Miss United States III

"Floating Laboratory" Unveiled [1959]
By Paul Preuss

Miss United States III
"Super" Boat Unveiled
"Floating Laboratory" Unveiled

From an esthetic viewpoint, there may never have been a power boat to rival the dazzling white, red, white and blue creation unveiled yesterday by Michigan industrialist Robert Evans.

The huge craft, designed as a "floating laboratory," is made of laminated materials and the gleaming white hull is as sleek and shiny as the hide of a thoroughbred.

No Stranger

Evans is no stranger to power boating. He is credited with introducing high speed hydrofoil boats and he exceeded 100 miles an hour in one in 1936. He once had a boat break apart under him as he was attempting to establish a record.

His new boat, called the Miss United States III, is the result of an idea that originated three years ago when Evans set out to develop some means of testing the laminated material produced by a company he had purchased. One year was spent building the boat and another year in testing models.

"We needed a laboratory to prove our material," Evans explained.

The boat was trucked to Detroit yesterday from Bay City, where it was built by Marine Research Inc., and has yet to be given its first test run.

"Could Be Flop"

"We don't know what to expect," admits Evans. "It could be a big flop."

After observing the boat's tremendous weight (13,000, pounds — about twice the weight of an average hydroplane) and, its relatively small powerplants (two Packard marine engines rated at approximately 1,800 horsepower each), many veteran boatmen think it will prove a white elephant.

However, Evans, designer Glenn Eddy, consultant Doug Van Patten (designer of the Miss Canadas) and chief mechanic M. C. Booth feel confident.

Seen from above, the boat looks like a conventional runabout hull with the driver just in front of the engines which sit at the rear. Thus, jet engines can be installed without modifying the hull.

True Three-Pointer

Although the familiar sponsons are missing, the boat is a true three-pointer. Hoever, it rides on a single point up front and two points in the rear, the reverse of such three-pointers as Hawaii Kai and Miss U.S.

The boat is designed primarily for straightaway records although if it proves itself Evans plans to enter it in the Gold Cup and other races.

Evans feels the boat can top the existing record for propeller-driven boats of 187.627 miles an hour set by the conventional Hawaii Kai. He rules out a possibility of eclipsing the 260.35 m.p.h. record of Donald Campbell s Bluebird.

Evans said, "This boat should be able to run hour after hour at more than 100 miles an hour. We may make a run from Detroit to Cleveland in an hour. I think that would be more impressive than the speed records."

(Reprinted from the Detroit News, 1959)

[Thanks to Tom Jewett for help in preparing this page —LF]

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