Tag Archives: motor boat

Thunderbird – frighteningly expensive but a 2200hp twin-engined Art Deco beauty

Here are some more photos from my brother Matthew Atkin’s recent trip to Nevada and California.

Designed by John L Hacker, M/V Thunderbird was built by the Husking Boat and Motor Works and launched in July 1940.

She is 55ft long, and powered by twin WWII Allison V1710 aircraft engines that were previously fitted to a P-38 Lightning – and that adds up to 2200hp. Fuel consumption is 4US gallons per mile.

There’s nothing about this Art Deco-era vessel that doesn’t make me want to sit down and gawp. Keeping her in this wonderful condition must be a tremendous enterprise – she’s said to cost $5000 for every hour under way, all supported by public donations, so there seems little doubt that Hacker’s amazing Thunderbird is a deeply loved boat.

Read about Hacker-Craft here, and see a video of Thunderbird being launched for her 71st season here.

Beale Park Boat Show this weekend

Beale Park Boat Show 2 Beale Park Boat Show 1

The Beale Park Boat Show runs from this Friday to Sunday (7th – 9th June, 2013) at Lower Basildon in Berkshire.

The organisers say that this year’s event is looking good – exhibitor bookings are strong, there new attractions and visitor numbers are expected to be increased as children are now admitted free when accompanied by a full-paying adult.

The show is well known for its traditionally built craft, the Watercraft magazine competition for amateur boatbuilders and its race small boats powered by various cordless tools. There are also displays and demonstrations, free boat trips (subject to availability), and a ‘try a boat’ scheme operated by exhibitors and children’s activities.

The Historical Maritime Society will this year take to the show’s seven acre lake in a 23ft full-size replica of a frigate’s launch to perform evolutions under oars and sail.

On dry land, the re-enactors will return to their marquee to explain aspects of life at sea for the officers and men, and for the ladies at home; who will also be present at the show telling historical tales of what life was like back then.Visitors will have the chance to learn how crews were fed, what they drank, how ship to ship signalling worked and much more.

The Society also plans to show a WWII four-man commando canoe.

I hoping to make it along on the Friday – if I make it, I will certainly call on Lodestar Books publishers of new and neglected nautical writing, the Boat Building Academy, and the International Boatbuilding Training College.

Broadland Holiday 1954

I picked this up from the wonderful Broadland Memories – a site that’s well worth visiting for its wonderful collection of photos of the Norfolk Broads.