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who knows about Belmont boats of Fresno?

bent rim

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I am try'n to find out anything about Belmont boats. This is what I believe to be true: They were out of fresno and built boats from the early '70's to? and recently closed thier doors as Belmont marine off of Belmont ave. they used to have pretty fast boats per a couple of my neighbors, they remember them racing in Long Beach and doing well? Other then that I got nothing. Any shared knowledge would be great.
 

Doug Harvill

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I just acquired a Belmont with a Ford flat head. Any body know anything about them? I know they were built in Fresno. It's a first time boat restoration project for a car guy. Thanks for the help.
 

RogerThat99

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I know Chili on the boards has a Belmont jet.
 

gsnyder

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I am try'n to find out anything about Belmont boats. This is what I believe to be true: They were out of fresno and built boats from the early '70's to? and recently closed thier doors as Belmont marine off of Belmont ave. they used to have pretty fast boats per a couple of my neighbors, they remember them racing in Long Beach and doing well? Other then that I got nothing. Any shared knowledge would be great.
This company does exsists. They were founded back in the earliy fifties and it has been a father son busness for years. And I beleave it is still that way today. The reason I know about them is because I own a 1957 belmont boat with the original 1956 cadac engine in it with two four barrel carbs, boarded and strok 50 pounds over, and a 1to1 ratio drive train. They made about five or six in 1956 to sell them in 1957
What is unique is that they were one of the first compines to Fiber Glass their boats over the wood to keep the boats unnique. Holds six and the LA transmission in the front makes that boat roar across the lakes and seas. I did a full exclusive report in 2002 on the story of Belmont Boats for my snior project. Their are only two left on record for that year and i happen to inheriate one from my father. Hope this answers some of your questions
 

azmedic2007

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My dad has had 2 belmonts and was raised in the fresno area. The first belmont he had was a 59 with a cadillac motor in it. While my mom was pulling him skiing, the motor threw a rod through the side of the block. They decided to sell the boat after that and soon purchased a 69 Belmont Flat-bottom with a 390 Ford and Thoroughbred V-Drive from a guy in Bakersfield who raced the boat. From talking with my dad and uncle who have been very familiar with the belmont and sanger history, this is what I found out....Belmont started sometime in the early 50's as said here and was a father/son team with mom even helping sometimes. The boats were made to order so only a few at a time were made each year. The boats smashed all sorts of records and were speed demons. Sometime in the 70's, the old man was taking a customer on a test ride and flipped the boat killing the customer. Apparently he swore never to make another flat-bottom for anyone. The boats are incredibly well built and are distinctive in the water.
 

Deadendgraphics

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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1343367634.446693.jpg
This is my Belmont it's a 72 had a 455 and a berk. I'm currently doing a build on this boat, I will be keeping the berk and adding a BBC. I'm going all out on this boat, show quality. It's a deep v hull and on the heavy side, witch I really like for a river,lake boat. It's by far the smoothest boat I've been in to date!
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1343368185.947727.jpg
 

ColoradoRiverRat

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Belmont Boats of Fresno put their heart & soul into the masterpieces they made. I'll never part with this one (Maybe$$$$$) I show this one off in the Fresno area, it's a head turner. This was the last boat made from this mold and was originaly made as a v-drive but the plans were changed to have a 260hp 5.7 litre MerCruiser
 

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5akman

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Didn't they also make a deeper hulled v drive with windshield? Looked kind of like a Century Arabian....
 

JusTrouble

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This company does exsists. They were founded back in the earliy fifties and it has been a father son busness for years. And I beleave it is still that way today. The reason I know about them is because I own a 1957 belmont boat with the original 1956 cadac engine in it with two four barrel carbs, boarded and strok 50 pounds over, and a 1to1 ratio drive train. They made about five or six in 1956 to sell them in 1957
What is unique is that they were one of the first compines to Fiber Glass their boats over the wood to keep the boats unnique. Holds six and the LA transmission in the front makes that boat roar across the lakes and seas. I did a full exclusive report in 2002 on the story of Belmont Boats for my snior project. Their are only two left on record for that year and i happen to inheriate one from my father. Hope this answers some of your questions
You guys still out there? I see this post was a while ago but I am new to this stuff and new here today. I have a 1967 Belmont flatbottom, the 3rd 19' made. I spent a lot of time at the shop in the late 60's and know some of that history but I am wanting more information from anyone who might know. I would love to see your report!!
 

azmedic2007

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What else would you like to know? I'm about to start the teardown of my dad's 1969 to have ready for Father's Day at Camp Far West.
 

JusTrouble

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What else would you like to know? I'm about to start the teardown of my dad's 1969 to have ready for Father's Day at Camp Far West.
Im still in Fresno. Ive had Dad's 67 buried in the garage since 2000 but got it cleaned up and running good. Ive been in the lake several times a week all summer and loving it. I went out to the old shop which is now called Belmont Marine and spoke with the guy who bought the company from the son, Lynn Weeks. He told me that Smitty passed away 3 yrs ago at the age of 93. Lynn is in very poor health and not available. Dad had a late 50's Belmont before he got the flatbottom. I'd love to see pics of any Belmonts and try to establish a timeline history of the company for everyone to enjoy if we can gather some facts and photos.

Post some pics of your 69 with more info! You anywhere near Fresno or are you in AZ?
 

JusTrouble

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This company does exsists. They were founded back in the earliy fifties and it has been a father son busness for years. And I beleave it is still that way today. The reason I know about them is because I own a 1957 belmont boat with the original 1956 cadac engine in it with two four barrel carbs, boarded and strok 50 pounds over, and a 1to1 ratio drive train. They made about five or six in 1956 to sell them in 1957
What is unique is that they were one of the first compines to Fiber Glass their boats over the wood to keep the boats unnique. Holds six and the LA transmission in the front makes that boat roar across the lakes and seas. I did a full exclusive report in 2002 on the story of Belmont Boats for my snior project. Their are only two left on record for that year and i happen to inheriate one from my father. Hope this answers some of your questions
I would love to see your senior report on Belmont Boats and pics of yours!
 

azmedic2007

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I live in Lake Tahoe. The boat is down near Bakersfield where I will have to make monthly trips to work on it. My mom is gather pics for me to scan. I'm about to buy a 69 Sanger as well.
 

JusTrouble

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shoot me some specs on the 69 while you are waiting for pics

Maybe Ill post a similar thread here to the one I did on another site re my Belmont
Here is a pic
IMG_0280.jpg
 

azmedic2007

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shoot me some specs on the 69 while you are waiting for pics

Maybe Ill post a similar thread here to the one I did on another site re my Belmont
Here is a pic
View attachment 294823
My dad's is a 1969, 20' length, looks very similar to yours actually. His has a 390 Ford in it that came out of the 69 Ford truck the guy that owned it before my dad put in after blowing up his 427 side oiler at some race. My dad has had his boat since 1977. It has a Thoroughbred V-drive with the straight cut gears. Back in 91 or 92, my uncle stripped all the old paint off it down to bare fiberglass and repainted it. After the guy changed motors, he put in front back seats and sold it to my dad. I learned to ski and barefoot behind it. For years, all we ever did was change the oil and plugs at the beginning of a season and that boat was reliable as hell.
 

Jeffry

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I am try'n to find out anything about Belmont boats. This is what I believe to be true: They were out of fresno and built boats from the early '70's to? and recently closed thier doors as Belmont marine off of Belmont ave. they used to have pretty fast boats per a couple of my neighbors, they remember them racing in Long Beach and doing well? Other then that I got nothing. Any shared knowledge would be great.
I can probably fill in some information for you. I worked for Belmont between 1971 and 1975 as a summer job during my high school and college years. Smitty hired me when he saw how well my brother and I assembled our 19' flatbottom. Much like your dad, we did everything ourselves. Ours had a 440 Chrysler Wedge and a Casale V-Drive. Our engine came from a wrecking yard, so we rebuilt it with lots of high-performance goodies. It was an awesome boat, handled great and was very fast. We used to go to Millerton every Sunday with others who had both Belmonts and Sangers. We would party on the beach at Sky Harbor and periodically go out for some racing or skiing. The best part was winning drag races against the rich kids who's daddy gave them a boat, and we were just two poor backyard amateur mechanics. If I can figure out how to include photos, I will add some to my post.

When I was working at Belmont, we were mostly building jet boats. Smitty had designed a custom v-bottom hull using the 19' flatbottom as a template. He actually got it patented. It was the fastest stock boat using the Berkeley 455 Olds Pack-a-Jet power unit. He also retrofitted the design into a 21' luxury day cruiser. While I was there, a guy named Simon did all the fiberglass work out back, and I did the hardware installations along with a guy named Bob. Lynn would stop by periodically. The most awesome part of that job was listening to the many stories Smitty told us based on his years of custom boat building and racing. There were many photos around the shop of his old wood boats, including one that resembled a shark and many custom wood inboards that he built for clients at Lake Tahoe.
 

JusTrouble

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Hey Jeffry, are you still in the Fresno area? PM me. I'd like to talk more about Belmont. I will have my 67 in the boat show at Bass Lake Saturday. Come by and say hi

JT
 

Jeffry

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My dad has had 2 belmonts and was raised in the fresno area. The first belmont he had was a 59 with a cadillac motor in it. While my mom was pulling him skiing, the motor threw a rod through the side of the block. They decided to sell the boat after that and soon purchased a 69 Belmont Flat-bottom with a 390 Ford and Thoroughbred V-Drive from a guy in Bakersfield who raced the boat. From talking with my dad and uncle who have been very familiar with the belmont and sanger history, this is what I found out....Belmont started sometime in the early 50's as said here and was a father/son team with mom even helping sometimes. The boats were made to order so only a few at a time were made each year. The boats smashed all sorts of records and were speed demons. Sometime in the 70's, the old man was taking a customer on a test ride and flipped the boat killing the customer. Apparently he swore never to make another flat-bottom for anyone. The boats are incredibly well built and are distinctive in the water.
Actually, it was the son, Lynn, who had the accident, and it wasn't a test drive. He was just out having fun one evening, when a friend of a friend asked for a ride, which ended in tragedy. He had never met the man previously. The best guess was that he was traveling at top speed when the boat hit something floating on the water, rupturing the front part of the hull. The water rushing in blew the deck off. The boat went down in the channel between the main body of Millerton Lake and the Sky Harbor beach, in about 200' of water. Divers who were looking for the body found the hull and marked it with a buoy. I went to the lake and helped Smitty bring it up. We actually towed the work barge to the crash site using a 1971 flatbottom out of the Belmont Boats showroom. What we recovered was the bottom portion of the hull (no deck) with about half of the front portion missing. The stringers were fully intact, with the v-drive and motor still attached. We only had the buoy marker rope to pull it up, which was a bit precarious. To secure it to the side of the barge, I jumped in and tied more ropes to the Tunnel Ram and the drive shaft. When we got to the Madera side boat ramp and got it on a trailer, Smitty quickly covered it with tarps. He didn't want people seeing one of his boats in pieces. He was a very proud man, who I respected deeply. My understanding was that there were significant legal battles involving insurance companies and the family of the deceased. Not sure how it financially turned out, but I know it had a major emotional impact on Smitty and Lynn. As you noted, they never built another flatbottom. But I believe that decision had already been made before the accident, as they were manufacturing solely Jet boats at that time.

I eventually purchased that 1971 flatbottom from the original buyer. I put a new 460 Ford in it and then added a twin turbocharger system designed by Tom Scahill. It was mighty fast. That boat is now in Tuscon at my brother's place. He used it for a while when his kids were into skiing, but it has been parked in a garage for the past 5-10 years. I am considering retrieving it and seeing if I can restore it back to its glory.
 

Jeffry

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Hey Jeffry, are you still in the Fresno area? PM me. I'd like to talk more about Belmont. I will have my 67 in the boat show at Bass Lake Saturday. Come by and say hi

JT
No, I have lived in Eastern Washington state for the past 22 years.

I have fond memories of Bass Lake though. Our family had a cabin there when I was growing up. My brother and I took our first Belmont up there a few times. I remember the lake being a bit small, crowded and too rough for any serious boating, but it was fun. Enjoy the boat show.
 
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Actually, it was the son, Lynn, who had the accident, and it wasn't a test drive. He was just out having fun one evening, when a friend of a friend asked for a ride, which ended in tragedy. He had never met the man previously. The best guess was that he was traveling at top speed when the boat hit something floating on the water, rupturing the front part of the hull. The water rushing in blew the deck off. The boat went down in the channel between the main body of Millerton Lake and the Sky Harbor beach, in about 200' of water. Divers who were looking for the body found the hull and marked it with a buoy. I went to the lake and helped Smitty bring it up. We actually towed the work barge to the crash site using a 1971 flatbottom out of the Belmont Boats showroom. What we recovered was the bottom portion of the hull (no deck) with about half of the front portion missing. The stringers were fully intact, with the v-drive and motor still attached. We only had the buoy marker rope to pull it up, which was a bit precarious. To secure it to the side of the barge, I jumped in and tied more ropes to the Tunnel Ram and the drive shaft. When we got to the Madera side boat ramp and got it on a trailer, Smitty quickly covered it with tarps. He didn't want people seeing one of his boats in pieces. He was a very proud man, who I respected deeply. My understanding was that there were significant legal battles involving insurance companies and the family of the deceased. Not sure how it financially turned out, but I know it had a major emotional impact on Smitty and Lynn. As you noted, they never built another flatbottom. But I believe that decision had already been made before the accident, as they were manufacturing solely Jet boats at that time.

I eventually purchased that 1971 flatbottom from the original buyer. I put a new 460 Ford in it and then added a twin turbocharger system designed by Tom Scahill. It was mighty fast. That boat is now in Tuscon at my brother's place. He used it for a while when his kids were into skiing, but it has been parked in a garage for the past 5-10 years. I am considering retrieving it and seeing if I can restore it back to its glory.
 
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So my friend has a "72" Belmont w/ a 350 Chevy in it. He bought it from a Lady in Cedar City Utah who's husband owned it ( The Husband passed away)
 

JusTrouble

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Where is the 72 located? Tell us about the boat.
JT
 

GO68FAST

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I am try'n to find out anything about Belmont boats. This is what I believe to be true: They were out of fresno and built boats from the early '70's to? and recently closed thier doors as Belmont marine off of Belmont ave. they used to have pretty fast boats per a couple of my neighbors, they remember them racing in Long Beach and doing well? Other then that I got nothing. Any shared knowledge would be great.
 

GO68FAST

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Hello.. are you still there? I have what looks to be the same model you have. Its been in the barn for 10 years now. 20ft Belmont flatbottom vdrive. When i bought it the seats were bouncing around as well as the gastank. Rebuilt the trans, had the prop balanced. Bearing and shaft look good... someone had put nails into the stringer to hold down the seats. Gastank was glassed onto a board and hammered down as well. Ive built some metal seat mounts and plan to do aluminum gastank mounts. I would like to get a look at your gastank mounts. Should i push the tank up into the fiberglass crossmember? Or should i keep it away from the fiberglass up there? And... there have been so many holes nailed and drilled into the stringers there by the seats and gastank... so much weight. I plan to drill out all the holes and glue in some dowels i guess? I love the laid glass and dont want to ruin such a nice boat... pictures of how your gasstank and seat mounts would be appreciated. I having trouble navigating this sight.. reach me at Countrylanelabs@aol.com.. thanks. Richard
 

71belmont351

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Hey I just inherited a 71 Belmont it’s a 8 seater with a 351w v drive It was my grandfathers I grew up going to milerton and Hensley on that boat and I’m in the process of getting her ready for the water again if anyone has any information on history of the boats I knew they were a Fresno boat but all the pictures I can find are of 4 seaters or 6 seaters but nothing similar to mine I can send pictures to anyone who can help me dig up some history on her email me please therednoseguy@gmail.com !
 

jmeads

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Hey I just inherited a 71 Belmont it’s a 8 seater with a 351w v drive It was my grandfathers I grew up going to milerton and Hensley on that boat and I’m in the process of getting her ready for the water again if anyone has any information on history of the boats I knew they were a Fresno boat but all the pictures I can find are of 4 seaters or 6 seaters but nothing similar to mine I can send pictures to anyone who can help me dig up some history on her email me please therednoseguy@gmail.com !

Post some pictures of your boat, you will get a better response.
 

71belmont351

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Sorry it took me a while to post but here’s my Belmont I’ll get a picture of the rudder plate by the motor but it says on it Belmont boats Fresno California then #7
 

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70belmont427

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I have had this 1970 Belmont shallow V bottom for years.
FB_IMG_1532130472569.jpg
My Dad had a Raysoncraft years prior and when my sister and I got older, he decided he wanted a v-drive again. We found this beautiful unrestored Belmont in Discovery Bay. It has a Ford 427FE and a Casale v-drive.
 
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