21-Foot Schiada Boats - 21 Feet Of Inspiration - Ground Zero
It's amazing how certain objects can inspire people to achieve their goals. In life there are certain works of art that are unique and special in some way to a select group of people. Ever since I was a youngster these works of art to me have been two-fold. I have been addicted to both custom trucks and custom boats my entire life, and according to my parents, the first word I said was boat. Growing up in a boating family, I was introduced to boating and began my river rat initiation at the ripe old age of six months old. My folks purchased their first boat in the early part of 1977 and introduced a family interest and hobby to my sisters and I, which has stayed with us up until this day and continues to grow stronger.
The journey began with a 22-foot Schiada ski boat powered by a 351ci Ford engine, which, according to my folks, had just the right tone to put me down for my afternoon nap. During our first few years of boating, my parents taught us to water ski behind that old 22-footer and promised me ice cream if I would strap into a pair of double skis. I always resisted until they mentioned vanilla ice cream with cherries and chocolate on top. In the early years of our recreational boating journey, my folks would grab a beach for the evening, and we would spend the night on the boat. As the sun would rise, so would we, to race to the flat water that was perfect for water skiing.
Back then, facing the early career pressures of work and raising kids, my family would leave town on a Friday night, boat all day Saturday and Sunday, and head home late Sunday evening, only to reach home about midnight with the grim reality that Mom and Dad had to get up for work the next day. This is a reality I know all too well with my own boat and being in the early years of my career.
In 1980, my pops decided he needed more power and had a new 22-foot Schiada built with a big-block Chevy at the company's factory near our home in Torrance, California. Having previously built a boat there, we had grown close to the family who owned Schiada, and as a kid, I spent a fair amount of time around the shop watching boats being built. I would peer curiously into fiberglass molds and watch boats take shape. Ever since those early days of my youth, watching boats come together at Schiada, I've dreamt of someday owning a 21-foot Schiada V-drive with a blown big-block for power. To me, this particular boat is a work of art.
Recently, I met a man named Bob Stanfield from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, who undoubtedly owned my dream custom boat. It appears in this issue under the title "Blown Income" and is one of the nicest 21-foot Schiada V-drives I have ever seen. The way the blower motor looked sticking way above the deck surfaces and how the boat's polished cavitation plate assembly appeared with its billet aluminum and stainless hardware was enough to make me flip my lid. Closer inspection revealed a host of billet goodies inside the interior, and the classic lines of this boat complemented by the blue and yellow colors over a white basecoat kept me analyzing this craft for hours.
Right down to the trailer, this package was a masterpiece, as the triple-axle hauler rode on custom billet wheels, low-profile rubber, and sported stainless fenders and frenched custom lighting. There was detail everywhere the eye wandered while looking over this boat. It was truly finished and meticulously maintained.
After the sun dipped behind the hills on the evening I photographed Bob's boat and Todd Taylor's lifted Excursion, I left the photo shoot inspired. I was inspired by a boat that is so intensely detailed you could eat off any of its surfaces. Photographing that boat and looking over all its cool details made me strive to improve a few things on my own 19-foot Hallett jet boat and work toward making it look as cool and perfect as Bob's Schiada. That boat also gave me inspiration to put the goal of owning one just like it at the top of my priority list. It's remarkable how something made of fiberglass can motivate someone to work harder and chase a dream. The same goes for anything people have their hearts set on. Sometimes all it takes is a tangible example of that dream to remind us how much we want it and motivate us to go out and make it happen. Bob's boat did that for me. Until next month, keep chasing those dreams, cranking good tunes (such as The Cult and Aerosmith), and cruising until your heart's content.