Do You Go Crazy Over a Particular Boat Model?
By Chris Brown
I only need to spot a Glasspar G-3 outboard runabout on land or water and I STOP. Screech to a stop and gawk. She looks like a racer, barely holds 3 friends, and has 2 inches of freeboard at the transom. And that is when she is suitably overpowered with one of those "tower of power" Merc sixes that stick straight up to heaven.
Hammer down the throttle and drive one across a small chop on the lake like the wind. You are Top Dog on the water, as long as you don't challenge a Century Coronado. Yes, that long nose deck does rear up when you hit the throttle. And the wind blast seems fierce. So all is not perfect with a G-3. But if you're not a nitpicker, you'll feel like a teenager behind the wheel.
Why do I lust over the G-3 model by Glasspar? When I was young, that model was my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th runabout (my Uncle and I owned three). "Young" in this case started before I got my NJ driver's license at 17. The first one had a bad engine, but we both got enough runs out of it to know that we liked the boat. Sold it. The second one had a bad hull that leaked internally between the cockpit floor and the hull bottom--all the time. Sold it.
The third was The Boat. We did everything in and to that boat. Took off the windscreen in hopes of reducing wind drag. Went through three engines, increasing the power from 40 Hp at first, and eventually taking it up to 85 Hp (the last one being the Merc that I talked about earlier). The boat was rated for 50 Hp by the boat builder. When even the 85 Hp did not satisfy this teenager's need for speed, we sawed the cockpit floor out as well as some of the stringers in an attempt to lighten her up. At that point we had a very weak bottom, but in calm water it was about as fast a G-3 as that 850 Merc could push. Going slow in bumpy water became standard operating procedure. But, with Ride Guide Steering, I could spot that boat within inches of where I wanted her...except once.
Let me tell you about that one time. To get to our shallow water pier, we either had to shut it down and paddle in the last 300 yards or run her up on plane (a G-3 had a vee-bottom, so on plane she takes less water than with the engine turned off) as close to the pier as you dared and then let the prop slow the rig to a stop as it bumped along the bottom. Well, once, somehow, I overshot the throttle pullback and was going to destroy both the end of the pier and my boat. At least I thought fast, and turned her to the left and put the boat, motor, and my friends up on a marsh shelf such that the whole boat was dry. It took 5 of us to wriggle and push that rig back into the water and tie her up. Then we snuck off, hoping the neighbors wouldn't say anything to my Uncle. Of course they did, and I had to confess with my head held low.
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