Eagle Flatbottoms

Drive Types: 

This has been excerpted from this forum: http://www.performanceboats.com/v-drives/112223-double-eagle-eagle-flatb...

Eagle flatbottoms was formed by Norm Slayton (money man) Bob Privitt, and George McDougle. Norm Slayton meet a guy name Bill Whitney who was the shop forman of Anthony Boats (Tony Hagewood) he had a 20 year kid working for him, repairing molds, preping them, doing gel coat repair and desperately trying to lay the 22 year gal answering the phone. I was that 20 year old kid. My claim to fame was I worked for Kenney Meyers at B&k boat repair for about 3 years. Kenney taught me well, we did all the caps on Rogers boats and if you wanted metal flake repaired we were the go to shop.We also redid wood decks and restored wood boats, custom paint jobs, I even worked on 1911 Cad . I learned a lot from Kenny and through out my life he has been a mentor and a friend. When I didn't know what to do, or how to do it, I could always go ask Kenney. I was also the 3rd generation of a boat building family they were called ARROWCRAFT BOATS, and yes my dad got me the job he went to school with Kenney. You can see these on another web sight (brf Mike Trevett photos) This is about all I can do and be accurate.

My partner was Bill Whitney. Just a little history on Bill before I go in to the story. He started working in the business about the time Ray Ledger of Powercat fame, switched from wood boats to fiberglass boats. It was about 1960 or so Bill was working for Powercat nailing bottoms off of jigged wood frames, which gave him a great insight, for building plugs (proto types) as he got older in life. He was involved in building the orginal plugs and molds for Powercat boats, and this also taught him about Fiberglass. He was friends with a guy named Jimmy Parker who parents owned Catlina Sporting goods. Well Bill and Jimmy hooked up and started racing together. Powercat Boat and a pair of Mac motors which Bill and Jimmy would crawl through the back door and slide out with out his parents knowing (Jimmys dad and mom left the shop for weekends trusting the shop to Jimmy and his brother Dave Parker) A little side note (Dave Parker ended up working for Mercury Outboards and then went to work for Glastron Boats at the time of Glastron, Carlson, Molinari) Jimmy designed and manafuctured the Parker Tower Housing. Thinking Bill was in pretty good company. Well because they were racing and winning they meet a guy Jack Oxley a engineer for Mac. Pop parker finds out they were sneeking motors out the back door to race and bans Jimmy and Bill from the shop. Jack Oxley hires these 2 twits to work in the dyno room at Mac. When this happened all the outboards were Powercats and Bill knew all the sercets from Powercat. Jack knew this and put Bill to work on bottoms and Jimmy to work on set ups.

So i,m sitting on the tailgate of my Ranchero enjoying the rouch choach burger Whitney comes over gives me a envolpe and tells me were making changes and you won't be working here. So I jump up and with my best bad ass voice (5' 10" 125 lbs) What the f**k I've work my ass off and hell I was here most days at starting time or at least with in a hour after. (Which was far better than most my coworkers) Bill just gave me look and winked I went inside gathered my shit, still pissed and stormed out the door. When I got in my truck there was a note in the horn ring. The note read these guys are hiring and there was a address. I drove to the address and went into the front door Norm Slayton introduced himself handed me a envolpe with 5 100.00 bills.( the check I had from Anthony,s was only 300.00) took me out to the shop. There was a flatbottom sitting on a dolly derigged. Norm told me, Whitney says you should start patching holes, were going to make a mold. Well OKIE F**KING DOKIE I started patching holes. Bill shows up at about 5:00 with a shit eating grin tells me were partners and were going into the boat bussiness. I was inside the boat preping the holes just look over the gunnel and said OK thanks Boss. His reply was no problem partner. We never discussed money as long as we were together he always made sure I had more than I needed and I always got a fair share of profits of what we did. Most partnerships don't work out between Norm Bill and I we never had a problem.

So over the next couple days Bill and Norm explain how this is going to work. (DOUBLE EAGLE BOATS) Norm, Bill, Mike would build a plug, mold, and blank hulls for (EAGLE FLATBOTTOMS) Norm, Privitt, McDougle. We had not pick a name yet that will come later in this story. (DOUBLE EAGLE BOATS) built the blank hulls (EAGLE FLATBOTTOMS) rigged them because of Norm being a partner in both we could both sell Boats. Its important that we all understand (EAGLE FLATBOTTOMS) owned the molds. (DOUBLE EAGLE BOATS) was a contract builder. We would suggest build schuldes but it was there mold and they called the shots. The orginial plug was a SS boat Mcdougle ran I think it was orginialy white and red he had sold it to a younger guy who could't put it together so a deal was struck we could use his boat for a plug. I was not privey to the deal but I think he expected to get a new hull and some other help .
We were told that the bottom on this boat was done by Pettengille and had what they described as a power pad built into it. Now this is where it gets a little fussy. When we roll the boat over, Stright edge the bottom determine where hook and rockers are located and map out the bottom.

Bill had given notice at Anthony,s, but would stay until he found some one to take over. This meant he was'nt at the shop till about 5:00.
I started to notice a pattern about 3:00 guy's would start showing up. (They all brought beer and snacks)
As they walked by the plug no one could resist sticking a digit into wet glass, bondo, or gel coat.
The most common phase was (Is this wet oh sorry)
I,m not talking about 1 or 2 guys. Hell by 5:00 the place looked like a friggen night club
My normal work pattern was when I showed up in the am I would do all my grinding and nasty work leaving my afternoons to finish work, (fill-drink a beer- watch it dry- drink a beer-block sand-drink a beer-flow coat repair-drink a beer-watch it dry-drink a beer-block sand again-drink a beer- primer-so you get the concept.
Bill would show up about 5:00 to check on progress and help and see how we were doing. This always started a general conversion with about 7 to 10 drunks that had no idea putting there 2 cents in (kind of like starting a tech question on a open form)
Bill and I put a plan together. I reverised my pattern, started doing all my filling in the am then grind about 4:00 (gave them a hour to droop beer off and shoot the shit.
The shop was about 3000 sq ft 2000 in the back 1000 in a office up front. NOTE: If you ever want to clear a room just start up a grinder and go to work.
After that Bill and I had all the quite time we needed Norm did his job and kept the boys enterianed

Bill finished his time at Anthony,s. I had finished pluging holes on the inside and it was time to turn the plug over. We finished off the repairs (They were done with glass not bondo (Kenny had taught me well). We started finishing it off as a plug.

By this time everybody who had stopped by the shop had a opinion of what we should do to the bottom. Bill and I would listen intentley at 10:00 at night agree it was a hell of idea. Then I would start up the grinder This drove all the experts back in the office.Thus allowing Bob, Norm, and George enough time to tell us what they wanted done.

We did exactly what they wanted there were changes to the bottom. Today 25 yr,s or more later I would have argued my point,s, harder they were close but I think they left a little on the table. (This is just my opion)

One thing I will say about Bob he did,nt like me much (Read this as a smart ass young kid) but he did listen and he considered every thing I had to offer.
as useless when I said it. Over the next couple days we would discuss it. I was from a different gereration but he knew I was good (Really pissed him off)
I have always said Bob taught me everything I know about V-Drives and flattys and for that I,m greatful (But did you have to be such a prick) The answer is yes thats the way he was (Thanks Bob for everything)

Ok a funny story about what went on back in the 70,s We had just turned the plug over. The usually suspects had shown up so there were about 10 guys I bet Norm I could toss a beer bottle (Privitt and his guys all drank Coors in the can) The DOUBLE EAGLE GUYS ALL Drank BUD (In the bottle tall necks) in to the dumpster at the end of the shop. He took the bet. Well I naied it all the way across the shop it cost Norm $10.00. That started the national beer. thowing championships of the world. It went on till about 3:00 I don,t remember who won. I walked in the next morrning at about 5:00 am to let the lamitaters in well let,s just asy it smelled like (piss and beer) Our lamitator,s were even offended not only was there a shitpot off glass but we soon discovered if you left beer in the bottom it would travel a hell lot further. It took most of the day to clean it up.

So we finish with all the changes the Eagle boys wanted and started tooling gel and block sanding. Kenney (B&K) taught me you don't touch a repair with out a block, if you dont have one that fits what your sanding build one. I had about 20 different hard wood blocks, all different sizes and shapes and lengths, in my handy dandy Budwiser storage box. That I have today not the box but the blocks I don,t know how many of you out there have ever tooled a boat. Here,s the process you shoot tooling gel over what you thought was a pretty good start, then you start to sand, we would start with 80 grit on a pretty good build up of tooling gel. Well after about 2 or 3 hours of sanding you start to question your ability,s to get anything flat or f**king stright. The process is you sand the Gel in six different directions fore and aft side to side then at 45's now you do this while trying not to stop or start anywhere you have started or stoped before. You do this over the entire boat. repeat this until you break thru the tooling gel. Then start over and repeat the process. You continue to do this untill you don't sand thru any tooling gel. Then you apply what you think will be your last coat of tooling gel. I was taught to sand the the next time with 120 if you break thru scuff then entire boat again with 100 no block and regel and repeat process This continues until we have used 150 grit, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800. Remember when we were sanding with 80 well the 1st day you have no finger prints by the 2nd day you resort to wraping your fingers with masking tape by the 3rd day you resort to tearing small pieces of rags to put under the masking tape to try to control bleeding. About the 4 days the blisters have poped and started to form the calus's which you will need to complete this project. By the way during this entire process your having to use actone to clean up after each gel. And just think my mom wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor oh what I would have missed.

So after you finish with 800 it's time to buff.
After about 3 hours of buffing you wipe it down and take a look.
Now you doubt your ability to remove 360 sand scratchs.
This is where the tooling genies appear one on your left sholder dressed in white and looks like everyone who has taught you.
The one on your right looks like any one you have ever tooled for.
The genie on my left points out every inperfection in the plug. (resand with 600 and 800 again)
The genie on my right is screaming (F**k it looks great You do remember we get a good pay day when the plug is complete We are overdrawn owe material bill and the wife wants f**king food for the kids Partners are also screaming.
So what do I do now.
This is where you determine what kind of boats you are going to build. My EGO and my training take over so I start with a piece of 600 two days later were ready to buff again
Buff done ready to start waxing 10 coats 5 soft wax 5 hard but we did finish the plug and got a paycheck

So when I last left. Bill and I had collected for the plug. We paid material bills and venders bought food and had a little (WAM, Walking around money) left in our pockets, life is good and all is well in the unverise. We start on the mold within a week were ready to start building frame and dolly. Now Bill and I have been called alot of things in our lives but neither one has ever been called a welder. We have a 15 year old Lincoln buze box which took 2 days to take apart and clean it's been sitting under a bench in at least 3 other fiberglass shops and only been taken out and used 6 times. After blowing all the ginding dust out, repairing leads, replacing the cord and switch we get it to strike a arc. Then another day to learn and practice were ready to go. We start bending pipe cutting braces and tacking all in place for about 2 or 3 days life is good. Now we have frame and dolly tacked up and ready to weld. Having lit a shit pot molds on fire in our previous tooling experiances Bill decides he will weld and I will play the part of the fireman. With welding rod and a fire extinsure in hand we start welding The cage goes great we flop the dolly on to the cage and weld up. Bill and I are thinking hell we got another payday coming. Bill starts to weld the casters to the dolly, all is going well until I went to get a couple beers out of the ice box. THIS IS WHEN THE FIRE STARTED I come walking around the corner with a couple Buds in my hand and noticed Bills flanel shit is ablaze. My first instinct I SCREAM BILL YOUR SHIRTS ON FIRE
Bills first instinct F**K so he rips off his shirt and throws it on the floor. Bill and I both are thinking put out the burning shirt on the floor and we did. This is when we noticed the mold was on fire I grabed the extingure hit the button and nothing so being the resorceful young man I threw Bill a beer and we poped the tops poured them on the fire although it slowed the inferno down it was'nt enough to put completely out it did give us the time to find a hose drag it in the shop and save the plug mold and the building

Of course this all happens just as the usual suspects show up about 3:00 so Bill and I are trying to recover our composure and dignity. Norm walk in and sniffs the air looks at the floor (Bills shirt still smoking) runs everybody who is not connected with the project out of the shop. Norm says we are going to dinner. Norm Bill Myself George and Privitt go to the Magic Cork. We order our steaks and mushrooms and cocktails. Privitt leans across the table and say,s
SO HOW DID YOUR GUYS DAY GO. At that time everybody except Bill and I are rolling in the floor laughing. At the end of the evening Privitt puts his arm on my sholder going out the door. Say,s MICHAEL TOMMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY Try to make the best of it

We finished off the hull mold without any more fires. The truth in what you know and what you think you know will come out in the finished product. With about 20 usual suspects standing around We hooked up a A frame to the transom and one at the bow. Put just enough pressure on the mold I tapped it with a dead blow hammer about 3 times and it released. Much to Bill and my amazement but we continued on like thats the way we planed it. Rolled the mold over on its casters moved it out of the way. We flipped the boat over set back on the dolly and started the deck We were'nt happy with the forward deck on the plug it was way to flat and did'nt appear proud. With the help of a couple jacks and some 2x4 we pumped it up at the dash and added about 2'' of crown length wise and about 1''or so from shear to shear We then changed the combing rails and rear bussle. We then molded the deck. This went off like we knew what we were doing. At the same time we were tooling the deck and making the mold we preped the hull mold and waxed. When Bill and I started this project we had decided the first boat was to be black and we tooled it that way. Bill and I both worked at Anthony Boats who had a Gel Coater Mike Robenette this was a metal flake shooting motherf**ker. I have seen him shoot 8 differen colors of flake in the mold with some lines at 1/8 " He came over and we had a discussion on what we wanted Bill and I thought the boat should be all black. Mike wanted to shoot 10 colors of flake. Norm (money man) had seen a Wicken Wirlwind I had worked on at B&K Black Silver flake with a wooddeck decided thats the way it would be (without the wood deck) Mike was'nt to excited about shooting a 2 color boat and made the suggestion we throw some Alpha Jewels (a prisim type of flake like diamonds)into the silver this is usually mixed at 10 to 20% We come to a deal agree on a price. I tape off the mold and move it into the booth Mike shows up the next evening to shoot I'm doing the finial wipe down on the mold and we shoot the black. Peel the tape lines. The next day I clean the tape lines and Mike shows up to shoot the silver He grabs the Alpha Jewels and mixed at 1/2 and 1/2 with the silver. When we poped the boat out of the mold the silver in the sun light would blind you boy did it pop. Bill was trying to control cost and the Alpha Jewels were about 3 times the cost of flake He threw a fit until he saw it in the sun. From then on we had a 10lb bag of Alpha Jewels in the shop at all times. He never questioned how we used it. We started laying up the hull as Mike finished up shooting the deck.

Bill and I had never seen a K boat before we started this project We went to Long Beach to watch the circle boats run. Jullian was there with Cold Fire. We watched him thunder down the stright and bang the 1st turn. Wow I had driven tunnel boat outboards and I thought they could turn. He was a master the guy had to have balls the size of grapefruits and Im sure somebody carried them in a wheel barrel to the launch ramp I asked MacDougle if he could drive like that he said ONLY IF YOU CAN BUILD A BOAT LIKE THAT. Now the pressure is on. After the weekend we changed the layup schulde added about 150 to 200 lbs to the boat We were thinking the boat should weigh in about 600 lbs after watching we decided if we got it at 900 it would survive We added material to the chine and doubled bonded the deck to the hull. We pulled the deck and put it together the next week I capped the boat and turned it over to Privitt and his group to be rigged. Bill and I had a Idea for a 20' mini cruiser and started our next project This is about the time we moved the shop to North Long Beach 71st street and Parmount a great building 7500 sq ft and a great big yard Hell I thinking the yard was like 5 acres paved Privitt boys came in we had the boat upside down on the dolly. The Privitt boys show up to start now in all fairness they have always bought boats with the strut,fin and plate installed They borrowed a hole saw to drill the prop shaft. It was a 10 degree strut and they wanted it at about 8 degrees they built wedges to mount the strut They start to drill the hole the drill they borrowed was bent and we could'nt get to start the hole it started to drill holes off center Bill and I stood back and watched so about 3:00 am we built a jig and ground a starting place into the bottom used the groupies to sit on the jig and drill the hole Bill and I had taken note off the plug and the v drive was 10" foward of where it should have been The hole was so bad I spent the next day with a domore grinder cleanin up so the propshaft went thru the bottom

This was the last time we saw the Black boat until it had a motor and was ready for testing We had bought enough material to build another boat So we started the secound boat this one was royal blue flake and a 50/50 silver deck I had started doing boat repair in the back of the shop Bill had traded a guy a paint job for a 1969 Corvette The boat was a Miller flatbottom I shot it in blue with dark blue tape fades (Sanger type fades) Hell I saw Kenney Meyers shoot them how hard could it be We'll just say it was'nt my best paint job the tape fades came out bitichen The design not so good The guy with the vette was happy I was not. Bill helped me past this he was a great mentor and had all the faith in what I was capable of. The vette was broken in the nose we patched it and Bill asked me to paint it black My first responce was you mean white He looked at me and winked and said no it will be black If you have ever read any of my post here or on other sites you can understand the wink He knew I would put my heart and sole into it I really hate it when they wink
and the next word is Black when it involves fiberglass and black. Well I start the vette it came out perfect and only took a month to complete Bill was thinking about 2 weeks at most This kinda of describes the next 2 or 3 years he would figure out how long and double it. We completed job's on time My paint work was great because I woul'nt comprise Bill understood and learned to deal with it I remember a job Bill thought it was good enough I was'nt happy he asked what I wanted I told him I wanted to reshoot He looked at me and winked again His only comment was I wo'nt be happy tell you are. I reshoot the boat a week latter we get a paycheck He had covered the payrool for my helpers and made sure I had cash. His only comment was Michael you due relise they will never will be perfect But YOU KEEP TRYING KID

The black boat comes back to the shop rigged Privitt and his boys did a great job it looked (Using a term from the time Tits and Wheelies) it does'nt get much better than that. It had a K motor installed I am thinking this may be part of the Dually Oil Pan conection but like I told you before Im a little vauge on the whole story. They back the rigg up into the shop and start putting oil, fuel and a battery in the boat. By this time it's around 10:00 George walks to the drivers side Bob is standing at the motor he knods to George and the motor turns over and pop it lights They move the boat out the front door hook water up light it off and the beast comes alive. By this time we have a croud of 25 people standing around they go thru a warm up and shut it down. About this time the Long Beach Police department shows up. Im not talking about 1 squad car but 4 or 5 for a noise complaint? The cop in charged walks up to Norm and asked if we were done for the night Norm starts this raunt about how this was commerical property The cop looks at him and says Yea we know all that we just wanted to watch. The next day the boat went to Crazey Kelleys for Lettering and was droped off at Devil Don's (Don Damron) for uloperstery.The next step was a trip to Golden Shores Landing for a test session. This was a Saturday we were all to meet about 4:00 Am. by the time every one showed up it was about 6:00 Now at this time of the day most the usual suspects are hung over and can't get out of bed. Just to be safe we had told everyone not involved we might run it on Sunday if everything went right. Call and check how we are doing. So about 1/2 way down to Golden we get a police escourt. They had seen the boat leaving the shop. The Double Eagle and the Eagle guys are there along with 6 cops We back the boat onto the ramp Bill makes the suggestion we should put the drain plugs in. This is when we figured out nobody had drilled holes for any drain plugs. We had ordered JDA drains for the back but did'nt Know if they were 3/4 or 1" so we did'nt drill holes. Bob desides this isnt a problem and we put the boat in the water. They fire it up on the trailer warm it up push him off and were going K Boat racing. Mcdougle idles out the enterance to Golden turns right and steps the boat on plane He runs a couple laps to heat oil up. We are all on the point at the right of the ramp and he leggs it. I can't tell you how much pride you feel when you see something you built goes by that fast he plates down and Boom he's going the other way. He makes about 10 laps and we have oil out the top of the breathers BIGG TIME end of test session.

So now we are back at the shop we have 20 to 30 qts of oil in the bottom of the boat (we only put 12 in the engine). This is the time when we decide we should drill drain holes. In the next 4 hrs the, spent bullitt, is laying on the floor We had run to the store and bought 6 boxs of Tide washed the boat out and started making plans for the race after Firebird. Norm pops up and grabs Privitt and Mcdougle they go in th office and 15 min later they have a motor to be delivered Monday. Monday this van comes rolling in the front gate. Its not a usual van its not a dully but a streached tandom axle The van is impressive but behind it is a trailer even more inpressive a dressed K motor ready to run. The name on the side of the van was Hobbitt By Thursday we had the boat rigged Friday we got everything ready to travel Friday about 6:00 Privitt and Mcdougle show up Bob wants to move the seat so they call a cronie up Bill and I drill new seat hole put this guy under the cover and head to Firebird about a hour and a half from the shop we get pulled over. No lights on the trailer Norm was driving (he was the only one sober or semi sober) Norm goes with the cop back to look at the lights on the trailer Well there are none dont think theres ever been at this point the cronie sticks his head out of the cover to find out whats going on. After 15 mins Norm comes up to the truck and tells Bob and George they need to come lite the boat off They stumble out of the truck we had all been drinking and laughing are ass off at Norm trying to handle this They pulled the cover off lit the motor let it run The cop had a great big smile on his face He then explained he wasnt going to write a ticket but the cronie couldnt ride in the boat Well there were 5 of us in a old dodge crewcab and a cooler in the back seat Privitt looks at the cronie and tells him to get in the bed. And off to Firebird we go

So we pull into this mom and pop restrunt just out side of Firebird. We all roll out of the truck beer cans falling out as we debark the plane its about 4:00 am We thawed the popicile ( croonie ) out and all head in to eat. We all sit down and start to order everyone orders biscuits and gravey. Hell Im 22 or 23 and never herd of biscuits and gravey My momma was a good southern gal from Florida we had grits or biscuits with honey or Johnney Cake (Corn bread ) or eggs But never in my life did you get any of thoses with meat This was the most wonderful thing I had ever heard of I ordered up a plate and to this day when Im on the road this is what I have for breakfast. So we finish eating and roll into Firebird we were a little late and they were calling the drivers meeting Norm goes and registers the boat George goes to the driver meeting We all start prepping the boat This is when Bill and I met Mr Pettingall for the first time Bill and I were under the impression he knew about the boat about 3 secounds into the conversation we concluded He didnt. Bob Norm and George all refered to him as the midget well let me tell you that was a very pissed off midget. After some general conversition in the pitt lanes Mr Pettingall tells George He will run over his ass if he gets in the way. The tentions are high as we back down the ramp launch the boat and turn george around he fires the motor up and starts his warm up laps . Well at the gun George an Jullian run dow th stright go into the first corner side by side George comes out 1st inside lane about 100 or 200 feet off the turn Jullian passes him and George starts to fall off. The heat ends I think George ends up 3rd Where all confused on what happended we were out in front at the frist turn and end up 3rd. We noticed after George had finished the heat he kept milling around never shut the motor down We back the trailer down he put the boat on and we went back to the pitts. George gets out walks up to Bill and says do we have any drain plugs. Remember the first time we tested the boat we had no drain holes now we had 4 but in the excitement we never installed the Jda drains in the transom. We get back to the pitts and Privitt and Mcdougle are over in the cab debriefing Bill and I are now installing the jda drains which we found in the tool box George and Privitt go to the back of the boat and start checking dirve lines V drives and all the running gear when they get to the prop we have a problem George had run the boat hard into the corner but admitted he was late on the start. Drove the boat in hard banged the turn as he powered out he felt something coming apart in the drive line and backed off Well upon closer inspection the seceret prop and the strut angle had had a conflict. The 11 3/4 prop was now a 11 1/2 but that was no problem because it had clearanced the wash plate another 1/8 We loaded the gear up and started home. It was a very long drive and nobody spoke I never herd the finial verdict on what happened. I do know shortly there after it went to Bolten and had a strut raplaced and some other work done. Thats about the last time I saw the black boat it set around the shop for a couple months before it went to Boltens I never saw it run again

About this time Bill and I had started to build a 20' mini cruiser bought a 19 1/2 foot haskel hull only. Bill hired Gary Bell to put a wood deck on it for a plug. This was the later part of 1976. My Dad was the National Sales manager for Wriedt Boats out of Norwalk Calif The nation was just about to get raped by the oil compinies THEN THE GAS SHORTAGE HIT Jerry Wriedt was building 10 to 15 boats a week Thanks to Wells Fargo they had a ware house of about 50 to 60 boats They were shipping one or two trucks a week to dealers thru out the United States Then one week they shipped boats out we were all waiting in line at gas stations the price of gas had doubled or trippled and the truck load of Jet Boat were sent back to the factory This marked the start of a really big problem The next week 2 more trucks went out and were sent back The Boys from Wells Fargo visited Jerry and my dad in Jerrys office and demanded the note for the 50 or 60 boats they had in the warehouse. My dad and Jerry tried to reason with them to no advail they wanted out. My Dad and Jerry exsused them selfs went out in the front of the office Talked for about 15 mins Jerry walked back in reached in his pocket pulled a set of keys out put them on the desk looked at the Wells Fargo dude and says Here you go we usually open about 6:00 Wriedt Boats at that time defaulted on the demand note. Well the two suit guys from the bank dont know what the f**k to say They haul ass back to the bank and informed there Boss they had defaulted on the note well things had started to get a little tight a few months earlier Jerry and my dad had convinced Wells Fargo they needed a little operating capitial they had streatched there inventory flooring out about twice what they were signed up for. It took about 30 to 60 days for them to react on the default Double Eagle Boats became very busy hell we had trucks coming in all the time with rigging parts Tractor Trailers stoping by to have loads tied off Molds and plugs in progress and a new staff to work on them After about 60 days they are going to have a auction Bill and I went down and had flyers printed up. Placed them in every uncompleted boat We have winshields we have rubrails,steering controls ulpolstery ,carpet. Jerry and my dad had food on the table and Double Eagle had work Enough that we had to hire yard monkeys If you dont know what a yard monkey is Its a High School Kid who dad has a in with a boat shop I got 3 Jimmy Mobley Frank Gross and Kent Santos The little shit heads worked there ass off for us I would like to think they learned values and skills that helped them later in life but I doubt it They did learn where the beer is stored. Locking your self in a room shooting Laquer is better than any pott you can buy.They learned fiberglass repair painting (How to pick up chicks) sanding OH HELL YA A LOT OF SANDING I hold a very dear spot in my heart for yard monkeys they have all done me proud

Norm tells us he coming down I think he was 15 going on 16 didnt have a driver licence yet was real close to getting one. School was about over we used him on the weekends. Well school ended and he got his license. I can remember the day he got it came pulling in in a Courier Pick Up. He was so stoked he could hardly speak. He was'nt worth a shit for about a week spent most the day staring out the window at his new truck. It was anything but new Everytime we needed to pick up something he was standing there with his keys in hand ready to go. He decided he wanted to customize his truck and asked what it would cost for me to do it for him. I told him I wasn'nt interested but I could guide him through it if he wanted. I have meet a lot of kids in my life before Jimmy and after Jimmy who had grandouse ideas of what they wanted to do. He was one of the few at that age who ever completed the project Which says alot about him and the way he was raised. I think the orginial truck was yellow could have have been white, black ,green, blue, or purple. I warned you my memerory was not that good but I going with butternut yellow Maybe Jimmy will jump in and correct me He wanted to shave the door handles, take all the tiedown hooks on the bed off, special treatment on the bumpers, interiour redone, brows over head lights, visor over the windshield finish off inside of bed, camper shell, Custom paint, wheels and tires, if thats not enough he wanted to mold fender flares in to. My frist thought was OK it would only last a couple months he would get bored and end up selling the truck for a coule 100.00 dollars. Jimmy started building his truck. Every night after work (or when he ditiched school) for the next year he worked on that truck. At first he came to me and asked how do I do this, what do I need to do here Hey Mike take a look at this what do you think. I fed him the information stood back and watched. He was like a sponge. No matter how critticle I was he nerver wavered. He redid most of his work 2 or 3 times until it passed AND NEVER ONCE COMPERISED, never. During all the work on this FRIGGEN TRUCK I noticed his shop work was getting better and better No longer did I have to show him what I wanted (he Knew) It finnely got to the point I would look at his work and say it good enough. He would reply what about this or that I would look at him and say I can handle it from here primer and paint, its good enough. It took Jimmy about a year or so to complete his truck I ended up shooting it in a baby blue with a red/gold pearl (marono) over the top and about a gallon of clear. Then the poor kid started colorsanding now of all the thing Jimmy hated to do (go to school, grind fiberglass, listen to mom and dad, ride with Frank to school while his truck was in the shop, redo what he spent 3 days working on because I was'nt happy with the results ) He really hated to colorsand, buff, and seal. Well two weeks after its painted he finishs. Its good, oh hell its really good, no its really really good, is it perfect no they never are. Jimmy could tell me everywhere he could have spent a little more time. Hell I was proud and so was he. But we learned together how the next project could be better. I am 60 years old have raised 3 wonderful children that I love dearly and have 4 Grand Kid I love dearly. Jimmy and the other yard monkeys are my other childern I have not always stayed in touch but some of my best dreams today go back to the times they were with me. Thats all I got for today hope you enjoyed. I did get a call from one of my other yard monkeys today Kent it was great talking with you jump in here if you want and tell them what you remember

My next hire was Frank Groose Frank was Jimmys running mate I think his dad owned a funiture store in Long Beach. He had a 64 or 65 ElCamieno very nicely done thinking dad had it done for his son. You might think this was a bad move on his dads part but I'll tell you I never got in that truck and it was'nt washed,vacuumed,and clean. Frank marched to a different drumer he was very laid back surfer type kid. I use to love to watch him walk in the shop he would always pause look around at what was going on with amazement like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time. This was'nt only the first time but everyday he walked into the shop.Frank became my go to guy for finial prep before paint and then my detail, and put this thing back together so we can get a paycheck. I learned that you did'nt give Frank sandpaper he could sand thru a gal. of clear on a deck with 1000 grit. He did have a talent for making the swearls go away and when Frank told me it was ready to deliver I could call the customer never had to inspect it. If a problem arose he would come to me Hea boss I or we F**ked up how do we fix it. All my other yard monkeys by the end of the day looked like they had been rode hard and put away wet. For some reason Frank looked like he just got out of the shower and changed cloths. Frank alway volenteered to go in the both to shoot (We were shooting Laquer with very bad ventiliation He seemed to like it. He always had a smile on his face. I think Frank lives out the river now I talk to him a couple years ago Frankie if you read this know that I think of your dipshit ass all the time and I still worry about ya (LOVE YA DUDE)

This brings me my last hire Kent Santos Kent was a litttle different from my other hires Let's just say he was a little rough around the edges another Mobley find. I had asked Jimmy to find another kid he spent a week or two selling me on Kent Kent had some experiance in the auto body bussiness but he was a kid with a attuide. To talk with him I should have been working for him. Bill my partner was'nt sure he would fit but I liked him. He reminded me of myself. Now Kent could take anything apart and do it in record time Lets just say there were times when it was just a little hard to put back together. Kent turned into a good student he worked harder than both of the two others put together Usually because he caused the problem to start with. Kent was very interested in painting and was a good study as well as Jimmy Kent was my tear down guy I'll tell the story about SleekCraft Daycruisers next. Kent was heads above his buddies and I would let him run the big jobs he had a way of understanding what needed to be done and pushed the others to get it done. Thinking he would have made a great GM or shop foreman. I have had a chance to talk to Kent after I started this thread so now all my boys are back in my life. It does my heart good to know they are all still friends and talk to each other after all these years All I can say is Thanks for the memoreys

When we finished the mold we put the plug out back which is a shame this is a piece we had put 100 to 200 man hours in At one time in its life it was the perfect DOUBLE EAGLE FLATBOTTOM what inperfections were in that boat were shared with every Eagle after that. Well its a tool and once you use it to make a mold its like a wife they never look as good as they did on their wedding day. Things have a way of changing shape as time goes by But I regress. It was sitting on the ground in back of the shop. I think his name was Rich Darnell (one of the Privitts boys) He had a idea to make a jet boat out of it. They fabericated a flat intake that would allow the pump to mount lower to the bottom of the boat thus lowering the impeller. Hell it sounded like a great idea to me. We loaded the plug on a trailer and they hauled it off I never heard how it went But later in Double Eagle we did a project for ( Fast ) Eddie Morienze a Sanger Hydro with a pod for the pump He brought the boat over to the shop we had to turn it upside down and finish off what Eddie had layed out on the bottom and cap the boat. We did very good until we rolled the boat over after the bottom mods. It was a very light boat maybe 300 lbs or so they foamed the hull and tabbed the deck Yea we dropped it and broke the right sponson off at the pickle fork. Just after we droped the boat he pulls up at the shop shuts his new Vette off. He jumps out of the car mad about the hydro just in time to hear his hornonic balancer fall off the front of his Vette Now he is livid. What can we say we will fix it. As he is pulling out of the driveway riding in a tow truck with a Vette on the hook he is screaming tomorrow I need the f**k boat tomorrow. Bill looks at me shakes his head and says fix it. I was yelling and screaming at my yard monkys Jimmy at the time was tring to poke the Girl in the office (My sisterinlaw) and had a date Frank,Kent and I stayed all night reattached the picklefork which broke off cleanly and neet We did'nt have time to paint but we did get it primered I will post pictures of it at Long Beach the next weekend I can remember the boat was upside down and we were rollin it over the bow rope hangs up on the tip of the sponson the when yard monkeys are streaching the rope around the tip of the sponson the knot slipps and bingo We had about 2 or 3 projects in the yard for Eddie it took him about 3 or 4 months to get over it.I never say that vette again

The Double Eagle mini cruiser was built off a 19.5 Haskell or Hornet Hull If I remember right his shop was next door to Schuster Dick Shuster owed Bill Whitney a favor we had done some warranty work for him I think Marty Hasklell owed Shuster for some material. There was a deal struck that Marty would build us a hull only. Dick would write off what Marty owed him and we would write off what Shuster owed us. Yea every body was happy. We went over to Marty,s shop picked up the Hull. At this time in history the COASTGUARD HAD started regulating outboards up to 20 foot for floatition We were thinling they were going to do this for inboards also. So we streached the boat to 20' 1" We had no idea of what the deck should look like This is the only time I ever questioned Bill I have always loved the long deck Nordic Bill wanted to build a cookie cutter short deck. You name them Cheetah Omega Witchcraft, Tahita, We argued over the next two or three weeks He finilly got mad at me told me to sketch it out so sitting in a bar I sketched a long deck on a napkin It did'nt have a mini curiser deck. Bill starts to sketch out a deck for a mini cruiser and starts to talk about compound radisus Tells me he has a wood worker that can pull this off Bill thought the boat should seat 6 we settled on 4 1/2. We decided it was a 20' mini cruiser with 60 percent of deck He hired Dave Bell to put the deck on it we added 6" to the transom to make it over 20' We finished off our steaks and never looked back.

I get a call from Bruce Necher Sleek Craft Boats He tells me he has a "bunch of cruisers" coming back with the bottoms busted out. We went to lunch and dicussed the problem The laminator's decided they would lay up the Skin 9 oz skip the secoundary 9 oz and just put the wood down. Chopp it into place then put the wood down and skip a layup on the top side They were setting the glass that they didn't put in the boats outside and seing it on the open market They were also able to skim a 1/2 droom of resin and sell it also. These boats were delivered to the East coast and down south. When the dealers started to contact Bruce about hulls splitting He had a problem we figured out what was goining on after I got the first one back when we unloaded it off the truck the crane did not strain. It sounded like a 18' runabout we weighted a 23' day cruiser at 900lbs Well with the laws we had back then you only have 90 days we had wasted 4 days on the road, a day or two at Sleek Craft Then they would bring it to Double Eagle it would take us a day to put it on a dolly and jigg a dolly to suport the bottom . Then we would start the repair strip all the interior out 1 day pull up carpet and pull down head linner 1 day. Then we would cut the floor and pop it loose 1 more day Then we started to cut the stringers and wood out of the boat this would take 2 to 3 days. Then we would lay up another 9 oz in the bottom cut new stringers and glass them in place This took another 2 or 3 days Then we started putting it a back together again by the time we were done Bruce had a week to a weak 1/2 to get it back to the Dealer on a Truck that was delivering a boats to Flordia and the Warrenty boat was from New York I think we only had 12 to 15 boats and I think we delivered 10 back Bruce sent New boats for the ones we didn't get done