Auto Boat Mile Record [1904]

Commodore Moore's Onontio Shows Remarkable Speed

The fastest time ever made in the world by an autoboat over a measured nautical-mile course was made yesterday on the Hudson River by the new boat recently built for Commodore Harrison B. Moore of the Atlantic Yacht Club. His boat, known as the Onontio, covered the mile from about One Hundred and Fourteenth Street to Eighty-ninth Street, in the fast time of 2 minutes 26 seconds, which is at the rate of 24.66 knots an hour, or 28.36 statute miles . The timing was done by J. W. Allison, Commodore of the Cape May Yacht Club. Five men were in the boat at the time, including the builder, H. R. Sutphen; H. H. Bease, who steered the craft, and J. A. Craig, engineer.

The boat was designed by H. J. Gielow. She is sixty feet over all, and practically the same on the water line, while her gasoline motors give a horse power from 175 to 200.

Had the boat been officially timed for a long distance, it is believed by those managing her that the time would have been far in excess of the fast time made by Frank Croker's boat. It was practically the boat's first test on the water. The Onontio went up the Hudson shortly after the start of the auto boat race to Poughkeepsie, and was unable to sight the boats when off One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Street. More for curiosity than anything else, the engines were set out at full speed, and thirty-two minutes later, when off Rockland Light, the Challenger was passed. The Onontio then slowed up and came down the river slowly, and then made her record time over the measured mile course ending at Eighty-ninth Street, just above the Columbia Yacht Club. Later in the evening the boat came down the river, making the trip from Eighty-sixth Street to Cortland Street, according to Mr. Sutphen's figures, in 14 minutes 12 seconds.

Mr. Sutphen claims that in the boat's trip up the river after the racing auto boats, the Onontio made twenty-five miles in forty-two minutes. The boat was kept almost continuously in motion for four hours, and it is claimed that the remarkable rate of speed shown over the measured nautical mile can be maintained for 150 miles. The boat will undoubtedly enter some of the motor boat races next season.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, October 30, 1904, p. 1 )