A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet up with Glenn Prine to check out his amazing 75 Howard 21 V-drive. Gene Willen had told me about this boat at last years Howard Regatta and said "You have to see it in person to believe it." While Gene has never been one to live in the past, this particular boat was so clean that Gene actually made a cash offer on the boat in an act of reminiscence. (Gene's not exactly known for doing that. Point of fact I don't believe I have ever heard of Gene doing that before, which is a testament to how this boat shows in person)
The boat was purchased by Glenn in 1979 from the infamous Art Kaiser that used it as one of his Race Boats. This boat itself was in fact a former offshore race boat, and a "Points Champion!" Before his passing, Howard Brown (Founder of Howard Boats) drove the boat, and fondly remembered the custom layup that was done during the build. While the original Howard's were always built stout, this boat was purpose built for offshore racing, and had a couple extra layers of glass added to the bottom of it. The boat didn't need much when Glenn Bought it, a little TLC and an interior more suited to river lifestyle as opposed to offshore racing and they were on the water.
By 2008 the now thirty three year old boat had started showing it's age so Glenn had it color sanded and now put in what would be the second interior in the boat. While he was at it he decided to throw a new motor in it, and redo the plating on the Cavitation Hardware. The boat came out looking like a shiny new penny, and caught the eye of a photographer for Hotboat Magazine. Glenn told me the story, and he swelled with pride when he said "I thought it was just going to be some filler pictures, and it surprised us all when they used it as the centerfold for the magazine!"
(40 years later this boat still looks as good as the day it rolled off the showroom! The Chrome work is phenomenal!)
Three years ago the boat had it's 37'th birthday, and it was due for some gel work. As with most of these projects, the clean up snowballed into a total make over with Glenn deciding to change the colors to red (from brown) and make it the boat that you see today. Glenn isn't the type of guy to settle for "second best" to he enlisted Lee Spindler and crew at Schiada Boats for the glass and gel work. He wanted to keep the original lines, but wanted to give it some subtle modern touches. They elected to remove the nonskid from the deck to give the boat a "smoother" look, and they added a slight fade in the red that if you look closely you can see.
(Note the original wood grain was left on the dash to pay homage to it's heritage)
(Here you can see the flawless glass and gel worked performed by Schiada Boats)
Next stop was over to long time friend "Bob Teague's" place where Bob and crew went through the entire running gear of the boat. The boat sports a C-500 Gear box currently spinning 15's to a 1 1/8th prop shaft (heavy duty) and finishing at a Bronson stainless 12x15 three blade prop. Teague Custom Marine was also charged with removing, polishing and re-plating all of the transom hardware. Between the gel and the hardware now it again looks like it just rolled off the factory floor! To prep the boat for it's now third motor Teague redid most of the plumbing and added fuel filters, and sea strainers and just updated the overall look of the transom and rigging.
Glenn had a 500 inch Pfaff motor built that features all the good stuff that a roller motor would typically have. Sissel's Automotive dead the heads and installed the B&M Blower and superchiller. One of the coolest things you will see in this engine bay though is the custom "Tri - Y" headers that were made by Paul Bassett specifically for this boat. The headers were done this way so that the engine hatch could close without interference. The fact that Tri Y's can typically build a lot of torque doesn't hurt either.
Written by : RiverDave
Photo's : RiverDave