1957 Mahogany Delta with Fins

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Ron Hansen, May 13, 2011.

  1. Ron Hansen
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: omaha Ne

    Ron Hansen Mahogany Delta

    Hello everyone..........I am new here. My father bought a molded mahogany Delta in 1957 at the Omaha Boat Show. It was floating in a tank of water in the auditorium and the dealer said it had just come from Chicago where it had won a first place prize at the Chicago Boat Show. I have seen Deltas similar to this but not with fins like this one had. I was wondering if anyone has any information as to whether or not this boat was a one-off, or if more were built. It started life with a 45hp Merc and ended with a 80 or 85 hp Merc. The 6 cyl. Merc was heavy enough to bring water pouring over the transom if two people walked to the back to pull in ski ropes! Any information on these boats would be very much appreciated. Thanks.....Ron H.
     

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  2. daiquiri
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I don't have the answer to your question, but let me express my admiration for that boat. It has deserved that price, imho - it is a real eye-candy. :)
    Even the visual design of that Merc Phantom outboard is something to learn from. Everything on this boat reminds about times when mankind had dreams about a future in which we'd be living aboard space stations and flying to work with jet backpacks. :)

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  3. Acid house
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    Acid house Junior Member

    Only the Americans could make something like that...............
    The fins look like an add on to me possibly actually off a car. I dont know why I think that but it just looks added on. Something about the way it joins to the hull. Very well matched and well proportioned but not built when the hull was.

    So trashy I almost like it..............
     
  4. daiquiri
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Exactly! Yes, fins are the clearly the later add-ons, neither necessary nor perfectly faired. Just look at those false air scoops at the base of the fins. So 60's, so trashy, so lovely... :)
     
  5. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    From what I remember of these, the boat was a standard model in the 50's and had styling "upgrades" in the late 50's. Everyone was doing it, no need to design a new model, just tack on some fins, which I think were 'glass. In the early 60's everyone made huge hull form changes and of course styling too.

    It wouldn't be uncommon for a manufacture to present a "spruced up" version of one of their models for a boat show, particularly a prestigious one, like Chicago's. It's probably not a one off, but a highly "dressed" version of the base model. They'd want it to show as best as possible, so folks would order them with all the bells and whistles.
     
  7. Ron Hansen
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    Ron Hansen Mahogany Delta

    Thank you.........yes........that makes perfect sense.........and you are correct...... the fins were fiberglass.
     
  8. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Delta boats are featured in Robert Speltz' book, The Real Runabouts, Volume IV. Except for the tail fins, yours looks like the 14'er featured in the photos in the book. Your windshield is slightly different, so that may have changed. There is nothing in the text or photos that describes tail fins, so someone else may have added them to that particular boat. Delta Boats seems to have operated from about 1949 to 1963 or '64 in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

    You can buy individual copies of the seven volumes of The Real Runabouts, or the complete set and index, from The Antique and Classic Boat Society: http://www.acbs.org/shipstore/shipsstore-realrunabouts.html.

    Eric
     
  9. Ron Hansen
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    Ron Hansen Mahogany Delta

    Thank you Eric............I can't wait to get my hands on these books. They look to be a real treasure.
    From what i gather so far, and since my father bought the boat brand new from the dealer at the boat show, i am thinking more and more that it was a one-off built just for the Chicago Boat Show. After all it was 1957........fins on cars were the big thing.
    Thanks again........Ron
     
  10. Aharon
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    Location: Israel

    Aharon Junior Member

    Farewell to the first golden era

    Dead right, daiquiri! That was the US of A's golden age, and the then-future you describe seemed granted - fresh from smashing nazism, making a strong stand against communism, leading the world economically... little did I know that the 70's hippie movement and all the heavy rock I loved so much were the nemesis of that way of life...:(
    Well, I guess we all had our share of stupidity, I mean, I know by experience that the saying "One is an incendiary in the youth and a fireman in maturity" is true.
    When I looked at this pretty boat "Popular Mechanics" popped in my mind.
     
  11. onemorecast
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    onemorecast New Member

    1957 delta

    I have a 1957 delta and the sales brochure. Ron, feel free to contact me at onemorecast43@gmail.com. if you still have your boat. Would love to compare. Haven't been able to find anyone else with this boat.
     
  12. woody1973
    Joined: Jan 2012
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    Location: Missouri

    woody1973 Junior Member

    Another Delta owner

    Hello everyone. I have another thread going regarding Delta boats but just stubbled on this on. First of all, beautiful boat with or without the unknown fins!

    I have 1955 Delta 13 footer that my father bought brand new. I have taken it over and am in the process of having it restored. The original 35 hp motor wouldn't pull anyone out of the water so my father switch to a 35 hp Evinrude in 1957 which is still on it today.

    I like the tip from Eric about the books as it is very hard to find out information about the Delta model.

    I have attached an old pic - that is my uncle standing next to the boat our family fondly called "The mickey mouse"

    Enjoy
     

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  13. Ron Hansen
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: omaha Ne

    Ron Hansen Mahogany Delta

    That's a beautiful boat...

    Nice Delta.....I sure wish I still had my dad's Delta. Please post photos of the restoration....thanks.
    I'm going to try to upload some pics of the Delta that onemorecast had restored / It turned of to be magnificent!
    Ron
     
  14. Ron Hansen
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: omaha Ne

    Ron Hansen Mahogany Delta

    A beautiful restoration of Onemorecast's Delta with fins!

    Here is the answer I've been looking for as to whether my dad's 1957 Delta with fins was a one off or not. This is proof that it was not a one off. Onemorecast's Delta with fins has been beautifully restored and another one like it was spotted on Beaver Lake in Arkansas in the summer of 2011. So I now know that there were at least three of these produced.
    Hats off to onemorecast for a wonderful job on this beauty! He promises more photos after its launch.
     

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  15. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    That is such a cool looking boat! Indeed--Hats off!

    Eric
     
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