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calculate how much less power would be needed to provide
equal speed to the existing design, if we were successful.
For nine months and $20,000 worth of models, we were
unsuccessful. Finally on a frigid morning in February 1970
came success. The Coast Guard had broken the ice in Clam
Creek. We towed a 38 Ft. Alglas model converted to a single
step hydroplane against a standard 38 Ft. Alglas hull. The
hydroplane was more efficient at the top end, but had more
resistance at cruising speed. Suddenly the conventional
model hit a chunk of ice, the brick bounced aft, and the con-
ventional model leaped ahead of the hydroplane. A close
examination showed that the conventional model had dis-
torted some while it was curing in it’s fiberglass mold. This
distortion, combined with a higher running angle caused by
the brick bouncing aft, caused her to exceed hydroplane
efficiency. My contract with Pacemaker ended in June 1970.
Eight years later, the new owners of Pacemaker laid off Jack
Leek. They allowed him to buy a 38 Ft. Alglas hull for use in
altering it, to go in business building a few 40-footers. He
got me to draw up the 40-footer and incorporate the lessons
learned with the model tests. The exact changes were made
to the hull plug that accidently occurred during the model
curing process. On trial runs she was several knots faster
than the Pacemaker 40-footer with the same engines. Next
winter a 40 Ft. Pacemaker was hauled out and sat right next
to a 40 Ft. Ocean Yachts. Lots of people looked at both
boats trying to find out what I had done to make the Ocean
faster. Nobody could see any difference between the
two boats, so imperceptible were the changes. Three
thirty seconds of an inch in the right place was the
In the spring of 1979 Jack Leek gave me an order for
a 53 Ft. design which we lengthened to 55 Ft. The
hull plug was built by Bob O’Donnell, who was now
President and one-third owner of Marko Custom
Boats. Bob was with me during the model tests and
knew just how the 38 Ft. model had distorted, and
was very careful to get that same critical area config-
ured just right. Three thirty seconds of an inch was
the difference between outstanding or average effi-
ciency. Launching day was in typical Leek fashion.
Jack’s mother knitted the cover of the Champaign
bottle as she always did. Jack’s wif
Bea, christened her as she descen
down the travel lift well. A nice par
was enjoyed by all, as Fast Freddy
Metz fired up the Detroit 8 92, 650
H.P. engines emitting a dense smo
screen engulfing the party. The en-
gines were racing in neutral, so I w
up to the bridge and closed the thr
tles. Suddenly Fast Freddy is screa
ing at me "SPEED IT UP DAVE, SPE
IT UP". He was standing on the aft
deck, hidden by smoke from the
crowd, as he was taking a number
one. Hidden, that is, until I closed
throttles and the smoke subsided leaving him standing
there in full view of Jack Leek’s mother with a group of
women standing on the dock.
Fast Freddy, now in the engine room, told me to stick
around because he and young John Leek III had it cooke
to run speed trials in the dark on the river. John, Vernon
Warker, and his wife came aboard and we snuck out the
river slowly hoping John’s father, Jack, would not notice. I
the pitch dark, with young John on the bridge at the whee
he opened her up. All I could see was the lit up knotmete
reading 35 knots. I could also see the strong possibility o
of us winding up 200 Ft. in the woods. Everybody was ver
happy as the engines went right up against the governors
Vernon and his wife were overjoyed. After all, they had m
gaged their house to the hilt to invest in this company. B
and forth we flew up and down the river in the darkness.
John apparently took several ranges on some house light
on the river. I hoped the people in the house we were hea
ing for did not turn out the lights and go to bed. Anyway a
ter six passes, I told John about the time I had put the sin
ing 48 Ft. Alglas on the beach in Atlantic City. John fortu-
nately headed in with the boat still in one piece.
As we tied up, John looked extremely upset as he said, “
old man is going to kill me for this!” I said, "Don't worry
John, just follow me up to Jack’s house and I will take car
of everything." Off we trudged, up the little road a few hu
55 Ft. Ocean Lines
55 Ft. British CMB Stepped Hydroplane Torpedo Boa