For some odd reason our Dad liked almost anything miniature. The smaller the tractor the better. He even liked small cars and pickups. He had a little miniature horse he kept around for a long time. Of course he had a little yelping dog he carried around everywhere.
But when I think about it, Bonnie Gay wasn’t very big either and he kept her around for a long time.
One day he called Kenny and me to make sure we were coming up for the weekend. He had something he wanted us to see and try out. When we got there it was a small one man boat call a Hellion. He had traded for the boat without a motor. He had a 25hp outboard that he had rigged up on it.
Kenny went first. The boat came out of the water fast and planed out almost immediately, like in less than 5 seconds. Everything looked good. I thought we were into something that might be real fun. He got up to about 45 MPH. I looked away for a moment and suddenly the little boat had flipped with Kenny was skidding across the water. I had my boat there so I jumped in it rushed out to retrieve him. I hadn’t seen what he did, I figured the crash happened because he had turned too sharp. In fact it happened so fast, I don’t think he knew what had happened.
We got it back upright and pulled it to the shore and worked on it and finally go it to run again. Now it was my turn. It was a repeat of Kenny’s run. It was sure painful hitting the water.
Back to shore and when it was time to go again, I went out in my boat and followed along beside him, closely enough to see what was happening. When it would plane out, it would run fine but as we would accelerate, being along side of it, I could see it lift completely out of the water with a good foot air gap underneath It. The boat was riding just on the prop. Once it started to rise up out of the water, the torque would take over and turn it a flip.
That third time was a charm for us. We got it back to the river bank and abandon the idea of ever taking it out again.
Come to find out, Cec and some of his cronies had spent all week up there messing with it. But he was sure his boys could figure out how to drive it. I don’t think it ever went back out in the water. After setting around for a while some poor fool came along and bought it.
We couldn’t really figure out what was wrong. Surely 25 hp wasn’t too much power. The only diagnoses we ever came up with, the motor hung down too far. It needed a short shafted motor. Or perhaps the boat was poorly designed. Nothing made me want to ever try it again.