Re: The ChampioN World Ã‚Â– According to Pat Goff (Gunnar)
Thanks for the history lesson. I have a 1989 184SC that will turn 20 years old this August. I always thought it was the best boat I had ever driven or rode in and you confirmed that for me. I run a 175XP (original motor) with a Renegade 23 x 13.5. Top speed GPS is 63.5. I read that you mentioned Tempest was the standard for years. Since i like to tinker a bit myself; what Tempest would you suggest if i were to switch?
Last question is about carpet weight. After twenty years the carpet on the deck has worn through and i want to replace it myself. I contacted Champion and of course no one there has a clue what weight carpet was used in the 184's in 1989. I thought that you might remember. My guess is 16oz. What do you think?
Thanks again for the history. I originally bought this boat from Red Wing in Houston and have since moved to KY, TN, WI and now live in MN. No one up here has ever seen a Champ and wonder what it is when I pass most of them by!
Re: The ChampioN World Ã‚Â– According to Pat Goff (pmgoffjr)
This is just GREAT,,,I've so enjoyed and will pass it on to other Champion fans,,,Got my first in 1990,,,my 184 is still great,,I've purchased a new 203 LE and should be hauling her from TN in the next two weeks,,,
Thanks so much for the history lesson,,,and the driving tips.
****2008 203 LE ****
****Boat #6 ****
****250 Pro XS ****
Re: The ChampioN World Ã‚Â– According to Pat Goff (Gunnar)
Thanks for this great info on the history of our Champs. I found it ereally interesting as I have owned three over the last twenty plus years. My first one was an 1984 156 single console no windshield with a 140 Evinrude, the only 15 foot boat I have seen that was rated for that kind of horsepower. Neat little boat when I learned how to drive it,, but by no means the kind of boat the later ones are. I was told by the guy that used to be the Champion dealer in Redding Ca. that there were only four of them built this way,,however I have no idea myself. The next boat was an 1987 184 with a 175 Merc. as you say probably the best ride of any of them. It always cracked me up to hear people who did'nt own one put them down for the 86 inch beam. I never had a problem with it. The only reason I sold it was because it was the f/s and I wanted more deck. My next and present boat is a 191 Elite 1998 that I hung a 200 Opti on in 07,,the handling is still great but a little tail heavy when idling along, Great ride and handling and fast enough, I run a 25 inch trophy and it is easily the most forgiving boat I have owned. I have never gps'd it and don't really care as long as I am getting the right rpm's and ride!
Re: The ChampioN World Ã‚Â– According to Pat Goff (siskiyoucrash)
Correction on mtn home vs. murfreesboro boat models.
Actually the 196 and 206 were original mtn home boats.
The 198 was introduced in late 2004 in Mufreesboro.
The 206 became a cmodular console boat in 2003--prior to that they were a solid console as was the 196.
Re: The ChampioN World Ã‚Â– According to Pat Goff (E73bass)
Great history of Champion I wish I would have found this site a few years ago. This is my first post and a rather lengthy one so please don’t judge. I started writing this and was flooded of such great memories as a child and became more engrossed and excited as I typed. I have some history and experence with Champion also and would like to share a story or two. This stems from around 1973-1985. Also realize that I was born in 1973 so I may be off in a year or so on stuff cause we left Mt. Home when I was 12. I do have a mind like an elephant tho and I have a love affair with old school Champion boats and there history. As for the validity of my stories you'll be able to tell if I'm bull crapping or not. Some was first hand witnessed and others were passed from my father and grandfather to me. My father started at Champion in the mid 70's rigging boats and eventually became General Manager before John fired him around the summer of '85. My grandfather (moms side)worked as a salesman for Champion for a while (I'm not sure how many years as I was little guy back then) and he got fired too. If you know my Gramps you know what a character he is.
Story #1: The burning down of Champion (Believe around 1980). I remember my mother getting a call from my older sisters friend who said that Champion was on fire. My mom and dad immediately left and responed to the "shop". Sure enough it was going up in flames. Several of the workers (my father included) were running inside trying to pull some of the molds out. The firefighters were giving them hell but they got a few out. I remember the days to follow when my father was coughing up black goo from inhaling all the fumes as they tried to save a few molds. The shop was pretty much totaled. Storie was ruined and broke. UNTIL he and my father went to see my grandfather (dads father)who owned his own buisness a few states north. Storie needed a re-bulid stash and asked my grandfather for a loan. My grandfather spoke with his lawyers and was advised NOT to give Storie the loan as it was to risky an investment. He instead chose to loan the money to my father who then intern loaned the money to Storie. Without that loan Champion may never have been. I was told that once on his feet Storie promptly paid the loan back. I'm very proud that my family namely my father did this.
Story 2: I was always told that the fist V-hull was taken from a Skeeter Wrangler that Skeeter took from an Hydrastream. The Story goes that Storie sent my grandfather to a Skeeter dealer and bought a plain old gelcoat Skeeter boat and brought it back. They tore it apart, moved the console from the middle to the back and highly modified the hull. I belive this was the start of the super v hulls. Was also told that Charger did the same thing but with a Champion boat. Dad said what ever (Charger) did to it they wouldnt hold a candle to the Champions.
Story 3: The tunnal hull prototype. I beleive two or three were built. Storie wanted it made but back in the day (late 70's) the the biggest engines were 150's until Johnson came out with the 175's. Great idea (probably ahead of its time) but not enough HP to get them up and take advantage of the tunnel hull idea. I remember seeing one as a kid and thinking they were the coolest thing since sliced bread. Dad said they weren't real fast but turned like hell! EDIT: do to the craigs list notice I just found maybe they did bulid more than a few. Tried to post pics but I'm computor challeneged.
Story 4: The Swift. I remember when these came out. It was just a Champion with a solid top cover, two bucket seats and either a bench seat or a few more bucket seats along the back( again I was young). Got several rides in Stories silver/metal flake one at the many Cranfield BBQ's and was at the old finishing shop when they were pin striping it (BY HAND!)
Story 5: protype: "ShipChamp" and attempt to build a river boat. Looked like an old pad boat, stern drive about 15-16 ft. 5 or 6 made and flopped big time. Only a few made and then bulldozed.
Story 6: The Off Shore Rig (Flop), enough said. FLOP. How far away is Mnt Home from the ocean? hmmmm
Story 7: The Mean 15. God knows how many horses they were pushing (a bunch, belive 200s and then some.) but I remember Stories was jet black and FAST! Had many rides in that one too, very cool. ;)
Stroy 8. My favorite fathers Champion. It was 16'8, Orange with a 150 Merc and a custom two bladed custom chopper. Back when 70 was blinding speed. Gramps was running the same rig but bananna yellow, Beleive Pace was running the same but blue and Storie was running the same but black. Quite a sight for a young un year old seeing all those cool boats beached at the Cranfield BBQ.
Story 9: The first selling of Champion (early 80's). Bought by Bill Pace and Matt Grabinski (sp). Didn't last real long (bankrupt) and Storie got it back somehow (business and none of my business). Bill continued to work there for many more years and later Viper. Those that were around know what happened with Matt and we’ll leave it at that.
Story 10: The 14 ft. Champion Super V. For some ungodly reason Storie wanted to build a 14 fter. When pops first told me about it my first reaction was "Why the hell would he want to do that?" Answer "Because he was a moron." I have only seen a few pics of them on craigs list but they look like a squirrely SOB to me. Pops said that a dealer in Texas had one (personal boat) with a in line 150 on it. That thing had to have just flown. I still dont understand Stories reasoning of making the 15 and 14 fters but hey, what do I know about about building boats?
So there you have it from a perspective of a boy who was literally born and raised side by side with Champion Boats infancy. Champion was/is a big part of my life. It is very interesting to have grown from the beginnings of the bass boat rage to what they currently are. To watch and grow with the deep history Champion growning from tri-hulls, super Vs, wide bodies to modern design. I remember going to Champion with my father and playing in the shop while Dad worked the weekends. I remember the smell of the gelcoat and playing on the rolls of carpet with a cocking gun thinking I was a member of the A-Team! The few dinner parties I was allowed to attend, Stories slide show parties. The left over tackle I was given by Storie, Pace and Gramps (talk about heaven for a kid!!!) As a matter of fact I STILL have some of that tackle.
Only rules from Dad while at the shop were:
1.) no touching (did a little of that)
2.) no playing in the boats (never)
3.) no standing on the trailers (scratches)
-Bruce Benton gave me my first folding knife at Champion, a schrade lock blade, and I still have it. I spoke with my father today and told him about this site. He’s been out of the boat business since 85. He still enjoys talking boats tho and he and I had a great talk about old school Champion tonight. Pat I told him your quote about “For every minuite Storie spent on a mold Bill Pace spent an hour”. He got a kick out of that and added that for hour Bill Pace spent on a mold Bruce Benton spent 10 hours.
-Mike McDonald would let me bother him while he was working and bothering him.
-Bill Pace always was happy to show me his gun collection when I visted he and Lea (God rest her soul).
-John Storie was always in Alaska hunting and fishing. He did take me fishing several times with Dad and gave me my first deer rifle a 30/30 Winchester.
These are my memories from 1973-1985. Hope you enjoyed them. Starting to get the boat bug again and prolly will be taking a trip to see Gramps in Mt Home to find a nice used Champion. That is unless I win Power Ball tonight.
Thanks for reading
Re: The ChampioN World Ã‚Â– According to Pat Goff (MMosher)
I bought a few Champions from Kinsey's Prop shop in Cape Fair back in the early eighties. Loved to go there and just talk to Pat Duncan and Steve Spence aka "Bones". Those were some fun times. By the way, Steve Spence "bones" wasn't just an awesome boat driver, he was one hell of a Merc mechanic. One of the best around back then. I still remember watching him drive his 16'8" Super V, with a worked over 200 Merc hanging on the back, up the James River on Table Rock. What an awesome sight. That thing just sat up on it's tail and flew. How he handled the chine walk always amazed me. He took me fishing one night in that rocket. Wow, what a thrill. Couldn't wipe that smile off my face for a long time. Sure brings back some fond memories. Thanks Pat, Steve and Champion Boats.
Re: The ChampioN World Ã‚Â– According to Pat Goff (Gunnar)
Attn: PAT GULF- I was told to contact you on getting info on a 1980 tunnel-hull bass boat we just purchased, It is a 18' single console Champion built in Ar. from what im told. I have a shop in St. Charles, Mo. and we do custom interiors and paint/gel on performance boats and are in the process of restoring this boat, Any info or pic's of the boat you have or can direct me to would be highly prized by our staff. Please feel free to call me at my shop or e-mail me please. I will check this forum daily to see if you respond. Thanks in advance for your time. Brad @ Kona Performance Marine 636-541-0705 or firstname.lastname@example.org