1906 Sea Mile Trials

Sea Mile Record Contest For Motor Boats

Under the patronage of the British Motor Boat Club and the Motor Yacht Club a speed trial for motor boats was held on Saturday in Southampton Water. The trials were conducted by the Marine Motor Association, the secretary of which (Mr. J. A. Smith) acted as official timekeeper. The conditions of the contest were that it should be open to unrestricted boats of any nationality propelled by internal combustion engines, each boat to make four runs; the mean of the speeds attained to be recorded as the speed of the boat. It was originally intended to hold the trials on Friday over the Admiralty measured mile in Strokes Bay, but owing to the boisterous weather it was decided to abandon the project, and a course of a mile in Southampton Water was mapped off for Saturday's trials. The distance, however, had not been checked by actual measurement when the trials were run, so that the distance and times recorded are subject to correction.

Eight boats (including the steamer Rose-en-Soleil, which was not eligible for the challenge cup presented to the boat making the best time) were entered, but only five actually took part in the test. Of these, Mr. J. M. Gorham's 30-footer Quicksilver with her 40.92 m.p. had no pretensions to the cup, and Mr. J. E. Hutton's Hutton II got such a twisting on Friday in Stokes Bay that she was practically useless, her hull being strained and engines completely out of order. This reduced the real competition to the two Napier boats, Yarrow Napier and Napier III, and as the former has always shown the better turn of speed, the only interest taken in the trial was as to whether Lord Howard de Walden's steam launch Rose-en-Soleil would make a higher speed than Yarrow Napier.

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu's and Mr. Lionel de Rothschild's Yarrow Napier was the first boat to run. She has a Saunders hull, designed by Yarrow. She showed remarkable consistency with her trials, there being a difference of only two-fifth of a second between her two runs with the tide and 2 2-5 seconds in the two runs against the tide. Her times for the four runs were as follows:---

Runs Time Speed in knots Mean speed
1 2:29 3-5 24.064  
2 2:33 3-5 23.468  
3 2:30 24.000  
4 2:36 23.077 23.604

Mr. J. E. Hutton's Hutton II followed. She is a Linton Hope designed boat, built by Hart, Harden & Co. of Kingston, and is fitted with a Hutton six-cylinder engine, which ordinarily works at just over 1,000 revolutions, her m.p. being 121.17. Although firing splendidly, it was evident from the start that the engine was not working up to its ordinary form, it being impossible to get more than 800 revolutions out of it, besides which mechanical troubles were also encountered. In the circumstances it was not at all surprising to find that the mean speed attained by the boat was under 16 knots, as against a speed of about 23 knots attained in Liverpool Bay a couple of months ago. The figures for the boat were:---

Runs Time Speed in knots Mean speed
1 3:09 4-5 18.976  
2 3:57 15.198  
3 3:51 1-5 15.951  
4 4:00 3-5 14.953 15.769

Mr. J. M. Gorham's Quicksilver, which was the third boat to run, was designed and built by Mr. J. A. Smith, and is fitted with a four-cylinder Daimler engine which works at 950 revolutions per minute and has a m.p. of 40.92. Like Yarrow Napier, the runs of Quicksilver showed great regularity, though her small engine was nor powerful enough to drive her against the tide, the difference of speed in the trials with and against the tide being just a trifle over two knots. Her times and speeds were:---

Runs Time Speed in knots Mean speed
1 3:21 2-5 17.875  
2 3:51 15.671  
3 3:23 1-5 17.716  
4 3:51 3-5 15.557 16.700

Lord Howard de Walden had three boats entered--Daimler I, Daimler II and Rose-en-Soleil-- but only the last-named put in an appearance. Rose-en-Soleil, which was driven over the course by Mr. A, G, Fentiman, is a steel boat built by Messrs. Simpson, Strickland & Co. (Limited), to their own design, and fitted with one of their engines having eight cylinders and working at a normal speed of under 800 revolutions. Her m.p. is 140.78. Her best run was her second with the tide in her favour, when she attained a speed of 22 1/2 knots, which is considerably less than she attained at a meeting held under the auspices of the Liverpool Bay Yacht Club and the British Motor Boat Club on the Mersey a few weeks ago. Rose-en-Soleil's times were:---

Runs Time Speed in knots Mean speed
1 2:55 1-5 20.548  
2 3:01 4-5 19.802  
3 2:40 25.500  
4 3:00 2-5 19.956 20.992

Mr. S. F. Edge's Napier III was the only other competitor, Mr. Maudsley Brooke's Brooke I, being an absentee. Napier III was designed by Mr. Linton Hope and built by the Saunders Syndicate at Cowes. She has a six-cylinder Napier engine working normally at 1,100 revolutions and her m.p. is 138.34. She was driven by Mr. Seaton Edge and attained a speed of nearly 21 1/2 knots. Her times were:---

Runs Time Speed in knots Mean speed
1 2:37 2-5 22.872
2 2:57 2-5 20.293
3 2:39 22.642
4 3:03 1-5 19.851 21.417

Yarrow Napier will hold the challenge cup presented by the proprietors of the Temple Press for one year.

[Transcribed from the Times of London, Aug. 20, 1906, p. 9.]