The Story of Tom and Rhonda's Miller


Returning home from Nacimiento Lake in early 1976, towing a tired Glastron outboard, Tom and Rhonda Manier spied a new Miller 19’ bubble deck beckoning from the show room window. Rhonda said to Tom, “If you don’t buy it now, you might never own it.” The Manier’s drove the daylights out of the boat for the first two seasons. In 1980 with a baby on the way they reluctantly sold their prize and settled down to raising a family.

In 1995, Tom, an automotive service manager and former mechanic, along with Rhonda and son Josh, started Jet Boat Performance, a Central California Coast performance boat service, parts and repair facility, specializing in vintage jet and V-drive boats.

Tom says he always wondered what happened to the Miller but never saw it again at the lake or anywhere else until this past summer when a yellow and white wood deck Miller showed up for a jet drive overhaul. Off and on during the day as Josh was removing the jet for blueprinting, Tom kept talking about how this was a similar boat to the one he purchased almost 29 years before. It looked sort of like his boat but had a huge ugly yellow design on the deck and a covered engine (not present in 1980). Then on the transom was found the very faint remains of Afternoon Delight – the name Tom’s Dad had lettered on it ‘back in the day.’ A call to the current owner, a little negotiation and a check brought the boat back into Tom and Rhonda’s possession just for the nostalgia.

After 29 years the boat was a little worse for the wear but Tom and Josh set about doing a little reconditioning: hours of sanding to remove the deck design; off came the engine cover and thru hull exhaust; back on went the OT pipes, some blinging 70’s chrome, and of course, the name Afternoon Delight. Tom says it’s not a total resto but it was very cool to see Josh (age 20, who wasn’t even born when they first owned the boat) drive the exact boat Tom owned when he was 24.  The boat is now going to a great couple in Paso Robles who know all the history and have agreed to give it a good home.