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Anyone ever hear of a Keaton boat?

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Riley View Drop Down
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    Posted: October-03-2009 at 6:28pm
I discovered these today while doing some research on a Ford 312. Hot looking boats. Looks like they were made from around 1960 into the '80's.


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bkhallpass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkhallpass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-03-2009 at 8:30pm
What do you want to know

Keaton Boats were built by Jack Keaton in Sacramento California.
Jack is still around and attends some of the Keaton reunions.
They have a website but it's not very active.

Keaton boats were a hot ticket for competive waterskiing on the west coast in the early 60s. This was before specialty boats like the Ski Nautique or Mastercraft came along.

Interestingly, most of Jack's hulls were sold without engines. You put in what you wanted. 455 Olds was popular. There were a couple of Champion water skiers who put together a business buying Jack's hulls, outfitting them, and reselling.

Jack sold off his original hull at one point to a company called Mastercraft Plastics. They built a few hulls. I came across a guy last year looking to find out information on his new "Mastercraft" that he intended to restore. I let him know he actually had a Keaton, and put him in touch with their fan club. Not sure what became of the boat.

In the Seventies, Jack put together a new hull design. Mostly jet drives. I believe 460 Fords were the popular engines.

Growing up, most serious skiers I knew had wooden inboards, Chris Craft, Trojan, Century, Philbrick, etc. The Keaton was the first fiberglass inboard I saw. A guy in our boat club bought a solid purple Keaton. At the time I thought it was incredibly cool. The lines on the boat were similar to the wooden Besotes brand, which was manufactured about 40 miles from Keaton in Stockton, CA.

Still very good looking boats in my opinion.

BKH
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[URL=http://correctcraftfan.com/diaries/details.asp?ID=949&sort=&pagenum=1&yrstart=2001&yrend=2004" rel="nofollow]My kid's boat/URL]
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Riley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-03-2009 at 8:37pm
Interesting story. The first 2 pics are an older boat and because it's all white, the lines don't show that well, but they are beautiful. The last pic is a 1980's ski boat. A lot better looking than a lot of the '80s ski boats.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkhallpass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-03-2009 at 8:41pm
A more detailed history for your reading pleasure. Mine was from my limited memory capacity BKH

Keaton Boat History
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[URL=http://correctcraftfan.com/diaries/details.asp?ID=949&sort=&pagenum=1&yrstart=2001&yrend=2004" rel="nofollow]My kid's boat/URL]
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Riley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-03-2009 at 9:24pm
That's the site where I got the pics. His early boats had Interceptor 312's in them. Gorgeous boats, especially from the stern. I'm surprised they weren't more well known.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eric lavine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-04-2009 at 9:01am
maybe thats where i got the latest 460 from it was rigged to a jet drive and the waterpump (circ) was replaced by a flat plate that read Harman performance.
nice looking hull that guy built, it has a touch of Euro looks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GlassSeeker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-04-2009 at 5:31pm
It's a West Coast/ Calif thing...kinda like Sanger. That history is very interesting...in 1995 they built 1 20 ft Tournament/ Barefoot boat which did not get much attention and was dropped, the whereabouts of that boat is unknown. I found it interesting that Sanger was not mentioned throughout the history and they had to have competed against each other for business. Sanger started in 1954 and is still relevant today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote besotesboatclub Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-29-2009 at 7:15pm
The attached is from Joe Balco a great water skier in his day.
His son Drake took this info about his Father and Keaton boats.

http://www.keatonboat.com/Joe_Balcao.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote storm34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-29-2009 at 7:33pm
Keaton Boats

Pretty cool site, looks like they had a gathering this summer!
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Riley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Riley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-29-2009 at 7:35pm
http://www.keatonboat.com/Joe_Balcao.htm

Great story. Thanks for posting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkhallpass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-29-2009 at 11:38pm
Link does not seem to work. I'd be interested to read.

BKH
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[URL=http://correctcraftfan.com/diaries/details.asp?ID=949&sort=&pagenum=1&yrstart=2001&yrend=2004" rel="nofollow]My kid's boat/URL]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 75 Tique Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2018 at 9:54pm
Picture of a Keaton I stumbled across today.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Air206 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-11-2018 at 10:41pm
Crazy coincidence this weekend, the fellow restoring the AT Skier's wheel, just finished a Keaton wheel. He was saying how he had only seen one before and that was over 20 years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February-12-2018 at 3:11am
Jack Keaton was a class act. He passed a couple years back, I went to his funeral. Met him a few times, my brother owned a Keaton for many years. Jack was very active keeping his flock of customers happy.
A small mostly one man shop but Jack built very high quality boats. May he rest in peace.
Look at the Keaton website.
When Jack switched to making jet boats he won Powerboat of the year honors I the 70's.
Not bad for a small shop hidden in Sacramento.
I don't think Jack ever made more than one boat per month.
Jacks jet is the best jet ever built for water ski use.
In the 80's as tournament boats really took off Jack designed a barefoot inboard with a 350 GM that had top speed of 55mph. Jack built what people needed and made his boats very well.
Great man, wish he was still with us.
!
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