I’d have to go back to 20 years to my college days to read the last book review (for Pepperdine University’s weekly newspaper) or book report (for my Japanese Literature class, yes that was a class) I wrote. And while my column this week would qualify as a book review, it’s a little more than that since it pertains to the fun industry I cover on a daily basis.
Accomplished boat builder and Hall of Fame offshore racer Allan “Brownie” Brown shares more than 50 stories spanning his 60-plus years in the powerboat industry in his new book, Tales From Thunderboat Row, which can be ordered here.
Plus I was able to interview the author, a friend I first met and got to know during my tenure with Powerboat magazine—although not nearly enough I realized after reading the 50-plus tales in Allan “Brownie” Brown’s new book.
The book, entitled Tales From Thunderboat Row, is just that, a collection of stories—some five or six pages long, some two or three pages long—of Brownie’s experiences in an illustrious powerboat-industry career that has spanned more than six decades and has crossed paths with everyone from Don Aronow, Al Copeland and John Cosker to Clive Curtis, Tom Gentry and Filippo Theodoli. His resume is extensive with influential boat design, building, supply and sales positions at companies such as Cary Marine, Challenger Marine, Cigarette Racing Team, Cougar Marine, Donzi Marine, Gentry Transatlantic, Nova Marine, Stainless Marine and many others.
In all honesty, it would be impossible, at least I think so, to find someone who has seen or been around more in this industry than the 83-year-old Brownie. And this somewhat tell-all 235-page book he penned proves it—well at least most of it as Brownie, who also raced offshore for many years, said he “may have fattened some of the stories, but they are all still true (mostly).”