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  Who invented the Center Console boat?

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Author Topic:   Who invented the Center Console boat?
hauptjm posted 11-02-2000 03:17 PM ET (US)   Profile for hauptjm  
I was always under the impression that BW had invented the center console during some design phases back in the very early '60s. Apparently, Aquasport has staked a claim to the invention. At least that's the implication from their web-site at Genmar, the parent company. Anyone know the true origin?
TC posted 11-02-2000 03:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for TC  Send Email to TC     
I heard that development of the 16' hull was done with a portable console so they could switch it from hull to hull and accidently found out how convenient it was to drive the boat that way- thus the center console was invented.Boston Whaler that is.
hauptjm posted 11-02-2000 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
That sounds somewhat like what I heard awhile back. I wonder if we have any other more concrete evidence?
lhg posted 11-02-2000 03:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim: Dick Fisher and other's at BW invented the center console for the introduction of the 1961 16' hull. Period! Aquasports were not even around back then. Jim has a lot of information on this in the reference section. I do believe, however, that Aquasport one was of the first CC imitators.

Many people do not realize how advanced, progressive and strange looking the two (13 & 16) BW's were in those days. A boat with a blue interior?!! Large SS bow and side rails?! An outboard boat you could stand up in while underway?! Unsinkable??? ( how many said "yea, like the Titanic"?) This is not the case with the design of today's Whalers, but in 1961 nothing else looked like a Whaler or even came close. The outboard boats of those days were either made from molded plywood, wood lapstrake & mahogany, aluminium or single shell fiberglass. They all had pointed bows. Many of the fiberglass models had tail fins and wrap around windshields like the cars of those days. These Whaler's were so innovative in design that they still look great today, 40 years later.

hauptjm posted 11-02-2000 04:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    

I agree! Whalers have always been unique in styling and innovation, usually for the same reasons. I thought that it was Whaler who pioneered the CC. I also remember Aquasports in the early days, and they were more like the Makos. Of course, they preceded Mako, I believe. I also have very fond memories of my Grandfather’s old 16ft. Thompson that was made of lap-strake mahogany with a 35hp Evinrude that seems like it was as big as a 90hp engine made today. What a classic old boat. Solid as a rock and the boat I learned how to fish and water ski on. I believe it was built in ’58. I wonder what she would be worth today. He sold her in the mid ‘70s for something like $1,500.00, in immaculate condition. The entire interior was varnished, as was the forward deck and combings and the hull was painted stark white.

bigz posted 11-02-2000 04:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
I quote from Pete Richard Smyth papers--- taken from the "Heart of Glass" by Daniel Spurr

"There are several clamants to the honor of having the first center console. Boston Whaler had an early one but Squall King had even an one earlier. Be that as it was, however, it is Aquasport that set the idea in concrete and brought it to the popularity it deserved. In creating the concept, Aquasport also spawned a huge number of competitors. And it really started with the 22-2."
Then he procceds to give some history on the develpoment of the Aquasport --- if any one cares for a few more paragraphs let me know will post his quotes --- Z

PS if you don't know who Pete Smyth is do an internet search on him ---- I ain't telling ---- heh heh

lhg posted 11-02-2000 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom: I'm not sure all of the information, or ideas, in that book is correct. I've heard of some other bad data in the same publication. Unless Aquasport's 22-2 is older than 1961, it didn't "set the idea in concrete" as he contends. The 16' Boston Whaler did, and Aquasport merely copied it. Does he give a date for the founding of Aquasport and introduction of the 22-2? I'd be interested. I think it's about 1966.
jimh posted 11-02-2000 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
While the book [i]Heart of Glass[/i] is a good book and a good read, in general it really gives quite brief coverage to the Boston Whaler. I think the article I have written about the origin and development of the Boston Whaler hull is longer and contain more detail than anything in that book.

Perhaps the fact that Dick Fisher was not still alive to be interviewed--most of the other pioneers were--contributed to the less than complete coverage.

But in general, the Whaler is not given a prominent position in that accounting of early laminate constructed boats.


tbirdsey posted 11-03-2000 07:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Larry: You're close; Aquasport website claims they were founded in 1964 - 3yrs after the 16 was introduced!
bigz posted 11-03-2000 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Ok guys read the quote --- Peter doesn't say BW didn't have an earlier center console than Aquasport --- !!!

Peter Smyth was a professional marine photographer, he worked for Motor Boat magazine. He was and still is highly respected for his work in the boating industry both for his photos and his articles on and about the industry and its people --- no prejudice with this man --- he called it as he saw it during the US recreational boat industry boom after the end of WW II ---

So don't shoot the messenger--- what was said was an opinion of whom really brought it into national focus and BW didn't, they had no boat in the size class as Aquasport 22-2 until years later --- (Tom yes it was '64 the Aquasport was introduced and redesigned again a few years later to make a softer riding boat--- it's popularity soared it sold for a little less than 2k)

Jim your right and rightly so ---- actually in BW's situation the use of foam core wasn't new at all ( male -- female skins with foam in between back then using Styrofoam with lots of inherent problems ) and frankly neither was there fiberglass lay up process which is what this book is about, they just incorporated the technology which was already developed at that point into their production methods! So I think the amount of space given a company which didn't really invent anything new --- just developed and refined these techniques got plenty of space.

Even the early design is contributed to Hunt design via Hickson Sea Sled with Fischer executing it for the market --- that is an industry wide accepted fact and Fischer never said or claimed otherwise! Fischer got Hunt to design what he wanted and refine it then he developed the manufacturing technique to produce it still using the then current fiberglass technology.

I am not at all saying BW wasn't innovative! They as noted didn't revolutionize the industry --- they did come up with innovative designs which spawned competitors. As did Aquasport then Mako then Robalo etc etc etc ---

Personally I really could care less about this discussion --- I like my Whalers and to whom or what claim bragging rights to this or that is a mute point --- in my mind anyway --- Sort of like incorporating the "Whalerdrive" right into the hull mold of the larger new Whalers which is exactly what Larry calls the "Euro" look --- instead of having a bracket bolted off the stern --- because the advantages which were first spawned by the racing crowd made sense for the recreational and fishing crowd boats --- that's why Whaler introduced the Whalerdrive back when!

tbirdsey posted 11-03-2000 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
bigz: None of this changes my opinion of my boats either, but just to add to the fray, here is a quote from Aquasport:

"Aquasport has been building innovative fishing boats since 1964 - and with that experience comes plenty of firsts. We had the first line of center console boats built for the consumer, and the first fiberglass stringers. We pioneered the "tuna tower" concept for production boats back in 1967. In 1972, our walk-around cuddy cabin gave recreational fisherman and their families comforts previously found only in custom yachts."

lhg posted 11-03-2000 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I guess maybe Al Gore should also claim that HE was the one who offered the first line of center console boats! If Aquasport can do it, why not Gore? There doesn't seem to be much truth in either advertizing or the White House these days!
But there is one thing we all know - just because it's in print doesn't mean it's true.
jimh posted 11-03-2000 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If Al Gore had a boat, it would probably be a Bass Tracker, not a Boston Whaler. And it would have gold metal-flake paint and trim.

When we were on Kentucky Lake for a week we didn't see another Whaler down there!


bigz posted 11-04-2000 06:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Papa George B owns a nice Cigarette up in K'port nice fast boat and he loves to fish for blues (not what I class as a fishing boat but hey whatever lights your fire)--- and hell I've been known to have been a tad tipsy up in K'port myself on more occasions than one heh heh just never got nabbed --- Z
dgp posted 11-04-2000 08:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Z, former President Bush has a Fountain 31' Tournament Edition. It's the only way he can fish and get away from the SS. Don
bigz posted 11-04-2000 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Sorry Don, thought it was a Cig because he used to fish with a local fellow from Cape Porpoise (forget his name at present = this old mind = memory lapses Bob Benot (sp)) however everything that resembled a Cig was sort of referred to as a Cig --- go fast boats all seemed the same--- heh heh --- by the locals --- so you got me thinking about this piece of trivia and have sent off an email to a close friend in Cape Porpoise --- Tom
jimh posted 11-04-2000 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I recall Pappy Bush's boating exploits being made quite a big deal in the press, but I was quite amazed that his boat was rather modest, at least in terms of "presidential" boats.

Heck, Clinton used to cruise Martha's Vineyard in wealthy friend's mega-Yachts and the press hardly mentioned it.

But let ol' Pappy Bush take off in his 30-footer and you'd think he was "yachting".


bigz posted 11-10-2000 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Well Jim and folks found they have written a book which might be a fun and interesting read on our fishing Presidents ---"Fishing With the Presidents"

TC posted 11-11-2000 11:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for TC  Send Email to TC     
Bush's boat was a cigarette brand during his presidency but as noted, now he has a fountain. The SS had to learn to drive go fast boats to keep an eye on him.

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