View Full Version : D**n!! Is that a Hacker?!?

10-09-2000, 08:01 PM
Every once in a while I suffer a moment of moral weakness when filling up my car at the local convenience store and buy a lottery ticket, a package of powdered donuts and an issue of 'Yacht Trader". I might as well throw the money out the window, but I can't help myself.

Last night it was worth it, if only to see a picture of a boat that set my blood racing. There is a segment of the 'Trader' called 'Antique and Classic Boat Trader' which has ads and minimal articles for the mahogany runabout crowd. On page three of this section there's a subscription form with a picture of a boat at the top that floored me. It looks like an early 50's, forty foot, open triple cockpit, bullnose Hacker, all varnish and mahogany, with fifteen passengers, and lightly loaded at that! I haven't been able to find a picture of this boat to put up for viewing, but if anyone knows, or can look it up, and tell me more, I'd appreciate it. You see, there's this guy who lives near me who's got this NOS Merlin engine that he's just itching to build a runabout to drop it in, and I'd love to build one of these....

[This message has been edited by rbgarr (edited 10-09-2000).]

10-09-2000, 08:26 PM
a Merlin in a runabout would even give the PWC folks something to go agog at..the torque would most likely put it in a maneuver best described as a corkscrew

10-09-2000, 10:00 PM
...was also used in P-51 Mustangs (Allison had 3 blade prop-Merlin had 4 blade)...about 1600HP in it's final iteration.....12 cylinder and torquey as hell...

10-10-2000, 11:56 AM
You may have allready seen this, but I'll pass it along anyway. This is a web site that has pictures of the "Thunderbird" 50 ft Hacker with 2ea. V12 aircraft engines for a total of 2400HP.http://www.boattahoe.com/thunderbird.htmI beleve that the engines use about 50 gallons per hour each. I read some were that the "Thunderbird" is only taken out once a year.

10-10-2000, 05:26 PM
You can derate the engines to run on 92octane, but you'd still burn alot!

I posted some pics a while back on some of the old hydroplanes.


10-10-2000, 05:35 PM
I'm not sure that last thing -is- a boat -- it appears that only the propeller is in the water!

(Is this the inspiration for George Lucas' landspeeders?)

10-10-2000, 05:42 PM
...one of the things a 3-point hydro runs on is the prop...the other 2 are out of the water about half the time...I don't believe they are steered so much as willed around a turn...kinda' like the "pinball wizard"...'course they say that at 100mph in the average sedan your tires only touch pavement every 10 or so feet

...and the inspiration for the "land speeders" may well be the 90mph PWC if the pilot is on a cell phone http://media4.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif

[This message has been edited by John058 (edited 10-10-2000).]

10-10-2000, 07:56 PM
Beautiful engine photo! It reminds me of the early 80's when I briefly ran the test cells at the Cummins Engine plant in Charleston, SC. They once performed a high-speed endurance test (nonstop for weeks) on a twin turbocharged V16 Cummins. When the lights were out in the test cell, much of the engine glowed red, and the turbos were an incandescant yellow. It eventually threw a rod and tore up.

I couldn't find that picture of the THUNDERBIRD at tahoeboats.com (or whatever), but I did see a triple cockpit, 40 foot Shepard rated to carry 32 passengers for sale!!

10-11-2000, 11:56 AM
I'm surprised that the V16 Cummins threw a rod. I'd have supposed that it would wear out before it broke. Was it grossly over reved?

10-11-2000, 03:03 PM
Here ya go

it makes all the Lake Tahoe shows if you every want to see it in person

BTW it runs two V12's derated to run on 92 octane!

Inspiration for George Lucas... heah, I guess you could be correct. http://media4.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif

10-12-2000, 02:10 PM
Looks more like the inspiration for the Art Direction of the movie Dune.

10-12-2000, 07:51 PM
or maybe it could look at home in the movie "Flash Gorden"...(I think I might have spelled it rite this time??)

10-13-2000, 11:07 AM
Yeah if they're good enough for Hacker, Chris Craft ...

Ross M
03-10-2005, 07:56 AM
Another great blast from the past, IMO. Check out Brian's pic of Thunderbird . If memory serves, she was built for ferry service to/from Harrah's Thunderbird lodge.

Imagine the sound of those 12's as she comes up on plane some misty morning...


03-10-2005, 08:01 AM

Thanks, Ross.

03-10-2005, 05:11 PM
Lobsterman a while back put a (rented) Merlin engine in his boat for the races. And it wasn't a terribly big boat, at that. Spectacular, one might say. Had her towed between races, since he said it would have cost him several thousand dollars in av gas to make it from Jonesport to Searsport.

(I wish these posts would go up into the boat related sections, for those of us who rarely (or never) tread down here)


03-10-2005, 05:44 PM
it ain't the gas...it's the uninhibited Ethylene Glycol used to cool the sucker....and a single merlin will develop about 2200-2400 hP when pushed to war emergency....for 3-6 minutes.....then they required a complete overhaul usually the crankshaft got bent....