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Dillon Pro Tunnel Built by Vampire Sport Boats

"Vampire Sport Boats has started a new boat build, a 12' Tunnel Boat for GT Pro and Sport C.... Here is how it started."

Vampire Sport Boats, in Wyoming, MN, is the brainchild of Aaron Wachholz and Jeff Baker.

"We took the plans for a Dillon Pro Tunnel and heavily modified and re-configured almost everything."

This tunnel boat is for Aaron's daughter, Emma, who will be joining us in GT Pro this summer.

More about Vampire Sport Boats:

Here's a big change: A balsa-core, molded front cowling.

The boys at Vampire specialize in molded composite construction

The completed cowling resting on top of the cross-beams.

And now it's notched in and being integrated into the overall structure.

Whoa! Wasn't this supposed to be a Pro Tunnel? They really did "re-configured almost everything."

With the inner portion of the deck going on, Emma decides to test fit the cockpit.

Jeff finishes up the inner deck installation.

That's done.

Some lengths of tape on the cockpit presumably mark the finished profile.

Moving on to the outer decks.

I guess it's possible there's a Pro Tunnel in there somewhere.

Aaron and Jeff have taken a different approach, building the deck first. Now that that's done, it's turnover time -- to the bottom.

"Adding a little fiberglass reinforcement under the deck."

"Building in a drop down center pod for lower center of gravity and better driver protection."

"Center pod now finished. Unreal how many compound angles and shapes that go into building this," Aaron says. "Good thing I have Jeff Baker helping...!"

"Starting on the inside sponson walls."

"Mini-Strangler in paint booth."

Aaron is proprietor of X-TREME PAINT in Wyoming, MN. So we expect great things for this project.

(Click photo at right for larger image.)

See: Auto Body News article

"Tunnel is in, with lifting rails installed."

"Sponson Stringers in place."

"View from the front."

"We have a Hull! Just a couple more things to do on the bottom, then we can get back on the decks."

"Oh yeah, there might be a lifting strake [needed] on that sponson too!??"

"OK, I think Lil Strangler sounds better than Mini Strangler."

Bottom done and in the spray booth for finishing.

"... it's not finished yet," Aaron says. "I have 4 good coats of [epoxy] on now. After we are done with the decks, I will flip it back over and sand the bottom smooth, then give it 3 coats of automotive clearcoat."

Right side up again.

Looks like Jeff is starting on the rigging and setup.

Emma gets in on the project.

"Emma smoothing out the rough edges of her seat."

"I love the new fairing!" says Aaron.

Now that's a raceboat!

"The new name for Emma's GT Pro is 'Tricksy'. About 6 weeks into the build and getting close."

Back in the spray booth.

"Last coat of West."

"Hmmmm? Wonder what those things are sticking up from the coaming boards? Maybe head protection?? Safety first at Vampire Sport Boats!"

"Last coat of primer for Tricksy!"

And here it is!

"Tricksy is back home," Aaron says, "ready for decals and final rigging!"

June 2, 2013:

"Tricksy's first run. Went well, but need to make a few adjustments."

See video on Facebook.

"Went better than expected for the first try, but have to make a couple adjustments. Need to come down on the transom a bit."

Ready to go racin'

What's this? Changes to Tricksy??

Oh, yes! The reinforced cockpit has been upgraded to a full-fledged capsule, a 40hp Tohatsu clamped on, and Emma makes the move to Sport C class racing.

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