The Official Woody Boater Last Gasp Boat Ride, At 105 MPH!

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I am not sure how fast we were going.. I just set the camera and was pushing the button..

For the record, This summer for the most part was a rainy miserable epic weather crap fest.. Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Flooding, Tornadoes.. All here in VA .. What the hell.. The rainiest September in history..  But ..regardless we had a fantastic last run with “Suzy”.. The bad part was getting her out of the water. OUCH.. Last Gash is more like it. But I was not ready to walk away from the water. No way, no sir. So when the opportunity came to go for one more boat ride, I jumped at the chance.. My last gasp was going to be something special. And it was indeed. Jimmy Scott and I dragged Suzy.. the boat… up to Lake Hopatcong for her to be repaired and have the motor winterized at Katz’s Marina.. A fun day of boats and more boats.. and a general ribbing about my..or lack there of, docking skills. we laughed from sunrise to sunset. We left VA at 5:30 Am and were home by 11PM.. It’s what happened in between that’s the fun part.

Seth, Wayne, and Jimmy

We arrived at Katz’s Marina at around 10:30 and BAM.. There was the gang and the grand master of all classic boat related in that area, and beyond. Wayne Moxfield. Bob Kays was there with a calender.. Get yours today here.. And Seth and his gang at Katzs Marina. We walked around and looked at the cool stuff, the freshly finished boats and one Australian race type boat that had flipped.. OUCH, not good..

This thing flipped at a very low speed, more on this true last gasp, later

Bob, Wayne and I decided to go out on the lake in Bobs perfect 17 ft Runabout.. Dang that is one sweet boat… Putt putt putt, talk talk, laugh, laugh.. That’s what its all about.. Wayne is a very fun guy to be around.. And a bottomless pit of good much needed information.

Bobs Perfect Post War 17 ft Runabout..

Bob Kays behind the wheel of his trusty runabout

Me in my last gasp warm cloths, Wayne in the back seat. Not impressed with my head gear

And then it happened…We just sat there.. HOLY CRAP, what in the hell is that?

Now, to be square, I knew of this boat, Jimmy and Seth had decided to go out for a fun ride.. And in not a wooden boat with a 90hp motor.. Nooooooooo.. It was Seth’s latest beast.. Not just any Donzi.. noooo. This is the Donzi from the show Top Gear.. The one that raced from Miami to the Keys.. Twin 750 HP motors.. Gulp… So, only one thing was left to be done.. That’s right.. put on my special orange boat shoes and go for a ride..

These shoes say.. I am a fruitcake that wears orange boat shoes.. But hey, they were perfect for the moment.. And they go with my suburban..

Lets take a ride..Dang that is one tight fit…Thank god I brought a new set of underpants. So here goes… It starts out slow.. just around 30mph.. Sounds like a turbine starting up.. The props .. which are razor sharp need to find some traction..

It all ended at The Market, a fantastic place on the lake to dock and just hang out.. A fantastic lunch and then back to the marina to go see some more boats.. Then more boats.

Ya ya, we are woody Boater, and for the record, there is not on splinter of wood on this thing.. So what.. There was a metaphor of wood though there...

The trip back to marina was over in a second!


This is me at the end of the run.. I could not talk.. Just me and my Bride of Frankenstein hair... Jesus christ, that boat is insane, and I am clearly more insane for WANTING MORE.. MORE COWBELL!


40 replies
  1. Texx
    Texx says:

    Very cool video Matt, and a very cool speedboat Seth.

    Note to self – Plan to visit Lake Hopatcong in 2012.

  2. Michael
    Michael says:

    I loved this story. Great photos and didn’t that boat make 100mph seem easy! Looked like you were really getting into the spirit of things too Matt – with or without wood…
    Cheers, Michael

  3. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Nice work on the iPhone Matt. That Donzi looks stunning parked up next to the market.
    Great to be able to see all the recent video posts. Woodyboater kicks.

  4. Pumpkin and ARRRGH!
    Pumpkin and ARRRGH! says:

    Way super cool, Matt! Hope Seth took you through some tight high speed turns too! I had the privilege of riding with Lee Heldreth in his 1988 Classic Donzi 18′ on a closed oval race course at the 2009 Roar-n-Soar Classic Race Boat Association event. We saw 95 in the straight-aways and high banked turns around the pylons (big orange bouys)! Roar-n-Soar is happening again at the Fantasy of Flighht facility in Polk County, Central Florida on Novenmebr 12-13. GREAT Show – you oughta go. Lots of Jersey Skiffs, Ravaeus, Crackerboxes, vintage hydos, and more! Lots of Woody Boaters show up there too!

  5. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Wow. Your story took me from “pretty cool” to “laughing out loud” to “I don’t belive this”. What a way to start my day. Great story and great job.


  6. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    That gives you an excellent sense of just how underpowered Suzy is!

    Also, Seth needs to get off that pond and find a bigger lake. That boat would look real good up in Hessel next summer.

  7. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Sorry but that is not the boat I want to be near when I am out relaxing on the water in my WOOD BOAT. That thing is a menace with it’s noise and dangerous speed, sometimes with knuckleheads at the helm. By the way get a bigger lake. That thing takes up too much room. Everyone on the lake has to listen to it.

  8. Charles Bingham
    Charles Bingham says:

    Imagine how fast it would go if the drag of the water wasn’t slowing it down… just put wings on it!
    You must have had a real firm grip on that camera not to lose it. Great video… thouroughly enjoyed it.

  9. DonD
    DonD says:

    International Orange boat shoes?

    Is that so they can find you when you are floating feet-up?

    You should get Jim Scott to relate some of his younger days, racing boats. He has cool stories.

  10. Rick
    Rick says:

    Number 1 on the pre-launch checklist: Pay Life Insurance premium. Totally insane ride, I love it. When fuel was $5/gal that was like a $500 ride for 4 min. ? Lose money slower in Vegas.

  11. Chris / Hagerty
    Chris / Hagerty says:

    BUSTED!! Pretty sure Seth swore to Carla this only went 55mph……Wasn’t going to show to her, but she heard us all laughing and OMG’ing watching….so she may have watched…
    So if you go fast enough, and it is cold enough, looks like this could be a new facelift technique…..

  12. chad
    chad says:

    You really need to get a buffalo plaid jacket in orange. It would have tied the whole ensemble together. Orange shoes, orange boat? HELLO?

    I’m not gay… I just appreciate a coordinated boating outfit.

  13. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Wow! Even if it wasn’t a good woody ride it was still WAY COOL! I just hope Pumpkin doesn’t try to steal your shoes.

  14. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I got a ride at a 100MPH this past summer in a friend’s Vector – very neat. But for something REALLY extreme, my lake neighbor just bought DCB Custom Boats (the entire company) in California. He sold his last DCB (a widebody 35′ with twin 1350’s in it) which went 172 MPH at 1100 ft. on our lake. His new boat will be on hand next spring – TWIN 1450’s I believe and lightweight composite construction. Not sure what it will do but probably 180 or so. He has promised me a ride. I can’t imagine what it will be like, after I was blown away by 100MPH.

    Great shots, Matt. can you arrange a race with Chuck Mistele’s Miss America IX?

  15. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    The Australian boat – how long is it? There’s a good chance I stored that one for several months a decade ago before it was sold to the East Coast and shipped out.

    Interesting story on the boat and builder…

  16. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Oh, Matt – that’s a good look on you – the fixed grin and fast hair, and hey, no bugs in the teeth! 🙂

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Chris- Imagine going that fast, and then turning left still under power in a 60 year old vintage hydroplane, with gravity trying to throw you out of the cockpit…

  17. ranger
    ranger says:

    that last picture of matt at the dock…he looks like one spent, satisfied man…

    howling with laughter, great story!

  18. allenlee
    allenlee says:

    I linked it on the Donzi board. Getting lots of views and favorable comments about the cool WoodyBoater website. Some members are even thinking of attending the next Hopatcong ACBS Show.

  19. Pumpkin
    Pumpkin says:

    Forest Port says the Chris Craft XK-18 out Donzi’s the Donzi . . . mine is fantastic, but not 105 mph . . . OK, back to the drawing board . . . how do I add a 2nd engine for that additional 25 mph . . . Hmmmmm!

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