Go-Fast Blast from the Past: Raveau Runabouts

Marcel Raveau and Bob Walwork combined to build a number of great race boats.

Go-Fast Blast from the Past: Raveau Runabouts
Go-Fast Blast from the Past: Raveau RunaboutsRaveau Runabouts

In 1959, Mercury founder Carl Kiekhaefer signed Marcel Raveau, a highly regarded builder based in Long Island, to a one-year contract to build boats in Sarasota, which he would then enter in the new American Power Boat Association (APBA) Outboard Pleasure Craft racing classes as an unofficial factory team. One of the men hired to help build, test and race these boats was 20-year-old Bob Walwork, shown in this 1960 photo testing a 13-foot Class D Utility Raveau powered by a Mercury Mark 55 outboard. Walwork had recently moved to Florida with his family after his parents sold a marina in Penn Yan, New York, where Bob had worked since he was a boy and had started racing boats at age 7. Walwork worked with Raveau until the contact was fulfilled. The pair teamed up again in the early 1960s, when Walwork won several offshore endurance races in the Miami area in Raveau hulls. Raveau retired to his native France in 1963, and Walwork enjoyed a career working at several boat companies and later as an independent design consultant based in Palmetto, Florida.