1906 Sea Mile Trials

Sea Mile Record Contest For Motor Boats

Under the patronage of the British Motor Boat Club and the Motor Yacht Club a speed trial for motor boats was held on Saturday in Southampton Water. The trials were conducted by the Marine Motor Association, the secretary of which (Mr. J. A. Smith) acted as official timekeeper. The conditions of the contest were that it should be open to unrestricted boats of any nationality propelled by internal combustion engines, each boat to make four runs; the mean of the speeds attained to be recorded as the speed of the boat. It was originally intended to hold the trials on Friday over the Admiralty measured mile in Strokes Bay, but owing to the boisterous weather it was decided to abandon the project, and a course of a mile in Southampton Water was mapped off for Saturday's trials. The distance, however, had not been checked by actual measurement when the trials were run, so that the distance and times recorded are subject to correction.

Eight boats (including the steamer Rose-en-Soleil, which was not eligible for the challenge cup presented to the boat making the best time) were entered, but only five actually took part in the test. Of these, Mr. J. M. Gorham's 30-footer Quicksilver with her 40.92 m.p. had no pretensions to the cup, and Mr. J. E. Hutton's Hutton II got such a twisting on Friday in Stokes Bay that she was practically useless, her hull being strained and engines completely out of order. This reduced the real competition to the two Napier boats, Yarrow Napier and Napier III, and as the former has always shown the better turn of speed, the only interest taken in the trial was as to whether Lord Howard de Walden's steam launch Rose-en-Soleil would make a higher speed than Yarrow Napier.

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu's and Mr. Lionel de Rothschild's Yarrow Napier was the first boat to run. She has a Saunders hull, designed by Yarrow. She showed remarkable consistency with her trials, there being a difference of only two-fifth of a second between her two runs with the tide and 2 2-5 seconds in the two runs against the tide. Her times for the four runs were as follows:---

Runs

Time

Speed in knots

Mean speed

1

2:29 3-5

24.064

 

2

2:33 3-5

23.468

 

3

2:30

24.000

 

4

2:36

23.077

23.604

Mr. J. E. Hutton's Hutton II followed. She is a Linton Hope designed boat, built by Hart, Harden & Co. of Kingston, and is fitted with a Hutton six-cylinder engine, which ordinarily works at just over 1,000 revolutions, her m.p. being 121.17. Although firing splendidly, it was evident from the start that the engine was not working up to its ordinary form, it being impossible to get more than 800 revolutions out of it, besides which mechanical troubles were also encountered. In the circumstances it was not at all surprising to find that the mean speed attained by the boat was under 16 knots, as against a speed of about 23 knots attained in Liverpool Bay a couple of months ago. The figures for the boat were:---

Runs

Time

Speed in knots

Mean speed

1

3:09 4-5

18.976

 

2

3:57

15.198

 

3

3:51 1-5

15.951

 

4

4:00 3-5

14.953

15.769

Mr. J. M. Gorham's Quicksilver, which was the third boat to run, was designed and built by Mr. J. A. Smith, and is fitted with a four-cylinder Daimler engine which works at 950 revolutions per minute and has a m.p. of 40.92. Like Yarrow Napier, the runs of Quicksilver showed great regularity, though her small engine was nor powerful enough to drive her against the tide, the difference of speed in the trials with and against the tide being just a trifle over two knots. Her times and speeds were:---

Runs

Time

Speed in knots

Mean speed

1

3:21 2-5

17.875

 

2

3:51

15.671

 

3

3:23 1-5

17.716

 

4

3:51 3-5

15.557

16.700

Lord Howard de Walden had three boats entered--Daimler I, Daimler II and Rose-en-Soleil-- but only the last-named put in an appearance. Rose-en-Soleil, which was driven over the course by Mr. A, G, Fentiman, is a steel boat built by Messrs. Simpson, Strickland & Co. (Limited), to their own design, and fitted with one of their engines having eight cylinders and working at a normal speed of under 800 revolutions. Her m.p. is 140.78. Her best run was her second with the tide in her favour, when she attained a speed of 22 1/2 knots, which is considerably less than she attained at a meeting held under the auspices of the Liverpool Bay Yacht Club and the British Motor Boat Club on the Mersey a few weeks ago. Rose-en-Soleil's times were:---

Runs

Time

Speed in knots

Mean speed

1

2:55 1-5

20.548

 

2

3:01 4-5

19.802

 

3

2:40

25.500

 

4

3:00 2-5

19.956

20.992

Mr. S. F. Edge's Napier III was the only other competitor, Mr. Maudsley Brooke's Brooke I, being an absentee. Napier III was designed by Mr. Linton Hope and built by the Saunders Syndicate at Cowes. She has a six-cylinder Napier engine working normally at 1,100 revolutions and her m.p. is 138.34. She was driven by Mr. Seaton Edge and attained a speed of nearly 21 1/2 knots. Her times were:---

Runs

Time

Speed in knots

Mean speed

1

2:37 2-5

22.872

2

2:57 2-5

20.293

3

2:39

22.642

4

3:03 1-5

19.851

21.417

Yarrow Napier will hold the challenge cup presented by the proprietors of the Temple Press for one year.

[Transcribed from the Times of London, Aug. 20, 1906, p. 9.]

English Mile Record Trials

The trials for the cup offered by the Motor Boat of London for a sea mile record were run off on the morning of August 18. The event was expected to take place on the previous day, but the heavy weather prevented, the sea in Southampton waters, where the trials were made, making it dangerous for the competitors to make their best time. Yarrow Napier carried off the honors, showing a mean speed of 23.69 nautical miles per hour. Napier III, made a speed of 21.417 nautical miles per hour; Rose-en-Soliel made 20.89; Quicksilver 16.7, and Hutton II 15.76. The speed of the latter would undoubtedly have been considerably higher had she not in running over the course on the previous day strained her hull. Rose-en-Soliel, the only steamer in the event, made very good time considering that her displacement was considerably in excess of that of her competitors. As the event was intended only for boats propelled by internal combustion motors, she was not officially entered, but by courtesy was allowed to run for the sake of comparison of her record with that of other boats of similar size. As will be remembered, this cup was given to represent the speed championship for the mile dash and is open to motorboats of any size, without restrictions, and was to give an authentic record of the fastest mile under the strictest observance and over a course which was known to be accurate. The record as it stands is not merely the record of one run over the mile, but is the mean or average of several runs over the mile, and is arrived at by the British Admiralty method of obtaining an average speed; for instance, in this case, four runs were made: number one, with the tide; number two, against the tide; number three, with it, and four, against it. The speeds made in numbers one and two were averaged; in numbers two and three and numbers three and four. This gives three results and is called the first mean. The first and second and second and third are then averaged, giving the second mean of two speeds. These are again averaged, giving the third mean, or, as it is called, the mean of means, and more truly represents the speed than if all were averaged together.

Transcribed from The Motor Boat, Sep. 10, 1906, pp. 28-29.

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


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