Dixie Junior [1909]

Dixie Junior a Flyer

Dixie Junior is a remarkable little speed boat, designed and built by Capt. S. Bartley Pearce, of the firm of Pearce & Fenner, of East Orange, N.J. She is not only one of the fastest boats of her length ever built, but also one of the fastest of her power, regardless of size. The general construction and finish are the best that can be procured. The dimensions of the boat are: Length over all 24 feet; beam over all 4 feet; frames are of selected white oak, continuous from gunwale to gunwale, spaced 6 inches between centers, excepting under the engine bed, where the spacing is 4 inches, and the framework here is of rock elm. The planking is Spanish cedar and full length plank is used as far as possible, entirely copper fastened and riveted over copper burrs. Her entire top work and interior are of Honduras mahogany.

The special 16-hp. Aluminum constructed Syracuse four-cylinder motor, built by the Syracuse gas Engine Company for this hull, is placed forward, under a hinged hood, and the engine controls are brought forward and embedded in a special automobile steering wheel made by the J. A. Seely Manufacturing Company, of Ogdensburg, N.Y. The commutator and gasoline control levers work on half circle quadrants within the wheel. This, with the rear starting device, gives a one-man control. The air pump which supplies pressure for forcing the gasoline is fitted to the starboard side of the coming within handy reach of the helmsman.

On her official trial trip, and timed over an official course, with the motor new and stiff, Dixie Junior showed a speed of more than twenty miles an hour, turning a Columbian speed propeller, which was found to be too small. With the right size wheel, which is being made, and the motor limbered up she is expected to show an honest twenty-two miles an hour. After being put over the course the boat was run at high speed for almost two hours, and during that time the hood over the motor compartment was not even lifted, and not a thing was done to the engine. She is a particularly stiff and able craft for one of this kind, and at the highest speed there is scarcely any vibration in the boat on account of the special bed construction and perfect balance and smoothness of motor operation. The forward lines are so fine that she cuts the water like a knife, and so well is her underbody planned that she leaves hardly any wake behind her, and drags no water astern.

The power plant, as above indicated, consists of a four-cylinder 16-hp. Syracuse engine of regular type, except that aluminum is used for base, intake bonnet, cylinder heads and gear case, to reduce the weight of what is at the beginning an extremely light motor. This motor is of the two-cycle, three-port type, combining advanced ideas in marine motor construction with high quality of material and workmanship, and several special and important features.

(Transcribed from Motor Boat, Oct. 25, 1909, p. 45.)

{The Dixie Junior would be such a popular design that soon many speed boats would be classified as "a Dixie Junior, " and in some regions there would be the Dixie Junior racing class. Also, as time went by the Dixie Junior design would be enlarged to include some Gold Cup class racers. In some articles Count Cassimir Mankowski’s Lake George Gold Cup entry, Ankle Deep, would be billed as "a Dixie Junior". – GWC}

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

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