Aeroliner Race Boats was started in the mid 1960's by brothers Alan and David Van Weele. Alan started boat racing in 1955 with the purchase of a new Mercury Mark 20H and a new Speedliner Corsair Model 510. David originally crewed for his brother but by 1959 he had his first boat, a used Bathtub Sid Craft with a KG4H. They both raced in the Northeast with APBA and locally on Long Island with the Eastern Outboard Racing Club. Mainly racing AU, BU, ASH and BSH and occasionally running a MOD class. In 1965 a trip to St Joseph, MO resulted in the purchase of one of the last Speedliner A/B boats constructed by General Marine. While loading the boat on the roof of Dad's car we were asked if we were interested in purchasing the plans and patterns for the boat. Well, it did not take long to start AEROLINER after that trip.
Alan testing his BU at Lake George, this was an 88 mile race. The year is probably 1960.
Alan testing new Aeroliner built Speedliner in 1966 David in Connecticut race with first Aeroliner, 1966
DECAL ON DAVID'S 1965 SPEEDLINER
Original receipt for the 1965 Corsair 510 picked up at the Speedliner factory.
Picking up Speedliner at factory in 1965 First test in August 1965, Oakdale, New York
Working on the setup with a Mark 15 We are ready to put the numbers on
The next ten years we manufactured the A/B Aeroliner (Speedliner) and ventured into building larger versions for both CU and 36 Classes. A few Hydro's were also built of our own design. We designed a blunt nose A/B runabout with a round chine. We tested a model in a wind tunnel and found out that at 50 MPH we could generate 70 pounds of lift. The full size boat weighed only 100 pounds, fully rigged. The design would turn on a dime but watch out for a crosswind, we went swimming often.
These pictures are of the model tested in the wind tunnel. The deck damage occured during storage.
These are scanned from photo's of the blunt nose and round chine frame, 1968
Our real careers took us in differnet directions until 2006. While visiting the Mount Dora antique boat show we were bitten by the boat building bug. We still had a number of engines left, some old Keller hardware and most importantly the plans and patterns for the old Speedliner. It took a while to find suppliers for the mahogany wood, to build them just like in the 1960's but the original supplier of mahogany plywood could still supply us and we found another supplier of the 3/4 inch boards. The first continuation boat was completed in early 2007.
THIS IS THE COVER OF THE CATALOGUE ALAN USED WHEN HE BOUGHT HIS FIRST SPEEDLINER IN 1955.
A page from the 1953 Catalogue, Model M-915
1953 Speedliner Price List
Alan as the owner of Aeroliner Marine wins this Mercury Dealer's Certificate
Alan's son takes to boat racing in 2010. He makes the cover of the NBRA summer issue of Full Throttle in his first year of racing. Alan JR is doing very well in the Doug Kay C Mod. He also runs in the B-1 class and the D hydro class. On July 31, 2010 JR wins the first heat of D Hydro and finished third overall at the NBRA Nationals. In September JR takes three third places in 250 Mod Hydro at Hillsdale with a Mercury Mark 20H we built from mostly new parts. At the same three days of racing Alan's 6 cylinder Mercury takes a third, a first and a fourth in FEH. This was the first time both engines were on a boat. Racing continues into 2013 with some success and a bad accident at Lucas Stadium that can be seen on You Tube. Only a few bruises but the boat needed a lot of work.
Alan's other son Jon and Granddaughter take to the race course in 2013.