This is my fourth, and my first brand new, boat a 1986 18' Hydrostream Valero YT, which I picked up in June of 1986. The Valero YT utilized a Mod/VP, hybrid tunnel-V hull design, which combined the advantages of an air entrapment tunnel with some of the ride characteristics of a modified "V" hull. This unique hull configuration lended it self to some unusual handling characteristics. Unlike a typical V-hull boat, which tends to "bank" in the turns, this boat turned practically flat, like a car would. This resulted in some major G-force in hard turns, but that only made it all the more fun. The boat also had a tendency to chine walk if it was trimmed up too soon, and you had to "push through" the speed range where this occured and it would level out again. The Hydrostream was powered by a 175 H.P. Mercury Black Max, V6 outboard. Top speed was in excess of 75 MPH, when equipped with a 28" pitch "chopper" style prop. A less radical 25" pitch "Laser" prop was used for general cruising and Skiing/Tubing. When I first bought the boat it had no fixed fuel tank, and I had to use two 6 gallon portable tanks. That was not nearly enough fuel for running on a large lake like Wallenpaupack, without having to refuel on the water (at expensive marina gas prices). So I installed an 18 gallon fixed tank along with an in-dash gauge. During the next 4 years that I ran this boat, I added additional gauges for engine water pressure, water temperature, and trim. I also added a stereo and speakers. Had I not traded the boat in when I did, a vertical engine jack plate was next on the upgrade list.
The Valero was a lightweight boat, the hull weighing in at about 850 Lbs. dry. Add in an additional 365 Lbs for the motor, and you're just tipping the scales at just over 1200 Lbs, which was pretty light for a boat of this size. You really could feel the difference of additional passengers in this boat, as I could lose up to 10 MPH of top end speed by just having a full load of 4 people on board. The boat was affectionately known as the "pocket rocket", by the local "river rats", as it was very fast while still somewhat small. While the light weight lent itself to a great power/weight ratio for high speeds, the biggest downside to the light weight of this boat and of the fairly shallow deadrise, was that it had a tendency to "pound" hard on any chop larger than that created by small boat wakes. As we started expanding our horizons to include larger bodies of water, the harsh ride became an increasing problem. So in 1990, I traded in this boat for a 22' Sea Ray Pachanga.
The two "action" pictures were taken at Lake Wallenpaupack, in northeastern Pa.