachts, and perhaps scores more of boats and boat developments that were left unfinished in the creative ferment of his life, were taken up by others, or remain to be discovered. He was an extraordinary man, but quiet and sometimes quixotic. Although his name is familiar to anyone involved with boats, he remains an obscure inventor, a Wizard of Oz.

“Ray Hunt was one helluva designer, but in a non-scientific sort of way. He usually got things right, but maybe not the first time,” said Dick Fisher, his collaborator on the Boston Whaler.

Something like the deep-vee boats we know today appeared when Bill Dyer made four fiberglass versions of the 23 for a new company called Essex Fiber Boat. One of them was sold to Jacob Isbrandtsen as a tender for Vim during the America’s Cup summer of 1958, and Dick Bertram, Miami yacht broker and member of Vim’s crew, took an interest in the boat and eventually acquired it. Bertram asked Hunt to design a 31' version, and he had the first one built of wood in Miami for the 1960 Miami-Nassau powerboat race.


At the same time, Jim Wynne had a 24' Hunt deep-vee built with Volvo sponsorship by Palmer Scott in Massachusetts and fitted with two 80-hp Volvo stern-drive packages. The tale has been told many times how Bertram and Wynne dominated that rough run to Nassau, finishing one-two while the rest of the fleet straggled in the next day.

http://www.donzi.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=85661&d=1486479766

Wynne and Walters would go on to partner as well with this great design Ghost Rider, the undisputed, undefeated 1966 World Champion.
The GHOST RIDER was:
’66 Overall winner of London Daily Express Cowes-Torquay Race
’66 Overall winner of Miami to Nassau Race
‘66 Overall winner of Miami to Key West Race
’66 Overall winner of St. Petersburg Hurricane Classic 200 Race

http://www.donzi.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=85660&d=1486479765

"In 1959," Wynne says, "it took us 17 hours to race from Miami to Nassau. By 1961, with a deep-V hull of the kind inspired by the great Ray Hunt, we had cut it to 10 hours."
While designing big boats to go faster, Wynne also was churning a wide wake in his 17-foot runabout, the Wyn-Mill, which is the Lotus chassis of the boating world,
regardless of what kind of engine one puts into it. The 1962 model won its class in the Miami-Nassau race and the Miami-Bimini run. In 1963 Wynne and Walters teamed up with
Builder-Racer Don Aronow and turned out a 23.3-footer for Aronow's new Formula Marine Co. They called it—naturally enough—the Formula 233.
The 17-foot Wyn-Mill then became the Formula Junior. Aronow sold the mold to Thunderbird, and now the Juniors appear all around the country, each one with the Wynne-Walters bottom.

Having sold his boat molds to one company, Aronow promptly formed another, this one called Donzi—and Wynne and Walters designed an entire new line of bottoms.
The end result is that almost all the good boats racing the offshore circuit now show Wynne-Walters touches. Last year Wynne-Walters hulls won the world racing championship,
firmly establishing that name as a threat, and Formulas won every class they entered.

"One race," says Wynne, "will result in an advance of 10 years in pleasure-boating design. It is a stepped-up rate of evolution.

http://www.si.com/vault/1965/08/02/606410/he-drives-a-hairy-race

scippy
02-07-2017, 04:04 PM
Keep it all coming..........Great reading!

scippy
03-03-2017, 06:59 PM
and today (March 3rd) marks his 90th birthday!

gcarter
03-04-2017, 10:31 AM
It's so important to remember Ray Hunt in the US and Sonny Renato Levy in Europe were the true offshore Deep-Vee pioneers in the 50's.
W/o them, the calendar would have been altered by at least 10 years.

BTW, were y'all aware that Sonny Levy passed away recently? At the age of 91, I think.

Greg Guimond
03-07-2017, 10:11 PM
What is truly amazing in the 1961 Miami-Nassau Race is the #19 finish of a Boston Whaler with a 75 Johnson in 7 hours 51 min., also designed by Charles Raymond Hunt.
That was the best boat we had before Donzis showed up, and some thought we might make it to Bimini, on a good day, in a Whaler, in Florida, in the 1960s.



The late Joseph Gribbins was the editor of the long defunct Nautical Quarterly magazine, wrote this:

C. Raymond Hunt, The New England sailor and designer was father or godfather to the deep-vee powerboat, the ubiquitous 13' and 16' Boston Whalers, the Concordia yawls, the modern spinnaker, the amidships cockpit sloop, the lively 110 and 210 day-racers, an improved destroyer hull design for the U.S. Navy, world-beating 5.5-Meter yachts, and perhaps scores more of boats and boat developments that were left unfinished in the creative ferment of his life, were taken up by others, or remain to be discovered. He was an extraordinary man, but quiet and sometimes quixotic. Although his name is familiar to anyone involved with boats, he remains an obscure inventor, a Wizard of Oz.

“Ray Hunt was one helluva designer, but in a non-scientific sort of way. He usually got things right, but maybe not the first time,” said Dick Fisher, his collaborator on the Boston Whaler.

Something like the deep-vee boats we know today appeared when Bill Dyer made four fiberglass versions of the 23 for a new company called Essex Fiber Boat. One of them was sold to Jacob Isbrandtsen as a tender for Vim during the America’s Cup summer of 1958, and Dick Bertram, Miami yacht broker and member of Vim’s crew, took an interest in the boat and eventually acquired it. Bertram asked Hunt to design a 31' version, and he had the first one built of wood in Miami for the 1960 Miami-Nassau powerboat race.


At the same time, Jim Wynne had a 24' Hunt deep-vee built with Volvo sponsorship by Palmer Scott in Massachusetts and fitted with two 80-hp Volvo stern-drive packages. The tale has been told many times how Bertram and Wynne dominated that rough run to Nassau, finishing one-two while the rest of the fleet straggled in the next day.

http://www.donzi.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=85661&d=1486479766

Wynne and Walters would go on to partner as well with this great design Ghost Rider, the undisputed, undefeated 1966 World Champion.
The GHOST RIDER was:
’66 Overall winner of London Daily Express Cowes-Torquay Race
’66 Overall winner of Miami to Nassau Race
‘66 Overall winner of Miami to Key West Race
’66 Overall winner of St. Petersburg Hurricane Classic 200 Race



"In 1959," Wynne says, "it took us 17 hours to race from Miami to Nassau. By 1961, with a deep-V hull of the kind inspired by the great Ray Hunt, we had cut it to 10 hours."
While designing big boats to go faster, Wynne also was churning a wide wake in his 17-foot runabout, the Wyn-Mill, which is the Lotus chassis of the boating world,
regardless of what kind of engine one puts into it. The 1962 model won its class in the Miami-Nassau race and the Miami-Bimini run. In 1963 Wynne and Walters teamed up with
Builder-Racer Don Aronow and turned out a 23.3-footer for Aronow's new Formula Marine Co. They called it—naturally enough—the Formula 233.
The 17-foot Wyn-Mill then became the Formula Junior. Aronow sold the mold to Thunderbird, and now the Juniors appear all around the country, each one with the Wynne-Walters bottom.

Having sold his boat molds to one company, Aronow promptly formed another, this one called Donzi—and Wynne and Walters designed an entire new line of bottoms.
The end result is that almost all the good boats racing the offshore circuit now show Wynne-Walters touches. Last year Wynne-Walters hulls won the world racing championship,
firmly establishing that name as a threat, and Formulas won every class they entered.

"One race," says Wynne, "will result in an advance of 10 years in pleasure-boating design. It is a stepped-up rate of evolution.

http://www.si.com/vault/1965/08/02/606410/he-drives-a-hairy-race

Great read Marlin, thanks for posting