E-103  Vagabond

A 280 Class hydroplane, built by Dick Sooy

Stephen Lindo - former owner

National Champ - 1965 - St. Pete, Fl

National Champ - 1967 - Guntersville, Ala

National Champ - 1969 - Morgan City, La

Vagabond set the kilo record on September 24, 1966 at New Martinsville, West Virginia, at 107.071 MPH


The following information was provided by Chris Mattoon, based on his conversation with Dick Sooy, before he passed away.

Vagabond is a 17'-4", 280-Class three point hydroplane built by Dick Sooy of Mays Landing, New Jersey. Dick built more than 150 boats over his lifetime, was a world record holder as a driver and is credited as being one of the founders of the 280-class. He built this boat for Walt Struzek of Pottstown, PA in 1965. It was named "Vagabond", hull number E-103.


It is powered by the original stock Chevy 265 cubic inch V-8, complete with the Sooy-modified engine mounts, flywheel and oil pan. The original engine work was done by Walt Stephenson. Walt Struzek had suggested to Dick a special split sponson design for this boat, and was the only hydro like it ever built. Mr. Struzek still has all of the awards. According to Mr Struzek, this hull excelled at the ability to come from behind in rough water and charge to the front. The boat was raced by Walt at least through 1971, and was very seaworthy and never flipped. The hull, hardware and engine are 100% complete.


The restoration work was done by Chris Mattoon, of Berkshire Wooden Boat in Pittsfield, Ma. Chris purchased Vagabond from the Stanecki racing family in Jersey City, NJ. The boat was affiliated with the Winding River boat Club in Millville, NJ.

Click here for Page 2 - project completion photos


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