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Formula Boat Story

My Formula boat…
This is the story of my ’82 Thunderbird Formula boat, better kown as Gina II, alias The Pirate’s Ghost. She was 20 feet in length and 8 feet wide with a deep V hull that made her an ideal, rough water, runabout boat. It was, originally, a Miami, FL, boat and according to the old owner, she had been used in 1982 to smuggle drugs and illegal emigrants up the Miami River By the beginning of the nineties, abused and in need of repairs, it had been stored out of circulation for a few years. It was then that we meet, feel in love and took our new boat home.

A yellow Formula boat nicknamed Gina II

We bought the Thunderbird Formula boat in ’91 at Miami, Fl, and in the spring of ’92 she was relocated to Los Angeles, California. She went through a complete and mayor transformation in body and power. She was baptized and named Gina II to honor my daugther Gina. The boat hull was redesigned with a new shape and her original 260 hp engine was replaced with a beef up, custom made, high performance 325 hp engine. This custom transformation took over one year to complete and was done by Papoloko in ’93. Because the new looks and the increase in power, very soon, she earned the respect of other boaters at the local lakes but, because she was now running higher speeds, the lakes authorities noticed it and gave me some speeding warnings. That was the beginning of the end at the local lakes. There was always some hotshot boat wanting to know how fast she really was.

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Formula boat found a new home
We went looking for a new playground for our Formula toy, for a new home with more freedom to play. We enjoyed Lake Mead, Laughlin, Lake Havasu, Blythe and she even expended afew months moored at Marina del Rey in California. Overall, we did caught many great memories out of those temporary homes and at the end, the Parker Strip was the one she would be calling home at The Colorado River. From the year 1994 to about the end of 1999 she enjoyed a lot of action, in the summer months, right around the Empire Landing Campground at the Parker Strip, Colorado River, which was the place where we used to stay on all our camping trips.

Party time, full moons and the Parker Strip
Our Formula boat, the Gina II, usually expended the winter months resting at a near by storage yard called The Right Spot, a very covenient place that was 2 minutes from the launching ramp and another 2 minutes from the Empire Landing Campground. We had many parties at the campsites in this park, every other weekend, drinking and dancing right on the water with the full moon shining in the sky until 3 or 4 am. There is nothing like taking the boat out, on a full moon nite, and just blast down the river, full throtle, with the light of the moon making the whole river alive. That’s one of the beauty of the Parker Strip, you can enjoy your boat 24 hour a day. It’s a shame that full moon only happens once a month. My WARNINGS to new boaters driving the Parker Strip at night time, some drunk boater or whatever, could be driving without the navigation lites on and could create an accident for you even if you follow all the rules… Alcohol and driving don’t mix. Be careful when driving at night.

Formula boat… The thrill was gone!
Since we had her plenty in very rough, deep sea, water around the Catalina Island, out of Los Angeles, and she did uphold herself cruising playing with the fast and very expensive boats of the Parker Strip at the Colorado River too, we feel there was nothing new anymore… The thrill was gone. By the end of ’99 we had grown tired of boating and camping so, we decided to take her back to Los Angeles. We guessed, back then, that we were becoming too old for such activities. Of course, we were wrong. We did went back to the Parker Strip with the New Millennium, but we did not brought the Formula boat to the Parker Strip, instead, it was a jetski, the Lucky Ghost, the one that went back with us to the Parker Strip. But, hey, that is a whole different story.

My Formula boat old home… The Parker Strip
To end the Gina II story I will say that she has just been setting for five years with a lot of memories from the Parker Strip to her credit but with no action at all. Parked outside, in the open, without any maintenance during all these years, her body and interior has deteriorated bad. I forgot to put the canvas cover on her for two year. I’m very sorry, that was my own stupid mistake and it should cost me plenty to restore her if I ever want to ride her again. Maybe one day in the future I will have the need to feel her power, do the whole thing over one more time and race down the river again but, up to today, all that I can do is to give her a web home and show some of her memories to the others boats enthusiasts of the world. If I ever bring her back to the new millennium and have her restored, you can rest assured that the Thunderbird Formula boat, better kown as Gina II, alias The Pirate’s Ghost, will be back at her old home… The Parker Strip in the Colorado River

About the author:
Papoloko has been boating the Parker Strip, Colorado River, since ’92.

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A Peaceful Pretty View..

A good video that you can watch here is the one we called “Crossroads at Dawn”. This one will give you an idea of what “The Parker Strip” area look like at 6 AM, in a cloudy day, from our campsite at Crossroads Campgrounds. It’s was very peaceful with a pretty view but I had to get up very early to catch it on film. To see the Colorado River, with the hills as background, when the sun is coming up is just magnificent.

They get old because…
Another one to see is a video clip named “Gene Video”. It’s about a master of the camping life having fun in the river. Here you will meet the Crossroads Campgrounds Host. Gene Rogowicz, the host and my friend, went riding my Ultra one afternoon. Can you imagine? At his age, with all the white hair, to go riding a highly modified sky in a choppy river. This video should remind everybody that people don’t stop playing because the get old but they get old because they stop playing.

Buckshot50s Carburetor to go faster
Don’t forget to watch the videos “68.7 Ultra 150” and a longer clip that was taking the first time that the ultra was running good after its carburetors gave us trouble for a year, it’s the “Jet ski Run”. You will see me in action, riding the Ultra 150 after I installed a set of Buckshot50s Carburetors to go a little faster. Check them out and for a little time you could feel like you are the driver. I have many more video clips of us at the river that I want to publish but they need to be edited for internet use. I haven’t had time to do it yet.

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2000 Kawasaki Ultra 150 Jetski modifications The Lucky Ghost II Story

There had to be more excitement
We came across this 2000 Kawasaki Ultra 150 jetski by the end of summer in the year 2014. At that point in time I was mainly running a couple of big and heavy 3-seaters jet skis. I was getting bore and finding no excitement in the ride anymore. Somehow it felt almost like riding in my old Formula boat, safe and secure but I couldn’t feel the big rush anymore. While conducting a search with google for “personal watercraft” I found a forum dedicated to the Kawasaki Ultra 150 jetski, it was run by Skiworx Watercrafts Performance. Reading at this forum got me very excited about this little “Speed Devil”.

Kawasaki Ultra 150 – The facts

I learned at this board that the Ultra 150 had been the fastest factory stock jetski available from 1999 to 2003. Their top speeds of 63 to 66 miles per hours had been verified either using global positioning devices or radar guns. I also learned that the speed that shows up on most stock speedometer that come with the new jetski, from factory, was far from being the actual and real speed. The hardcore riders call them dream_meter. You most remember not to go by what the stock speedometer readout shows when comparing to other riders. Many riders at the lakes swear to 80 mph when in reality their jetski can only go 55 GPS mph. When making speed claims, you should use either a radar gun or a global positioning device to get a close to acurate speed read out, so the riders that really know the sport will respect you in an argument.

Free knowledge just for the reading
At the Kawasaki Ultra150 Forum I found many raiders related to the regional and national racing circuit and they had invested a lots of time and money in R&D, Research and Development, to make their racing Jetskis go faster and be able to win at the races. From this forum (Database of knowledge I call it) it became evident to me that the Kawasaki jetski was a very reliable and dependable high performance machine. Even though, I did owned 3 jetskis and had been using them for 4 year, I discovered that I didn’t knew much about PWCs and that it was time to go back to school. So, I expended many hours, every day, until I had read everything at that forum regarding the famous Kawasaki Ultra 150 jetski and, to get a wider view, I also did a research for it in the internet.

Seadoo RXP took title from Kawasaki Ultra 150
The bottom line was that by 2004 Seadoo had come out with their new monster machine, the 2004 RXP. This new ski was bigger and heavier than the Ultra 150 but it came out with a super charged engine capable of producing 215 HP. The accepted and official top speed was between 66 to 69 miles per hours on radar. The Seadoo RXP had taken the title from the Kawasaki Ultra 150 as it was the fastest “factory stock” personal watercraft available in 2004. This “Monster Engine” had the potencial, with some major modifications, to deliver big power and unbelievable speed. All that was needed, was to get the aftermarket industry to start producing new parts.


I was a 2000 Kawasaki Ultra 150 owner
I have never been a circuit racer but I like to get to from point A to point B as fast as I can without breaking the bank. Right around that time, I came across a good deal on a highly modified 2000 Kawasaki Ultra 150, since it was already modified and it was suppose be able to go 68 to 70 GPS mph according to what I had learned at the ultra forum, I went for broke and bought it. The seller had claimed 74 mph as this ultra 150 top speed but, I knew that was going to be close to impossible with the amount of modifications done to this jetski. When I got I was hoping for 70 GPS mph but a 68 would have been OK with me. Wow… Congrats! I had, finally, become the proud owner of a fast and highly modified Kawasaki jet ski