....a brief history
Raveau boats were first built by Marcel Raveau in 1939 in Long Island, New York. In the late 1940's the boats became known for their success in racing the grueling Albany to New York Marathon down the Hudson River.
In 1957, Carl Kiekhaefer, owner of Kiekhaefer Corp., ordered four Raveau boats to be used to test the Mercury outboard motors. These boats were used for the famous "50,000 Mile Endurance Record". Two 15' Raveau hulls were rigged with Mercury Mark 75 engines. The United States Auto Club (USAC) was on hand 24 hours a day to certify the test. At the completion of 25,000 miles, the motors were inspected and then installed on two 16' Raveau hulls for running the remaining 25,000 miles. The longer boats were used because of the windy weather and rough water, which was developing. Click on this sentence to see a copy of the Official USAC Record. This feat led to the development of the test site that is now known as "Lake X".
In 1959, Kiekhaefer hired Marcel Raveau to build a fleet of racing boats for the newly formed "Outboard Pleasure Craft" class of the American Power Boat Association. A facility was opened in Sarasota, Florida, and Bob Walwork was hired to work with Raveau. For the next 15 months many different types and sizes were developed. Boats were built for each size Mercury motor from 40 h.p. runabouts to twin engine catamarans powered by 6 cylinder Mercurys. The boats were successfully raced in everything from short closed course races to marathons lasting as long as the famed "Nine Hour Orange Bowl Regatta".
When Raveau's contract was finished, he continued working by himself building racing boats until he was again joined by Bob Walwork in 1962. The following year Raveau and his wife, Lucy, decided to retire to France. They turned the business over to Walwork, who continued to build the Raveau race boats until April 1965. At this time Raveau boats had set more than 50 World Records!
In 1993, while attending an antique boat show at Mt. Dora, FL, an old friend, Gene Fleming, suggested it would be nice to see a Raveau on display at the show. Two years later a second generation, original 15' Raveau was displayed. After this a 13' class "DU" was built.
In April 1996, Mr. Tim Newman of Apopka, FL, produced a photo of a 1961 16' Raveau "Bomb", being driven by Craig DeWald, and and asked if a boat like this could be built again. A new interest in Raveau boats was becoming apparent. It was decided to build this boat again, but using a new style V bottom, which would be more comfortable for today's use. The new 16' V bottom was launched during the Mt. Dora show in March 1997. The boat, powered with a 1962 Mercury 100 h.p. engine, was driven by Jim Hunt, an old Raveau driver. It is considered by several old-timers to be one of the finest Raveau boats ever built. At this time the second generation Raveaus, which are not a reproduction, but the continuation of the production by one of the original builders, is underway on a limited basis.