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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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
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.
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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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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Tom here's a performance write up from PowerBoat Mag. 1978. I'll look for more.
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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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:D
 

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

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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...:D) The other is a '77, Ford 460 w/jacuzzi and energizer kit. Ran 50.2mph:)[email protected] 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:)devil I will update, and let us know how yours turns out and how hard it runs!
 

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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.
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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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............



NICE!! and your right looks very similar indeed !

I Do remember !! , sound like my UFO Sanger
 

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Don't know if you remember the story Tom. I had spent many hours making the bottom perfectly straight and ended up with the porpoise from hell. The cav plates you see on it in the photo above were the only means of getting rid of the porpoise other than adding hook back into the hull. I wasn't the only one to battle the problem with that hull (or it's splashes) either. If you're going to do any bottom work I might suggest not straightening it out past the second strake (from center). Apparently for whatever reason that boat/bottom needs some hook to ride right. Installed the plates and gave them 1/8" down and it settled right down.

Here's a photo of the first blueprint. I stopped where the speedcoat is and it rode perfectly. After the delam (lower part of the photo) I rebuilt that area with glass and made it all straight. That's when all the ride problems started

straight edge.jpg
 

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My 79 challenger has full stringers and it doesnt flex any more than any other jet boat i have ridden. I had brought my boat down to Tom Papp when I first got it. He said it was a great hull with a lot of potenial. (his words were a little more graphic) He told me to replace the panther jet but i put a mild sbc behind it and it runs in the 60's. Even though 77challengerchad says it runs in the 50's. I love the challenger boat though. Handles really well and gets onto plane with minimal boat in the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My 79 challenger has full stringers and it doesnt flex any more than any other jet boat i have ridden. I had brought my boat down to Tom Papp when I first got it. He said it was a great hull with a lot of potenial. (his words were a little more graphic) He told me to replace the panther jet but i put a mild sbc behind it and it runs in the 60's. Even though 77challengerchad says it runs in the 50's. I love the challenger boat though. Handles really well and gets onto plane with minimal boat in the water.
Would like to see some "Challenger" pics to help keep my challenger thread spinning ;)
 

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My 79 challenger has full stringers and it doesnt flex any more than any other jet boat i have ridden. I had brought my boat down to Tom Papp when I first got it. He said it was a great hull with a lot of potenial. (his words were a little more graphic) He told me to replace the panther jet but i put a mild sbc behind it and it runs in the 60's. Even though 77challengerchad says it runs in the 50's. I love the challenger boat though. Handles really well and gets onto plane with minimal boat in the water.
Welcome Challenger79! And now the pissing match continues LMAO! At least we will see some more Challenger builds:D Post up those pics!!!!
 

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Don't know if you remember the story Tom. I had spent many hours making the bottom perfectly straight and ended up with the porpoise from hell. The cav plates you see on it in the photo above were the only means of getting rid of the porpoise other than adding hook back into the hull. I wasn't the only one to battle the problem with that hull (or it's splashes) either. If you're going to do any bottom work I might suggest not straightening it out past the second strake (from center). Apparently for whatever reason that boat/bottom needs some hook to ride right. Installed the plates and gave them 1/8" down and it settled right down.

Here's a photo of the first blueprint. I stopped where the speedcoat is and it rode perfectly. After the delam (lower part of the photo) I rebuilt that area with glass and made it all straight. That's when all the ride problems started

View attachment 120172
Looks like you did a lot of work. Out of curiosity, did you set the pump back? I remember Tom Papp talking about fixing porpoising issues by adding shim to the shoe, though it doesn't look like you have an adjustable shoe in the pic. Just a thought and curious what others think on this....may not be a Challenger specific issue?
 
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