VHF BULKS DOWN VHF-FM is no longer the
ungainly affair it was a decade earlier, when
weighed in at, wait
for it, 175 pounds!
By 1966, integrated
circuits and transistors make radios
lighter, smaller, and
— for a few boaters
anyway — affordable.
WATCH YOUR CARBS! Legislation is
signed in 1967 creating the California Air
Resources Board (CARB), making it the
only state with a cabinet-level environmental protection agency, and profoundly
impacting future engine design.
“RIB” NO LONGER JUST A BONE
Students in Wales replace the bottom of
their sailing club’s rescue inflatable with
glued-on plywood and patent the rigid
inflatable in 1967. Two years later, Avon
launches the first commercial
Rigid Inflatable Boat.
THINK YOUR BOAT IS FAST? You
won’t be able to match Ken Warby’s record
of almost 320 mph set in 1967. He built
the boat (above) in his backyard, and
picked up the jet engine from a military
surplus sale for less than $100!
Follow 50 rollicking years of boating innovation, records, and top news. Through it all,
BoatU.S. has been fighting the good fight, with policy, safety, and clean-water victories.
By Mark Corke, E. Mertz, Michael Vatalaro, Melanie Neale, Bill Roche, Bernadette Bernon
A GUY NAMED BILL GOES FISHING
An ABC affiliate in Memphis, TN, launches
the inaugural episode of “Bill Dance
Outdoors” in 1968, introducing bass fish-
ing to the masses. Bill’s still dancing 47
years later. page 64
WAIT… DO YOU HEAR A BUZZING
SOUND? In the mid-60s, motorcycle
The first battery-powered depth
II, is introduced
in 1968. Boaters
embrace the new
with a flashing
red light on a
circular numerical dial.
racer Clayton Jacobson invents the jet ski
and, well, you know the rest. pg. 62
STICK IT GOOD Boatyard workers
begin spending untold hours trying to
get a new tenacious goo off clothes and
hands as polyurethane and polysulphide
adhesives become popular. In 1966,
3M’s 5200 becomes the industry standard for joining hulls to decks. In coming
decades it’s embraced by DIY-ers
TWO-IN-ONE TOOL Steiner rocks the
coastal navigator’s world in 1968. Its
Commander binoculars replace two pieces
of boat gear in one — conventional binocs
and a compass.
Through the ‘60s, the Pope family turns Cypress Gardens,
a Winter Haven, FL, theme park centered around waterski
shows, into one of the top tourist attractions in the country.