My Boats


We’ve had many boats over the years, here are a few of our favorite home built projects.




This is our first project boat. It had a true Chrysler “Fire Power” 392 hemi. It was punched out .040” over, and was force fed by dual Holley 1000 cfm carbs, and a Detroit 8V71 blower. It made about 600 hp, and that powered the Berkeley jet drive, that would push the 18’ Rogers red metal-flake hull, at over 100 mph. In fact, my father and I are personally responsible for the current 40 mph speed limit on Griggs reservoir on the Scioto river.  J





“Yellow Boat” was another jet-boat. It had a worked Ford 460 in it, that drove a Berkeley jet with a Jet-o-vator. This bright little 20’ Cheetah hull could reach 60 mph, and worked well as an all purpose boat, including being a chase boat for the turbine boat.




That’s me and my Dad on the right.




This boat was once crashed by a friend who was not familiar with jet drives. It ended up 40’ from the shore, and aside from some minor scratches to both, the boat and driver, the biggest injury was to the drivers esteem.





            This is our proudest project. It’s a 1999 Rogers 20’ Bonneville, powered by an Avco-Lycomming T-53 gas turbine jet engine.

It makes 1350 hp, and hurls the boat down the water at 145 mph, while going 0 to 100 in about 7 seconds.

We got the jet from a crashed Huey helicopter, and through the Cassell v-drive, it throws a 24”/29p screw via an Arneson surface drive.

The jet spins at about 28k rpm, and has a built in 3:1 reduction unit. That runs into the 1:.83 overdrive (v-drive) which ends up at about 6k screw rpm.

We also installed a disk brake on the output shaft. This not only allows the shifting of the v-drive, but also allows us to stop the output shaft, load the turbine, then release the brake, allowing great hole shots.

The boat is turn key ready, smooth, and built right. While we can build piston engines that make this power, the rebuild schedule would be high. The great thing about turbines is the little wear they produce, and that they are right at home running at 100%, even for long periods of time. Try that with your 400+ hp piston engine. J



Shot of the Arneson Drive. Note the 24x29 screw



From then stern.


Shot of the jet. Note the disk brake on the output shaft.



We kept many of the gauges right from the chopper. Note the ear protection on the steering wheel.


Here’s the v-drive. Note the hydraulic pump for the steering and trim.


Another shot of the v-drive. Note the armored racing seats.


Last one from the port side.




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