THE SPORT AFLOAT
MOTOR BOATS AT THE SHOW
A COMPREHENSIVE AND SATISFACTORY EXHIBITION
URING the past two years there has been a steady increase in the number of owners of “little ships,’ and these recruits seem
to have been drawn largely from motorists.
This may be due to the present crowded state of our roads, but more likely to the fact that the designers and builders of motor-craft have undoubtedly become motor car minded, by which it is meant that the motorist on becoming the owner of a motor boat will have to sacrifice nothing in the way of comfort and ease of maintenance. The enthusiast will gloss over and make light of the many little difficulties of handling a boat of just pre-modern vintage in such craft however, the messiness of dealing with an anchor chain and the acrobatics necessary in the control of a twin engine installation single-handed, were two factors which alone were sufficient to discourage the owner of a car, a vehicle which has to rely on for some years past the excess of its refinements to secure a sale. That an exhibition is of definite value to the trade is apparent, for while last year’s show might have been regarded as something in the nature of an experiment and thus received support on this merit, this year’s exhibitor has data to show whether the cost meets the Justification, and in spite of the present crisis in trade, particularly the luxury class, there was a good rally
of the motor boating trade at Olympia. Further, there was a gratifying increase in the number of British gods on the stands, which means that manufacturers are optimistic, because the primary expense of a new article is not indulged in, unless a return is expected. Furthermore, this return is expected from a new motor boating public who are now motorists, and that the Motor Boat and Motor Shows should be combined is of the greatest importance, and it is quite reasonable to predict that quite a fair percentage of those who went to see the cars and hardly realised the boats were being shown, will have seen the attractiveness of motor boats, how like cars they are to control, and relatively low prices (twin motor craft, completely fitted out for coastal cruising can be bought for little over a thousand pounds).
As before, the new Empire Hall was allocated to the Motor Boat section, and owing to the comparatively low ceiling there was, as before, only one auxiliary shown. This is a pity, for I think most yachtsmen will agree, that for the ” one-boat ” man the compromise effected in the auxiliary is the most useful and economical for hard work of a more or less continuous nature. Therefore, it is to be hoped that the organisers of next year’s. show can be prevailed upon to allocate the National Hail to the Motor Boat section, for the headroom of theEmpire Hall is more than sufficient for cars.
Considering that only one example of a hydroplane was to be found last year, the widely divergent types exhibited this year were something of a surprise. The range extended from the 10ft. racing outboard hydroplane, designed by Capt. Palethorpe and shewn by Sharlands to the world’s record holder, Miss England II. the designer being Mr. Fred Cooper, A.M.I.N.A. Although built by Saunders-Roe of Cowes, Miss England II. was not shown on their stand, for together with the Supermarine S.G.B. racing seaplane, and Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird, she formed a trio of speed, the envy of every other nation in the world.
The range of non-speed type of craft was even more extensive, the smallest exhibit being the 9ft. County runabout powered with a 14 h.p. Villiers engine, and the largest craft shown was a 36ft. twin screw seagoing cruiser, a boat built to luxury standards at a non-luxury price. The only real query the boat section raised is, Why are some cars so expensive ?
There is only one major respect in which the Show fell far short of that of the previous year, and that was in the absence of a demonstration boat on the near-by Thames. Undoubtedly, bringing craft to the river is a very expensive proposition, but it should be remembered that the yachtsman is a very discriminating person, and will not lightly consider the spending of one or two thousand pounds without ample proof that he is getting value for money, combined in a vessel in which he can trust his life at sea. Furthermore, if new owners are expected from the ranks of present motorists, what more convincing way is there of proving the new thrills and pleasures of motor boating than an actual demonstration run ?
This year the express cruiser was conspicuous by its absence, but in one case at least this would not have been so had not a disastrous fire occurred at the British Power Boat Co.’s yard at Hythe, Southampton. Nevertheless, in spite of this handicap, Mr. Scott Paine managed to produce a very attractive stand, the chief exhibit being his famous Panther III., with which he did so well at Venice recently.
The exhibition was open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on each day from October 15th to October 24th, and towards the end of the week the general tone of those showing was decidedly on the optimistic note, and it is to be sincerely hoped that the show will prove a business proposition to the exhibitors, for to. increase our overhead charges at the present state of trade is a bold and courageous act, and it is, I am sure, this attitude that will put industry as a whole back on its feet again.
Various Exhibits Classified as regards type. —Cruisers. The largest exhibit in the Show came under this class, and is a very fine example of a twin screw 36ft. bridge-deck cruiser built by Hyland Ltd., of York Street, Wakefield. The power units, two 20-40 h.p. Hylander marine engines, are housed beneath the floor of the
bridge, and are controlled by the makers’ hydraulic remote control unit. The boat’s draught of 3ft. 6in. is well over a third of the beam, and the craft should be easy to handle in rough water. Four persons are slept ex saloon. At the modest price of £1,225, the equipment is very complete, including single shot lubrication, hydraulic winch, Vi-spring mattresses, electric light throughout, and complete inventory of crockery, etc., for putting to sea.
The next in size was the well-proved Osborne Everyman cruiser, but which is now a foot longer with 31ft. This boat has a large cockpit aft, and a Morris Commodore is installed at the forward end under a mahogany cover. A large saloon comes amidships, whilst in the bows is a two berth sleeping cabin. A galley and toilet-room separate the two cabins. At £750 this boat represents real value for money.
The only other cruisers exhibited were two shown by Simons, Sons and Cooke, Ltd., of 3, Weekday Cross Nottingham. The smaller boat is the 1932 edition of the Robt. Simons cruiser produced last year, and she has been altered only in minor details since then. A hard drive system of building is employed, and the boat is controlled from a roomy aft cockpit. As a day cruiser it should maintain its popularity at £285. The larger Simons craft follows more conventional lines and favours modern practice by having twin motors under the bridge deck. The dimensions are, 28ft. long, 8ft. Gin. beam and 2ft. draught. Considering the length, the ample accommodation is surprising, there being a large two berth sleeping cabin aft and a roomy saloon galley and toilet room forward. The boat, fitted out and powered with a pair of electrically started 4/17 Thornycroft motors, sells at £750.
These were all the cruisers, and the only strange thing was the complete absence this year of the outboard cruiser, a type much in evidence before, and although stock models are still available around the boatyards, they did not come to Olympia.
As previously mentioned, there was only one example of this type shown, and that was the popular Hillyard hailing from Littlehampton, Sussex. Hillyard has built up in the last few years an enviable reputation as the constructor of small auxiliaries classed from 3 to 18 tons. The one shewn is the standard 30ft. 9-tonner. The other dimensions are 9ft. beam and 4ft. 3in. draught. This year the boat has been increased 1 ft. in length, but this addition is mostly taken up with a new canoe stern. An unusual feature in a small auxiliary is 6ft. headroom in a saloon capable of berthing four people. Right for ward is a two berth sleeping cabin, and between this and the saloon comes the usual galley and toilet-room. The engine, a Thornycroft Handibilly 9h.p., is neatly housed, partly in the cockpit and partly under the companionway into the saloon. The rig is Bermudan, and the price, complete, is only £575. This should make some car purchasers think quite hard.
Dinghies and Launches.—Boats under this heading constituted the largest show of all, and there was some attraction for every pocket. The smallest boat there was a little 9ft. runabout suitable for inland water and for operation by a juvenile. The power unit is a 1 h.p. Villiers two-stroke engine which drives the boat along at 7 m.p.h. with two people up. The price is only £55 complete and a feature is the extraordinary robust construction. The Wearside Boatbuilding Co. had on their stand an lift, dinghy powered with the inboard edition of the Turner Bray engine. The boat is quite light and can be handled easily by two persons, yet in spite of this, the strength of the boat has not suffered. The price is £52 10s.
A very interesting exhibit was to be found on the Elto stand. For the first time in this country is shown a 16ft. canoe powered with an electrical outboard motor. The electric motor is itself under water in what is normally the propeller housing. £72 2s. is charged for the boat, outboard. two batteries and a plug-in charger.
The cross-channel lift. Tadpole dinghy was again on the stand of Arthur Bray. This is a boat seating four persons.
The most interesting exhibits from the point of view of the student of design were those shown on the stand of Binnal Boats. A comprehensive range of metal hulls were shown, all in Birtnabright aluminium alloy the largest being a 25ft. launch powered with a Morris Commodore. This hull can also be used for commercial purposes and is especially suited for tropical use.
Saunders-Roe had a neat little 6-seater 14ft. launch powered with their own 5 h.p. Sara engine, a feature of which was the tunnel stern, enabling the boat to be dragged up a rough beach without damage to the prop.
Hydroplanes.—The most attractive exhibit was undoubtedly the Saunders-Roe 140 h.p. hydroglider, a type of craft which is propelled with an airscrew, and is thus suitable for very shallow and weed-strewn waters. Compared with direct water propulsion, this method appears to be quite efficient for with 6 people up, the boat is stated to he capable of about 34 m.p.h.
On the Vosper stand was an example of a real luxury high speed multi-stepped hydroplane suitable for use as either a runabout or a yacht’s tender. The craft is 26ft. long and has four shallow steps. Mr. Fred Cooper has designed a boat for really high-speed for it is quite feasible to fit a Rolls-Royce Kestrel aero engine in, which case the expected speed is 70 m.p.h. No engine is fitted as standard, it being left to the owner’s choice. The price of the hull is £450.
A centre of attraction was the 10ft. ” Dab ” type hydroplane, the prototype of that purchased by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
Semi-di .splarement.—The British Power Boat Co. although handicapped by the recent fire at their yards managed to produce a new model for the show. This boat known at the Sea-King is a replica of that successful racing boat, Panther III, except that she is powered with the new 100 h.p. motor. Birmal’s have produced the first all metal speed dinghy
to be built in this country and although this craft is 13ft. long the weight is only 196 lbs.
There were, of course, on Arthur Bray’s stand, typical examples of the Chris-Craft range of passenger carrying speed boats. The larger of the two boats shown was 24ft in length.
An entirely new boat was the Reindeer, a 20ft. V-bottom runabout, capable of 28 m.p.h., and produced by Simons, Sons and Cooke, Ltd. The price is £375.
A very pretty little sports model was the Wearside 14ft. V-bottom runabout. This boat is designed to carry two passengers at 28 m.p.h. with the Coventry Victor horizontally opposed twin cylinder inboard, installed.
A very fine boat was shown by the Outboard Supply and Boatbuilding Co., of Christchurch, Hants. It is a clinker-built boat engined with a 30 h.p. Gray motor, and it is stated that with four people, 30 m.p.h. is obtained. This boat should have a good market at £195.
As before the outboard motors on view at Olympia were numerous, but there was one very gratifying feature of the Show different from that of the previous exhibition, and this was the large increase in the proportion of British-made motors.
Sports and racing models.—The British racing Sharland was. of course, on view, and as will be remembered, it follows as regards the power head, modern motorcycle design. Although a four-stroke the engine peaks at 6,000 r.p.m. where it develops something over 20 h.p., a figure quite good for a 350 c.c. The price is £75 but nowhere on the engine has quality been sacrificed to cost.
Four sports and racing type Laros engines were shown by Arthur Bray, and undoubtedly the F. class 55 b.h.p. model deserved any praise it may have received from visitors to Olympia. The job is a four cylinder horizontally opposedtwo-stroke and costs £160.
Eltos also had a very complete range, but as the New York Motor Boat Show does not take place until next January anything entirely new for the new year will not appear until then.
1.717 ity models.—John Marston Ltd., makers of the Sunbeam motorcycle, have for some months now been on the outboard market with the 98a Seagull, and for the Show they had another unit in the field. This new motor is a 240 c.c. superimposed alternate firing twin cylinder two-stroke, which develops 10 b.h.p. at 4,000 r.p.m. One model of th;s motor was fitted with a reverse and neutral gearbox, which should prove a very interesting and useful motor. It is thought that it will be in production by early January. The price of the twin motor is £58 while the 98a model is £26.
A reverse gear motor already in production is the Y.S.L. Bantam. These motors are very neat little 128 c.c. flat twins and can be obtained either with or without the gear at the respective prices of £30 and £26.
Watermotas had their usual range of various types of 350 c.c. two-stroke models, and the miniature 106c .c. Sharland was also attracting attention.
An interesting exhibit on the Wearside stand was the Coventry-Victor inboard engine coupled to an outboard drive, and from its sturdy appearance looked as if it could stand any amount of hard usage.