For Sale: BENIHANA
1974 35 foot CIGARETTE Race Boat Hull #6
This is an opportunity to own the most famous race boat from the Golden Era of Offshore Racing.
At any high performance event or poker run or race site, this is the boat that will be the center of attraction.
First raced with the name SPIRIT by Hal Sahlman. Then sold to Rocky Aoki, who raced it as BENIHANA.
- Last Miami to Nassau race... still holds race record.
- Bahamas 500... won race twice; race length 539 miles.
- Bushmills race... won race twice.
- Strohs race.
- San Francisco race.
- Marina del Rey race.
- St. Petersburg race... this boat was in the lead until one mile from the finish line.
World Speed Records
- Five new World Speed records in competition were set over the two years the boat was raced.
- Hull and deck with a clear Florida Title.
- All original hardware, fuel fills, deck rail, rub rail and cleats.
- Six original fuel tanks, 2 under deck forward, 4 saddle tanks in engine room.
- Original triple axle trailer with a clear Florida Title.
- Original windshield
- Race hatches
- Two SSM Speedmaster # 3 racing sterndrives, rebuilt by Mel Riggs. Full inner and outer transom plates.
- Two Mercury Racing 496 cu in Engines with Electronic Fuel Injection with Stacks.
- Original Kiekhaefer dual ram trim tabs with actuators.
- New Awlgrip paint in cans that was color matched to original colors under stern-drives for all three colors.
The boat was owned for a number of years by a man in California. He had the boat painted black and installed engines that had
a Shelby style fuel injection system.
When HORBA acquired the boat it was without engines and drives.
HORBA has the complete photo library of Ron Thibedeau. This library covers the races this boat was in, as both SPIRIT and
HORBA has the actual photos of the purchase of the boat from Hal Sahlman by Rocky Aoki. We have original films of the boat in
HORBA has the original painting that was done by George Bartell (Famous for his Cobra and Carroll Shelby art) for the book
HORBA has the original BENIHANA flag and many race patches along with jackets, belt buckles and buttons that have the
As stated above, the boat was kept for number of years in the California owner's airplane hanger.
Recently the boat was gone through for soundness by Bobby Saccenti of Apache fame and the following recommendations were
- Replace the wood in the transom to allow the new owner greater choice on type of repower and drive units.
- Replace the cockpit floor. When the extra 2 fuel tanks were taken out from this location, because there were no more 500
plus mile races held.
- In the era this boat raced, a large hole was cut in the bulkhead between the cockpit and the engines to allow entry if
needed by mechanic. For safety reasons, close the hole up.
- The boat had the sides sanded down and a fresh coat of primer was applied. Bottom and deck and hatches are still
painted black as shown in pictures.
HORBA would like to sell the boat and trailer and all of the above as one package.
SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY
If anyone has serious interest, please contact Charlie McCarthy to discuss sale price and conditions of sale.