North Kent based marine carpenter Kyle Abingdon reports that he and his parter have built this very striking 15ft6in 1940s class C hydroplane from designer Bruce Crandall’s plans, and that she’s up for sale.
Here’s what he says:
‘She’s made out of Robbins Elite marine ply sheathed in biaxle cloth and epoxy and has Douglas fir for stringers, stem and keel with plywood web frames.
‘We’ve given her a sapele deck, although the racing boats would not have had this. I couldn’t resist given the lovely barrel shape of the deck. Also she has a teak rubbing strakes.
‘The stainless steel fin will help her turn when she’s up on the plane.
‘She’s sitting on a new galvanised trailer.’
Drop me a line at gmatkin at gmail dot com and I’ll pass your enquiry on to him.
Looking at this page about hydroplane classes in 1951 seems to suggest the maximum permitted engine capacity for this kind of hydroplane would have been about 2.9 litres – though the very thought of that big a lump makes a lump in my throat. Take care, Kyle – I think engines may be more powerful for their size these days!
Our pal Mick Nolan went with them and took a mass of photos… And has now made a YouTube of them. What’s more, he added a soundtrack of our Julie’s singing accompanied by my old concertina! Thanks Mick!
A chap called Ron has been in touch to ask if I could help advertise his sweet little motor launch, which is for sale. He believes it was built by Brooke Marine between the wars and says that it is in excellent condition.
He’s sentimental about the boat, which his father bought before he was born, so he’s keen that it should go to a suitable home, where it will be cared for. From the right buyer, he would accept a reasonable offer. If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pass your message on to him. The boat is at Chester.
Here’s what Ron says:
‘She is as sound as when she was re-built back in the 50s and though she’s not a ‘name’ make like Andrews or Riva, she’s unique. I’m getting on now, but the main reason for having to let her go is that the Council here in Chester have rendered it impossible to park the trailer/car at the launch slipway.
‘I hope you’ll agree with me in that she’s a lovely old boat and worth preserving. She is largely planked with British Honduras mahogany, with decks of African mahogany with meranti on the bottom.
‘She has a Robin Reliant 850cc with the gear box converted to give direct forward and almost direct reverse, and with original clutch. I still have the drawings.
‘I have three spare Reliant engines for parts.
‘Where the original circulating pump was a Jabsco now pumps fresh water into the the exhaust for cooling and silencing. When on the river one can chat without having to shout and from the banks she one can only hear the wash.’