THE SPORT AFLOAT.
THE HOME OF BRITISH SPEED BOATS
ROUND THE POWER BOAT WORKS AT HYTHE.
UNTIL recent years, there has been no serious challenge to American supremacy in the speed boat world. Not so long ago, however, the water speed record was taken from them, their own’ Detroit News’ trophy was won by Mr. Scott-Paine, and Charles Harrison came in first in the Colonel Green Trophy Race at Miami.
Now, at the little village of Hythe, near Southampton, there is a modem factory producing standard craft, the quality and price of which is giving the American motor boat barons some considerable food for thought.
As is generally known, the British Power Boat Co.’s works were burnt down some time ago, together with several of Mr. Scott-Paine’s valuable racing boats : a severe blow to him. But, without any waste of time, a new factory sprang up, equipped with all the latest machinery, and employing all the latest methods of production. A contract for a large fleet of R.A.F. tenders was secured and the work re-started with characteristic enthusiasm. Well before schedule, the fleet was finished, and out went the boats for their trials : Air Ministry trials (which means a run of two hours at
full throttle to start off with), followed by various others means legalised” boat murder.” There was not a fault to be found anywhere with any of the boats or engines. On arriving at the Power Boat works you are agreeably surprised at the absence of the uniformed official who usually stands outside a British factory to scare away prospective customers. In his place is a notice telling you which way to
go. You are met by a courteous gentleman, who asks the type of craft which interests you, and he takes you for a run in it. He will also answer any question you like to ask, or if you are a professional questionasker—nearly any question. The activity inside the works is considerable. All types of craft are in the course of manufacture. The beautiful “Sea Queen” speedboat which is capable of 35 m.p.h., with
seating for five people, selling for £450; the “Sea Jack,” a utility speedboat which can seat 12 persons, also selling at £450; and the “Sea Ace,” an express cruiser, sleeping 6, with a speed of 18 m.p.h. Price £980.
The little “Sea Joker,” a new product, is being manufactured in large quantities. This little 16footer is powered with a 30 h.p. engine and has a speed of 25 m.p.h.
In all standard “Power Boat” craft ” Power ” engines are used, and here again the American high speed marine engine can teach us nothing. The hundred horse-power mcdel has twin carburettors and overhead valves, and an oil cooler, while the 30-h.p. model also has overhead valves. The fast tenders supplied to the R.A.F., although not pleasure craft, embody all the latest practise in marine engineering, and a run in one of them proved extremely interesting. They are fitted with two “Power 100″ engines, controlled by the ” Power-Hyland ” hydraulic control system, by which means the
forward and reverse gears and throttles are controlled by two little levers mounted on the dash-board, rather like a miniature ship’s telegraph. This makes the handling absurdly easy and positive. Occasionally, Mr. Scott-Paine can be seen amusing himself by manoeuvring on of these boats alongside a stake and then circling round it backwards, keeping exactly 2 feet from the stake.
The maximum speed of these boats is about 30 m.p.h., and even at this speed the handling is unusually easy. Even the MOTOR SPORT representative could control it, and did. The British Power Boat Company has the most modern and most completely equipped marine service station in the country. Boats can be taken from the water in a few minutes by means of trolleys on rails, and propeller repairs and so forth executed without delay ; even the flexible tubing from the petrol pumps is sufficiently long to reach a petrol tank which may happen to be in a stern locker, a point which
may be copied by some other marine service stations when they hear about it.
It is indeed gratifying to come across a British firm that is actually prospering. The British Power Boat Co. is working day and night to complete orders already placed, and the season has only just begun.
The Albany-New York Race.
THE annual Albany-New York Marathon resulted in a win for Charles Cabot, driving an Evinrude 4-60, with Kenneth McKenzie one second behind. This is generally considered to be the world’s finest motorboat race. The course is 133 miles long, and the entry is usually large.
On this occasion 98 boats started, the winner’s time being 2hrs. 56m. 39s. Speed 44.4 m.p.h.
That American Budget.
THERE is every possibility that the frantic efforts to balance the American budget will affect the motor boat
owners. There is already a small tax on motor boats in the States, but the new proposal is that there shall be a tax of 10% on the purchase of any pleasure motor boat.
IN view of the present economic conditions, Messrs. W. D. Fair & Co. have produced a complete inboard motor installation for £39. This model is to be known as -the “Economy 3,” and includes a reversing propellor and impulse starter. Messrs. W. D. Fair & Co. are the manufacturers of the Watermota outboard engine which has won for itself such an enviable reputation for reliability on long distance record trips such as London to Brussels, Antwerp, Paris, to mention a few.
Miss England III.
IT is with deep regret that we announce the death of an Italian seaman, who was drowned while Miss England III. was being towed across Lake Garda. Miss England III. was rapidly filling with water which was coming through the water scoops, and it was decided to connect up the automatic bailers, during which operation the tragedy occurred.
Another Continental Outboard Trip ?
mISS E. L. THOlVIPSON is due to start shortly on a run from London to the Continent by outboard dinghy. It will be remembered that she recently made a successful run from London to Amsterdam in a Lee dinghy, assisted by, or rather, accompanied by, a mechanic.
A Fast Outfit for Someone.
THE 17ft. Vanadium dinghy which was built for Mr. Myers to enter in the Poole Hundred is for sale, owing to his being called back to the States suddenly.
This is the only 16ft. dinghy at present in the country, and with it is one of the latest F class Laros motors, also for sale.
It is to be hoped that this outfit will run, even in the hands of somebody other than Mr: Myers.