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In 1981, the V-Wing Mod-VP tunnel hull was built.  Only five of these were built and they were very advanced and fast for its day. They turned a lot of heads which was exactly Pipkorn's intention.  According to Jeff Baker, who worked on the decks of these when they were being built, the differences between the five were in the location of the pad in relation to the sponsons.  The racing rules at the time stated that the sponsons could not be above the center pad.  In the building of the five boats, the bottoms of the hulls were moved in the mold in one inch increments.  So, #1 boat pad is one inch below the sponson, #2 is two inches , and so on.  Supposedly, the #4 and #5 boats were the best ones built.  The hull platform used was actually the Panther's with a modified center pod being added.

 

This picture was taken by Fred Cotey (production manager at HydroStream from 1973 - 1987) of the very first V-Wing ever made. Chris Bush is driving it at Lake Havasu and is just coming out of the pits after refueling during a long race. Fred had to hang from a cherry picker out over the water to get this shot!

Note the sponsor "West Point Pepperell."  They made the core mat of which Pipkorn was one of the first to use.  In boat applications it would later became commonplace.

At least three of the V-Wings were raced at Havasu.  Unfortunately, they were still fresh from being made and the fiberglass had not completely cured - if you stepped inside of them they would flex.  As a result, a couple of them cracked during the race with one actually having its deck peel back as the race progressed.

 

A V-Wing today prior to undergoing restoration by a Registry member. Probably the only surviving example.

HydroStream actually built a "Ski-Wing".  According to Jeff Baker, they just took one of the race boats and put a ski pylon down through the rear cowling and called it the Ski-Wing.  None were ever actually built or sold, but a picture can be seen in an old Powerboat Magazine ad in the Literature section on this website.

 


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