Released 1977 – designed, built and marketed by GILFLITE Boats
Developed from the same background and proven superior performance of the Javelin and the later Javelin Mk II. GILFLITE has now produced the ‘Spitfire’, a V Bottom sports runabout
(the following information is supplied from original spec sheets & advertising media circa 1977)
SPITFIRE (Mk I) Specifications
Hard chine V Bottom Sports Runabout
Length: 16’8″ (5 m )
Beam: 6’4″ (1.93m)
Seating: 6 Adults
Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres (16.4 gal)
Engine Options: 308 Holden 80 – 87 kph, –
351 ford 95 – 100 kph, – Leyland V8 74 – 78 kph.
Drive Systems: New exclusive Gilflite soft clutch or std dog clutch.
Dead Rise: 10 degrees
Hulls to take larger engines built on request.
Available as rear engine or centre drive with optional sports windscreen.
Available in stage 2 & 3
Standard Features: Full wrap around rear seat. Front bench seat folds forward for engine accessibility, simulated leather bound stainless steering wheel, tachometer, voltmeter, temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge, ignition switch and tell tale light, fully adjustable heavy anodised cavitation plate, stainless steel exhaust pipes, exhaust outlet flaps, ski pole, single lever clutch control, bow eye, bow and stern grab handles.
Options Chart: Metal Flake finish, Tinted Windscreen, Carpet, Seat Options include Bench Seat or Bucket Seats, Walk through turn about Bench Front Seat (not available in rear engine), Bubble Windscreen, Upholstered Side combings, Fitted full length Cover, Tonneau Cover, Borg Warner FWD & Reverse Gearbox, Large capacity Fuel Tank, Cockpit cont. Rolled Cav Plate, Soft Clutch.
Comment: A hard chine Vee Bottom Sports Runabout for the enthusiast who likes snappy looks and lively performance. This boat has handling abilities comparable to the Mk III Javelin while retaining a sporty appearance. Available as rear engine or centre drive with optional sports windscreen. Available in Stages 2 and 3
Advertising: Developed from the same background and proven superior performance of the Javelin and the later Javelin Mk II. GILFLITE has now produced the ‘Spitfire’, a V Bottom sports runabout for the boating enthusiast who likes snappy looks and lively performance.
SPITFIRE PHASE 2 (Spitfire Mk II)
COMPACT DESIGN – LARGE BOAT PERFORMANCE –
PROVEN PERFORMANCE – 5 AUSTRALIAN RECORDS AT 1982 NATIONALS –
OFFICIAL TOW BOAT FOR 1983 NATIONALS IN HOBART.
- Released: 1982
- Length Overall: 5m (16’8”) not including Boarding Platform
- Beam Overall: 1.93m (6’4”)
- Seating: 6 ADULTS
- Fuel Tank Capacity: —–
- Engine Options: See options charts
- Drive Systems: See options chart
- Rear Engine and Centre mount options
SPITFIRE – a name often connected by many with either fighter aircraft or spirited women: so it is with this boat.
A fast sports craft with spirit, looks and performance. A great barefoot boat.
This is the boat chosen by world champion water skier Mike Hazelwood for his practice sessions for the 1980, ’81, ’82 & ’83 Moomba Masters Competition held on Melbourne’s Yarra River.
Preferred by most Ski Clubs and serious river skiers.
Born of our hard earned experience in Boat Racing, Spitfire has constantly benefited from continual refinement over the years to rightfully earn the admiration and respect of the many experts who consider this to be the ultimate in ski boats.
The accolades for this boat will not be about its superb performance alone because we have given Spitfire a style to match. A bold, chunky style from stem to stern with unique frameless windshield which really protects, a style that will leave no doubt in your mind that you are an enthusiast and everyone else will realise that you are a connoisseur.
These features coupled with our legendary flawless finish and faultless colour and trim combinations make Gilflite Spitfire, for the true water sportsman, THE boat to be seen in.
CUSTOMISED DESIGN SERVICE
ALL GILFLITE SKI BOATS CAN BE CUSTOM DESIGNED TO SUIT YOUR PARTICULAR SKIING NEEDS. SEE OPTION CHART.
STAGE II CENTRE MOUNT:
Solid Gelcoat two-tone colour scheme – Carpet – Adjustable driver’s seat – Reversible twin observers seat – Wraparound rear seat – Trimmed ski pockets – Padded side combings – Tinted windscreen – Sports steering wheel – Adjustable cavitation plate doubling as boarding platform – Ski-pole – Bow eye-bolt – Bow handle – Baffled aluminium fuel tank and filter neck – Fin – Skegg – Rudder – Drilled prop-shaft hole & shaft log – All holes for gauges, exhaust, etc.
STAGE II REAR ENGINE:
As above with: Twin fuel tanks – Cockpit-controlled full width cavitation plate – Padded rear engine hatch.
INSTALLED ENGINE UP TO STAGE III:
Includes: Soft clutch – Tachometer – Speedometer – Voltmeter – Oil pressure gauge – Temperature gauge – Ignition switch and teltale light – Battery & wiring – Hour meter and fuel gauge – Custom finish to engine – Thermostatic water temperature system – Accelerator system with sprung pedal – Balanced exhaust system wit flapped outlets – Remote shaft log greaser – Quality and performance reliability test on water by independent specialist.
350 CHEV. Rebuilt with new engine warranty.
400 CHEV. Rebuilt with new engine warranty.
260 MERCRUISER inboard (Standard with Borg Warner drive).
DRIVE OPTIONS: (centre and rear installation).
Borg Warner: Forward, Neutral and Reverse.
Ski Auto: Forward, Neutral and Reverse
DO-IT-YOURSELF MARINISATION AND INSTALLATION KITS:
We can supply new un-marinised engines complete with fitting out kit as per our installed engine to Stage III specifications, etc. to complete your Stage II boat at considerable savings. All necessary holes for engine mounts, gauges, water pick-ups and exhaust outlets are jig drilled. (Battery and wiring not included in kit).
FIT-OUT KITS TO SUIT:
350 CHEV. – 400 CHEV. – 351 FORD – 308 HOLDEN.
Single or tandem axle, galvanised easy-tow.
Single or tandem, customised, painted
Do-it-yourself trailer kits with or without wheels. Includes plans.
SEE SEPARATE LIST FOR ALL OTHER OPTIONS.
Note: all products, illustrations and specifications shown are accurate at time of printing (circa 1982). GILFLITE reserves the right to modify, discontinue or change such details without incurring obligation to modify existing products built prior to date of such changes.
Difference between models; Spitfire Mk III & IV
Minor modifications to hull
Re designed interior construction and lay out Mk III & IV
Note: Boarding Platform was an option on Mk II Spitfire . The design of the boarding platform changed in 1984. The new style of boarding platform was made for the Laser and Spitfire. The boarding platform was standard on the Mk III Spitfire
SPITFIRE MK II – released at the 1982 boat show
Spitfire Mk III – (remodelled Mk II) released 1990
Spitfire Mk IV – Special Build 2010 (Note: Special Custom Build – Limited Edition) – remodelled from the Mk III
Furthermore; modifications to certain GILFLITE models were custom designed and hand built at the factory to achieve the desired result for the customers personal use. (GILFLITE’s success is partly due to the ongoing development and improvement throughout the continued evolution of GILFLITE Boats)
Designed and built by GILFLITE Boats – Chief design engineer: David Gill – at the time of the release of the Spitfire Mk I and Mk II GILFLITE Boats was owned and operated by brothers David and Kevin Gill
The GILFLITE SPITFIRE is a cultural icon in the Australian water ski fraternity and a boat much loved by the barefooters.
This album features the Spitfire Mk I, II, III & IV
All photo’s are original around the year of manufacture. First released in 1977
**GILFLITE Step Bottom Hulls**
The Spitfire SHORTLINE and The Laser Tournament Special…
The step in the bottom of the hull reduces drag which in turn allows the boat to go faster.
The step in the bottom of the hull – cut away (approximately 460 to 500mm with variances depending on use and design), cut into the chine was a custom design/build to modify the wash. Often these boats were used for tournament skiing. The cut out enables the hull to run at speed with less wetted surface area therefore creating less drag. Less drag equals more speed. The cut out has nothing to do with the water skiing wash. Note: GILFLITE built more Spitfires than Lasers with this feature. Originally when this feature was designed into the Spitfire, the boat model was referred to as the ‘Spitfire Shortline’. The Laser was referred to as ‘The Laser Tournament Special’
GILFLITE a style of Life!