Developments in 1921 in The Eastern Field
The tendency in the East in the line of boats seems to be gradually working away from the high-speed power boats, express cruisers, runabouts and the like, to more comfortable motor cruisers and a far greater percentage of auxiliary craft have been built.
In the Fisher Trophy race very interesting things have happened. At Miami, where the second race for this trophy was held,
Adieu, a 32'0"x6'6", de-signed by Hacker, and powered with a Hall-Scott engine, 6 cyl. 5"x7" of 200 horse power, won over Rainbow I, which won the first race last year, Orlo II, a sea sled and Miss Miami. Adieu, driven by her owner Webb Jay, made 38.7 on her fastest lap, while Orlo II made 38.9 and Rainbow I, 39.34, but Adieu won the series on consistency. For those who have for-gotten the conditions of the Fisher Trophy they are as follows :
This trophy was put up for displacement types of boats having a speed of 35 miles an hour or better. Minimum water line length of boats entered for A this trophy must be 32 feet and they must be equipped with stock marine engines of not more than 3000 cubic inches piston displacement and must have seating capacity for four people. Each race consists of three fifty-mile heats. One item of interest in regards to this trophy is the fact that no repairs or adjustments are allowed to be made to any boat between heats or except during the race, an observer being put on board the boats when the heats are finished, the boats being then taken to a boathouse, the hatches sealed and a watchman placed over the boats to see that no adjustments are made. Ten minutes before the starting gun the seals are broken on the hatches then adjustments can be made. The third race for this trophy was held at Buffalo on August 11th, 12th and 13th. Harry Greening, who won the first race last year with Rainbow I had a new entry, Rainbow II. Rainbow II, is a Crouch design, 32'6" over all and 9 foot beam, powered with a pair of GR Sterlings. Rainbow I won this series. She is owned by S. B. Eagan of Buffalo. Miss Sterling, another Crouch designed runabout, took second place and Orlo III, a sea sled powered with a pair of Murray & Tregurtha engines of 300 horse power each, finished third in the series. Rainbow II had hard luck on the first day's race as she hit something and ripped off some of her outer planking. The inside planking could not stand the strain and she sank. She was repaired and run again but developed the same trouble again. Adieu had a new engine installed which they had no time to try out and she was put out of the running. Nick Nack, a Hacker boat fitted with 6-cylinder Hall-Scott broke a plank before the race and had to be withdrawn. Miss Peerless, built from designs of Crouch, fitted with a 12-cylinder V-type Peerless engine, was not finished in time for the race.
Probably the most disappointing set of races held that usually have' a lot of interest were the Harmsworth Trophy races. Maple Leaf VII, the English challenger, made a very poor showing. With her 1,800 horse power she did not show us anything in the way of speed and Gar Wood with his two Americas had everything his own way. The Gold Cup was also a kind of fizzle, Miss Chicago being the only contender against Miss America I.
In the development of stock runabouts the Belle Isle Boat and Engine Co., of Detroit, Mich., are turning out some likely craft. The model called the Belle Isle Bear Cats, has shown up very well. They are 26'0" by 6'6", fitted with a Hall-Scott engine of 125 horse power and they make a speed of 35 miles per hour. Among the high-speed motor cruisers that have been turned out this year, one of the most interesting is Lucetta, a 58-foot cruiser, a boat of the V-bottom type, making a speed of 23 miles per hour with two 6-cylinder Van Blerck engines. She is owned by DeVer H. Warner, of Bridgeport, Conn. She was designed by A. E. Luders and needless to say she bears all of his earmarks. Early Bird, designed and built by the Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation, is 55 feet by 8 feet 8 inches, and is equipped with two 8-cylinder 200-horse power Speedway engines and makes a speed of 28 miles an hour.
Talking of high speed cruisers, Gar Wood made , interesting demonstration when he had a race with one of the fast trains of the Atlantic Coast line from Miami to New York on actual running time. He beat the train's time by 21 minutes. Right after that he went out to beat the old record from New York to Albany that formerly was held by a 20-foot runabout which made the run in 5 hours and 20 minutes in 1910. Gar Wood with Gar Jr., his Sterling-powered express cruiser, made the run in 5 hours and 5 minutes, breaking the old record by 15 minutes.
In the races for medium speed power boats there was quite a bit of activity. The Block Island race, one of the big features in power boat racing in the East, had a good entry list this year and turned out to be a navigation contest as it was run in a fog, some of the boats not seeing anything from the start to the finish. The winner of this race, is a very handsome medium power cruiser, of the raised deck type, designed by C. D. Mower. She is 45 feet long and fitted with a 4-cylinder Van Blerck engine and makes a speed of about 11 miles.
Designers Hand and Alden have been turning out quite a number of small auxiliary schooners. The eastern yachtsmen seem to be coming around to this type of boat more and more, they seem to be working away from the out and out power boat to some extent. Of course there are men that always will like one type of boat and there are some who will always keep changing. But in my mind this type of boat is really sensible provided a man likes sailing. The auxiliary type of boat makes an ideal boat for open waters. Hand has been developing this type of boat more on fisherman lines. One boat that was finished this year is the Wanderer IX, finished in the tail end of the season from designs of C. D. Mower. She is somewhat on the type of the boats that Hand and Alden are getting out except that the designer did not like the heavy bows and sterns that they have been putting on their boats. He put more of a real yacht bow and stern on her to make her look better. She is 64'0" on top, 44'0" on waterline, 15' beam and 8 feet draft. She is powered with a 4-cylinder Knox engine of 20 horse power.
Probably the boat that was most before the general public's eye due to the rumor that she was lost off the Pacific Coast is the Speejacks, a ninety-foot power yacht designed and built by the Consolidated Shipbuilding Corp. and shown in the last issue of this magazine. She has two Winton gasoline engines.
In the motor houseboats one of the most interesting was designed and built by the New York Launch and Engine Company, powered with a 4-cylinder Twentieth Century engine. This is the Irwin IV, 73 feet over all. She makes about 11 miles an hour.
One of the things to make 1921 notable is that the largest yacht ever built in America was built this year, not the longest overall but the largest in tonnage. This boat is Delphine II, designed by Henry Gielow, for H. E. Dodge. She is 257'8" over all, beam 35'5" and 15'3" draft. She is an oil-burning steam yacht, being propelled by a pair of 4-cylinder quadruple expansion engines. The boilers are of the Babcock & Wilcox water tube type, three in number. Two more boats mark an era in yacht building, one of which is the Nourmahal, for Vincent Astor, designed by Cox & Stevens, the largest diesel-equipped pleasure yacht in the world. Her power plant consists of two Winton Diesel engines having six cylinders each and developing 325 horse power each. Her length over all is 160 feet 8 inches, beam 25 feet 6 inches, draft 10 feet. The other one is more interesting because while she has Diesel engines, instead e of being direct drive, her engines, which are two 350-h.p. Winton Heavy Oil engines, drive through Westinghouse dynamos. This is the auxiliary schooner Guinevere, built for Mr. Edgar Palmer, by George Lawley & Son and designed by A. L. Swasey.
Generally speaking, the past year in the East has been quite satisfactory. When it is considered that business conditions have been very poor, the volume of business in the motor boat and yachting field has held up remarkably well and these things are taken as an indication that things are coming back and that the coming season should be a good one all through the country.
(Reprinted from Pacific Motor Boat, December 1921, pp.7-8)