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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To start this thread, Here are some pictures of my hull style, but not my actual boat. They will follow later. 1968 Starcraft Explorer in fiberglass. I call it a tri-hull and the tunnels go completely to the stern. They don't fade away into a deep V as other tri-hulls do. It is rated for 40hp, however, I bought a brand new 1982 50 hp merc in 1983 as a hold-back model from the previous year. According to a Mercury water pressure speedometer, she would do 32mph with just the driver. Just out of High school, I was very proud of her. She made a nice clam boat for 3 men as long as you did not take chances. The boat gets up on a plane very easily, however, it is not a skinny water boat. I recommend that if you see one of these "Free for the taking", or in a fair condition at a cheap price, grab it. I paid $250 for mine, and sold the old junk motor and controls for $50, for a $200 net price in 1983. Doubtful I would sell it for $2500 today with the improvements I have done.
Starcraftb67012.jpg
TakeOff-ExplorerAndSeaport-250.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
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About the same year, 1983 or 1984 my dad bought a new 115HP Merc for his boat, a 17' MFG tri hull extending aft into a deep V with lifting strakes, with a walk through windshield. This is another great hull design, similar to the Thunderbird. We used to call it the off shore racer as it would easily run WOT across a 2' chop, as long as you had a good back. But dad never really bought a boat, he claimed he rented them. As soon as he saw something he liked better, he would sell out and start over, figuring his loss was his rental fees for the year or two or three that he owned that boat. When dad arrived on my doorstep one day and offered me that 17' MFG with a nearly new 115hp merc and tandem wheel trailer for $1500, I could not pass it up. He had just paid $3500 for the motor alone. He had simply got his eyes and mind on an old houseboat and camping seemed more fun than running around at 45mph. However, he also stipulated that for this price he would have visitation rights to his old boat. He rarely if ever took advantage of that and even if he had not said that, Dad could take my boat anytime as I could his. Nonetheless, all I could think of at that time, is, "I wonder if that 15' Starcraft would handle that 115hp Merc.
Recalling it was fall at the time, I probably put her away for the winter. That spring early summer I did begin to look at the 15' Explorer. Transom was getting weak, no doubt, but not gone yet. I added a piece of steel to it and some
ss threaded rods from the top motor holes nutted inside and out, (this effectively lifted the motor 3/4" from the transom. Then over the stern and across the splash well through the inside stern combing, steel square tube, then through the rest of the way and nutted inside the splash well and inside the boat. Now I needed a prop as the one from that heavy MFG was not going to be even close. I was and am poor, so had to settle for aluminum. Called the dealer and said I need the hardest turning aluminum prop he could get. He knew me, knew Dad, knew what we had and immediately knew what I had done. He said "Your Crazy", and "It should be here Wednesday" About $135 for a guess, probably in 1987.

It came, we put it on, he the dealer, refused to ride in it and tach the motor. It went like hell, we thought and it was stable as it could be. That boat handled that motor like it was nothing. A friend in a Hydrostream with 200hp clocked me at about 65mph. To this day, I do not know what she turns. She sounds good, and I have gone clamming in her many times. I did try a SS prop once, but it was over the prop exhaust and it took 2 friends in the bow to hold her down and several tries to get her to break out onto the water. (I do not have power trim or trim tabs) Certainly not practical for every day use, but definitely faster than the aluminum prop. I would guess easily 5mph more for 70-75 plus mph. As far as stability, better than a Checkmate. (A friend had a Checkmate and at about 60mph she would come unglued and squirrel about side to side.) Anyway, when the snow melts and I get the motor back on, I will get some pictures and video showing my modifications. I now have power trim, and I hope to get or build some trim tabs to hold the bow down on take off.

That picture is the actual boat, with a 115 merc, but it has a 90hp cowl on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
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Here is a Picture of Dad's boat and she looked almost that good when he picked it up in the mid 70's. Now she is just a bare open hull. I did get the new solid glass transom in. Hoping to get a floor and center console in this summer, But I have been hoping that for several summers now. If you see one of these, inexpensive, they would make for a great rebuild. They love the chop and fly with 100 to 150 hp. It actually went quite nice with my 50HP. However, with the 50hp and a big load of big adults, it would not plane. The way the forward seats are, it would be easy to fit a piece of plywood in there for a great casting deck. It is not a skinny water boat though. She is a tri hull with a deep center V. You will need water almost to your knees just to float it. These pictures show it with a stern drive, ours had a 100hp on it for a while, then a 115HP after that.
17 MFG brochure.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just to correct, these were not our boats, just showing the model. Found these pictures with a Google search
 
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