The Start:

The year was 1946, World War II had ended and people in the US just wanted entertainment and had money to spend. I was thirteen and was interested in anything that had an engine. Spending my summers in Greenwood Lake NY, I was interested in boats, but there were no new boats or outboard engines, and not many were left from before the war. The Greenwood Lake Racing Club was started in 1948 and outboard racing drew my interest.

As the late 40s and early 50s began, Mercury and other outboard manufacturers built new engines and the sport of stock outboard racing was underway. I believe this could be called the “Golden Age” of stock outboard racing from the late 40s through most of the 50s. There were many engine manufacturers such as Mercury, Champion, Martin, Johnson and Evinrude. With all types of new boats available, there was plenty of competition. People could afford a new boat and motor and go racing for a very reasonable price. You could boat race almost every weekend within a hundred miles of NY or NJ. Almost every state had stock outboard racing. The American Power Boat Association and the National Outboard Association were the two sanctioning bodies and lots of unsanctioned races were run at the same time.

I started in the sport with a 7 ˝ H.P. Mercury Hurricane engine, and a Sid-Craft stock A runabout. This class was quite popular and we could run at almost any race. In 1953, I was fortunate enough to win a National Championship in  A stock runabout and was able to repeat again in 1954. The following two years I spent in the U.S. Navy.

1956 was the year to get started again, and I branched out with a C stock hydroplane. From there a D engine was added and I ran C and D stock hydro. In 1959 after really getting back into boat racing, I won the national championship in D Stock hydro and repeated again in 1961.

In the later part of 1956 I started Dick O’Dea Racing in Paterson, New Jersey. It was a race engine shop repairing and modifying outboard racing engines, also selling Mercury outboard race engines and parts. A Sid-Craft racing boat franchise was also acquired. Lines of racing hardware and accessories were added.
The shop grew through the years and the Konig line of alky engines was added .

In 1964 I became the North American distributer for Crescent racing engines that were manufactured in Sweden. The business grew and my participation in races started to slow down. At that point it was tough to keep up with it all.

I was fortunate enough to be elected to Yachting Magazine’s All American Race team in 1954, 1959, 1961, and 1969. Another appreciated honor was when I was selected to the Gulf Marine Racing Hall of Fame in 1959 and 1961. Twice I was winner of Outboard Magazine Silver Prop Award, also being inducted into the APBA Honor Squadron in 1979.

Some trophies won along the line were the 1953 Kiekhaefer Trophy for the most points in Stock Outboard Racing, and later, the Woolworth Trophy and Schaefer Brewing Award.

I had decided to keep some boats and motors, and have drivers run some engines that we built in the shop. Some of the drivers that ran my boats and engines were John Schubert, John Schedel, Bill Seebold, John Yale, John Woods, George Andrews Jr., John Sherlock, Billy Simmons. If I have overlooked some people it is unintentional, and I apologize. Please feel free to inform me of any names I have missed.

Sid-Craft D hydro with Mercury 55H engine (About 1959)

Sid-Craft A hydro with 250cc Konig engine (About 1961)