Race Boat Restorations in Progress

We receive many e-mails from people who want to find an old race boat and restore it.

Often the first question is ... "Where do I start?"

We provide many useful resources for you as a member. If you read over the names of the Board members, you will see that this group as a whole either had something to do with the building of the actual boat you might be interested in, or actually raced against it. They will know more about the boat than any other source you could find.

We usually advise you to start by having a good marine survey done of the boat. Surveys will show whether the boat is worth restoring or is too far gone to be of any value.

Next, select one of the members who do restorations in their own shops. If you find an Apache, banana, Cigarette, Magnum, Pantera, Bertram, Sonic, Powerplay, Donzi or any of the older wooden boats, they can all be handled by these people.

Parts for restoration and knowing how the old boats were rigged correctly can be found from our supplier links .. Brownie for sure can lead you in the right direction.

For example, the old Bertram race boat pictured below was found by the present owner. He was interested in a restoration of the boat and also wanted some history. Some of us recognized it immediately as the old Needle Nose. This boat was owned and raced by the Lewis brothers out of New Jersey...


Restorations in process links to Top Banana in Photo gallery and The Cigarette (32 Cary) also in photo gallery as we used this above

Photos of these two boats are in the photo gallery.....Top Banana is in the left column, 7 photos down.  Create a link to this picture here on this page or make another place to duplicate the two photos and link it there.



The Cigarette
32' Cary

35' Cigarette

38' Bertram

Top Banana
38' Banana/Coyote

The Cigarette
32' Cary



CIGARETTE Spirit/Benihana



This is the state of the famous Spirit / Benihana race boat at the beginning of the restoration. Notice the wonderful condition of the bolster.

The entire boat has been painted black, bottom, hull, sides and deck. All of this black paint will have to come off for the restoration. The trailer is the original trailer.



The Cigarette logo was left untouched.

The original gelcoat colors can be seen under the space covered by the sterndrives.



Engine room has been kept in the original color scheme, orange with white tanks.

Another shot of the engine room with the original color scheme.



Here is a photo of the original gauges on the dash.

Another view of the dash gauges and forward on the deck.



Original fuel fill on the deck in front of the windshield.

So why are these men smiling? HORBA Managing Director Charlie McCarthy Sr., on the left, and banana boat co executive Charley McCarthy Jr., on the right, are thinking what a great boat this will be once again after the restoration is finished.



Why save this boat? Why is it so important to the history of offshore?

It was originally built for Don Aronow who registered it under his lucky number 4.

It was sold and raced under two names over the next two years, Spirit and Benihana. During that time, it won 5 of its first 6 races -- won the Bahamas 500 twice, won Bushmills twice, and Miami to Nassau once. It also won the Stroh's race, the Hurricane Classic race, the San Francisco race and the Marina del Rey race while setting 5 new world speed records.

Yes, it is worth saving.





Another 38 foot Bertram has been found and is in the process of restoration.





Top Banana
38' Banana/Coyote



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