Challenger boats
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Challenger boats

  1. #1
    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Default Challenger boats

    As familiar is we are with Jet boats in general I personally know very little about them in particular beyond the CG website , 6 months back I was given one and have set about a resto any history , pics, info is appreciated Thanks Tom

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    Senior Member sandeggo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetboatperformance View Post
    As familiar is we are with Jet boats in general I personally know very little about them in particular beyond the CG website , 6 months back I was given one and have set about a resto any history , pics, info is appreciated Thanks Tom
    Tom they're really common down here on the river. I've never personally seen one run more than 80ish. They make good little ski/river cruisers

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    Senior Member Mohavekid's Avatar
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    I had a 79 model Challenger.

    Fun boat, it had a lot of flex in the rear between the stringers and the fuel tanks. It was really odd to look back and see it flexing as it moved over the water.

    Mine ran mid 70"s with about 550 HP and a fresh pump with a "b" cut impeller. No shoe or ride plate though.

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    Junior Member 77challengerCHAD's Avatar
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    Default challeneger

    I have a 77 fully restored challenger I love it. i have owned Bahners,eliminators,rogers, about everything i honest think my chalenger takes it home. i run right about 75 moh with a mild 460 and pump work i have a jacuzzi with energizer, shoe, and all that... my buddy's got a 79 challenger and he runs mid 50;s with a stock small block 350 and a panther jet.

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    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandeggo View Post
    Tom they're really common down here on the river. I've never personally seen one run more than 80ish. They make good little ski/river cruisers
    Quote Originally Posted by Mohavekid View Post
    I had a 79 model Challenger.

    Fun boat, it had a lot of flex in the rear between the stringers and the fuel tanks. It was really odd to look back and see it flexing as it moved over the water.

    Mine ran mid 70"s with about 550 HP and a fresh pump with a "b" cut impeller. No shoe or ride plate though.
    Quote Originally Posted by 77challengerCHAD View Post
    I have a 77 fully restored challenger I love it. i have owned Bahners,eliminators,rogers, about everything i honest think my chalenger takes it home. i run right about 75 moh with a mild 460 and pump work i have a jacuzzi with energizer, shoe, and all that... my buddy's got a 79 challenger and he runs mid 50;s with a stock small block 350 and a panther jet.
    Cool Guys ! I'm hoping to find some "lineage" and builder History , these are all 1/4 stringer boats that I've seen , the seem to have come with Panthers , Jacuzzi Wjs and Berk "E" pumps (mine has an "E") , the boat is small and light and should run well Tom

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    Senior Member 76 Bonneville's Avatar
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    Tom here's a performance write up from PowerBoat Mag. 1978. I'll look for more.
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    Senior Member Futs's Avatar
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    Tom, its a direct copy of the Southwind 18. Just like the charger,Anthony, hondo ect ect ect.
    They run ok in stock form. A few have ran into the 100's but i wouldnt ever want to push one that far. Alot of rocker in them to tame them down. They all derived from the esquire 20'. JAck at MPD has a grip of stories about how they all came about. Perfect ski/family boat. I would love to fine a southwind 18 to leave up at the river to play with whne i dont tow my tunnel out.

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    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76 Bonneville View Post
    Tom here's a performance write up from PowerBoat Mag. 1978. I'll look for more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Futs View Post
    Tom, its a direct copy of the Southwind 18. Just like the charger,Anthony, hondo ect ect ect.
    They run ok in stock form. A few have ran into the 100's but i wouldnt ever want to push one that far. Alot of rocker in them to tame them down. They all derived from the esquire 20'. JAck at MPD has a grip of stories about how they all came about. Perfect ski/family boat. I would love to fine a southwind 18 to leave up at the river to play with whne i dont tow my tunnel out.
    Thanks Ron and Tim Great info ! love to see more I really like this little boat I reminds me in a way of my Bahner 18' which I loved alot ! I'm Having fun with the build as I sold the Mach and My Blown Cruiser this past winter This thing was free but a major "Roach" so the resto has been a "Challenge" be interesting to try to make the "E" pump work with a Blower motor at Best ! Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Futs View Post
    Tom, its a direct copy of the Southwind 18. Just like the charger,Anthony, hondo ect ect ect.
    They run ok in stock form. A few have ran into the 100's but i wouldnt ever want to push one that far. Alot of rocker in them to tame them down. They all derived from the esquire 20'. JAck at MPD has a grip of stories about how they all came about. Perfect ski/family boat. I would love to fine a southwind 18 to leave up at the river to play with whne i dont tow my tunnel out.

    Same bottom as Southwind , deck was a little different at the transom

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    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boatless2 View Post
    Same bottom as Southwind , deck was a little different at the transom
    heres an early project shot of the back side ,kind of a sexy little boat IMO
    so far I like what I see the contruction was pretty good , Gel/finish was "OK" some ripples and high and lows ,original seat bases were crap etc but .... it was free ! Tom

  13. #11
    Senior Member motomattox's Avatar
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    I know of and have worked on two Challengers owned by friends of mine. One is '79 with 350 chevy/panther and runs right about 65ish (GPS is coming...) The other is a '77, Ford 460 w/jacuzzi and energizer kit. Ran 50.2mph@ 4400rpm w/ a little 750 holley on it. Just installed 850 and put 39 degrees timing in it and we are gonna lake test again and see what we get out of it...I'll update. Both are actually pretty good solid little river cruisers. The '79 is full stringer, and has a pretty standard transom etc. The '77 is quarter stringer, and I noticed there is no wood in the transom at all, only about 3/8in thick glass....thought that was a little weird. Both have subfloors in them. Overall fun and reliable, and now that the two guys both own challengers, I'm sure there will be a pissing contest about who's is faster! This should lead to plenty of testing and tuning and eventually putting a berkely in place of at least the panther I will update, and let us know how yours turns out and how hard it runs!
    "Keep talking...it aint often I get to hear a genius speak"

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    Glendale Arizona Squirtcha?'s Avatar
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    Rumor has it that the Kachina 18.5 Custom was a splash of the Challenger. All the Kachinas I've seen are full stringer boats though.
    Last edited by Squirtcha?; 06-21-2011 at 07:42 AM.

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    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirtcha? View Post
    Rumor has it that the Kachina 18.5 Custom was a splash of the Challenger. All the Kachinas I've seen are full stringer boats though.
    Good info , I do see the similarities I belive , This is just another effort of mine to pull a beater from the boneyard (destined for the landfill) and make a boat out of it as inexpensively as possible , The Floor which as you know makes up the structure and integrity of a "motor box" 1/4 stringer hull was delammed (now repaired) the part stringer deal doesn't bother me Tom


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    Glendale Arizona Squirtcha?'s Avatar
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    Just pointing out the one difference I'm aware of between the two. I liked my old Kachina and it was a great lake/river boat. Heavy layup, but it was a good boat. A friend bought it, went all through it, and she's back on the water again. Almost wish I had it back............



    Last edited by Squirtcha?; 06-21-2011 at 12:51 PM.

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