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Kicking It Old School In a Pristine Sutphen 340

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Jon Arrigoni’s sportboat looks as good as it did the day it left the factory 28 years ago. Photos courtesy/copyright Courson Custom Rigging.

The boat was in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., and Arrigoni called the broker to get the numbers. Arrigoni, 36, owns a boat-hauling business, Arrigoni Marine Movers (www.haulmyboat.com) and has a network of colleagues around the country. He had a friend in the Lake of the Ozarks area go check out the Sutphen and the friend told him how clean the boat was. Arrigoni wired the money and headed to Missouri to pick up his new boat. “The first time I saw the boat was when I picked it up,” he said.

What he saw was a boat that looked the same as it did the day it left the Sutphen factory in Cape Coral, Fla., 28 years ago. The boat is named Old School and it’s a perfect fit because of how clean all the original interior and equipment still looks. The upholstery is immaculate and all the factory installed gauges still work. So do all the accessory switches. Even the original depthfinder and engine synchronizer are operational.

“It’s really such a timeless piece and everything is in such good condition interior wise, at this point, I don’t have any intention of changing the interior,” Arrigoni said.

OK, he did upgrade the stereo and add some speakers. But that was it when it came to the 34-footer’s cockpit amenities.

For a closer look at Arrigoni’s 34-footer check out the slideshow above.

Arrigoni got the boat back home and made some revisions, the biggest of which was adding Stellings 12-inch extension boxes. This raised the drives 3 inches. He also converted the exhaust tailpipes from water-jacketed to dry to get rid of a water reversion issue.

Arrigoni used the boat in Connecticut and brought it down to Florida during the winters. As it happens, he’s friends with Wayne Courson, a respected performance boat rigger and throttleman based in Cape Coral whose shop is called Courson Custom Rigging.

“I’ve known Wayne for a long time. He’s a really good friend of mine,” explained Arrigoni. “I said, ‘Why don’t you play with it and get it all put together?”

Courson said he was “amazed” by the boat’s condition, but he’s going to replace the original trim pumps with more modern units and he’s adding two steps on the firewall bulkhead to make it easier to get down into the engine compartment. In the interior, Courson is going to add some angled footrests ahead of the bolsters to make driving and riding more comfortable.

To improve the boat’s performance Courson wants to try some 2-inch shorter lower units. Old School currently runs 75 mph with a pair of carbureted Mercury Racing HP 500s, and he thinks that number can come up with the shorter lower units. When we spoke the other day, he was getting ready to pull the drives and take them to Brian Jackson at Offshore Outdrives in Davie, Fla.

Most recently, Arrigoni had Old School at the Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., in early November and at the Fort Myers Offshore Turkey Trot Fun Run later that month.

“The boat got a lot of attention,” he said.

Up next, Arrigon is going to run his Old School ride in the Fort Myers Offshore Fun Run on December 30 and the Joey Gratton Memorial Fun Run on New Year’s Day.

Related Story: Love and Legacy: Inside Sutphen World Champion Powerboats