1910 Berlin Motorboat Show

The Motorboat Show at Berlin

By Georg Jacoby

During the last week of March an exhibition of motors and motorboats was opened in the German capital organized by the Imperial Automobile Club. It was the first in three years originated by that club. In the presence of the marine minister, von Tirpitz, who came to represent Prince Henry, the show was opened with ceremony.

The Imperial Automobile Club, like the leading societies in other countries, soon after its foundation resolved also to further motorboat sport, followed recently by its interest in aeronautics. Thus it held in 1904 the first regatta in Kiel, followed by many others, so that, for instance, during the past year there were ten motorboat races here. The club also participated in the big aviatic week last Summer in Berlin-Johannistal. Soon it was recognized that contests alone would not do, so they decided to hold exhibitions. For these they required the cooperation of German manufacturers, who are known for their antipathy against any kind of shoes, unlike their French, British and American contemporaries.

After much work the club at last held a motor show in Kiel, in 1907, which was rather a success, as that famous war harbor is located in the center of the motorboat building industry, and the show could be reached by water. Such cannot be said of Berlin, and it is a matter of greater satisfaction that this second boat show of the club met with still greater cooperation although the time chosen was most unfavorable. Two hundred and fifty firms were represented and fifty-four complete vessels were on view, and numerous improvements in interior furnishing, s well as general design, were noticeable. Likewise the engines have been brought to a high rate of perfection.

Besides the full-sized vessels many models were on view loaned by individuals and institutes. Among the parties we should first mention the German emperor and empress, who showed their fine motorboats Meteor and Iduna. Another exhibitor is the chief of the German navy, Admiral von Tirpitz, and the navy administration itself, besides which could be seen the two French gliding boats, Ricochet XVIII and XXV, which are known for their great speed, although they have not very powerful engines. These boats are built in the forms of steps to lessen the frictional resistance in the water. Quite different is the admiralty boat of the torpedo inspection office, fitted with a 300-hp. engine, making over 20 miles an hour. We should mention the Monaco racer, Marga III, and the separate motors of this vessel. In Friedrichshafen, the residence of Count Zeppelin, a so-called Zeppelin hotel company has been organized who are now completing a big hotel. They exhibited their fine passenger motorboat for carrying strangers to the airship barns over the lake in Friedrichshafen. It is a fast yacht, 14 meters long. The well-known German Daimler concern showed many engines, among them one 115-hp. motor, designed after the requirements of the German navy. Nearby we admired the famous racer, Liselotte, which, fitted with a 120-hp. Mercedes, represented the German colors so well in Monaco on several occasions. The New Automobile Company of Berlin exhibited a towboat fitted with a 30-hp. motor, which, besides, operates a fire pump, as the vessel is designed for fighting fires.

In entering the second big hall one was attracted by the immense airship hanging below the ceiling, the car with the motor touching the ground. Behind it is a big Wright aeroplane, the rest being German flying machines and motor. One fine yacht is exhibited by three firms, one having built the hull, the other the motor, and the tird having supplied the electrical equipment.. it is a sea cruiser 17 meters long, with 40-hp. gasolene motors. It is lighted and heated electrically, and cooking is possible by current. This is the smallest yacht where electricity has been employed so lavishly. We noticed also a fishing boat fitted with a motor. The Berlin Museum of marine Science loaned a large assortment of fish boat models. This field has rather been neglected by Germany. The owners of the mighty fishery fleet at the mouth of the Elbe, Wester, Eider, and the coast between them have recognized the advantages of fitting their boats with motors, and only rather recently some far-seeing manufacturers have put their energy into building motors especially for this purpose. In the meantime some foreign firms have installed from two to three thousand of their motors into Danish, German and Norwegian fishing vessels. Still there is a big field for selling these useful engines.

Foreign nations were also represented at the show. France, Sweden and Switzerland sent special motors, America, pressed steel boats, and England some accessories.

The motorboat and motor business in this country, while the industry is not by any means so well developed as in America, is showing rapid progress and doubtless will grow to very large proportions.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Apr. 25, 1910, p. 31)

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