Hey everyone, I ended up with this boat I believe is a 1960 Cutter 17' la Avon Hardtop convertible and it is in great shape. It was in a barn since mid 60s and has the original mercury motor but hasnt ran since the mid 60s. It is left hand drive which I personally have never seen in a boat. It has original interior bench seats which are in good shape except the back one has a tear in it. I was told it is the original trailer too. I can find very little info on this boat to verify anything about it. Is there a market for something like this? I know this isnt the classified section but any info / insight would be greatly appreciated. I have a bunch more pics. Thanks
The motor is awesome. I’m assuming it’s a 1960 which was the first year for the Merc 800 DR. Direct Reverse 76ci inline six, "Tower of Power".
The 800 was offered as a Full Shift model in 1961. So easy to operate a woman can do it.
Fine print in the ad stated an option (b) was yet available, direct-reversing engines preferred by many experienced outboaders… No running neutral and thus became affectionately known as a dock buster.
I would be interested to see more shots of your old Merc with the cowl wrap removed to see the motor itself.
Congrats! Awesome looking boat in great condition! And you could probably switch to right and if you wanted. I believe the log on the right can be popped into the spot on the left and the steering moved. Maybe the holes aren't the same size, but many boats came from the factory with the ability to be either side.
Having the helm on the left was not uncommon back before the 70's. Afterwards having the helm on the right became a sort of standard. No law requires it. But since the right is the danger sector in the nav rules, now everybody puts the helm on the right except center consoles.
I'm going to go a little off subject here, but IKE you are the man to explaining the rules, plus explaining the rules dictated by the coastguard regulations and safe boating in general through research and testing. I / plus everyone else here really appreciate what you did or still do.
Thank You so much !!!
I agree with what Chuck said, Ike. I have a notepad with some of the good information you have shared. On that steering left or right subject, I was wondering how much it had to do with prop torque direction since that Merc had left hand rotation which might slightly raise the left port side and therefore the weight of a lone driver might level things out.... then the right hand rotation lower units came along and just the opposite might apply. I have ridden in some 17 foot modern vee outboard boats that were so sensitive to weight distribution that as a passenger, whatever side I swapped to, the boat ran hard on the flat side of the vee... so very tilted I could hardly believe it compared to riding in other boats... disclaimer... does being 240 pounds maybe be the problem? I know multiple propulsion rigs use counter rotators to help boats stay more level. What are other people’s experience with the years changing from left to right? I am sure there were also plenty of motor swaps back in the day so who knows? Just curious if prop torque rotation was one reason.
Don't know about the torque issue. However torque will definitely make the stern of the boat go left or right depending on the prop rotation. Small boast are very sensitive to weight distribution and if the helm is on one side and you are the only one in the boat it will heel that way. As years have gone by builders are making boats lighter and lighter which magnifies the weight distribution issue. The larger and heavier the boat the less the problem. My old boat is really heavy so my weight (160) doesn't affect it much, but I have been in lighter boats where it does.
Boats have been steered from the starboard side since ancient times. The steering board on the Viking ships was on the right side.
The term Starboard is derived from Old English, sterorbord, and it was on the right side for normal right-handed sailors. The ship was docked on the left side, Portside, to keep the steering board clear of the dock.
I believe boats in the sixties were offered with portside steering simply due to automotive influence.