ORCA Boat From The Movie "JAWS"

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by jesse l.t., Mar 22, 2008.

  1. OrcaInAustin
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    OrcaInAustin Junior Member

    JT,

    First let me say that I am sincerely appreciative of the time you have taken to write to me to share your knowledge of the Orca. Any and all information is greatly received. I cannot imagine the countless hours you have put into this.

    Could you tell me a little about the people behind Operation Orca? How many of you are there? How'd you get together? Have you guys built a boat before or is this the big one? What do you guys do for a living?

    I'm a general contractor in Austin, Texas and have been building construction projects for about 20 years. I'm 40 now, love to dive and fish, love to build, and love the water. I thought this would marry all my interests. I've never built a boat from scratch before although I've refurbished many fish and ski boats, as well as a few small runabouts. I thought this would be a great way to get farther and stay out longer. From the info. I've gathered you can go a long, long way on a 500 gallon tank of diesel.

    I did have a general question (I'm thinking down the road here) Do you have any idea what the weight of a boat this size is? I'm thinking I am going to need a ton and a half truck to pull it. 10,000 lbs? 15,000 lbs?

    Also engine size? hp?

    Any info helps. I look forward to talking to yu guys more.

    Best regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. oporca
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    oporca Junior Member

    Howdy Stephan,

    JT was brought up in the boat building business in WA as a kid and still does that project by project when the opportunity is there even though the business is now closed. Right now JT is shifting careers towards the entertainment biz in LA. JT can probably tell you more about his status and direction though.

    As for me, I work in the marketing/advertising biz and have been researching this boat as a hobby ever since the summer of '75.

    The both of us comprise the core of Operation Orca as a team, but we have 4-5 other part time members that contribute to the project to build a full scale ORCA in the way of CGI and other resources as needed. We also consult regularly with several vets that worked on the film and built the original boat for Spielberg, like Joe Alves.
     
  3. jesse l.t.
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    jesse l.t. Junior Member

    The Orca was 13 tons.Usually with a boat this size a big semi truck is used to haul it.Theres also road restriction such as width and height.I believe the limit is 12 feet high and 12 feet wide.I think if its wider or taller you have to get special permits and such.Im also not sure that a regular truck could even haul it safely?Im not expert in the transportation side of this though.
    The Orca believe it or not had a 4 cylinder gas engine.If I were you Id definitely go with a 6-8 cylinder diesel.Gas engines have been known to gather fumes in the bilge and all it takes is one spark to blow yourself and your boat to bits.I personally have never seen this happen but I have heard stories.
    Also since youve never built a boat before you may want to start with something much smaller or just get a core boat and refit the cabin and such.Building these big boats can be difficult for even seasoned vets.Theres alot involved with lofting a hull.
     
  4. oporca
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    oporca Junior Member

  5. SGuthrie
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    SGuthrie New Member

    Original Orca was

    The original Orca was my Grandfathers boat the Orca on Long island. The boat was built by the Mathews company. The Mathews boats were all wood boats built for the elite at the time. My Grandfather Edgar Caffrey started the Mathews club which is still in existence today and they meet once a year with all the boats from all over. My grandfather loved the tradition of the Mathews as they were made famous by the Kennedy's and others which can be seen in the late 50's in photographs while on vacation. I have loaded a picture of the Orca in her original state before Hollywood got a hold of her. I was born in Southampton on Long Island. My grandfather owned, many years ago, the Westhampton boat yard which now belongs to Mario. The Caffrey house on Long Island is a national landmark. The Orca.jpeg
     
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  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    SGuthrie, welcome to the forum. That is an interesting bit of history.
     
  7. jesse l.t.
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    jesse l.t. Junior Member

    Thats a nice boat,but its not the real Orca that was used in Jaws.The real Orca was a Nova Scotian Lobster boat named "Warlock".I actually have several pics of the Orca before it was transformed for the film and although the boat in the photo you posted is similar,the real Orca boat was quite different.Sorry
     
  8. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Yes, I see now the flying bridges are different as are the bows, both in shape and one lacks porthole/windows, one being more blunt. Still, the history is interesting even if inaccurate on one of the finer points.
     
  9. SGuthrie
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    SGuthrie New Member

    I would like to see the pictures

    I have a picture of My grandfather and Some of the people who were looking at the boat at that time. I just need to find them. I would like to see yours if you have them.
     
  10. SGuthrie
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    SGuthrie New Member

    Also, It was my understanding that they transformed the boat in the yard so it could accommodate the things they had to put on her.
     
  11. SGuthrie
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    SGuthrie New Member

    Orca

    Also the pictures have Spielberg in them which was the inspiration for the film. He has a home on long island.
     
  12. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Attached Files:

  13. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    The railings on the bow pulpits also vary, but again cosmetic boat surgery could account for that.
     
  14. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Orca pilothouse is boxier and cruder looking overall.
     

  15. oporca
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    oporca Junior Member

    What I think could be the case is this boat of yours might have been the inspiration for the book which is really what inspired the film. Either that or its a case of extreme coincidence. While in general the boat does resemble ORCA as seen in the film, the dimensions are way off. So no way its the same boat in the movie.

    Interesting boat and story though.

    You say Spielberg is in some of the photos you have. Be great to see those if they exist. That would definitely add some more reliability to your story as well as make things more perplexing.

    This is Warlock before it was turned into ORCA:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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