Sally Ann Jr.

225 Ventnor Hydroplane Design

Designer/Builder/Driver - William Edgar John Sr.

The top photo is an oil painting by Cookie Singer and the bottom is a hand colored photo taken at a regatta held in Rochester, NY in 1944. Both my grandfather and grandmother are in the bottom photo. Sally Ann Jr. was designed, built and raced by  in the late 30's through the 40's by William Edgar John (Bill John) who was from Rye, New York. The boat finished first in the 225 class in May of 1941 in the Albany to New York race. Two other boats in that race were Onwego with owner/driver Bill Bourne from Larchmont, NY and Miss Muskee with owner/driver G. Schock, Jr. of Millville, NY. The story from the June 1941 issue of Rudder magazine reads, "The winner of the 225 inboard hydroplane division is a real old timer, Bill John driving a 225 Ventnor which he designed and built."



 A Reproduction - by William Edgar John III

Vintage race boats and boat racing are in my blood, and our sixth reproduction project will be a reproduction of my grandfather's Sally Ann Jr a 225 hydroplane that was an APBA national champion. My grandfather, William Edgar John Sr. was a naval architect, owned a shipyard in Rye, New York, raced in several inboard classes, and was inducted into the APBA's Honor Squadron in 1955, two years after my other hero, Gar Wood. My father, William Edgar John Jr. raced International-One-Design sailboats on Long Island Sound where he was the first President of the IOD class and was the Fleet Chairman for many years, based out of the Larchmont Yacht Club where he was very active. My grandmother was also active in the early days of power boat racing in this country. She actually drove and won quite a few APBA boat races, and I have two large trophies that she won in 1914.


William E John & Associates - shipyard in Rye, NY



Our reproduction of Sally Ann Jr. will also be a two seater and will be built very strong with modern power to run reliably at speeds around 75 mph on the vintage circuit and to provide for many years of exciting boat rides !!!

Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit !!!



Scott Courts owns and runs a magnificent reproduction of My Sin.


Owned by Peter Kreissle, Juno is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Ventnor hulls.






Now, what motor shall we use in our Sally Ann Jr. reproduction !!!


Hmmm.....we could use the monster big block Chevy motor from our beloved Obsession




Or.....we could install a stock Chevrolet small block motor like we installed in My Precious, a stock, warranted Marine Power 350 cubic inch vortec marine motor, running reverse rotation and producing 325 hp 4,800 rpm's. This motor runs a stock Borg Warner C71 Marine Velvet Drive transmission, is a legal APBA vintage race boat and runs on the Florida Vintage Race Boat Circuit. But with our stock motor we are limited to running at 4,800 rpm's, occasionally blipping to 5,000 rpm's so we usually run at the back of the pack, but we run every heat and have lots of safe fun!





Or.....we could build another Chevy 383 stroker marine  motor like the bullet in our recent Compulsion project built by Larry's Auto Machine in Stonington, Connecticut. These guys are good, and when the new motor was run on their dyno, the motor was tuned for ultimate performance and the horsepower and torque were measured as adjustments were made, then a complete printout was produced for documentation. The first pulls with the Edelbrock carburetor produced strong results, but the switch to a larger Holley marine carburetor brought us up to our goal of 450 HP. That's perfect for our Sally Ann Jr. project, so our current thinking is to build a reverse rotation 383 Chevy.




383 Chevy stroker motor on the dyno !!!


We also considered running a Casale C500 V-drive setup, that would allow for a very low 10 degree shaft angle and the ability to change gears to increase the shaft speed to run a smaller prop. But a V-drive setup would also add a great deal of complexity and cost to the project.

Casale C-500 V-drive

Casale Engineering Website


So.....after counsel with Peter Kreissle and many others, our current thinking is to run a reverse rotation 383 Chevy small block with a Borg Warner C71 direct drive marine transmission for a very simple and clean installation. Our objective is to run safely and comfortably at speeds around 75 mph, so there is no need for a monster big block motor running a complex V-drive setup to push the speeds any higher. In the words of Tom D'Eath, it is important to remember that we are not going for the national record, this is vintage. This is all about running safely at speed on the course with your buddies, flying in formation, burning gas and having fun !!!


And.....with the help of Peter Kreissle at the recent CRA Spring Thunder Regatta and the Clayton ACBS Boat Show, we now have copies of the original 225 Ventnor hydroplane design drawings. Peter has drawn and modified the original plans, and we will be working with Ken Basset to draw the actual build plans for our Sally Ann Jr. reproduction project. Steve Balcer will build the bare hull and install the drive line for us at his shop in Bay City, Michigan. The bare hull will then be transported to the Vintage Race Boat Shop in Mount Dora, Florida for the final motor installation, rigging, finish work, lettering and upholstery. We are currently searching for history and photos of Sally Ann Jr. and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Please check back later and follow our progress, here are some related links:

1939 Ventnor Brochure

1940 Ventnor Catalog

G-88  - It's A Wonder

Tempo - model by Keith Brayer

Fred Farley - The Early Ventnor 3-Pointers

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Some related vintage race boat links:

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