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View Full Version : What ever happened to.....Cole Boats??



MoVal Tim
04-13-2008, 12:48 PM
I know that this is probably something that was discussed in previous times, but since I only recently arrived on the boards, can someone tell me what happened to Cole Boats?
Every one of their boats that I saw was, imo, beautiful!
The lines looked good...very streamlined. The gel was nice. Seemed to run strong and quick.

If I were considering buying a used boat, I think I would take a close look at the few available.

MVT

TPC
04-13-2008, 01:30 PM
Cole folded his Chatsworth business some years back when he was shot at work in what is purely rumored as a drug deal gone bad.
- That's rumored so hold that thought.

Cole Boats were/are superb.
Usually sold today priced ONLY by condition. I can't think of any other boat that can make that claim but I would wager the Magic Sorcerer 34, who can trace it's design bloodlines to Cole's designer, eventually will be that classic.

The tales about Cole's boats usually go like this and damfino how true they are:

Cole sometimes copied / knocked-off the bottom of another builders successful hull design and the deck design of a different competitors boat - then combined the two.

I dunno how true that is, I'm sure he had more depth to his business than that, but the results of course were a excellent running boat, especially above 70 MPH. Superb control, ride, dry passengers and stellar performance, and excellent build quality.

A BFD in performance boating in his day that still stands up today.

The Elks lodge nearby Coles former shop has a whole host of people at their Sunday morning breakfasts that are a who's who in the Cole world of boating.
You can meet them by simply sitting at the beer garden bar most any Sunday morning. Non-Elks members are welcome.

You will often meet:
Former Cole vendors, employees, lovers, haters, customers, friends, neighbors, his race boat drivers,, team workers, competitors, enthusiasts ect.

But most of all, retired LAPD investigators that were on the Cole shooting case as well as other investigations concerning Cole that you can talk to in person.
Generally the word among them,,, especially the LEO's, is that Jim was "dirty", involved in all kinds of tricky shenanigans (But his customer and product line transactions & quality were always fair and honest dealing from what I've heard).

But that's the LAPD's take,, not mine so this may bring you up to speed.

Their are a few LAPD on the boating boards that at the mere mention of Cole they punch their computer screens and anyone who says anything positive about Cole and would love to strangle me.

We own a rental unit near from his former shop and the neighbors have tales of prickly business attempts they had with Jim from time to time.

Overall and bottom line he made a good boat and he knew it.
People would try to grind him down on price,, mentioning they may buy something else and he just got tougher.

He knew he had the best overall product, he was limited in production capacity so no reason for him to deal on dollars and he never did that I have ever heard of.

So:

It pissed people off and to this day all kinds of rumors surround the legend of Cole.
Some maybe true, damfino I'm just a beach chair observer.
Everything I write here concerning Cole is pure rumor.

I'd love to have one of his boats.
Ageless design.

Mandelon
04-13-2008, 01:56 PM
That 25 footer they produced had beautiful lines. Havasu doug's had a thread with one for sale a while back.

HocusPocus
04-13-2008, 02:47 PM
This one (http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/boa/625997534.html) has been on craigslist for awhile now.

kilrtoy
04-13-2008, 03:32 PM
Your forgeting about the attempted kidnapping /shooting infront of the Candy Cat.....
Again I know this did happen, but not sure if Jim Cole was actually at the scene....
Alot of people are scared to discuss this ...
Don Aronow comes to mind

TPC
04-13-2008, 03:47 PM
Your forgeting about the attempted kidnapping /shooting infront of the Candy Cat.....
Again I know this did happen, but not sure if Jim Cole was actually at the scene....
Alot of people are scared to discuss this ...
Don Aronow comes to mind

Theirs a good book to be written, or a documentary about the Jim Cole story for sure.
It's all coming back.

Dougie, a tough but kind neighbor kid we take to the river, has a sister that's a former "dancer" at the nearby to Coles shop, Candy Cat titty bar. She was some way involved in the Cole/Arronow (sic?) kidnapping episode it's told by the neighbors.

Scared seems a good description,and unwilling to talk about it, all she'll say about it today is: "I'm not sure".

kilrtoy
04-13-2008, 04:20 PM
Dougie, a tough but kind kid we take to the river, has a sister that's a former "dancer" at the candy cat. She was some way involved in the Cole episode.

Scared seems a good description,and unwilling to talk about it, all she'll say about it today is: "I'm not sure".

Right about now, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is saying where was she when I was on the hunt....

TPC
04-13-2008, 04:40 PM
Right about now, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is saying where was she when I was on the hunt....

Don Aronow is the designer of the awesome, supurb, Magic Sorcerer 34 for those that may not know.

First thing that came into my pea brain when I rode on a Sorcerer 34 is Cole boats.

If you ever rode on the Sorcerer you can get a feel of what a Cole would be like if Cole ever built a boat this big.

- Or if Cole stole'd a design from someone who designed a boat this big depending who ya talk to.

The Sorcerer is the closest thing you can buy NEW to a classic kind of Cole boat IMHO.

I'd love to own one.

Don Aronow deserves to be a legend in the technical boating world.

MoVal Tim
04-13-2008, 07:43 PM
Don Aronow is the designer of the awesome, supurb, Magic Sorcerer 34 for those that may not know.

First thing that came into my pea brain when I rode on a Sorcerer 34 is Cole boats.

If you ever rode on the Sorcerer you can get a feel of what a Cole would be like if Cole ever built a boat this big.

- Or if Cole stole'd a design from someone who designed a boat this big depending who ya talk to.

The Sorcerer is the closest thing you can buy NEW to a classic kind of Cole boat IMHO.

I'd love to own one.

Don Aronow deserves to be a legend in the technical boating world.



For those who are truly interested (TPC), with the $$$ to do it, there is a '00 28 footer for sale in this weeks Boat Trader. It has a 509 mpi and a procharger. Looks like a gorgeous boat! :drool 70 grand.

If I were planning on selling my boat and getting knee deep in payments, like most people do nowadays, I would take a drive to see this boat.:cool:

If I just wanted to torture myself with no intent to buy...I still might go see it...just to see it!

I can't bring myself to waste another man's time like that though.

Riodog
04-13-2008, 08:03 PM
IIRC, Coles kid came on the old smut website after the shooting took place and threw around a lot of bullshit.Whole thing sounded like a dope or money deal gone wrong.
Rio

MoVal Tim
04-13-2008, 08:13 PM
So:

It pissed people off and to this day all kinds of rumors surround the legend of Cole.
Some maybe true, damfino I'm just a beach chair observer.
Everything I write here concerning Cole is pure rumor.

I'd love to have one of his boats.
Would have loved to have bought his company and continued his age less design.


Thanks so much for the info.
I kinda had the same thought about the Don Aronow parallel when I read a little about the "attempted robbery" on the net.

So if the "robbery" occurred in '02, when did they actually stop building boats? Did he die as a result of the shooting? These things were not mentioned as part of the article.

TPC
04-14-2008, 04:26 AM
Thanks so much for the info.
I kinda had the same thought about the Don Aronow parallel when I read a little about the "attempted robbery" on the net.

So if the "robbery" occurred in '02, when did they actually stop building boats? Did he die as a result of the shooting? These things were not mentioned as part of the article.

Cole is alive and well and several on this board are still in touch with him.
Some talk of making boats again, but ya hear the same kinda "rising from the ashes" takes about other defunct boats like Campbell too.

Nothing brings up more passion from folks than the Cole tales. Believe me, nothing.

If Cole built a crummy boat no one would give a damn. But Cole built awesome, timeless boats - hence the continued interest.

It'd be interesting to know the whole Don Aronow connection how he was effected in this.
Another grey area in the Cole soap opera saga.

All I've heard were rumors, conjecture, conclusion jumping, drunk-points-of-view and irritated pissed-off people that were involved (or they claim they were involved) directly that want the whole episode to blow away like old dry horseshit.
-Not stay wet, poked with a stick and draw flys.

But having said that, it is without a doubt, the most popular and facinating performance boating storys of all time
- Or at least of our day.

MoVal Tim
04-14-2008, 06:25 AM
Thanks again for all the info.

It's always good to know the background of the company that you are dealing with. I don't necessarily stay away from a manufacturer based on someone's word, but it may play in to my final decision whether or not to buy their product.

For example, the manufacturer of my boat, IMO, made a very nice family boat with many of the features of higher priced boats without the high price.

Fast-forward to today...he sold the company (to pay off quite a debt, or so I'm told) and now I see that the new owner is putting in less expensive volvo drives and engines as a base package, the customer service is way down, the rigger has left, the lead salesman has left, etc.

Meanwhile, as do most people in this business, the original owner has resurfaced at least for the short term, helping the new owner of Nordic sell boats at the LA boat show.

It wouldn't surprise me to see him come full circle and, as the company continues as it is now (and industry sales are low), buy back the old molds for pennies on the dollar and start back up again!

Small world this boating family we are in.:)

TYLER DURDEN
04-14-2008, 11:38 AM
Back in 95-95 the Cole 22' SuperHawk was my dream boat. I remember being at Lake Mead and seeing a brand new one with a black,red, and white gel coat on the launch ramp. I walked around that boat about 30 times in awe. A work of art! :thumbsup

eliminatedsprinter
04-14-2008, 01:45 PM
Back in 95-95 the Cole 22' SuperHawk was my dream boat. I remember being at Lake Mead and seeing a brand new one with a black,red, and white gel coat on the launch ramp. I walked around that boat about 30 times in awe. A work of art! :thumbsup

My favorite V hull as well.:thumbsup:thumbsup:D

RiverDave
04-14-2008, 03:05 PM
Don Arrownow tooled the 34 Magic Sorcerer? I know he designed some cigarettes, and while my memory is fuzzy I think he is the man behind Apache's etc.. I didn't know he did any west coast stuff.

I thought he was killed in the late 80's early 90's by some drug dealer or soemthing?

RD <---- doesn't

TPC
04-14-2008, 03:51 PM
Don Arrownow tooled the 34 Magic Sorcerer? I know he designed some cigarettes, and while my memory is fuzzy I think he is the man behind Apache's etc.. I didn't know he did any west coast stuff.

I thought he was killed in the late 80's early 90's by some drug dealer or soemthing?

RD <---- doesn't

I'm pretty sure he did design it.
Dunno what ever became of him.

http://www.sleekcraft.com/magic/34-sorcerer/images/IMG_0436.JPG

OK an edit:
From the Magic website:

"The Magic 34' Sorcerer was conceived by legendary boat builder, Don Aronow. Its deep-V design heightens performance while at the same time allowing it to be one of the quickest boats in the world. From its electric cabin doors and drop-out bolsters, to the easy access of it's engine compartment the 34' Sorcerer demonstrates a remarkable evolution in design. This Hot Boat Magazine, "Best Offshore Performance Boat", has remained at the top."

-Damn,,, my memory isn't as bad as I thought.
Does concieved mean designed?

Ratso
04-14-2008, 03:55 PM
I'm pretty sure he did design it.
Dunno what ever became of him.

Aronow is dead... shot gang style...

Ratso
04-14-2008, 03:56 PM
http://www.mensvogue.com/business/articles/2006/12/18/don_aronow

TPC
04-14-2008, 03:57 PM
Aronow is dead... shot gang style...

Jesus Christ,, that was some bunch wasnt it?

HocusPocus
04-14-2008, 03:58 PM
here is a little bio on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Aronow. Awhile back i caught a show on tv about him. American Justice series i think??

RiverDave
04-14-2008, 04:05 PM
Don Aronow is the designer of the awesome, supurb, Magic Sorcerer 34 for those that may not know.

First thing that came into my pea brain when I rode on a Sorcerer 34 is Cole boats.

If you ever rode on the Sorcerer you can get a feel of what a Cole would be like if Cole ever built a boat this big.

- Or if Cole stole'd a design from someone who designed a boat this big depending who ya talk to.

The Sorcerer is the closest thing you can buy NEW to a classic kind of Cole boat IMHO.

I'd love to own one.

Don Aronow deserves to be a legend in the technical boating world.


I'm pretty sure he did design it.
Dunno what ever became of him.

http://www.sleekcraft.com/magic/34-sorcerer/images/IMG_0436.JPG

OK an edit:
From the Magic website:

"The Magic 34' Sorcerer was conceived by legendary boat builder, Don Aronow. Its deep-V design heightens performance while at the same time allowing it to be one of the quickest boats in the world. From its electric cabin doors and drop-out bolsters, to the easy access of it's engine compartment the 34' Sorcerer demonstrates a remarkable evolution in design. This Hot Boat Magazine, "Best Offshore Performance Boat", has remained at the top."

-Damn,,, my memory isn't as bad as I thought.
Does concieved mean designed?


I think it does? Learn something new everyday!

RD

TPC
04-14-2008, 04:21 PM
here is a little bio on Don (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Aronow). Awhile back i caught a show on tv about him. American Justice series i think??

There ya have it.
It's all starting to link up.

BajaMike
04-14-2008, 04:22 PM
http://www.mensvogue.com/business/articles/2006/12/18/don_aronow


That guy wrote a pretty good article on Don Awonow, except for the last two paragraphs......

He writes......."By tweaking the throttle, I found I could slam the boat down hard on the waves and send it back up into the air, like a champion powerboater in heavy seas. Racing a Cigarette is a hell of a lot easier than sailing, I decided. It's also more fun."

The writer kinda sounds like a dork!:hmm

TPC
04-15-2008, 04:33 AM
Dunno if anyone remembers,, but at the height of Coles business, Turquoise, Pink, and white boats were the rage tow'd with the lowered Duellys.

Word got around Cole had a boat on his lot that the buyer renig'd on, their credit didn't pass and they forefitted their deposit and walked from the deal.

The second rumor surrounding the boat was the buyers added some red & yellow into the interior color scheme on the order,,, and it was awefull looking when built and they ran from the deal.

Damfino, again rumors, but Cole had this boat on the lot for sale which was rare for him to have any unsold dealer stock on the lot that I can recall, but correct me if I'm wrong.

With this in mind, I had a friend with an interior shop that woulda change'd out the red interior panels for us cheap, and maybe I could pick up a Cole at a bargain price.

I approached Jim,, and the price was rock solid what the orig contract called for.
"If I wanted to sell it cheaper, I'd a priced it cheaper."

Fair take, but the boat was still outta my price range, and I left.
But believe it or not, Turquoise and pink did work quite well in those times.
Still a few around.

MoVal Tim
04-15-2008, 05:02 AM
I couldn't bring myself to do the turquoise & pink thing. Couldn't do the ribbon design that Commander tried either. Repainted my little 70's Cheetah, 10 years ago, that had previously been painted in someones garage (bondo heaven), with deep purple fades and traditional lines. Turned out nice.
But some of the Coles that I saw at the time put it to shame. And I never saw any in poor condition...always well polished...took great pride in the boat.

First time I can recall seeing guys so plastered that they couldn't see straight yet with-it enough to not allow dirty feet in the boat.:beer

SuperDave013
04-15-2008, 05:13 AM
HONDO!


sorry I just had to toss that in there.


HONDO!

Guest
04-15-2008, 05:37 AM
I couldn't bring myself to do the turquoise & pink thing


:eek:

Wheeler
04-15-2008, 07:22 AM
HONDO!
sorry I just had to toss that in there.
HONDO!

I got your Hondo and it ain't floating :smackhead

SuperDave013
04-15-2008, 07:49 AM
I got your Hondo and it ain't floating :smackhead

lol

I did sink a '73 Hondo out at Havasu once. But it was blue and yes, I got it back!

hallett21
05-22-2012, 08:12 PM
Who has the Cole molds now?

j540
05-22-2012, 09:04 PM
Who has the Cole molds now?

What one. The 20' is in Ventura with a flatty and hydro mold.
26" was in Havasu then OC, not sure rt, now but can find out.

hallett21
05-22-2012, 09:35 PM
What one. The 20' is in Ventura with a flatty and hydro mold.
26" was in Havasu then OC, not sure rt, now but can find out.

Just curious more than anything. I really like the 25. I think thats an awesome looking hull. Wish someone would keep building it!

WTMFA
05-22-2012, 10:56 PM
I remember the smell of fiberglass resin late at night when we would street race at canoga & lassen ;)

Chestah Cheetah
05-22-2012, 11:18 PM
Don Arrownow tooled the 34 Magic Sorcerer? I know he designed some cigarettes, and while my memory is fuzzy I think he is the man behind Apache's etc.. I didn't know he did any west coast stuff.

I thought he was killed in the late 80's early 90's by some drug dealer or soemthing?

RD <---- doesn't

FYI- Cigarette was Don Aronow and Apache was Ben Kramer.

Rumor says, Kramer had Aronow killed over the sale of USA Racing (another Aronow boat company).

Carrera Boats
05-29-2012, 10:10 PM
Just curious more than anything. I really like the 25. I think thats an awesome looking hull. Wish someone would keep building it!

Yes they will be back! 22, 25 & 28 Just waiting for the right timing!