Not to burst your bubble about hydrostreams, but in 1978 I investigated 4 fatalities that occurred on 3 Hydrostream boats within a few days of each other. All of them kited at highspeed (one was doing over 90 mph) and flipped. So if you are not familiar with Hydrostreams, take a long slow time to get to know the boat. During that investigation I talked to several professionals that raced them and rigged them for racing and they all said that they were really dangerous in the hands of an amateur. (now I'll probably get threats from Hydrostream owners) So dream on but be safe.
Obviously the accidents at that kind of speed happened with V-6 power and the earlier boats were not designed for that speed or power but lots of guys did it, as the inlines and V4's aged and where replaced... a handful indeed. The later larger models where fine at 90 plus but, not the earlier ones. 90 in any boat is an excersize in driver engagement and experience. The smaller ones got a hook put in on the later years to keep kiting less of a risk when in the hands of the inexperienced and bolt on speed equipment became readily available. Having the windshield on also helps keep the bow down, racers and go fast guys took them off.
I kept mine stock original, 74 inline 1500 which is what this model ( 74 Vector) was designed for. Power trim is limited, motor is on transom which was the intent in 74. No jack plates etc. where available in those years. It's good for about 69 when all is right so not scary fast not scary unstable but you need to pay attention above 64 or so to squeak out the last 4 to 5 mph when conditions warrant.
I restored this for sentimental reasons but, I also thought it important to preserve some original design thinking in the form it was envisioned rather than simply to go fast. It took me years to find a suitable example to restore, original gel, original motor no stress cracks etc. That said the balsa core and transom had to come out, ugly ugly work. Howard Pipcorn, the founder of Stream incorporated a lot of design elements not seen till he did the streams. The pad v bottom, stepped transoms, aero considerations and using curved surfaces for rigidity with lightness had not been brought together till he made these. Look at a modern Bass boat bottom.....Hmmmmm, nothing new there. This is how the average guy went fast in the early 70's. Not a perfect boat by any means, compromises made for greater top speed but it was like nothing before or after.
Yes they ripped off the cool windshield idea of Glastron, so did Sidewinder, Tahiti, Chrysler and countless others but, that's pretty much where the comparison stops. It's apples and oranges in driving, speed personalities for better or worse. Streams really do fly, you can feel it, the others are more solid in the water, way more secure feeling but slower hence the compromise. I have had them all, all great but, sentiment won over so I kept the Stream. I'd never make the case it's "better" ....different, yes.
Lots of good fine period correct GT series Glastrons out there but most vintage streams have been abused cut up and are beat so I thought it worth preserving one the way Howard made it.
Anyway, it's all good and an era of 70's boating that's now gone, good for us in keeping them alive.
Excellent assessment and assertion Randy, thank you. Peter your cautions are also fairly noted, that being the problem (drivers unfamiliar with their craft) with many of the "speed boats" of that era.
The Glastron GT-150 being and excellent example of a "mid 50's MPH ski boat" that many thought would make a fast "60+ speed boat". VERY dangerous when pushed beyond it's design limits and HP ratings - I'm here to tell you! Still and all a great Glassic hull design very similar to the 'stream Just my two cents....
Good post Randy. Two of those accidents were teenagers who really didn't know what they were doing. They took Dad's boat and ended up bad. Like handing a formula one car to a 16 year old. However, the third accident was an experienced racer who was testing out a new boat. So you really do need to get to know the boats. Boats built after the 70's may have been better and had less tendency to take off. I don't know. I have little experience with them, and even though I was offered a ride by a Hydrostream dealer on long Island, I chickened out. That boat had two 100 HP O/B's on it. Thanks but no thanks. I have gone about 65 on the water but above that scares the sh... out of me. I'll stick with my 72 Searay. It's not quite that fast.