The Fauber-Designed Hydroplane [1908]

Fauber -- A French Hydroplane

A Fifty-Horsepower Outfit That is Claimed to Have Attained a Speed of Almost Thirty-Eight Miles an Hour Over a Measured Course

W. F. Bradley

The Fauber-Designed Hydroplane
Yankee Hydroplane a French Sensation
The Fauber Hydroplane

On a quiet stretch of the River Seine, sufficiently near Paris to be in touch with all that experimenters are doing, yet sufficiently far away to be undisturbed by its gayness, America has an inventor who for two years has been working at the problem of the improvement of the hydroplane boat. W. H. Fauber, well known in the states by reason of his inventions connected with the cycle industry, and at one time proprietor and manager of the Fauber Manufacturing Co., Chicago, has covered the measured kilometer in exactly 60 seconds and is so pleased with the success of his hydroplane that he has made arrangements for building it in regular sizes and series for sale as a cruiser.

Unlike all other hydroplanes known in Europe, the Fauber craft has the external appearance and lines of a fast motor boat; indeed when at rest in the water there is practically nothing to distinguish it from an ordinary racing boat. The hydroplanes of the boat, however, are of an entirely novel type and mark out the craft as a distinct departure from what has hitherto been attempted. The inventor prefers that not much should be said about this feature of the boat, but it is permissible to state that there are multiple planes and that the under surface is not flat. The form adopted gives the boat a stability which is superior to that of the ordinary displacement boat and which is far removed from the ordinary type of hydroplane. The sharp pointed bow, another distinctive feature, neutralizes the wave action by cutting through the crest of the wave, thus increasing speed, and minimizing the pitching effect that has been one of the weak points of all hydroplanes.

Fitted with an Antoinette 50-horsepower, eight-cylinder, water-cooled engine, the Fauber hydroplane covered the measured kilometer on the Seine in exactly 60 seconds, with three men on board. This is equal to a speed of 36.7 miles an hour. With certain improvements that have suggested themselves in the form of the hull, and the substitution of a more efficient propeller, it is expected that the speed can be carried up to rather more than 40 miles an hour.

Another racer is now under construction and should be ready for trial trips in a couple of months. Its hydroplanes are exactly similar to those which have served so well on the present racer, the lines, however, are somewhat finer and should offer less resistance for starting and going through the water at slow speeds. For general touring purposes 21-foot boats will be built and equipped with some make of four-cylinder engine yet to be chosen. a boat of this type will have an open well sufficiently large to accommodate six people, will have all the stability of an ordinary displacement boat and a speed that can only be attained by skinning over the surface of the water.

It had been intended to give an exhibition of the speed of the boat at the Monaco meeting, and entries were made for this purpose. Owing, however, to delay in issuing patents, the craft had to be kept out of the Mediterranean speed carnival.

(Transcribed from PowerBoating, July 1908, p. 350)

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A Novel French Hydroplane

It is claimed for the hydroplane from Le Yachtsman of Paris, that waves as high as the prow can be encountered without shock or much loss of speed, and with but a third of the power required in an ordinary boat. Furthermore the beauty of line and finish can be had, which, says Motor Boat of London, is quite unlike the "flying matchboxes" at Monaco. This hydroplane is 26-ft. long and is equipped with an eight-cylinder, 60-hp, Antoinette motor. it is stated that the craft has attained a speed of 60 kilometers an hour--32.4 knots--over a measured distance on the River Seine at Nauterre.

In design the boat combines the forms of an ordinary model and a hydroplane, and is based on the theory that up to certain speeds a hull can be carried at less expense of motive power by displacing the water than by gliding over it. At medium and maximum speeds the weight is partly taken by displacement and partly by the supporting planes, the lines of the hull and the planes being in harmony. The designer's object was to build a practical hydroplane, one suitable for pleasure, racing or commercial pursuits, which would be not only fast but also safe in rough water.

In this Fauber hydroplane certain distinctive features have been adapted. The pointed stem makes for speed as well as eliminating pounding and reducing pitching. Stability is attained by giving the gliding surface of the bottom such shape that the mass of displacement is quickly brought to the lower side, which instantly rights the boat; this is also aided by the lifting action of the planes. The water lines are apparently well planned, widening gradually and then going in towards the stern. This gives the greatest possible economical displacement. The supporting planes, which rise at high speeds, neutralize the action of the waves and prevent pitching, and the stability of the craft is also due greatly to the concave supporting surfaces, more effective than planes and likewise stronger.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, June 25, 1908, p. 13)

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

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Leslie Field, 2001