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Just picked up a 1972 SKV long deck jet boat one of two made right hand drive,
thats all i really know about this boat and it has a 455 olds in it, im in the current process of restoring it, does anyone know any more history on it? also was in the 1972 Long Beach Boat Show

i added some pictures
 

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SKV Find

Sweet boat Jake,


It looks like they took the floor out and for good reason. These being a sealed floor the center stringers get rotted out. Not sure if it had been replaced, but this is a nice boat. The steering wheel is on the wrong side lol But it will make a nice boat. It is good on light to mild chop, with the semi flat bottom. Gene made a great boat!
 

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Just picked up a 1972 SKV long deck jet boat one of two made right hand drive,
thats all i really know about this boat and it has a 455 olds in it, im in the current process of restoring it, does anyone know any more history on it? also was in the 1972 Long Beach Boat Show

i added some pictures
I started working for SKV in early 1977 till the end of 1978, but your model was not being built at that time so I don’t have much information about your exact boat. When I started SKV was building the new 21’ cruiser and the new 24’ cabin cruiser. Later Gene added the 22’ Sport Cruiser and a 21’ Cabin Cruiser. I do have some history, pictures and articles about SKV that I can share.

Your style was the first model SKV built and as you know they came in a short deck and long deck. All were powered by Jacuzzi jet drives or V-Drive packages. Trailer Boat magazine did an article around 1973 comparing a V-Drive and a jet drive version of the 21’. There was not that much difference in speed or fuel consumption between the two boats. The name SKV stood for SK style boat with a vee bottom. The bottom design was what Gene called a step Vee. On most Vee bottom boats the running surface is 2 flat surfaces from keel to chin placed on an angle to produce the vee; on the SKV the bottom was three surfaces on each side of the keel that would rise 1” as they moved from the keel to the chin. If you place a straight edge on the bottom most vee of your hull you would notice the second planning surface is the same angle but 1” higher and the outer most again has the same vee but 2” higher. As the three sections run forward they change their Vee, with the surface closest to the keel changing more than middle sections which change more than the outer sections. Viewed front the front the bottom has a gull wing look. Later the larger 24’ Cabin Cruiser was added and a 19’ Ski. The 19’ used almost the same bottom as the 21’; the sides were cut down and length shortened a bit. The early 24’ Cabin Cruiser started as a 21’ bottom that was stretched, freeboard added and the vee was increased but retained the step vee design. The next model to be designed was what I thought as one of the best ever built. Gene took the 24’ Cabin Cruiser and cut the freeboard down, placed the motor mid-ship with a direct drive propeller shaft and produced the 24’ Sun Chariot. This was a boat way ahead of its time. Most were powered by Chrysler 440 marine engines but I heard one was powered by a 454 Chevy and I saw one with twin OMC 235 stern drives. The next model was the new 21’ cruiser that was a 24’ Sun Chariot shortened. Most early 21’ cruisers had 455 Olds or 454 Chevy engines with Jacuzzi ‘Y’ jet drives. By 1977 SKV had switched to OMC 235 stern drive packages. Next to be built was the new 24’ Cabin Cruiser. This started with the 24’ Sun Chariot bottom with a new deck that had side windows and a split front window design. Only the first few had the split front windows and the design was changed to a one piece front window. The new 24’ Cabin Cruiser came with single or twin OMC 235 packages and Gene built one of the new 21’ Cruisers with twin OMC 235 packages. The next year SKV switched to the MerCruiser engines and drives offering the 350cid 250hp package and the new 330 TRS package. It should be noted that SKV was offering stern drives as the standard drive package before any of the other Southern California builders. 1978 also brought another change to the 24’ Cabin Cruiser. Late 1977 Dick Shuster of Hawaiian boats introduced a new model that looked like the 24’ Cabin Cruiser, complete with the one piece front window. Because of the new Hawaiian model and the fact that other companies had copied the new front window, Gene decided he had to make his model more distinct. So for the 1978 LA boat show SKV brought out a refresh version of the 24’ Cabin Cruiser with a new wrap-a-round window design. The window was really a 2 piece design, seamed in the middle, but appeared as a one piece. The 22’ Sport Cruiser was built by taking the 24’ Cabin Cruiser and shortening the bottom and lowering the deck. The next model was the 21’Cabin cruiser that used the 21’ Cruiser bottom and adding a shortened 24’ Cabin Cruiser deck complete with the wrap-a-round window. After I left the company SKV did a new deck for the 24’ Cabin Cruiser, a new low deck Day Cruiser design with a large seating cockpit for the 24’ bottom and a new 20’ Sport Cruiser to replace the 21’ Cruiser.

Gene Racine was an engineer who worked for Aero Jet. Most everything he did was designed from an engineering stand point. In 1977 Gene built a boat to ski race. The first boat was a 24’ Cabin Cruiser with twin OMC 235 packages that were modified and Turbo Charged. He made design changes to the drives and engines looking for more speed and reliable. That boat was replaced with another 24’ Cabin Cruiser with a turbo charged 454 Chevy and TRS drive. The boat was all yellow with a blue design and had the name “Big Red” on the side, a name that confused most that saw it. The boat was named for his daughter who had red hair as a joke! The Turbo Charger systems used on both boats was designed by Gene and most parts were built in the Shop with the help of employee Eugene Jackson, another ex Aero Jet employee and long time friend of Gene Racine. Together they designed a compact Turbo system for the MerCruiser 350 stern drive engine. Later Eugene Jackson left SKV and went to work for Gale Banks and Gene Racine let him take the design to Banks were it was produced and marketed by Gale Banks. The wrap-a-round window was another Gene Racine engineered item. The shop spent most of the winter designing and building all the tooling to produce the window and the metal trim.

Gene was a particle joker along with Nick Barron of Hallett boats. Most people in the industry referred to Gene Racine as a mortician, one because he looked like a mortician from an old TV western and because of a practical joke he played on Chuck Pierce, a publisher of a marine news paper called “Race Boat and Industry News”. Chuck would always visit the southern California builder looking for something to put in his paper. If a builder was designing a new model or making changes to an existing he would snoop for all the details and print about it in his paper. One late afternoon Chuck was visiting Gene at the shop to see if there was anything new going on. Eugene Jackson was leaving for the day and walked through the office to say good night. Gene then asked Eugene if he was going to stop by the other shop. Eugene said no, that he was tired and was just going home. Now you need to know that Eugene had no idea what Gene was taking about because there was no other shop! But, Chuck Pierce wanted to know all about the other shop and asked Gene what the shop was for. Gene told him it was an automated embalming shop that embalmed body on an assembly line. He told Chuck they were having a problem that needed to be worked out. He said they were moving the bodies on an overhead conveyer system by hanging the bodies by their feet, He said the problems was that the arms would hang down, rigor mortis would set in and it was hard to move the arms back to where they should be. Now as outlandish as this sounded, Chuck must have believed it to be true because he visited Nick Barron at Hallett and asked Nick if Gene was really a mortician. Now Nick had no idea what Chuck was talking about but he could not pass up a chance to pull a good practical joke so he played along with it. It did not take long and everyone in the marine industry thought Gene Racine was really a mortician!

Gene eventually started to get burned out on the Marine Industry with its constant ups and downs. He sold the company and molds to Nick Barron of Hallett boats and some of the employees went with the company. Last time I saw Gene was around 1984 at Rex Marine.
 

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I started working for SKV in early 1977 till the end of 1978,

Gene Racine was an engineer who worked for Aero Jet. Most everything he did was designed from an engineering stand point. In 1977 Gene built a boat to ski race. The first boat was a 24’ Cabin Cruiser with twin OMC 235 packages that were modified and Turbo Charged. He made design changes to the drives and engines looking for more speed and reliable. That boat was replaced with another 24’ Cabin Cruiser with a turbo charged 454 Chevy and TRS drive. The boat was all yellow with a blue design and had the name “Big Red” on the side, a name that confused most that saw it. The boat was named for his daughter who had red hair as a joke! The Turbo Charger systems used on both boats was designed by Gene and most parts were built in the Shop with the help of employee Eugene Jackson, another ex Aero Jet employee and long time friend of Gene Racine. Together they designed a compact Turbo system for the MerCruiser 350 stern drive engine. Later Eugene Jackson left SKV and went to work for Gale Banks and Gene Racine let him take the design to Banks were it was produced and marketed by Gale Banks.
Really nice story about Gene and SKV. I didn't know him real well, but did know Rene pretty well, and of course "Big Red" at the ski races. I worked for Banks in the late 70's while Gene Jackson was there, didn't actually realize that the design for the Mercruiser kits came from Gene Racine. I went over to work for Jack Rex when he first opened Rex Marine around 1981, but soon after started my own, unrelated business.

I would expect that an SKV boat was solidly built and would hold up if given at least reasonable care over the years.
 

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1970 skv

I just purchased a 1970 21ft long deck project. This thread has the MOST info on SKV boats that I have found.
Oddly enough the serial # is nearly identical to Jake's. #70 0111. It is currently white, but I think it may started life gold It has a light blue windshield. It is a really neat looking boat. Powered by a 454 and v drive. I was told that the boat was owned by a mechanic that worked at SKV
Does anyone know how many of these boats were built? Where can I find more info, photos???
I will post a pic, when I figure out how to do it.
Thanks for your time
 

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Skv 72

My dad had the 1st Short Deck Jet in 72 and ours was at the Anaheim Show and that's where we picked it up. I would love to have a short deck SKV instead of my taylor. You cant find these anywhere and if you do most of them are in bad shape.
 
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