1909 London Boat Show


The London Motorboat Show

This year the London motorboat show was held in March in conjunction with the Aero show; Olympia, as before, being the venue. The huge hall was occupied by balloons and aeroplanes, the boats and engines being staged around the sides. This left little to be desired, as the whole of the exhibits were well displayed. The largest boat in the show was the 35-foot Brooke cruiser, built of teak in two diagonal skins

Brooke engines are of the four-stroke light high-speed type. The largest model shown was the 45-hp., four-cylinder. The lubrication is force feed. The speed is 800 to 950 r.p.m., and its consumption 4 gallons an hour.

The Maudslay Engine Company showed two excellent boats, including Defender I, a 40-foot racer, built by Burgoine. This boat is of light draft, with fine lines terminating in a small, flat inverted stern. Last season she was equipped with a 60-hp. Maudslay six-cylinder engine. Maudslay's other boat was the 25-foot Sparkle, a smart looking clipper stern craft with capital accommodation. Besides Defender's engine they showed four-cylinder 25-30-hp.

Thornycroft showed a number of interesting models of various boats, built and equipped for the Admiralty, War Office, Customs, India Office, etc., as well as a line of engines running on gasolene or kerosene. The power is reduced about 20 per cent when the latter fuel is used. Their new type double-cylinder engine is 4-inch bore and 6-inch stroke, developing 18-hp. on gasolene. Forced lubrication with a plunger pump and filter is used. Finger pieces are inserted between the cams and the tappets to obviate side thrust. The valves are on opposite sides. The ignition is magneto, high or low tension at option. Their 50-hp. is a four-cylinder 6x8-inch, and runs at 750 r.p.m. There is a bevel gear drive to the distributor, and high or low tension magneto ignition is filled. Force feed lubrication is used.

Thornycroft also showed a four-cylinder 8x8-inch 105-hp. engine at 700 r.p.m. This starts on compressed air and has the same features as the others with the addition of water circulation at bottom of crank case to cool the lubricating oil. There were an number of other engines, including one of about 6-hp., driving a dynamo.

Renault Freres, Ltd., showed a 20-hp. four-cylinder set. The crank chamber and reverse gear are built-up together for close stowing.

Warwick Wright showed a four-cylinder hydroplane engine developing 25-hp. at 2,000 r.p.m. All the valves are on one side, and the exhaust box is part of the casting. The lubrication is force feed working under 40 lbs. per sq. in. pressure. Weight is cut down in every direction. Water cooling is automatic.

Although Milnes-Daimler displayed only one engine, its handsome appearance and excellent design attracted considerable attention. The model was a four-cylinder, developing 80-hp. on gasolene and 72-hp. on kerosene. Its bore is 6 1/8 inches; speed, 800 r.p.m. The engine is self starting; the fly wheel being first set in its correct position, a small pump is hand worked and passes air and gasolene to the inlet valve boxes. There is then a small, high-tension magneto, brought into operation by a hand wheel. Ignition is by Mercedes low-tension magneto. The lubrication is force feed and a small splash box is fitted which indicates whether the system is in operation. The hot air is taken from a damper on the exhaust pipe. The reverse is operated by a differential gear, which is carried on the rigid frame of the engine on which also is a thrust block and a universal joint.

Although this show was not of the dimensions which might have been wished, it was a most excellent display throughout, and is evidence of the great strides made in marine construction during the past few years. it is impossible to conceive a combination of better built and finished boats. In all cases the designs were most pleasing and certainly showed healthy types of craft. it is satisfactory to note that the British manufacturer is feeling his way, and although at present the engines produced cannot bear any comparison in numbers to those built in America; in detail and construction the comparison leaves nothing to be desired.

(Excerpts transcribed from MotorBoat, Mar. 10, 1909, pp. 13-15. )

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


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Leslie Field, 2002