Rose-en-Soliel [1906]

A Notable Steam Motorboat

A steam motorboat which has made records which compare favorably with those of the gasolene boats is the Rose-en-Soliel, built by Simpson, Strickland & Co., of Dartmouth, South Devon, England. The hull of this boat is constructed of nickel steel and was originally designed to carry two large powered gasolene motors, but these proving unsuccessful, the builders have installed one of their steam outfits, consisting of a water tube boiler using gasolene as a fuel, and two of their light, high-speed, quadruple expansion steam engines. The boiler is made under the Thornycroft-Cross patents and is fitted with an oil fuel burner of the Lune Valley Engineering Co. Works type. The engines are fitted to drive twin screws, one being fitted with reversing links, while the other one has valve gear for the ahead motion. The cylinders of the engines are 3¾ x 5 x 7½ x 10 inches and have a stroke of 4½ inches. The boiler pressure is carried as high as 350 pounds, and the engines are designed to run at about 800 revolutions per minute. The fuel, which is carried in circular tanks under the pilot's seat and at the stern, is sufficient to drive the boat for ten hours at full speed. It is pumped from these tanks to an auxiliary tank, and from thence fed by pressure to the burners.

This little boat, which is only 40 x 5 feet, has a complete condensing plant, feed water heaters, hot well and all accessories generally used in an ocean liner. The displacement complete is a little over four tons of 2,240 pounds, and, considering this weight, her speed of 20.89 nautical miles per hour in the recent motorboat mile trial for the Motor Boat Cup is extremely good. Her appearance, to one who is accustomed to a gasolene motorboat, is decidedly striking, and with her big ventilators forward she suggests a miniature torpedo boat. The Simpson & Strickland Co. have a well- deserved reputation for building the lightest marine steam engines in the world, and long before the day of the high-speed motorboat had constructed a 30-foot yacht tender which was capable of nearly 23 miles per hour, and at the same time was built strong enough to hoist on the yacht's davits. Rose-en-Soliel is the property of Lord Howard de Walden, who maintains several racers and is a thoroughgoing sportsman. His Napier last year, equipped with a 66-h. Napier motor, mad an enviable record, and Rose-en-Soliel has worthily maintained his reputation.

(Transcribed from The Motor Boat, Sep. 10, 1906, pp. 21-22.)

[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in transcribing this page. — LF]