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An 'American' mystery from Victoria

In spite of the V115 registration and the name Shark, no one can shed any light at present on this 'A' Class boat that turned up at the ME Exhibition. The hull is based on Bob Palmer's 'Patsy' while the motor was built from a set of Octura castings. Initial thoughts as to its origins have not been born out by research so, for the moment, it is another mystery awaiting identification.
Thanks to Jim Free for this item and photo's.   June 2011


100mph, but where?

Stuart Robinson was the first British competitor to achieve 100mph with a 5cc boat, and this is it, complete with Super Tigre engine. This remarkable run took place at Tolbuchin in July 1980. So far we have not been able to establish when the magic 100mph mark was broken for the first time at a regatta in this country, or by whom. For a while Stuart held both the 10cc record at 124mph and the 5cc at 100.7mph at the same time.

Thanks to Stuart for allowing us to photograph this record breaker.  May 2011


Where has this been for 55 years?

No doubt as to what it is when the name painted on the side is revealed, so go to another 'Pitbox Special' for details of this well documented 30cc 'A' class hydroplane that turned up a long way from home. Thanks to Peter Cullum for this item March 2011


The 'Weaver rumour'

For nearly three years there had been a rumour of one of Arthur Weaver's hydroplanes being in existence, but no details were forthcoming. He had built several boats from the 1940s right through to 'Wizard Of Oz', but how old was the mystery boat and how could anyone be sure that it was one of Arthur's? All went quiet for many months until a photo arrived revealing this small version of the 'Wizard'. For further details, such as are known, go to this month's 'Pitbox Special'. Thanks to Bob Cheshire and Peter Hill for this item. Feb 2011


A Little 'ELF'

Built by Bob Curwen in response to the establishment of an 'austerity class' during the second war. With its twin sponsons, still called floats, it was considered a radical design and with one of Bob's own engines good for 29mph or so. Originally designed for clockwise running with a single bridle, over the next few years Bob converted it to twin bridle, then fitted a surface prop by articulating the drive shaft and changing it to anti-clockwise running with another of his own 5cc engines. Elf was amongst the Curwen items offered on eBay and now resides in Australia. Thanks to Michael Gardener for photos  Jan 2011


French Memorabilia

The replica International and Hispano Suiza trophies and Milan items give the impression that this is Bobby Grenier's 1956 boat. The complication is that it dates from 12-14 years later. There is a distinct possibility that might not even be Bobby's, as all the French team from the Model Yacht Club Picard used this style of hull and Rossi motor during the 70s and he was not part of that team? The McCoy motor would be contemporary with the trophies. A wonderful example of an early 70s 'C' Class hydroplane with unique pieces of memorabilia.

Thanks to the vendor atomcar for the excellent photos. Dec 2010



At just 27" long, this was George Stone's second boat to his record breaking Lady Babs. Rodney was capable of 70mph until it blew its Dooling motor apart in Paris in 1949. It was then fitted with a Rowell and Stone offered a challenge to race it against any other British engined boat. A small piece of foredeck is missing, as is the aluminium cover, and of course the Rowell. Restoration is underway. OTW photo Nov 2010


Fast Cat's little sister

This is the second and smaller boat built by the late Norman Dixon of the Heaton Club. We have already reported on the superb restoration by Tom Clement of Fast Cat and now the smaller version has become available. The perfectly scaled down 15cc version of the  EM 30 that Norman built for this hull was described in a Pitbox item in July and it was a pleasure to see this lovely boat, which is in wonderful condition. What a joy it would be to see these two vintage boats running together at a regatta.

Thanks to Tom Clement for allowing us to photograph the boat. Oct 2010


Not quite what we'd hoped it might be?

When this 24" hydro hull first came to light, it was thought that it might be the elusive 1066 Products hull. Having seen it in the flesh, it transpires that it is a Keil Kraft 'Zipper'. Similar to the Westbury and 1066 designs, (did ETW have a hand in both) the Zipper was sold as a complete kit including flywheel, prop, propshaft and bearings from 1946. It was reckoned to be 'unusually good value for money' at just 32/6 (£1.62). Recommended for engines from 2-10cc this is another commercial rarity.
                         Thanks to Tom Clement for this item. Photo OTW Sept 2010


A 'Fleetwood find'

The story behind the engine in this boat was revealed in Pitbox in June. John Scarnell of the Fleetwood Club built a boat and engine for each of the 3 classes normally run, with this being for the 30cc 'A' Class.  The 15cc 'B' class boat has been restored by his nephew Dave Scarnell who took it up to Kingsbury recently with the intention of giving it a run. Unfortunately, the 30cc hull was beyond salvage, but the pictures provide a good start in terms of building a replica.

                   Thanks to Dave Scarnell for the photo and details. Aug 2010.


Last item from Pitsea.

Supplied as a kit by the Model Aerodrome Company of Stratford Road Birmingham the 'Drome' hydro cost all of £1-9-6, or £1.50 all bar 2.5p. At 2ft long by 8" beam the adverts claim that this hydroplane was 'designed for speed and water driven'. It was also claimed to be suitable for diesel, electric and petrol engines. This example has an original 5cc DC Wildcat dating from the late 1940s.

                                 Thanks to Peter Hill for this item. OTW photo July 2010