1908 Harmsworth Trophy

Challenger for the International Trophy

The following which appeared in The Yachting World, of London, issue of January 2, is of particular interest:

The construction of the Wolseley Motor Company's new racing launch for the international motorboat racing at Monaco is proceeding apace at Saunders' Yard at East Cowes. Her three skins of planking are completed, and in process of being sewn. The outer skin is in mahogany planks running from stem to stern without a butt, and the perfection of the construction throughout is remarkable. Considering that the boat will have 400 hp. on a displacement of little more than three tons, this is as it should be. Now that it is possible to see the design "in the wood," we think that Mr. Saunders will have good cause to congratulate himself when the boat makes her debut at Monaco. The Wolseley Company are sparing no effort to complete the 200-hp. motors, which are being assembled, in good time to permit of exhaustive trials at Cowes before the boat has to start for the Mediterranean. The result of these trials will be awaited with interest, as it is an open secret that it is hoped to obtain at last the long-coveted 30 knots which have proved so difficult of attainment. Everybody will wish the Wolseley Company the best of luck in this venture, the more so that during the past few years they have devoted more attention to their marine department with the best results. This boat will be the challenger for the British International Cup, won last year by the American motorboat Dixie.

In general model this hull -- which incidentally is nearly half as light as one of the same size would be if built of 16-gauge steel plating -- is somewhat of an elaboration of Daimler III, but she has a higher, bolder, and more flaring entrance, and is fuller amidships with more freeboard, besides having a slight turn-in of about 4 inches on the quarters to a narrower transom.

Her construction, however, is more interesting, as it is a combination of the newest and the oldest Saunders' systems; that is to say, the Canadian rock-elm frames cover the joint of the vertical inner-skin planks, and are riveted through, but between the frames, the three skins are sewn together in two seams, with short lengths of copper wire, which is sewn by hand, not by machine. This prevents the slightest bubbling or swelling between the skins. But the special point of this boat's construction is that the five planks that compose the outer skin are each in one piece from stem to stern without butt anywhere; so, laid edge to edge as they are, considerable additional strength is secured to the hull, as in the manner of a girder construction. Then the frames are each in one piece from gunwale to gunwale, crossing the top of the hog-piece instead of stolling into a rabbet on it. So the hog-piece is not only unweakened, but the waterway runs continuous beneath the timbers, so that the last spoonful can be dried out. And still another feature is that the stem is halved in the middle, the lower part being formed out of one long grown bend, which is scarfed along the top of the hog piece for about eight feet.

Transcribed from MotorBoat, Jan. 25, 1908, p. 22.

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