70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

ELECTRONIC CONTROLS In 1989, Mathers Controls (later acquired by ZF) introduced the first marine electronic engine control, called the Mathers Microcommander, an electronic system designed to control mechanical diesel engines. Right about the same time , Detroit Diesel introduced the Detroit Diesel Electronic Control system**** The DDEC system was applied to 71- and 92-series Detroits and offered full electronic engine control Intro and Part I: Tackle
Part III: Electronics
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

ALUMINUM OUTRIGGERS Early outriggers were made of bamboo and flexed considerably. John Rybovich designed the first riggers made from extruded aluminum in 1945, and also pioneered the use of spreaders to stiffen long poles.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

CENTER-CONSOLE BOATS In 1952, the Scopinich family of Long Island, New York, built what may have been the first production center console, a wooden skiff called the Scop Cruiser, creating what would become the most popular fishing boat design in history.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN A better understanding of hydrodynamics and the precision of computer design, developed in the 1990s, have brought us superior hull designs ¿ something we now take for granted. Take a ride on a boat designed and built in the 1950s sometime and you¿ll see the difference.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

ELECTRIC TROLLING MOTORS The electric trolling motor was actually invented in 1934 by Mr. O. G. Schmidt of Fargo, North Dakota. But their widespread use in salt water came much later, as did innovations like the remote control, which appeared in the mid-1960s.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

FIBERGLASS BOATS The first fiberglass boat may have been built by Ray Greene, an employee of Owens Corning Fiberglass. Greene was a boat builder and wanted to experiment with the new fibers, which Dow Chemical invented in the 1930s. In 1956, a Texan named Bob Hammond founded Glastron Boats, which became the first production builder of fiberglass boats and started a revolution that continues today.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

FLATS BOATS Willy Roberts of Islamorada, Florida, began building his custom wooden flats skiffs in the late 1950s. Roberts¿ boats led to the development of fiberglass flats skiffs by companies like Hewes Boats, Fiber Craft and Maverick Boats in the 1960s and early 1970s.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

FOUR-STROKE OUTBOARDS The first four-stroke outboard was built in the early 1940s by Taylor Engines of California. It became widely known in the 1960s as the 55 hp Homelite Bearcat, an engine later acquired by Boston Whaler¿s parent company, Fischer Pierce. The Bearcat was way ahead of its time and is unquestionably the predecessor of today¿s modern four-strokes.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

LARGE OUTBOARD ENGINES In the early days, outboards were small, cantankerous pieces of equipment used mainly on small skiffs, but the two giant engine manufacturers of the day, Mercury and Evinrude, would engage in a decades-long technology race. Innovations included the first V-block outboard, introduced by Evinrude in 1958, and the first 100 hp outboard, the Mercury 1000, which debuted in 1962.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

MODERN FIGHTING CHAIRS In 1933, John Rybovich built the first real fighting chair, designed from the ground up for that purpose. His initial design has been expanded upon by many companies in the decades since.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

MODERN LIVEWELLS In the old days, livewells were usually no more than boxes with holes cut in them. The commercial tuna fleets working out of San Diego had relatively sophisticated livewell systems as early as the 1930s, and California anglers brought about the designs we know today, including baffled water inlets, standpipe drains and rounded corners.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

POWER WINCHES Before float-on trailers, all boat trailers had winches. Power winches were developed in the late 1950s and took all of the drudgery out of what was once a dreaded chore.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

STAINLESS STEEL PROPELLERS Introduced by OMC in 1971, stainless outboard propellers replaced the vastly inferior aluminum versions, providing improved performance and much greater durability.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

TRIM TABS In 1960, Charles Bennett founded Bennett Marine shortly after inventing the modern, adjustable trim tab, and Bennett trim tabs have been helping boats perform better ever since.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

T-TOPS Before the development of T-tops, Bimini tops were the norm. But in the early 1970s, Robalo Boats offered the first production T-top, a removable stainless steel model that later became the template for many production and custom builders.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

TUNA TUBES Originally developed in the Pacific, tuna tubes allow marlin fishermen to keep small tuna alive and use them as live bait.
70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

70 Years, 70 Innovations II: Boat Stuff

TURBOCHARGED DIESEL ENGINES The first turbocharged diesel truck was built in 1938. Still, the technology was slow to filter down to the marine world because most boats were powered by gasoline engines. Early marine diesels were naturally aspirated, with a poor weight-to-horsepower ratio. But as boats grew in size, they outgrew gas engines, and developments in diesel turbocharging technology grew with the demand for higher horsepower. Intro and Part I: Tackle
Part III: Electronics