If you ask my wife to let me buy another boat I will do that.
On another matter Mr hot rod just on the off chance you may know these guys "Berkshire wooden boats" I have been looking into a boat called "scolopendra" She was one of the first power boats and raced here in Ireland in 1903 and I think those guys have her, I would love to find out anything about her and maybe rebuild her and bring her back to race again. Here is what I have so far.http://www.dukesmeadowstrust.org/thorny ... endra.htmlhttp://www.acbs.ca/dock_lines.cfm?actio ... ticleid=22
It was speedily recognized that special methods of construction would have to be employed if the internal combustion engine were to be rendered satisfactory for marine propulsion.
Several eminent firms, such as Messrs. J. I. Thornycroft and Co., Ltd., and D. Napier and Sons, to mention only two instances began to turn their attention seriously to the industry. As an outcome of this development a cup was offered by Lord Northcliffe, then Mr. Alfred Harmsworth, for international competition, the contest to be confined to boats of a maximum overall length of 40 feet, built and engined in the country which they represented, no other restrictions being imposed.
In 1903, the first race for this cup was held at Cork, there being three competitors. It was unfortunate that time did not permit of any foreign entries, although it is true that a Mercedes launch actually did come over, but was ineligible to compete, as the hull was constructed in France and the engines in Germany.
It was decided to race for this cup in heats, as it was thought by several members of the committee that the wave-making of these fast launches would be excessive and would preclude the possibility of many competitors racing together. This supposition has, of course, been shown to have been based on a fallacy, a well designed hull making very little wash, even at a speed of over 20 knots. It may be remembered that Napier I, designed by Mr. Linton Hope, and engined by Napier, was the only 40-footer taking part in the contest. This boat was the first of a series of racing launches engines by Napier and Co., and presents many interesting features. The hull was built of 20 gauge steel, there being no keel but two longitudinal girders were fitted extending from stem to stern, which also served as engine bearers. The engine was a four cylinder Napier motor giving about 66 b.h.p The design was immensely rigid, all four cylinders being contained in one casting. This rigidity of design without doubt contributed largely to the successful performance of the boat.
The best speed ever shown by Napier I was 18.8 knots while running at Cowes. The other competitors were two 30-foot launches. One was the Durandel, designed by Mr. E. Wort, and engined by the Motor Manufacturing Company, Coventry, with an 8-cylinder engine reported to develop 50 horse-power. The method of hull construction of this boat is interesting. She was built by Saunders on his well-known system of three or more skins of mahogany sewn together with copper wire. The other entrant was the Scolopendra, constructed of Wood by F. Maynard, of Chiswick, and engined by Thornycroft and Co., with a 4 cylinder motor developing 20 horse-power.
Considering her low horse-power, the Scolopendra was undoubtedly the most efficient boat in the competition, easily making 15 knots. The course for this race was laid in Cork Harbour, and was 7.8 sea miles in length. The Napier ultimately won the cup, accomplishing her heat and the final at a mean speed of 18 knots.
In 1903 was introduced for the first time in our waters motor-launch racing on a regular organised basis, with recognised rules for measurement, rating, and time allowance between different boats. I may say that launch racing had been popular for some considerable time in America, the favourite propulsive agent being petrol, both used in an internal combustion engine and instead of water in a steam-jacketted boiler, and thence conveyed to an ordinary steam engine.
Early in the year of 1903 the Marine Motor Association was started, and, after collecting all the information possible, it formulated its rules for assessing the power of motors---or "motor power" as it was termed by this body---and thence ascertaining the rating of the boats. It mat be remarked that the American Power Boat Association which was started some months later, practically adopted our rules for motor power, and rating with but few modifications.
The most important event of this year was the first of the annual reliability trials for motor boats organised by the Automobile Club through its Marine Motor Committee, which was formed in 1903 at the suggestion of Lord Boverton Redwood. This "reliability trial" was intended to be an endurance test chiefly for cruising boats, and consisted of two days running under observation, the duration of the daily run being 10 hours. A large number of entries ws secured, and the contest was undoubtedly of great benefit both to manufacturers and users. The title of the Harmsworth Cup was in this year altered at the request of the donor to that of the British International Cup, and the race for this trophy created great interest. France challenged with Trefle-a-Quatre, Gardner-Serpollet and Clement-Bayard, and America with Challenger.
The rules provided that only three boats were to be represent any one country, and as there were five British defenders for the cup, it was necessary to hold an eliminating race for them. One of the entrants for this was Napier-Minor, a 35-foot boat built by Saunders on his patent system, and engined by Napier with a 4-cylinder 80 b.h.p motor. This engine was of the same type as that installed in Napier I, possessing immense structural strength. The second entrant for the race was Napier II, built of steel by Yarrow and Co., who from this time forward took an active interest in the industry. As a matter of fact, the hull of Napier II proved somewhat unsatisfactory, and another was put in hand. Messrs. J. I. Thornycroft's Champak and Lord Howard DeWalden's Fer de Lance never materialised, so that Hutton I, the fifth entrant was left to walk over the course, which she did not succeed in doing.
Hutton I was a remarkable vessel, and possessed every feature requisite for high speed, with the exception of an engine that could be started, or when started could be kept running. The hull was a very pretty one, designed by Linton Hope and Co. of mahogany carvel. The accompanying illustration gives a good idea of her design, which at that time was quite novel, and at any period might justly be described as an extreme type. It can be seen that the hull was cigar-shaped, and consequently possessed great strength, although the weight was only 6 cwt. The engine of the Hutton I was a 6-cylinder one of fearful and wonderful design. There were two inlet and two exhaust valves for each cylinder worked by a hinged overhead rod. These valves, I may say, were originally designed to have their heads secured to the stems by means of ball and socket joints. The water jackets were separate from the cylinders, and were secured to the flange on the cylinders. Structural weaknesses of crank chamber and of valves, preignition due to high compression, faulty carburation and inefficient water circulation were among the causes contributing to the non-success of this engine. Of the French boats only Trefle-a-Quatre and Clement-Bayard came over, and the latter was early in trouble and never started. Trefle-a-Quatre was credited with being at that time the fastest motor boat in the world. She was only 30 feet 2 3/4 inches in length, and was equipped with a Richard-Brasier motor of about 60 horse-power. Previously, during the Monaco races, she covered 124 1/2 miles at an average rate of 23 1.2 miles per hour. The American boat, Challenger, was built and engined by Smith and Mabley, and presented no extraordinary features. The final heat of this race was won by Napier-Minor, but the cup was awarded to Trefle-a-Quatre on a technicality.
In 1905, such was the growth of the industry that the Marine Motor Committee of the Automobile Club found that they were quite unable to cope with the situation, and accordingly the Motor Yacht Club was formed to carry on the work relative to the reliability trials and the British International Cup, both of which events had been previously organised and conducted by the Marine Motor Committee of the Automobile Club. A large number of entries were received in 1905 for the reliability trials, one firm, Messrs. Thornycroft, entering no less than five boats. The most interesting vessel entered by Thornycroft and Co. for the reliability trials was the Emil Capitaine, a type of harbour launch propelled by an internal combustion engine of 75 b.h.p, employing producer gas as a fuel.
The 1905 eliminating race to decide the British team for the International Cup race was held at Seaview, Isle of Wight, and there were five entrants. One of these was Hutton II, a new racer very similar to Hutton I which I have already described in detail. The engine was in fact the same with a few details improved and strengthened, and the hull was very similar, but of slightly greater displacement. Hutton II, however, broke down before the start. The fastest competitor on paper was Brooke I, designed by Shepherd, and built and engined by Brooke and Co., of Lowescroft, with a 6-cylinder engine, each cylinder being 10 inches in diameter. This boat never ran satisfactorily, owing, it was said, to the difficulty of maintaining a requisite supply of petrol for the huge engine. Another entrant was Napier II. The hull of this boat was built by Yarrow and Co. of steel, being an improvement on the previous year's boat of the same name. Two 4-cylinder 80 horse-power Napier engines, driving twin screws, were installed.
On this boat a raised seat for the helmsman is provided right aft and is protected by a dodger. It has been found by experience that it is preferable to steer these fast small boats from aft, and I have found from personal experience that some form of protection from the flying spray is necessary. This spray constitutes the chief drawback to motor-boat racing as and amusement, and as its velocity is very high, the impact is most un-pleasant. The general sensation of driving a motor boat is very reminiscent of a stroll beneath Niagara Falls, with this difference, that in the former case you are unable to gain relief by shutting your eyes, as it is necessary to keep a sharp look out. The fourth entrant was Napier, owned by Lord Howard DeWalden. The hull was built by Saunders on his patented system which I have already described, and the engine was the old 80 horse-power motor taken out of Napier-Minor.
The other entrant was the Competitor, owned by my friend, Commander Mansfield Cumming, R.N., and in it I had the pleasure of racing.
The hull may easily be recognised in the photograph as that of the old Napier-Minor, and the engine was a 100 horse-power Siddeley, constructed by the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co. In this race, every boat except Napier II broke down, and it was decided to hold another eliminating race in the Southampton Water for Napier, Brooke I, and Competitor. In this race, Napier finished first, Competitor second, and Brooke I broke down. Ultimately Competitor relinquished her place in the team in favour of Brooke I, as it was thought that the latter could be got into racing condition in time for the Cup race, which was to be held at Arachon.
France showed extraordinary apathy over this contest, and it was only by the energy of a few private owners, that a semblance of defence was made with cruising boats. The Cup was ultimately won by Napier II, which had run well and consistently throughout the season, only having lost the cross Channel race by an error of her helmsman in passing the finishing mark on the wrong side.
The highest speeds attained by racing vessels in 1905 were 25.75 knots by Napier II, and 25 knots by Hutton II, during a short trial run. Recently during the present year a 40-foot launch named Legru Hotchkiss has attained an enormous speed of 29.65 knots during a run of 10 minutes. The hull of this vessel was designed by Linton Hope in 1904, and she was built on the Saunders system. Many motors have been installed, but the present engine with which the record run was accomplished ia an 8-cylinder Hotchkiss of 170 b.h.p.
I think we should move fast on this before it slips through the net for another 100 years and worry about the restore another day.Even if we have to get a loan and pay it back through club membership as long as we get her or at least a deposit on her.She looks in great shape for her age and with the two plaques it would be worth it.This is a once in a life time buy and if it was a classic car with a history like this it would be priceless.