Sidewinder Splash Drama..
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Sidewinder Splash Drama..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Sidewinder Splash Drama..

    I was doing a bit of research on sidewinder today and stumbled across some legal documents... I've always been into Carlson's and haven't really paid much attention to sidewinders.. But after reading the court documents and thinking about (and trolling) some other boats it makes sense... There were A LOT of early 70's boats that looked EXACTLY like the sidewinder design - including the GT-150 from Glastron..

    I'm not so much of a newb that I don't know about "splashes" but I had never realized that sidewinder got raped so hard ... I read they basically based their design on the dupont car from back then.. Was there anyone before them that was similar to their design or were they truly the first?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    Wasn't a Sidewinder a splash of a Tahiti? A Tahiti was a splash of a Glastron with cut down sides and a ski boat deck. A Carlson was made by Glastron. Years ago there must have been about 10 to 20 different copies of Tahitis ( Glastron ).

    Ken Baker, who later owned Panther pumps, was Dick Schuster's brother-in-law and he worked at Glastron. Schuster used the Glastron "Aqua Lift" bottom for his 16 Tahiti in late '64. When Baker quit Glastron to start his own company Dick gave him a hull to start with. Baker made his famous wrap around windshield deck on the cut down Glastron, an idea that I'm sure was slated for Glastron had he not quit. (Our neighbor, Gil Gaska, who worked with Schuster at Powercat in Paramount, went with Dick when he started his own shop and the two of them made the bottom mold from a borrowed, brand new Glastron from a local dealer. Gil made the little target and added it to the side of the hull which became one of the trademarks of the 16 Tahiti. Schuster and Gaska were watching a boat race from the pier in Long Beach and the flatbottoms were getting pounded in the rough ocean and then a few of the Glastron factory boats came by just cutting through the chop and Dick mad the comment that he'd like to build something using a bottom like that. They cut down the hull and built a little SK deck for it and the rest is history)
    Anyway, the Sidewinder was an instant hit and was splashed by several builders including Schuster and it's true that Baker sued, and won, everyone who splashed his deck...including his brother in law,lol. I posted this info on the Sidewinder site but I don't think they liked it so it was removed. They think the sun rose and set on Sidewinder and claim Schuster splashed his hull, but that's not he case. Scuhster started Tahiti in late '64, Sidewinder was later in '69 or '70. Big deal, who really cares, but the lawsuit was pretty funny when your think about it.
    Last edited by Checkmate21; 10-28-2014 at 09:42 PM.

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