Power Boating in Toronto, 1906

The Epidemic At Toronto

by L. E. Marsh

The "put-put" epidemic is a feature of ante season boat talk at Toronto, Canada. Go where you will along the waterfront and if you can't see a benzine boat being overhauled or built, you will drop into a bunch of motor boat conversational hodge-podge that . . . "an opposed engine has your single . . ." " . . .made the whole thirty in three hours without a skip." "The vaporization was . . ." "She won't turn over 200 times a minute."

Toronto harbor was busy last season with about 150 gasoline boats puttering around, but what will it be when another 100 are added to the flotilla this season?. That there will be 100 new ones seems a moderate estimate if one can judge from the amount of gasoline gas around the clubhouses. Certainly the regular builders are up to their eyes in work and there are many hulls being turned out by amateur builders that will join eh "goose-trot" when the pollywog is in the bottom

Last year saw the inauguration of motor boat races in Toronto. They were held as a sort of side issue by the Queen City Yacht Club. This year the Q. C. Y. C. has formed a regular motor boat section and appointed three of the club's motor boat enthusiasts -- A. Wilbur, R. McGregor and W. Brown -- to handle this year's "chug-chug" racing. A regular program will be arranged and a championship trophy hung up. There, too, is a movement under way to found a Toronto Launch Club.

While at least a third of the motor boats ordered from established firms are of the semi-racing type, the speed queen of the bay will undoubtedly be a boat imported by Nicholls Bros., Ltd. Walter and Fred Nicholls of this firm were in New York at the Madison Square Show and ordered a replica of the Lozier high-speed launch Shooting Star II, which won the Bourne Cup for speed and endurance at the American Power Boat Association's meet last year down in the Thousand Islands. BOATING od last October contained full particulars of Shooting Star II's performance and her photo, and so it will suffice to say that the new boat will be 35 feet long, a regular speed hull of the thin-nosed, scow-bottomed type, equipped with a pair of 4-cylinder automobile engines developing about 60 horsepower.

Shooting Star II made her 90 miles in the Bourne Cup contest at an average speed of a mile in 2.31.45 seconds and the Loziers have guaranteed the new boat to show a 26 miles an hour gait over a measured course. Such a flyer will make people in these parts sit up, for the fastest we had in the launch line previously was the Thornycroft craft, Scolopendra, a 25-foot craft that made 17 miles an hour, though last fall a 40-foot steam craft which showed 20 miles an hour puttered around the bay for a week or so flying a "For Sale" sign.

If this new craft makes good in the speed line she will be sent down to the A.P.B.A. races at Chippewa Bay, to have a flyer at the silverware. She will likely make the second Canadian entry. T. C. Monroe, of Gananoque, purchased a 45-horsepower Toronto Gas & Gasoline engine here this spring to put into a speed hull turned out by Sheppard, the great Alexandria Bay builder. Monroe has a speedy hull and should make a showing.

The hold the gasoline propelled craft as a pleasure boat has taken upon our citizens is illustrated by the number of orders already in from well-known men. Rear-Commodore Frederic Nicholls, of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, has ordered from Nicholls Bros., Ltd., what will be the most palatial gasoline yacht in Canada. The craft is already under way. She was designed by Henry J. Gielow, of New York, one of the best known power boat designers of the eastern states, and is under construction by the Williams-Whittelsey Co. She will cost $22,000 laid down in Toronto.

Frank Baillie, of Toronto, famed for his hard-driving runs in high-power motor cars, breaks into the speed launch game with a 40-foot semi-racer from Nicholls Bros. She is to be equipped with a 25-horsepower, 4-cycle, 4-cylinder motor and is to show a speed of 14 miles an hour. John Humsden, the Ollawa Valley king, too, has purchased a semi-racer, a 31-foot boat with a 5-foot 4-inch beam and a 25-horsepower engine, which he is taking up north to Lake Temagami to astonish the Indians.

There is much talk of arranging an endurance cruise for motor boats from the 16-foot class upwards, from Toronto to the Thousand Islands and return. The idea is to managed it as motor car endurance runs are, that is to make a fair journey each day and grant points for the showing each boat makes on her representative class. Such a cruise should cement the motor boatmen of Toronto as no other scheme could.

Transcribed from Boating, June 1906, pp. 124-125.

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