Friday, June 15, 2012

Dorsett and Flying Scott History

1960 Dorsett Belmont

Manufactured in Santa Clara California, Dorsett Plastics Company began producing Endura Craft boats in 1955. In 1958, the line became Dorsett Boats. The founder Richard W. Dorst, (Dick) was a US Navy veteran, University of California graduate engineer, and alumni of the Harvard Business School.

In 1960, Dorsett was acquired by Royal Little's Textron, Inc. The company was retained as the Dorsett Marine division. In 1964, Dorsett became independent once again when Textron sold the Santa Clara Division of Dorsett Marine back to Dorsett Plastics Co. Finally, American Marine Industries (AMI) acquired Dorsett in 1968, keeping Richard Dorst as manager. AMI liquidated the Santa Clara plant in 1970. Upon liquidation several of the Dorsett molds were sold to other boat manufacturers who continued building boats similar to the Dorsett line for several more years.

Of particular note, in 1959 Dorsett announced  a styling partnership with famed industrial designed Raymond Loewy. Among other things Lowey designed  the Studebaker Avante, various Coca-Cola machines including the famous "boat motor" counter-mounted fountains. He also designed the Lucky Strike logo, the US Mail logo and the paint scheme for Air Force 1.

The 1959 Dorsett brochure promoting Raymond Loewy's styling partnership featured illustrations of a dash glovebox, fold-down seat backs and compartments in the rear deck.

Although Dorsett boats continued to have the "Styled By Raymond Loewy" badges on the dash for several years, none of the three items from the 1959 brochure are included in my 1960 Belmont model.

If anyone has any more information on Loewy involvement with Dorsett, I would love to learn more!

 

McCulloch Flying Scott 60

In the 1960's boat motors were usually installed by the dealer so a new boat could have any one of a variety of "correct" motors. Our Belmont was equipped with a McCulloch-Scott Flying Scott 60 hp motor. This motor was highly respected because of its high hp to weight ratio and it is considered to be "sexy" motor because of is visually striking cowl design.

This outboard engine weighs approximately 168 pounds. It has 3 cylinders. The pistons have a 63.3 displacement. The bore width is 3.13" and the stroke length is 2.75". This model has a electric starter.

Scott-Atwater Mfg. Co. was started in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was purchased by McCulloch Corp. in 1956. McCulloch changed the brand to Scott, followed by Scott-McCulloch.

Robert McCulloch, founder of McCulloch Corporation along with his two siblings, inherited his Grandfather's fortune on 1925 and  pursued engineering at Princeton University in 1928, but transferred to Stanford a year later. He took with him his love for boat racing, and by the time he graduated in 1932, he had won 2 national championship trophies for outboard hydroplane racing. It was said he was prouder of his championships than his college education.

McCulloch was already building small gasoline engines at the time he purchased Atwater Scott in 1956. His main competitor in the boat engine business was Evinrude (OMC). Robert McCulloch was married to the daughter of Steve Briggs, co-founder of both Briggs and Stratton and, with Ralph Evinrude, of Outboard Marine.

In spite of Evinrude’s market lead, McCulloch pursued the outboard market for a decade. Eventually becoming the world's third largest manufacturer of outboard motors.

During this time McCulloch's passion for boat racing led him to Lake Havasu in search of a test site for his boat motors. McCulloch purchased 3,500 acres of lakeside property where he built his boat motor testing facility known as Site 6. He eventually purchased an additional 26 square miles parcel of barren desert, that would become the site for Lake Havasu City.

While Scott-Atwater manufactured primarily small motors McCulloch pushed the envelope chasing boat racing speed records and in 1958 the new 3 cylinder 60 hp Flying Scott was introduced. The Scott 60 was popular in NOA OPC racing 1958 and 1959 where it enjoyed some success, especially setting speed records. The displacement of the 60 was later increased to a 75 hp design. It is rumored that there are some late 1961 "sleeper" 75's that are badged as 60's.

At retail, Scott outboard motors were sold with several then-unique features for an outboard motor, including a dash mounted tach and a full Neutral position controls.

McCulloch closed the doors on the outboard boats & motors division in 1967. In 1968 McCulloch became internationally famous for moving the London Bridge piece by piece to Lake Havasu City in an effort to promote the sale of land in his developing community of Lake Havasu City.

If you stumbled upon this blog via searching for Dorsett Belmont information your best resource will be at fiberglassics.com. The community there is great, especially if you are trying to bring and old boat or motor back to life.

2 comments:

  1. Love your dorsett site, I'm restoring a 62 Belmont original boat motor and trailer interested in more information and any assistance you could offer. Thank you. Phil Tollas
    Philtollas@gmail.com

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  2. Very cool! I was fortunate my boat needed very little work. But the motor, thats another story!

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