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Thread: ? for old rigger

  1. #1
    dankirk
    Old rigger, I find your stories very interesting. My boat is a 1977 Mirage 23 foot daycruiser that I believe was built somewhere in southern Ca. There are pix of it at:
    http://home.socal.rr.com/kirkpatrickcove/
    Do you know anything about the company that built this boat? I can't find any information on it anywhere. Is it a splash, and if so, what was the original? I have had to replace the stringers and the floor, but the hull itself is in great condition. I would appreciate any information you have to share about this boat.
    Thanks, Dan

  2. #2
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    Dan,
    No, I don't think I know who built those, looks kinda like a Sleecraft though. Maybe it was a splash from one of theirs.

  3. #3
    spectras only
    Dan,I know a guy here who has an Omega 23 footer, looks very much like your boat.

  4. #4
    johnnie jetboat
    Old Rigger,
    Like everyone else has said, I really enjoy your stories. You relly know your jet boat history! While everyone is picking your brain on the origin of their boats, I geuss I might as well too.
    Mine is a 1985 Caribbean 18'. I was told it was a 'Marauder' model. The tag inside the boat says 'Hardin Marine'.There is a picture of it on Real jet boats:
    members.nbci.com/***boats/realjetboats.html.
    Click on Heatseeker.
    I saw one in ***boat last year, exact boat except for interior, and they labeled it a Tahiti powered by a 'Harmon Marine' engine.
    If you have any info, I'd appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    John

  5. #5
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    JJ,
    What I know is really just a drop in the bucket compared to what some of the real old time guys know. I really liked being around the shops when I was little and just assorbed it all through the years . I was lucky, I got to work in some pretty cool shops, liked what I was doing and on the weekends still messed with the same things, boats! Got to work along side some of the west coast's best, lots of thes guys went on to bigger and beter things, and I just learned from them,(mostly learned from their mistakes, and I mean that in a good way)
    Hardin, if I remember started out as selling engines with their marine hardware on them as well as selling pumps, just like Harman. The guy that owned Hardin, I think his last name is even Hardin, owned some Oldsmobile dealerships prior to his involvement with the boat bussiness and may still be in the car bussines, I'm not sure. I don't know when they started selling boats but they built both the Caribbean and Tahiti at the same time, along with their involvment with Sea Ray boats. The building they used in Anaheim was one of the old ones that Hawaiian used for a short time before finally settling in the 2 buildings on Container Lane in Huntington Beach.
    I wondered why Hardin always sold the boats under the 2 different names and was told by one of the guys that ran that bussiness that they liked to offer two different grades, if you will, of boats. Made no sense to me. They were all being built by the same guys, are they not going to do as good as job on one as they would the other? I have never heard bad things about their boats, or one actually being any better than the other. Maybe some of you guys that own them have a little better insight, after all you are the guys that use them, who would know better?

  6. #6
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    JJ,
    Oh yeah, that Tahiti you saw with the Harman equipped engine was more than likley built By Schuster, or Bell inc. prior to Hardins ownership of the name Tahiti. Can't imagine them using a competitors product in their boat, but, stranger things have happened.

  7. #7
    johnnie jetboat
    OR,
    Thanks for the info.
    You ought to write a book...
    John

  8. #8
    mikey
    Know those boats well! Worked for a company in Colton, Inland Empire Marine, back in 1977 That sold Mirage boats. The original was designed by Don Kirby back in 1976. A glass shop in Anaheim California built the hulls and sold them to many different manufactures. The hulls were rigged under the names of Manta Ray, Mirage, Can Am, Rainbow, Eagle Pacific, Waikiki and many other. Most of the companies got the name "91 freeway Flyers" because they were located off the 91 freeway and moved alot or did not last long. The bottom was a splash of an early Lavey Craft 22' Day Cruiser. Wriedt and Avenger used the same bottom for their 23' cruisers. Crusader built a version, same deck but with a different bottom. Far as I know, Omega boats in Montclair still builds the same boat.
    Mike

  9. #9
    mikey
    Hardin Marine started out in the parts department of Hardin Oldsmobile. They sold marine parts and converted Olds motors for marine use. Hardin sold Jacuzzi pumps in the begining and than switched to Berkeley. Tahiti/Caribbein boats was sold to Hardin in the very early 80's (I worked for Lazer boats in 84/85. we bought Tahiti hulls from Hardin and sold them under the Lazer name). The next purchase for Hardin was the Berkeley pump company. The company moved from Anaheim to Mira Loma (almost accros from Eliminator) in the 90's. I think Vic Hardin is still in the car biz today. Only dealership I know of is Hardin Honda off the 57 freeway. Barry Lieberman (hope I spelled his last name right) ran the Marine division from the start until it closed a few years ago. He bought the Hardin Marine name and now has 2 stores. One at Lake Arrowhead and the other in Corona.
    Mike

  10. #10
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    Don Kirby. There's a name from the past. When I was a kid he had his little Funny Car/glass shop on Clark st., a few blocks from my house. I could piss away a day by ridding my little stingray bike to Wiemans boat shop (Roger Weiman grew up in the same nieghbor hood as me and went to school with my Mom)and check out things there , head across the street to the Tahiti shop,and see my Dad and his buddies, cut down Ceder st. to Clark and go by Kirbys and see an honest to god funny car being built. It was heaven.
    Don's brother Bud rigged for Schuster when he had the Hawaiian shop going. Last time I saw him he was living in his truck doing work at a few different shops.
    I worked with Don at Warlock. He ran the glass shop there and was fighting the results of not taking care of his Diabites problem, which he died from.
    When he was in Florida building those big Cats, in the 80's I think, he had some really good stories to tell from that experence. They were laminating coke in the floors for guys that ran between the different Islands down there. Stuff like that. I know the $hit hit the fan for him there but I don't know to what extent. He could spin a pretty good yarn, and loved an audience, so he might have streeeeeetched the truth a just a little bit.

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