OMC Boat update 8/26/98

From: Phil Budne <phil>
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 22:14:19 -0400 (EDT)

I've put up a "forsale" page and a "photo gallery" page which includes
a 1975 photo of Jim Orfino on his Dad's (extra) blue Sport '16, and
photos taken this month of Mike Stevesand's Sport '16 ``The Grey
Shark'' he recently purchased (check out the pristine seats)! He also
gave me a few links to others interested in "Classic Fiberglass" boats
that I've added.

The list now has 14 members, including Mike Cole, son of the designer
of most of the OMC boats! Here is Mike's take on my earlier question
regarding tri-hull popularity;

    From: "Mike Cole" <mikec@...>
    Subject: Cathedral Hull
    Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 22:42:44 -0400

    Phil, I couldn't help but read with great interest some of the other
    people's comments on the OMC boats and the idea that the Cathedral
    Hull had fallen out of favor. Yes, it's true for the most part and
    I'll tell you the history here since I am probably most familiar with
    this. When my dad invented this hull in it's original form all three
    sections were equal in depth. This made a very stable boat but the
    shortcomings were evident when encountering rough seas as the hull
    would pound quite roughly. Dad realized this and the hull designed
    was modified over the years from it's inception in 1958 to the last
    variation he designed in the 70's for Wellcraft Marine which was the
    Airslot. This modification consisted of raising the outside sponsons
    and making the central V deeper which gave the boat better sea keeping
    ability in rough seas without sacrificing stability. About this same
    time the deep V hull (founded by Richard C. Hunt) was being developed
    and was being used in off-shore ocean racing. The most common hulls
    of this design were the early Bertrams and Thunderbird Formula's. The
    deep V design performed better in rough seas and there were a lot of
    other Cathedral hull boats being made by other manufacturers that were
    not designed properly and added to the poor reputation. The Wellcraft
    Airslot performed quite well, even in rough water, but by this time
    people were convinced, for the most part, that the deep V was the wave
    of the future and therefore most companies dropped the Cathedral
    design in favor of some form of V design. But history often comes
    back in similar form and now you see the Catamaran design catching on.
    It really is not far from the Cathedral concept and certainly is not
    new. The early deep V hulls were often wet and lacked spray control
    and stability. Dad also realized this and actually designed some
    later V hulls with stability and spray control but they were never
    produced by anyone. One boat he did design and later produced by
    Galaxy boats was a 21' walkaround. It was a good hull but the
    production quality was very poor and they went out of business.
    Development in boat design historically has been very slow and
    continues that way today. The latest deep V hulls are extending the
    chines (something Dad did a long time ago) to add stability and spray
    control but it has taken a long time to evolve. What actually has
    happened is the deep V hull now incorporates some of the original
    Cathedral hull features in moderation which has made it a better hull.
    Boston Whaler also used a Cathedral Hull design but Dad had a patent
    on the idea by the time Whaler came up with theirs. Some people
    believe Whaler came up with the idea first, but this is not true and
    Dad has the US Patents to prove it. The Cathedral Hull is not dead
    however, and it continues to show up in various forms for deck boats
    and other types.

     In fact I recently saw a new boat being produced by Donzi which I
    think is using a Cathedral type hull. So like many ideas, it had it
    pros and cons and everyone can make up their own minds. I know a
    friend in Miami that has a 21' Wellcraft Airslot and he tells me he
    had rode in many boats but none ride a well as this boat or are as dry
    as this boat. Also, Wellcraft Marine did an article once on two boats
    that they took on a trip to Bimini from Miami. One boat was the
    Wellcraft Airslot 24' and the other was the 25' Nova (both designed by
    my father). The Airslot was a Cathedral type design and the Nova was
    a traditional deep V. The article praised the ride and dryness of the
    Airslot compared to the Nova but I guess nobody was listening. I have
    another theory on the demise of this design and it is styling.
    Although I liked the Cathedral Hull design and am aware of it's
    advantages, I prefer the look of a V design boat from a style point of
    view. I think a lot of people could never get used to the look of a
    Cathedral hull boat which added to it's disfavor. My prediction is
    the same will happen to the Cat's and after a while they too will fall
    out of favor because of their odd look. History will tell.

    Mike Cole
Received on Wednesday, 26 August 1998

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