The business of selling people boats and motors has been taking giant steps since the arrival of the five-day week. The U.S. now has a boating population of five million and a boating industry driving on past the billion-dollar mark. The effort to get a share of this bonanza has led manufacturers to still more imaginative designs in wood, aluminum and plastic. On the following pages, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED shows some of the latest attempts to catch a skipper's eye.
Developed as a fast, dry offshore inboard, 21-foot Bristol Bonito makes 30 mph with a 100-hp Gray, handles well even in a heavy chop, seats nine comfortably. Price $3,035-$3,260 f.o.b.
Influenced by current auto styles and making use of complex hull lines possible in fiber-glass construction, 19-foot Lone Star Caribbean outboard has twin bunks in cabin. Price $1,895 f.o.b.
The 15-foot Century Colt is one of the first hulls to come equipped with Fageol Vertical Inboard Power, a 35-hp, four-cycle, four-cylinder plant that is mounted with flywheel at the bottom and has a right-angle outboard-type drive. In addition to the roominess afforded by the positioning of the engine astern, the VIP installation makes for an extremely maneuverable hull, since the propeller powers the turn, with the entire engine rotating on a ball-and-socket mounting. Combining some of the best features of inboard and outboard engines, the motor gains in efficiency over the conventional inboard because the drive is in a straight line with the direction of travel, and in fuel consumption over outboards because of the four-cycle inboard engine's inherent fuel efficiency. The VIP is easily removed from motor well, can be mounted in many outboard-type hulls. The throttle and gearshift are controlled by a single lever forward. Price of the Colt with VIP $2,255 f.o.b.
STATION WAGON SET
Three-section plywood Whittle Pack Boat can be assembled in seven minutes with wing nuts to make a sturdy 12-foot hull. Foam rubber at joints keeps boat dry. Weighing only 100 pounds, hull fits into rear of station wagon or car trunk. Boat can handle outboards. Price $185 f.o.b.
Thompson Lapchine outboard is 14 feet, has lapstrake chines to combine dryness of lapstrake hull with economy of sheet-plywood construction. Boat seats five adults, has top speed of 33 mph with 35-hp outboard. Price $440 f.o.b.
Thunderbird Flamingo features full utilization of hull space, with ice or bait box molded into center seat. Double fiber-glass hull provides ample flotation and a flat floor from stem to stern. Provision is made for mounting full steering wheel. Price $595 f.o.b.
THE NEW OUTBOARDS
U.S. outboard manufacturers will show two-tone color schemes and higher horsepower to lure the 1957 buyer
Top motor in the Scott-Atwater line, the Royal Scott is a 40-hp platinum and gold design by Raymond Loewy with a fiberglass hood, has a fuel system that saves one-third in gas, turn-key starting that eliminates priming, owner's initials on name plate. Price $675 f.o.b.