THE SPORT AFLOAT
A VERY GOOD SHOW
THE fact that the motor boat and car trades are in so many respects allied, was evidently the guiding thought behind the introduction of a boat section to the car show at Olympia. As a result many thousands of car owners, who are all potential owners of motor craft, were brought into contact with an aspect of motoring which was new to them, and the sport of motoring on the water should flourish as a result.
The novelty of this part of the exhibition was a great point in its favour as to a large body of motorists the car show is just the least bit boring. As the majority of manufacturers introduce all the models in their programme some time before the actual show, many people are only too glad to find something else at Olympia to claim their attention. It is probably in this capacity that the boat section attracted many, but it was certainly on its own merits as the most interesting section of the whole show that it held their attention.
Many who only strolled over to the new hall to pass the time stayed there all day, and came again. Never has there been in this country such a well arranged exhibition for the purpose for which it was intended, that was to turn the road motorist into a potential water motorist. The features most likely to appeal to them were stressed, and although many will realise, once they have had some experience, that in motor boats in general and cruisers in particular, high speed is not essential to good sport, most of the craft shown were of the highspeed type. One of the most striking exhibits was the 48ft. Thornycroft express cruiser powered with a 400 h.p. 12-cylinder T horn ycroft engine, and costing approximately RI ,000. The actual boat shown was arranged as a day cruiser, and the upperworks were obviously constructed for work in reasonably fine weather. The hull, however, is almost identical in design with the famous C.M.B.’s, than which there is no more seaworthy craft of this type in existence. The power plant was shown separately alongside the boat, and is a most impressive affair. Forward of the main engine is a 10-16 h.p. 4-cylinder
Thornycroft engine which is used to drive an air-cornpresser for starting the main engine, when the air supply has run out. The small engine has an electric starter. The main engine, when running, automatically stores up compressed air in another chamber, by means of a second compressor, so that normally, the small engine is not required. It is however useful in other ways, as it drives a shaft running alongside the main engine through a reduction gear to the main propeller shaft. This is intended for maneouvring in harbours, or shifting to other moorings, when it is not considered worth starting the main engine.
Every control is centralised, so that one man can manage the craft with ease ; the instruments are a first sight a somewhat fearsome array, but the various controls are self explanatory on Closer inspection. A speed of 40 m.p.h. is claimed, and we understand that a considerable number of these boats are supplied for use on the big rivers of India and South America. A good array of their more normal sized power units are also shown, including the famous 2-cylinder ” Handybilly,” one of the most famous auxiliaries for small yachts ever built.
Another express cruiser of similar size is the Despujols, shown by Kensington-Moir and Straker, Ltd., the Aston-Martin distributors, and one of these cruisers is run by Nigel Holder, who, our readers will remember, drove in turn with A. C. Bertelli, in the Aston-Martinwhich put up such a fine show in the “Double Twelve” this year. The same firm also had a Knight outboard cruiser on their stand. Another good example of this type of boat was the Rytecraft, shown by Elto Motor Sales Co. Ltd., who also displayed a range of Elto outboard motors.
Indian outboard engines have been introduced to this country by the Elephant :1W-hie Equipment Company, who also showed Lockwood notors, and a very attractive runabout. This firm also maintain a remarkably complete stock of every sort of equipment for both large and small boats.
One of the most interesting outboard motors for the racing man is the latest Sharland, which is made in the Class B size, This is a flat twin 4-stroke with push-rod operated overhead valves and can be supplied with a compression ratio of 8i to 1. Two motorcycle type carburettors are fitted, and it should be a likely performer in the future.
The firm of Salter Bros. has always been famous for the production of high class river craft and launches in particular, and the examples shown on their stand were very attractive craft indeed. Both inboard launches with Morris engines, and outboard craft with Johnson motors were among their exhibits. The racing hydroplane by this firm is a very fine piece of work, and has already won many events.
The latest Johnson outboard engines are really the neatest units of this type we have seen, which, added to their fine reputation for power and reliability, will make them even more popular next year. Among the larger high speed launches the ChrisCraft shown by Arthur Bray, stand out both for their
delightful lines and finish, as well as for their well-known performance.
In the cruiser class there is a good selection of boats of which the Hyland 35 footer, and the 36 footer with enclosed bridge deck giving central control, are fine examples, the latter vessel being driven by twin screws.
It is a great pity that there are not more sailing craft in. the exhibition, but the Hillyard 7-tormer, which is a sailing vessel with a Thornycroft ” Handy-billy” as an auxiliary, is a very sturdy craft. In fact if it came to being out in really heavy weather, we would rather be on board this boat than any other in the show. It has ample draught, and fine lines for sailing, and the depth enables full 6ft. head-room to be given throughout without increasing the top hamper. As its price is only £535 complete with sails and full equipment, it should make a great appeal to the motorist who wants to spend his holidays afloat without spending too much on them.
It is to be hoped that the combining of the boat and car shows will result in a considerably increased number of motorists taking to the water next season.