• Charlie Johnson's Quad Engine 41 Record Breaker, 1964

    C. F. Johnson, owner of Daytona Boat Works and his Record Breaking TX-41, designed by World Renown Maritime Architect Jack Hargrave, thundered away from Miami's Bayfront Park on Sunday, June 21, 1964 at 5 am slowing down only long enough to take on fuel before arriving in the Hudson River thus completing the 1,257 mile run in 31 hours, 32 minutes. Deemed the World's Fastest Sport Fishing Boat.

    'T' was for Tandem; 'X' was for Experimental; and '41' was the Length Overall.
    Johnson powered TX-41 with 409 cubic inch Chevy V8's with his state of the art Turbochargers. TX-41 held the title for 17 years.

    During a conversation with BBB725 he brought up a boat he had bumped into information on while searching the internet. He sent us the information he had gathered, and after reading what he had sent, I was just as interested as Brooks was. Doing some more digging, the information out there is not a informative as I would have hoped, but from what I have been able to gather, I am hoping it will assist others with information and pictures they may have. Here is the information I have currently been able to gather, and I have not stopped looking. Ratickle

    After reading the story of the boat, and chatting with Brooks about the Turbocharged 409's, my interest was definitely peaked. How the heck coule this boat have been assembled way back then? Four engines, two drives, turbocharged, shock absorber seats, and be able to complete a run from Miami to New York? WOW!!!

    So, more digging on the internet and old magazines....


    I was a 15 year old mate in 1964 on the “Catchelot” drift fishing boat out of Palm Beach, Fl. when I saw this boat run down Lake Worth Lagoon for the first time. I was mesmerized by it’s overall Deep Vee hull design, it’s bright Pink hull color, it’s bright yellow topsides, and the fact is was running at speeds that were limited to the top offshore race boats of the day. The boat was C.F. Johnson’s new TX 41 Datona Sportfisherman, designed by Jack Hargrave, a young upstart marine architect in West Palm Beach, Fl.

    At the time, I knew the boat was as unique looking as it was fast. The hull design reminded me of my favorite ocean racing boat at the time, Dick Bertram’s 31 foot Moppie. My family was into boat racing all of my life, and I dreamed some day of running a Moppie. To watch a 41 foot sport fisherman running down Lake Worth at speeds of well over 55 knots was amazing.

    I had heard of C. F. Johnson, “Charlie” as he was known, for several years around the docks. Charlie was an avid sport fisherman who, with a string of auto dealerships, could indulge himself in his passion for big fish and fast boats. Charlie helped launch the Rybovich Brother’s careers by buying four of their new Rybovich Custom Built Sportfshing Boats, including hull #1 a 34′ sports fisherman built in 1949 called the Chevy II.

    In 1960, Charlie bought his own boatyard and marina, the “McDonald Boats Works” in Datona Deach Florida, and hired Jack Hargraves to begin to design boats for him.

    Being an avid giant blue fin tuna fisherman out of Bimini and Cat Cay in the Bahamas, Charlie became possessed with wining the legendary, unofficial, “Bimini Boat Race”, which had become a tradition in the 1950′s during tuna time (June of each year), at the Bimini Big Game Club. At the Start of each tournament, the sportfishing boats would line up outside of Bimini cut and race to the fishing grounds south off Sandy Cay. The Rybovichs, and the Merrits were dominating the race, and Charlie intended on changing all that. Thus the birth of the TX 41.

    It was not until 4 years after I had first seen the TX 41, that I would get the opportunity to fish Charlie Johnson, with his seasoned Captain Jack Stevens, and learned the whole story. As Jack who had run the Tx 41, and Charlie who built and owned it, proudly shared their experiences with it, that I truly learned to appreciate what a fascinating boat it was.

    Charlie founded the Datona Marine Engine Corporation, and powered the TX 41 with four 409 Cubic Inch, GM, four bolt main, big block engines turning three screws. The engines had Latham full race super chargers on them and the boat had been clocked at over 64 knots. The outboard screws were used to navigate around docks, and the twin engine V drive – driven center screw was only used for full speed ahead when speed was the “main thing”.

    On Sunday June 21, 1964 at 5:00 A.M. with Captain Jack Stevens at the helm, the TX 41 sped away from Biscayne park in downtown Miami, thundered down Biscayne Bay and out Government cut at over 55 knots, headed to New York. Only 31 hours and 32 minutes later the TX 41 had covered the non stop 1257 mile run, as the Boat screamed into New York Harbor and up the Hudson River setting a new APBA World Record for the Miami to New York run. The record set by the TX 41 would hold up for 10 years.

    What is even more amazing about the feat, is that Captain Jack Stevens and his crew had to change out an engine’s transmission on the fly off Savannah Georgia. Charlie had the transmission sent out on the refueling tug boat. Capt. Jack slowed to TX 41 to 20 knots, while working in the engine room to change out the gear drive. Otherwise, the record would have been even more amazing.

    I never got the privilege to fish the TX 41, but Charlie Johnson’s personal Datona 43, which I did fish on several occasions, was one of my favorite sport fishing boats of all times.

    Charlie and Jack were true pioneers in the sport fishing boat and fishing industry. I consider it a great privilege to have fished with them both.
    By Capt. Mickey Oliphant

    Hard to read. Hope there is a better copy somewhere.

    Sports‐Fishing Boat to Try for Miami‐New York Mark
    JUNE 21, 1964

    The Daytona TX‐41, de¬scribed by its builders as “the world's fastest sport‐fishing boat,” is scheduled to put to sea today in a bid to break the speed record for the Miami ‐ to ‐ New York ocean run.
    In the event of bad weath¬er, the start will be delayed until June 29. The elapsed‐time record for the 1,257‐mile run was established last summer by a 37‐foot Daytona, which got here in 46 hours 23 minutes.
    Both boats were built in Daytona Beach, Fla., at the Daytona Marina and Boat Works, owned by Charles F.
    Four Daytona turbocharged engines, in a dual twin‐tan¬dem arrangement, give the new boat 1,520 horsepower. The TX‐41 has exceeded 60 miles an hour in trials, and Johnson hopes to maintain an average cruising speed of 40 m.p.h.
    At‐sea refueling operations are planned southeast of Charleston, S. C., and north of Diamond Shoals Lightship, off the North Carolina coast. The TX‐41, which carries 1,000 gallons of fuel, will be as much as 165 miles off¬shore during the trip.

    Speedboat Sets Record In Miami‐New York Run
    JUNE 23, 1964

    A 41‐foot sport‐fishing boat from Florida reduced the speed record for the Miami‐to‐New York ocean run by nearly 15 hours yesterday.
    The boat, called the Day¬tona TX‐41, completed the 1,257‐mile trip in 31 hours 32 minutes for an average speed of slightly more than 40 miles an hour.
    Aboard were Charles F. Johnson, 67‐year‐old owner of the Daytona Marina and Boat Works in Daytona Beach, Fla., where the record‐setter was built; Sam Sarra, chief engineer for the Daytona Ma¬rine Engine Co.; Don Wilson, an unlimited‐hydroplane rac¬ing driver, and Jack Stevens, a Palm Beach charter‐boat skipper.
    In surpassing the record of 46 hours 23 minutes they had set last year in a 37‐foot Daytona, the Florida boatmen never stopped moving, even during two at‐sea refuelings.

    I'm really hoping we can find more out. Some articles say two engines, some two drives, some four engines, some three drives. Anyone??? My best estimate, after reading everything I can find, is four engines and three drives. Ratickle

    Thanks to,




    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Ratickle's Avatar
      Ratickle -
      They are saying they found the boat?

    1. Serious News's Avatar
      Serious News -

    1. Serious News's Avatar
      Serious News -
      Two years later, Johnson, Sherbert and Hargrave teamed up on a slightly shorter open fisherman based on the lines of the Daytona 45 and put four turbocharged Daytona gasoline engines in her for 50 knot-plus speeds. Johnson christened her TX-41 and with her took home the Miami-New York speed trophy a few months later. TX-41's record stood for an amazing 10 years while Sherbert continued to build twin-engine versions of the design.

      Entire Article http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/arti...ge-Battlewagon
    1. Serious News's Avatar
      Serious News -
      The engines used to set the record were the Turbo 400, 409 Cu In, on the list. Two years later he brought out the Turbo 427's.

    1. old377guy's Avatar
      old377guy -
      I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, wow!
    1. Serious News's Avatar
      Serious News -
      Some History

      "Motorboating Magazine", June 1963...

      "Anyone looking for a new trophy? Motorboating Magazine has placed the Charles F. Chapman Trophy into competition. It will be awarded to any motorboat owner who runs his boat from Miami to New York faster than Sam Griffith did with his Bertram rig last year. Those who try, but fail to improve on Griffith's mark, will get certificates.

      Chapman is the boatman who navigated for Gar Wood on the record-breaking 1921 Miami-New York trip. No one did it faster until Griffith came along 41 years later."
    1. Serious News's Avatar
      Serious News -
      Record Holders;

      1921 Gar Wood / 47hr 15m /

      1962 Sam Griffith / / 31 Bertram

      1964 Charles Johnson / 31h 32m /41 TX-41

      1974 August Dr. Bob Magoon / 22hr 41min 15sec / 40 Foot Cigarette

      1985 George Morales / 19hr 33min 27sec / 48 Catamaran

      1988 Tom Gentry / 19hours 17minutes 27sec / 110 Foot Gentry Eagle
    1. Ratickle's Avatar
      Ratickle -
      Quote Originally Posted by old377guy View Post
      I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, wow!
      It is amazing how little information is out there. To run a four engine turbocharged 41 that far and break a record way back then seems to be an engineering feat that is incredible.

      The other oddity is the different reports on engines and drives configuration.
    1. SteveDavid's Avatar
      SteveDavid -
      This was a fun read, and widens my appreciation for the guts and determination of the early pioneers of offshore competition. Notice you didn't read virtually anything about "rules"
    1. Ratickle's Avatar
      Ratickle -
      It is amazing what they attempted and accomplished.