January 30, 2023 - After a long time being down, we are finally back & will be doing some editing and adding the many boats that have been submitted under our outdated e-mail system.  We are still working on a more direct up / down load method.  Keep checking this page for new Hull builder pages & boat submissions.  Do not forget to write a little history about your boat along with your photos.  Later, BoB.

This is what would happen in the early days of drag racing if the person leaving the line did not lift the rope soon enough.  Some would swamp every boat on the line.  Good way to loose all favor with your fellow racers !

What's New

​​What is new -  


   We have been doing a lot of editing & "clean up" on all pages of the website.  Information has been added to a number of pages. See "chat site", "hull" & "engine" pages for significant changes.  Other sites have been scanned for "typos", etc.  New boat submissions have been uploaded.

Please note that the contact e-mail has been changed to vdrivebob@gmail.com & a direct contact has been added using our cell phone at (209) 490-3337 where submissions can be sent as a "text" and photo attachment.  This should make it much easier to get submissions to us.  We hope this helps.   

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     9-24-16 - We have been "off line" for a while getting my "ticker" tuned up, but are getting better now and will be back "on line" soon.  We have had contact from a son of one of the Saller brothers, of D&H hull fame and am in the process of gathering this history as it is provided.  We suggest you check out the D&H Boats section for this information.  We are also gathering some additional information on Howard boats and will post it as it comes in.  Thank you all for contacting us and providing additional history.  We hope to see this site grow and provide a sound history of V-drive boats. BoB

     1-14-16 - well gang it is apparently a little more complicated to get the upload/download function going in the "Chat" section than anticipated.  Never had "that" problem, right? - HA!  We still need help with getting contacts for people or family of those pioneers who started all of this.  If you have or have owned one of these hulls and collected some information about them we sure would like to hear about it.  You provide it and we will post it!  You will still have to use the e-mail provided to send the information for now. 

      Hope you are enjoying all of the stuff we had sitting in a binder for 12 years or so.  We are glad we finally took the time to get this going. 

      A new subject - If, after glancing at the magazine covers, you are aware of a particular article about your hull which has some historical information please let us know.  We are going to fill in most of those "gaps" yet ! 

      Also again - when you open the site it is recommended that you give the page a moment to fully load.  You will not regret the little time spent.  Be sure to roll down to the page bottom.  Enjoy ! - BoB

What we have put up lately:

         We have added several Power Boat magazine covers.  Also added some new titles.  We have also been adding to the Hondo portion of the Hull section.  Other tidbits have been added in various hull sections as more information is found.  Be sure to check  out your hull for possible additional information.   We added some information about Buck Smith and Hydro / Flite Hulls as well as some additions to the hydro section. 

       Jan. 14, 2016 -We obtained some better information about Aqua Craft, Belmont, & Beismeyer  Hulls and have edited those sections.    Check it out.

        Jan 21, 2016 - Added to the Howard section. 

        Jan. 24, 2016 - Added to the Aqua-Craft, Sanger, & Howard hull  sections.

        Jan. 29, 2016 - Added a new hull maker, Thunder boats out of Tenn.  Also added more parts adds and other boat photos that we had scanned.  Check it out.

        Jan. 31, 2016 - Added some magazine covers to the Hot Boat section.  Also added some material to the Howard, & Stevens hull sections. 

        Feb. 3, 2016 - Added information to the Nordskog & Hallett Hull sections.  Added a new hull, Gausti  to the list.

         Feb. 12, 2016 - Added to the Sanger (Hydro), Kurtis Kraft, & HYDRO-flit hull sections.  Found these boats at the 2016 AutoRama Show in Sacramento, CA. 

         Feb. 13, 2016 - Garret Walther sent a photo and some information about his 1962 all wood Sanger flat.  Check out the Sanger section for his story.

         Feb. 17, 2016 - Added a history of the Allison V-12 as used in the air as well as on the water.  We belong to the Aircraft Historical Society and this was a speaker subject last month.  Check it out.

         Feb. 24, 2016 - Found some information  about a "Nomad" hull by "Kustom Craft" hulls that appears to be different from the Nomad Boat Co. that is currently listed.  The locations do not match so they were either different operations or one was sold off to produce the other.  Just a little more information to dig out!

         March 2, 2016 - Last week we made some significant progress in finding examples of hull manufacturers.  Check out - Aqua Craft, Belmont, Biesmeyer, Brendella, Bristol, Cole, Howard, Hallett, Hondo, Jones Starfire, Kurtis Kraft, Lebel, Mandella, Patterson, Rayson Craft, Stevens, Schiada, & Sanger.

         March 16, 2016 - Something happened and the navigation got mixed up.  I am still sorting it out.  Please give us some time.  

         March 18, 2016- I think we have things sorted out.  I did not review every page, so if you find a problem let us know.  On the pages that have not been previewed, the photos may be slow in coming up the first time.  Just give it some time.

         July 16, 2016 - Obtained some information about Kurtis Boats and added it to that page.  Also found some things missing or "out of sorts" in several pages in the "hull builders" section and got a start in sorting them out.

          Still working on getting a suitable app. for the chat page.  The ones we have found are just way too expensive.  Hope to have something soon. - BoB

         Nov. 1, 2016 - Added Deaver Boats to the hull section after being given some information from Mark Foster.  Thank you, Mark for helping with this Web Site.  

         Jan. 24, 2017 - WE ARE BACK !  The site went down on Dec. 12, 2016 while I was away getting my "ticker" rebuilt.  By the time I get back to the web site we thought that all had been lost, but with some fine help from Go Daddy, we got it back up.  We just may get the Chat Page going, you never know !   Take some time to read this page and please checkout the site.  We are sure you will enjoy.  If you have some photos to upload, follow the "slow method - just bare with us" and we will place it on the proper page.  It is really gate to be back and we are looking forward to keeping this thing going !! 

        Jan. 24, 2017 - Check out the Kalawain Boats hull page for photos of a new hull we just found and dragged home.  All we need is another project!  But this was too good to pass up.  The trailer and aluminum wheels  alone were worth the cash we spent.  

         Feb. 02, 2017 - Today after considerable thought, we added a new section that falls out of the limits of this Web Site.  We did this because we feel that it still falls within the range of our overall goal.  The section is called "Vintage Race Boats" and covers several pages of power boats from 1900 - 1950.  We hope you agree that this is a worthy addition.

          March 07, 2017 - Added a new project boat to the Aqua Crafthull section.  My friend, Jim Cutter found this "K" Circle boat version of Fred's favored hull design, the Whirlwind.   The boat comes with some local (Nor Cal) racing history and it will be a fun addition to the working v-drive fleet.  Check it out.

           March 09, 2017 - Check out the Schiada hull page for a new rebuild of a 1972 boat called "Home Blown"  It was a three month build and well worth the time.  When we find out who built the boat we will be glad to credit them.

​            Oct. 19th, 2017 - It has been a while since I added to this page and I do not have much to add at this time.  One left over item was the fact that I was supposed to add a neat boat called "Teacher's Pet" but I lost my note as to what the hull maker was.  I am thinking "Stevens", but an not sure.  I finally decided to place the boat in the Stevens section and then let the owner tell me if a correction is in order.  

            March 3, 2018 - Check out the bottom of the Hondo page for a new ride from Murfreebodo, Tenn.

            May 29, 2018 - in addition, check out the bottom of the Howard and Stevens hull pages.  William Acosta has given us shots of his Howard Hydro, and Michael Caruso sent us shots of his just started 1964 Stevens build.  

           June 28, 2018 - Check the Rayson - Craft section for a new boat listed.  Scott Warner has sent us a submission of his classic.  Check it out.

          Aug. 27th, 2019 - Just found a new hull type and have added a page for it.  Apparently the engine builders, Hulman & Moody tried their had at building a v-drive boat back in the early 1960s.  They may have just had someone else do a hull mold and lay them up for them.  Do not know as yet.  Found this boat in Lodi CA and the owners say the registration lists the hull as a "Hulman & Moody" .  Will provide more information as we get it.  Meanwhile, if any of you have any information about this subject please share it with us.  

         Also, we have several hull type pages that need  examples of the various types of boats.  If you have a boat of the type where we do not have an example we would love to post it.  

​          We have added a catalog to our library.  Debbold's 1964-65 Marine Equipment.  If your boat has Debbold parts you may want to check out this item.  This is a great way to find out what once existed so that you can be on the lookout for that rare part. 

         Oct. 24, 2019 - For all you Bob Patterson fans, we have added some material  to the Patterson page about a 1965 all wood Patterson owned by a friend of ours, Larry Dyck.  Larry had Bob build the boat for him in 65 and by the time of this layout in a 1988 issue of Performance Boats it had been "around the block" more than once.  After taking re-posetion of the boat,  he and son, David had just completed a restoration bring the boat back to as it was as new.  Today the boat is much as seen here, with a little ware only from kind use.  Check it out.

What Information we need:

          Check out the Hull Section.  Those still in blue are lacking a lot of information.  We would like to hear from you. If you have one of these hulls or have information on the location, owner, designer, or builder of these hulls, please let us know.  We also need photos of your hulls.  A photo is worth a thousand words of description. 


      Jan. 22, 2018- Well we finally made some progress.  We now have an "Up Load" feature.   

        Jan. 29th, 2018 - We are always looking for catalogs & brochuers, so if you have something that is not up, please scan it and send it to us.  We will gladly put it up and give you credit if you like.

        May 25, 2019 - It has been a while since we got into the "bowels" of this website and did some "house cleaning" so we decided it was time to stop and get it done.  You may wish to brows your pages of interest for any revisions or additions.  We have had some corrections sent in which is greatly appreciated since that is how this website grows and gets more accurate.   BoB

       September 4th., 2020  -  Today we added some protos of our progress with the PODH (Pacific One Design Hydro), a four year project.  This boat is a 1930s design and the plans were lofted from that publication to do these builds.  The hull had gotten it's finishing touches and is worth looking over even if it is not a v-drive.  

   September 6th., 2020 - Check the Mandellapage.  While I was doing research for the PODH project, I ran across this article from 1953 where Rudy Ramos (long before he started building v-drive boats) is featured with his all wood Mandella that is in the forefront of an all new trend in 1950s recreational boating.  Not only does the drivetrain use the v-drive format, but it uses a converted automobile engine for power.  this is a pioneering trend in 1953.

December 13th, 2020 - Today I added some new boats for your enjoyment.  Check the Howard page for an new 1964 ride.

Just a comment:  While doing this history, we have noticed that builders of German heritage dominate this field.  Just wonder why that is ?  5-04-16 - Found some information about the early v-drive builders being German.  About the time v-drive boats were getting started, the immigration policy favored people with skills. About this time a lot of Germans were looking for work outside their recovering (from WWII) country and immigrated to the US under company sponsorship.  Cool how history works.  Too bad we cannot apply this to our current immigration situation.


April 4, 2020 - OK, it has been some time since I have done any editing to this site but this Corona virus thing has now given me the time to get back to it.  We are still working on a proper working of the Chat Page.  I do not understand what the problem is with setting up a two way conversation page, but evidently there is one.  I am still pushing for a suitable outcome.  We need a way for you to simply put up your image and comments for addition to this history.  All those hull pages should be full by now.  

      I have made some progress with the wood boat project, and even though it is a gut drive and not a v-drive I hope you can enjoy seeing the boat progress.  I hope I will now have the time to get more added to this venue and keep our enjoyment of our v-drives going.  See you all on the water later this season.  This will pass!

Bass Lake Show - 2015

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