Secret Formula

This company is rooted in the belief that offshore powerboat racing is the means to build a better product. From the very beginning, we built and tested a race boat that carried twice as much horsepower as any of our production boats would ever carry -- click here to see our Research & Development lab at work. Our goal was to find the weak points and correct them before they ever showed up in a production boat. The result is a much safer boat, a boat that can be counted on to bring you and your family home safe if you are ever caught in a storm offshore.

Don Aronow played a big role in the history of this company -- click here to see rare color film of Don racing the "Cigarette" -- click here to read Extreme Boats Magazine article. As a tribute to Don, we decided to launch the new 24 foot banana boat -- click here to read History of the 24 Footer -- utilizing one of his designs. We used the latest in technology and assembled a team approach as Don did when he called that his "Formula" for success. The right design, the latest in technology and the right people produced outstanding boats that are still highly regarded many years after their conception.

To assemble my team, I turned to my racer/boat builder friends of many years. When you have people with this type of background, you are actually getting an extra gear in your efforts, as it were. A racer knows that the construction must be above and beyond the normal because they remember from their own experiences the weaknesses that showed up under race conditions and they want to make sure they won't ever happen again.

Before we began to lay the boat up, I turned to Bobby Saccenti. Bobby and I raced against each other when he was developing a new race boat that eventually became known as the Cigarette Top Gun. Of course, most of his fame comes from the fact that he is the founder and past owner of Apache boats. Both Bobby and I learned how to make high performance boats directly under the tutelage of Don Aronow. Bobby generously shared with me the latest in composite technology that gives the maximum strength with the least weight. Bobby worked with and supervised our layup people to make sure that every step is adhered to and no detail is left undone.

Another protégé of Don Aronow, going all the way back to the original Donzi days, is Allan Brown, better known to the marine world as Brownie . Brownie is a past winner of the famous Miami Nassau race, driving a boat with two engines driving a single shaft through one V-drive. He was Chief Engineer or Chief Executive, or both, for many of the best known high performance boat companies -- Donzi, Nova, Cary, Magnum, Cougar, Cigarette, Holman & Moody Marine -- and consultant to countless others. Brownie, as an old friend, came forward and helped with the engineering for the engines, drives, prop selection, trim tabs and many more areas that are so necessary for boats of this caliber.

When it came time to rig the boat, to put all the pieces together in a way that the boat operates in the most efficient and reliable manner regardless of sea conditions, I turned to another one of Don's students. John Pompei first met Don Aronow when he rode his bike by the factory on NE 188th Street and asked Don for a job. Don gave him the job of cleaning up the wood shop and John never left. He progressed through all the various jobs until he was recognized as one of the top riggers in the trade. Today he is called on by companies like Nor Tech when they have a particularly fine rigging job that must be done. With the depth of that background, he came aboard and joined the rest of us to build this tribute boat to our mentor.

With the finished boat ready for its new interior, only one choice could be made. Mike Mears of Fineline Interiors was called upon to do the job. Mike was the man behind the fantastic interiors of the Apache boats for many years and is still producing cutting edge styles and fabrics. He was the perfect fit to wrap this project up.

These are the people that we bring together as our "Formula" to make a boat for you. What other company can offer this depth of high performance industry background, combined with the seasoned racers mentality? This is your direct connection to Don Aronow and his very intense and meticulous method of building only the best boats.

All sales are Factory direct only and have a very limited production run each year.

I will meet with each customer personally to make sure their every expectation is identified and satisfied. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at anytime.

The Future Generation is already here ... Charley McCarthy Jr. As time moves on and Charlie McCarthy starts slowing down, the next generation of Banana Boat builders is coming along. Charlie's oldest son, Charley Jr., has always been a boater. He grew up around them and spent his summers in them, and is now ready to take the company into the future.

Charley, Jr. has always been around boats and racing from the time he was just a small boy. Here he is with his own 16 foot deep V boat, powered with an 85 HP Merc engine. Of course, the life jacket was bigger than he was and he still needed Dad to pull the boat up on the beach for him -- he was just 9 years old.

Charley, Jr. was right there for the first test run of the first banana boat, in case Dad needed any help with the throttles.

Left, At many of the races, Charley, Jr. was an eyewitness to the actual preparation of what it takes to make sure a boat is ready to go and survive in the ocean. Right, sharing the planning session with Willie Meyers, former Bahamas 500 winner and navigator for Dad's Rums of Puerto Rico boat.

 

 

When the team moved up to the Open CLass, Charley, Jr. was there to share the spoils of victory and the many press interviews after.

 

 

Finally the day arrived when Charley, Jr. could experience for himself what a real Open Ocean race meant, as he personally competed in the Top Banana. (Of course, this is all after the fact. You see, he wasn't old enough to legally be in the boat according to the APBA rules of the day. So we would just dress him up and at the last minute, he would come down to the dock with his helmet and life jacket on and get in the boat and go.)

 

 

... The memories of an era that is gone forever; but the hard lessons learned back then and the friendships made are still useful as the next generation of Banana Boat builders takes over and prepares for the future.

Charlie McCarthy

 

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