Geeeeeeeez, it must be fall


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Getting a little quiet here! Fall is a busy time for boaters with haul out & clean up, winterization and then planning all the stuff you have to do over the winter for next boating season............

C'mon fess up!


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Well, since nobody has anything to do for the coming winter, I'll update ya.......

On the last run of the year with my woody, I noticed some protective material peeling away from my hull right at the keel and the splash line. The protective material was just put there because she lives on a trailer but, to peel it all off would be difficult. Further, I use Anti-fouling bottom paint over top of the material so, nuthin' sticks to this... Therefore, the problem is to clean off ALL the paint in the area so I can repair it. If I sand the area it destroys the protective material. I need to remove 100% of the paint and not destroy the protective material. I'm not sure how I'm going to address this. I'm listening to suggestions.

Next; After a lot of testing with props etc... I have decided the sterndrive gear ratio is wrong. When I built this driveline I felt that 236HP and 274 Tq were big enough numbers for a 1.47:1 (V8) drive ratio even though the motor is a V6. She still does 50mph but, I have not been able to get the revs over 4100rpm with any prop let alone the 19p, 13.25 High Five I love so much. So, I have now purchased 1.62:1 gear set and this will need to be changed early. Yes, I'll have to re-prop but, with this ratio I should have more options.

The next item is not pressing but, since my woody was re-launched in 2012, I have not re-varnished her. Usually you schedule this job for every 5 years but, since it was the initial varnish on fresh wood it soaks in quite a bit. With the Big ACBS boat show featuring Greavette this year i want to have her looking her best.

The last item on the woody is a small tear in the upholstery. I admit to doing this when removing/replacing the rear seat... I'd have flipped sh*t on anyone else that did this and then killed them but, I'll go easier on myself. A trip to the vinyl doctor in the spring it is.

As a bonus job I have to make a stand that will hold the information board I have made for my boat. (for use at the shows)
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Now for the DONZI....

I purchased this 1965 Donzi Ski Sporter 16 as a project (I really wanted a Formula Jr. but you just can't find them). But, since it was almost the boat I wanted and was priced right /available I jumped at it. For 2 years I have done research and made plans, collected parts and even refurbished a few.

I wanted to finally bring the boat in the garage this winter to start replacing the transom & stringers. This is where you start to spend REAL money. Plans included many modifications like building a tumblehome, installing a pad and converting the cockpit to a benchseat instead of a lounge seat arrangement. A conservative estimate was in the $ 5-6,000 mark just on the hull.

Now, I find that a member of another boating forum is building NEW Formula Jr. hulls in British Columbia from moulds he made of an original. Cost of a new hull would be comparable to the planned work on the Donzi. The kicker is that I can not get the NEW hull for about 2 years and there's no guarantee of getting it at all (the guy is a "one man band" and a retiree). But, I could get a new boat that is exactly what I want.

So, I am perplexed as to what to do. Do I shelve the Donzi project? Sell it? Do I start the restoration but, keep it stock (more sale-able)? Or do I continue with my modification plans to make it the boat I envisioned?

To make matters more difficult, I have been speaking with a couple of Naval Architects about plans for this same basic boat (Formula Jr. like) but made out of wood and to my exact design and detail. One is willing to produce plans for me while the other has involved a third party that looks like he is making plans and a kit to build from.

I'm a huge wood boat fan and to get THE boat I dream of in wood is a great opportunity....but, I already have a wood boat :)

Oh, what to do? What to do?


Active Member
sounds like you have a busy winter. I am waiting to hear when we are starting on the car so I am in a holding pattern right now. but I have had time to do some things around the house.


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Well, I can't believe I did it but, I DID IT! I sold my Donzi :(

A very nice "kid" (mid-late 20's) that works at a semi-local marina (Keswick) bought it. He seems very excited and wants to put her back to original with the exception of the Eaton drive... who could blame him....and the boat deserves to be back to original.

So, down to 4 options (okay 5, really)
1) Wait for the possible new reproduction Formula Jr.
2) Buy the old original Formula Jr. that is being used to create the moulds
3) Build a kick-ass wood personalized version in the Jr. style from scratch (plans/kit)
4) Buy a different Formula Jr. project
5) Concentrate on my Greavette and have just One boat.... **worst option**


Staff member
It sounds like you'll be busy this winter.

That is, if it ever arrives!

I hope it's an early spring! :thumb:



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Not really much I can do over the winter months.... except plan. The Greavette is tucked away where I can't really get at it and now the Donzi is gone.

I will continue to refurbish and modify the parts that I have been acquiring (gimble assembly, drive, etc...) and I may find a block to start an engine build. At least I'll have what I need when I finally get a hull or build one from plans.

Spring, well.... that'll be crazy busy!


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Okay, spring is here and i have a plan of attack!

I have been in contact with a Canadian company that manufactures a product called DeFOUL. It is specifically made for removing anti-foul paint. I have product en-route as I write this.... so, I'll let you know how it works (and how the repair turns out)

See application video here:

I will also be removing my sterndrive in the next week or so to have the gears changed. Unfortunately, the varnish job and a new convertible top are "on hold" yet again :( but, I'll fix the small tear in the vinyl bolster.


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Well, the Greavette is home and the DeFoul is on... and hopefully working in the 5*C weather. The drive is off and it will be at the shop today.

The big news is that another Formula Jr. has found me! And the price is right... unfortunately, the boat is in South Florida... but, this will not stop me. Who knows, maybe I'll end up with two :)


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De Foul worked great! bottom repair went smoothly. So nice in fact that I'd like to strip the boat down , flip it and do the entire hull..... Just not now :) There's boatin' to be done :)

New gears are in, the drive is on, I personally re-varnished the decks with a decent job (except for the pollen I couldn't get out of the air, and now in the finish). Also, fixed a few little things that needed attention like the searchlight and windshield stays. All new stainless screws for the chrome trim which I hand polished. Tomorrow I'll put on the finishing touches, prep the boat equipment and get her wet on Thursday.

I have a new ensign and burgee for this year too. I decided to use the current Canadian flag and retire my Red Ensign as the boat IS a 1972 and the Canadian flag was official in 1965. (Still like the Red ensign better). My new burgee has a proper swallowtail and is cut to fit the staff. It is emblazoned with the boat name.

Friday is Media Day for the boat show and my Greavette is representing the 1960's & 1970's so, she had better be ready!


Active Member
howdy folks... its been a busy year. Havent had much time for the boat. extensive motorcycle repairs... family stuff, weddings etc.... work... you name it.

Certainly hope all is well with you guys here!

weve taken 3 trips. 2 sucked. lol then had one REALLY good one. and had to park it awhile. Planned a long day on Fathers day. it was HOT. the rivers high, and they opened the lock, so it wasnt the best conditions. driftwood trash all that... well 3 minutes into the ride, full revs, lost thrust. no impact... just no drive. no noise. Not the bestest fathers day present i could hope for :/

Had a SS prop with pressed-in hub on it, cant tell if its spun, so I put my spare on. heading to river tonight for a test run

cross your fingers for me it IS the prop. Need some good karma. I dont have time to pull a motor(drive coupler) Well, I DO have time, but I dont want to use it for THAT! hahah

happy boating!