Dixie Jr.

Dixie Jr.—A New 20-Mile Runabout

The speed boat Dixie Junior hs created quite a stir on the Jersey coast, although she did not appear until late in the season, too late in fact to take part in any of the season’s racing. She is not only one of the fastest boats of her length ever built, but also one of the fastest of her power, regardless of size. Dixie Junior was designed and built S. Eartley {Bartley – GWC} Pearce of the firm of Pearce and Fenner, of East Orange, N.J., for Mr. T. Morris Fenner of that city. Her general construction is interesting as an example of the best that can be procured. The dimensions of the boat are: Length over all, 24 feet; bean over all, 4 feet; the frames of selected white oak, continuous from gunwale to gunwale, and spaced six inches between centers excepting under the engine bed, where the spacing is four inches. The frames at this point are of rock elm. The planking is of Spanish cedar, running the entire length of the boat, entirely copper-fastened and riveted over copper washers. The stem and stern pieces are of white oak, lined with thin mahogany. The entire top work and interior finish are of Honduras mahogany. The hull is designed for maximum lightness and strength. She is particularly stiff and at the highest speed shows scarcely any vibration on account of the special engine bed construction and the smoothness of motor operation.

The power plant is a four-cylinder, 4 x 4 inch Syracuse motor conservatively rated at 16 horsepower and of regular type, except that aluminum is used for base, intake bonnet, cylinder heads and gear case, to reduce the weight of what is, to begin with, an extremely light motor. It is of the two-cycle, three-port type, combining the most advanced ideas in marine motor construction. The motor is placed forward under a hinged hood and the controls are embodied in a special automobile steering wheel made by the J. A. Seely Manufacturing Company, of Ogdensburg, N.Y., which, with a rear starting device, puts the controls in the hands of one man. The gasoline is forced to the carbureter under pressure by an air pump, fitted to the starboard side of the coaming.

During her trial trip Dixie Junior was run at top speed for over two hours and showed better than 20 miles an hour; with a larger wheel and the motor limbered up she is expected to show a speed of 22 miles an hour.

She disturbs the water but slightly at high speed, which fact speaks well for the design of her under body. Captain Pearce, the designer of Dixie Junior and the pilot of the famous Dixie II, which won the Harmsworth Trophy in the British International in 1908, is enthusiastic for the outlook of his latest production, and her owner, Mr. Fenner, is planning to enter her in many of next season’s races.

(Transcribed from MotorBoating, February, 1910, p. 21)