In 1965 Chrysler Corporation decided to get into manufacturing Fiberglass and Aluminum Boats. They did what every great American company would do back in the day, they bought one of the country's best boat companies, well known for their innovations and quality, a company called Loan Star Boats out of Plano Texas. Loan Star was a company rich in manufacturing and cutting edge design. Once Chrysler took over, they brought out their “Hydro-Vee” hull design, basically a deep V hull with sponsons for lateral stability. It was the first hull completely designed by Chrysler itself, rather than Lone Star, it came in six different, and all new, forms, ranging from 14 to 23 feet in length; each boat had different styling and shapes.
Hot Boat magazine, in a 1967 article, noted that the 16 foot Chrysler Charger with Hydro-Vee hull cost $1,495, and had 183 cubic feet of interior space with a hull weight of 820 pounds and capacity of 1,380 pounds. They called the Charger “a soft rider with flatter corning ability than a deep V” and noted that the finish and detail were “excellent.” They liked the new style, and noted that the hull was quieter than most because the bottom was filled with polyethylene foam. The boat was measured at achieving 42 mph within ten seconds, and getting 5.5 mpg at 2,500 rpm, and 4.6 miles per gallon from 3,500-4,000 rpm.
Hot Boat concluded that the Charger was “a well executed and beautifully conceived job” that “accelerates like a bomb” with it's 96.5 cubic inch engine; gas mileage wasn't bad - and the steering wheel was taken from the Dodge Charger and Plymouth Barracuda. The Hydro-Vee boat design, matching trailer, quality and workmanship helped Chrysler obtain 45.5% of the marine market.
George Shahovskoy of Hot Boat commented, “The boats were so far ahead of their time, it is sickening! The full foam flotation was mandatory per USCG requirements in later years to keep consumer boats from sinking completely. Should a boater hole his or her boat, the boat would only fill up to the gunwale and never sink completely, thereby letting the passengers stay with the vessel until rescue. Again, Chrysler was far ahead of its time.”
Chrysler Outboard Corporation, with a 590,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Hartford WI, 30 miles south of Milwaukee, made 40 different outboard engines, ranging from 3.5 to 135 horsepower. A subsidiary, Chrysler Canada Outboard Ltd., produced outboard engines in 34,000 square foot factory and made boats in a 67,500 square foot facility, both in Barrie, Ontario, fifty miles north of Toronto. The outboards were distributed in 125 countries. Chrysler Marine became the industry standard in the Seventies
Follow the complete restoration of this Charger Boat over the next few of months. The boat fiberglass is in exceptional condition with the need of a new floor, seats, floor and vinyl trim. The motor is ready and has been refinished By Central Connecticut Automotive out of New Britain, CT. Next, the Boat Trailer will be off to the Master Blaster for a strip and then off to Central Connecticut Automotive for a repaint in it's original Sand Pebble Color.
Wanted: Any original Chrysler Crew memorabilia, boat parts and Outboard Marine parts that would compliment the collection / preservation of the Chrysler Charger and Chrysler Sport Satellite Boats.