AS you stand in the queue at the County Hall with several pounds of good English money in your hand, and your log book between your teeth, don’t you sometimes think : “Oh i to live in the old days when normal people could afford to have a reasonably sized car.” And, as you fumble for your insurance certificate, don’t you feel it would be wonderful to be free of all these taxes and restrictions.

Well, as a speedboat owner, you are 1 You have no tax to pay, no driving licence, and no compulsory insurance.

Now let us go into the cost of being a Speedboat owner.

A two seater speed dinghy with a 10 or 14 h.p. motor now costs about £45. This craft would have a speed of about 22 m.p.h. and is sufficiently seaworthy to travel anywhere round the coast in reasonable weather. The cost of the craft rises slightly as the maximum speed is increased. Thus a 40 m.p.h. speed dinghy would cost about £55. Now imagine that you are a proud

master of craft. You must find a place to house it. Here you will have an agreeable surprise. Storage for a speed dinghy never costs more than half a crown a week and is sometimes as low as one and sixpence. That, apart from petrol and oil, is all the expense you have to face.

The use of one of these craft is unlimited. You can travel from Richmond to Westminster Bridge in about half an hour. You can visit say, Southend and come back the same day.

A week end trip can be made to Rochester or Dover or any other port within reasonable distance, and you can carry a fair amount of luggage, too. There is also another aspect of speed dinghy ownership. There is a lot of pioneering work to do. A great many records are open to be broken with comparative ease. Here are some of them :— London to Brussels (present record, 3 days). London to Amsterdam (present record, about 2 weeks). London to Antwerp (present record, 21 days). London to Paris (present record, a month). No one has yet piloted his own boat into Germany. (The total cost of an adventure of this sort would be about R30.)

The present record for the double crossing of the channel is held by a woman at an average speed of about 26 m.p.h.

The list of adventures that can be undertaken by a speed dinghy is a long one, and cannot be published here.

It is to be hoped, however, that all those people who have energy and determination to spare, will think seriously about the speed dinghy, for the British motorboat community has no reason, at the moment, to be proud of itself.

We need more motor boatists and we need them badly. We need better motorboatists. People who can control a boat with a certain amount of precision and common sense ; and above all, we need younger motor-boatists.

The season is fast approaching ; so give this motor-boating idea a thought. If you would like some advice or criticism On a prospective purchase, or if you cannot find a suitable craft, write to the Motorboating Editor it this office. Helping people like you is part of his job.

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