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 took to the race course in 2013.
Kaylee, Alan's granddaughter had a very successful year in 2014. She competes in ASH and CSH and in 2015 will be driving her refurbished hydro also in B1 hydro and C Mod hydro. Further development is on going with the Electromotive ignition system being run on all of our four cylinder engines. We have delivered other systems to other racers. Our racing in 2014 in the D Mod and E Mod was hampered by hard luck twice putting holes in a boat and throwing a blade off our best prop that resulted in frying an engine.
Kaylee continues to improve her performance. She won a number of heats of ASH this year and at one point she was leading in points. She missed two races this season but still managed to finish second in points in ASH and finished well in CSH. Alan Jr. had a difficult season with a number of damaged boats and a string of carb problems. The electronic ignition system continues to improve so we are looking forward to next season. We have sold a number of engines, both restored and as found.
Kaylee started out the year with a tie for first place at the NBRA race at Tunks. The second day she hooked a buoy and went swimming for the first time. She did race a couple of more times but her heart was just not there. So both she and her dad, Alan Jr, took the rest of the year off.
The good news is that Alan Sr. was elected President of NBRA. He is planning on putting his best efforts into growing the sports. He is also President of LBRA where with a major donation from a late racing member the club hopes to purchase boats and equipment for conducting racing schools for juniors that wish to get into boat racing.
We have created a Face Book group for friends of Aeroliner Race Boats and Speedliner so visit our group and request membership.
Last updated 10/1/2016