1949 Preview

1949 Preview [Motor Boating]

New Speed Boats Building for Greatest Racing Season

With the start of the racing season rapidly approaching, the rumors are flying thick and fast about the new boats being built and the improvements being made on the old ones. Space does not allow a discussion of all the classes, so this will be confined to the Gold Cup and Harmsworth classes and a little about the Around Manhattan contenders.

If the following reports really develop and the boats actually show up at race time, there will be some hot competition this year. Here are a few of the reports:

Henry Kaiser is having built at the Ventnor Boat Works, two new boats. One is a 28-foot Gold Cupper to be powered with an Allison V-12 motor, 1710 cu. in, model E-135, and the other is a 32-footer, 11-foot 8-inch beam, powered with a "W" Allison engine of 3420 cu. in., developing approximately 3000 h.p. This big job is designed for the Harmsworth Trophy race and is rather unique in design and construction, having twin screws running in opposite rotation. Present indications are that Guy Lombardo will drive this Harmsworth contender and will try for a new world record in the near future. It is Mr. Kaiser's plan to have these boats participate in most of the outstanding regattas this year.

Danny Arena is building a new Gold Cup boat for Jack Schafer of Detroit, owner of Such Crust. This will be a three-point hull, powered with an Allison motor.

Guy Lombardo is almost ready to try out his Tempo VI. which has been rebuilt since its crack-up at Detroit in the Gold Cup last year. The boat will probably be faster than ever.

In Essington, Pa., a new 50-foot boat is being built for a Mr. Rafferty. It will be powered by three Packard engines and has been especially designed for breaking the world record. This boat is expected to surpass 160 m.p.h.

Joe Van Blerck of Freeport will be a real Gold Cup contender this year as he is teaming up the former Gold Cupper Gray Goose which he purchased from George C. Cannon and Guy Lombardo's 16-cylinder, 600-h.p. Miller. This should be a smooth-running combination and a hard one to beat.

Harris McBride of Detroit is heading a new syndicate with A. C. Smith and William Goeschel and is building a 34-foot, three-point suspension hull [Miss Michigan (1)] which will have two Allison engines. It is expected to be ready by June 15.

John Goodhue of East Braintree, Massachusetts, is reported to be constructing a new Gold Cup contender of his own design to be powered with an air-cooled engine.

G. E. Warren of Detroit has a new Gold Cup class boat that is said to resemble Miss Canada.

John Hacker has designed a Gold Cupper for A. C. Marcy, which is being built in Springfield. Ill.

Maurice Bothner of Johannesburg, South Africa is reported sending over a boat for the Harmsworth.

Tommy Caldwell, builder and driver of the 135 Blue Blazes, is reported building a boat on the West Coast for the Gold Cup, owner and type of boat being kept a secret.

Many New Boats Building

Al Fallon is already working on Miss Great Lakes which won the Gold Cup last year and Messrs. Newkirk and Sorg, who had the Shari-San last year, are trying to put a new hull in shape and use a Rolls Royce engine.

My Sweetie, the fast job belonging to Ed Schoenherr and Ed Gregory, which set the pace at both the Gold Cup and President's Cup last year before trouble forced it out, has had a re-designed bottom constructed and the shaft angle changed. If the porpoising has been corrected, it will be very fast. This is the hull designed by John L. Hacker and it is rumored that Wild Bill Cantrell of Kentucky will drive it.

Cameron Peck of Chicago, owner of Astraea, will have this Van Patten designed hull, powered with a 1350 h.p. Packard W-14 engine, in shape for Gold Cup competition this year. This boat is 34 feet long, with a three step modified vee-bottom.

It has been reported that Stanley Dollar, owner of Skip Along is building a new boat on the west coast, and Horace Dodge is building a new hull to carry four Allisons and revamping the old Sister Syn. Mr. Dodge keeps his plant closely guarded and there is little to report on his plans.

Jim Davis' Stubby, Mel Crook's Betty, Harry Lynn's LaHaLa, Morlan Visel's Hurricane, Al D'Eath's Miss Grosse Pointe; K M. Brien's Lion Special, E. D. Stair's Katy-Did from Detroit, and Miss Cincinnati now owned by Vincent Turner of Detroit, all plagued with various troubles last season, should be set as their owners have been hard at work to eliminate the bugs.

Lou Fageol has bought the old Miss Peps from the Dossin Brothers. You will recall that this boat was withdrawn from competition last year after making a sweep of all the major races in 1947.

Miss Canada IV, the challenger of Ernie Wilson of Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, with a 2700 h.p. V-12 Griffon Rolls-Royce engine, the hull almost identical in size to Astraea, will be a strong contender.

Rod Zamotin, who had such bad luck when his new Gold Cup boat burned on its trial run last year, has finished converting a Rolls Royce for marine use and expects to start a new aluminum hull shortly. He will not be ready until next year.

Some boats are also being built for the Around Manhattan Race for the Harwood Trophy. Oliver Elam of Kentucky is having a new 26 foot boat of unusual design constructed at Ventnor s that will have a Curtis Conqueror engine.

Jack Kramer and Bill Lieber of Port Washington, L. L, are installing an Allison in a 33 foot Gar Wood and expect to have the experiment ready for testing in the near future. It could be a real threat in the Around Manhattan Race.

Hector Alexander of Flushing, L. I., is also going after the Harwood Trophy, as he will have a Liberty powered hydroplane set for the race.

Tentative Harmsworth Entrants

The American and foreign entries for the British International Trophy races are as follows:

Miss Canada IV, E. A. Wilson, Ingersoll, Ont., Canada, owner, 30 x 10 Rolls-Royce Griffon engine;

Sant Ambrogio II, Achille Castoldi, Milan, Italy, owner, 26 x 11, Alfa-Romeo engine;

Skip-A-Long, R. Stanley Dollar, San Francisco Calif., owner, 30 x 10, Allison engine;

Astraea, D. Cameron Peck, Chicago, Ill., owner, 30 x 10, Packard engine;

Such Crust II, Jack Schafer, Detroit, Mich., owner, 31 x 11. Allison engine;

Unnamed boat [Miss Michigan (1)] owned by Harris McBride, Detroit, Mich., 34½ x 12, Twin Allison engines;

Unnamed boat owned by Henry Kaiser, Oakland, Calif., 38 x 13½, Allison engine

and an entry of John Goodhue of East Braintree, Massachusetts, with a boat of his own design, powered with an air cooled engine.

The Qualification Committee of the Detroit International Regatta Association will be: Chester Ricker, Grosse Pointe, Michigan Chairman; Fay Irey Detroit. Vice-Chairman; Arthur L. Bobrick, Los Angeles Calif.; Chas. F. Chapman, New York City; Herbert Mendelson, Pacific Palisades, Calif.; Win. McK. Horn, Hampton, Va.; J. G. Vincent, Detroit; George H. Townsend, New Haven, Conn.; Jay Smith, Algonac, Michigan and Lou Fageol of Kent, Ohio.

The date for the major speed boat events are as follows:

June 28 to July 1, Gold Cup trials, Detroit

July 2 (Saturday), Gold Cup at Memorial Park, Detroit

July 4 (Monday), Ford Memorial, Memorial Park, Detroit

July 23, Harmsworth trials, Detroit Yacht Club, Detroit

July 29-30, Harmsworth Races, Detroit Yacht Club, Detroit

August 1 (Monday), 100 Mile Marathon, Detroit

August 13-14, National Sweepstakes at Red Bank, N. J.

Sept. 3-5, Silver Cup, Detroit Yacht Club, Detroit

September 12, Around Manhattan Race for Harwood Trophy, New York

September 17-18, President's Cup at Washington, D. C.

September 25, New Martinsville, West Virginia.


— Robert H. Watts

(Reprinted from Motor Boating, May 1949)