THE ” IMP ” and ITS EQUIPMENT: SOME DETAILS OF COLE’S CROSS CHANNEL CRAFT
BEFORE actually touching on the preparation and equipment of a craft for a longdistance venture of this type, it would be as well to state, very briefly, the object and use of such trips as R. C. Cole has successfully carried out from London to Brussels, to Amsterdam, and on this occasion, to Paris.
In the search for new types of motor sport, further encouraged by the increasing congestion of road traffic, the sporting motorist will turn firstly to the water. Being a motorist he demands a certain measure of speed, a high standard of reliability in every detail, reasonable economy, and a completely equipped craft.
This combination of speed and economy is only made .possible by the use of an outboard motor, for larger fast runabouts and cruisers are definitely a much more expensive type of water transport, and though some may later afford them, the majority will first experience motor boating by means of the outboard. There has long existed a notion, an outworn relic of earlier conditions, that the outboard engine is inher
ently =reliable, and the boat,
suitable for their use, frail and unseaworthy. Sales talk and pretty cata logues will never alone dispel such prejudices, and the only way to do so, and at
the same time to develop a sound and useful type, is by exacting tests and practical demonstration of what can be done.
Thus the aim of such a trip as has just been concluded is to develop a fast, economical, reliable, and seaworthy craft, which can be sold to the motoring public at a low price, complete and ready for all normal work to which an open runabout can be put. Though racing experience has been of vast assistance in the development of hulls and engines, such a craft as ” Imp ” is in no way a racing boat. It bears the same relation to such as the fully equipped sports car bears to the stripped i” sprint” vehicle. This boat is the
same as that used by Mr. Cole on his trip to Amsterdam, but it was fitted this time with a Watermota engine of 350 c.c. It is the same engine that he used for his London
Brussels trip, and for such minor voyages as a cruise in a single day from Southampton—Burlesdon —Lymington—Cowes—BurlesdonSouthampton. It has, however, been converted to one of the new Colonial model Watermotas which it helped to develop. These are fitted with a Wico impulse starter magneto,
which combines the certain starting of coil ignition with perfect waterproofing and compact layout. After careful tests for power and fuel con,sumption a Bowden car
burettor was chosen and fitted, the feed to this being by means of ” Titeflex ” all-metal flexible tubing, as described in the last issue of MOTOR SPORT. The steering gear is the Watermota detachable unit operating through heavy Bowden cables. The wheel, however, is one of A. F. Ashby and Co.’s ” Brooklands ” spring wheels which considerably
eases the strain on the wrists caused by many hours driving. The 14ft.
dinghy, built by Percy See, of Fareham, was left exactly as it returned from its trip to Amsterdam.
repairs or alterations were required, as it had proved easy to control, and dry in broken water.
The fuel tank and instruments were untouched. Before the Amsterdam trip the boat was varnished with ” Rylard,”
and this still being in perfect condition, it was not revamished.
The fuel system is simple and reliable. A thirteen gallon tank is set amidships, with a hand pressure pump on the instrument board, and by this, fuel can be fed to the engine tank as required.
The compass is a small areoplane type with which most people find difficulty in. reading, but which Cole maintains is entirely satisfactory ! Emergency items include a large Ever-Ready torch, and a ” Sout ‘
fire extinguisher, which has the great advantage for this class of work that it can be entirely operated by one hand, leaving the other for the controls and steering.
In the engine, Dominion petrol was used while the lubrication was attended to by Shell oil, pressure fed to the bearings, assisted by Filtrate upper cylinder lubricant mixed with the fuel. Lodge plugs completed the equipment of the engine. It is interesting to note that Cole
reports that while several spares were carried as a precautionary measure, only one plug was used throughout the whole trip—a type H.46.
Dunlop moulded sponge rubber seats which are very light and comfortable, and with their low price should create a big demand in boats, cars and aircraft were also used.
The reliable performance of all components under by no meons ideal conditions was a great factor in the successful outcome of the venture.