Miscellaneous Year-End Notes [1909]

First Regatta of the Falls Cities Motorboat Association

Louisville, Ky.—The first regatta of the Falls Cities Motor Boat Association, which was recently organized by motorboat owners of Louisville, Jeffersonville and New Albany, was held on October 2 and was a decided success. The races were witnessed b about two thousand persons and proved very interesting. The first event was for boats with a speed of eight miles or under, over a five-mile course. Helen, owned by John Kemp of Jeffersonville, won in 41 minutes, with Fred Luke’s Red Feather second; Genevieve, owned by W. and M Fleitz, third, and Dine, owner Carl Gray, fourth. The second race, also five miles, for boats capable of fifteen miles or under, was won by Francis, owner C. J. Kerbel, time 35 minutes 16 seconds; 2, Mary Ann, owner A. H. Barrett’ 3, Cruso, owner Harry Means. The feature of this event was that the winning boat was steered by the owner’s daughter, Miss Madaline Kerbel. The third race, over a ten-mile course was won by Jimmy, owner H. J. Wanner, time 1 hour 1 minute; 2, Lillian R., owners Greiner and Meehan; 3, Itsa, owned by C. L. Miman. The fifteen-mile race, the last event of the day, was won by Vivace, owner E. M. Hughes; 2, Alvin Nicholson’s Nick; 3, Harry, owner August Ropke. A feature of the regatta was the presence of Hoosier Boy, owned by E. H. Whitlock of Rising Sun, Ind., which gave exhibitions of speed during the races.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Oct. 25, 1909, p. 40.)

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Gull Lake, Michigan

The photograph reproduced above [not available at this time] show the 25-foot semi-racer Arrow. She is owned by Earle A. Goodenow, Kalamazoo. Mich., and she is used on Gull Lake, near that city. Her beam is 56 inches and she is equipped with a 12-hp., three-cylinder Ferro motor, which turns a two-bladed 18-inch-diameter wheel of 27 inches pitch at 900 r.p.m. With this propeller the owner states she makes 15 miles an hour, and with a three-bladed 18-inch by 24-inch propeller he states that she can do 18 miles. The boat draws only 12 inches. Her cockpit is finished entirely in mahogany, and the cover over the engine is of the same wood. Seats are arranged lengthwise. The cockpit is 11 feet long. The electrical equipment includes port, starboard and bow lights, a searchlight an an electric whistle. Controls are arranged at the steering wheel and the engine is equipped with Mr. Goodenow’s own self-starter device. Arrow is used as a family boat and is perfectly safe under all conditions. She was built by the Inland lakes Company, of Lake Geneva, Wis.

Gull Lake is a beautiful sheet of blue water, nine miles long and three miles wide, situated in the ehart of southern Michigan. There are nearly three hundred motorboats on this little lake, seventy-five of them new this season. The fastest boat on the lake is owned by Ardene Goddenow. It is a 28-footer, 48 inches beam, equipped with a 50-hp. Van Blerck motor, which drives a three-bladed 19-inch-diameter by 30-inch-pitch wheel, giving the boat a speed of more than 24 miles an hour. The boat was built by her owner. Several fast boats will be added to the fleet next year and a motorboat club will be organized.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Oct. 10, 1909, p. 14.)

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The Racing Season of 1909
By Charles P. Tower

That interest in motorboat racing is widespread is evident to anyone who even casually studies the records of the year. There were nearly 900 separate and distinct events in motorboat racing, the localities of which were scattered from Maine to Southwestern California, from Florida to British Columbia. And it is not to be understood that these nearly 900 events make up the complete racing record of the season. They are the events, generally speaking, of the greater importance of the year and specifically those which the most correct and best-kept records were available. There were many hundreds of races during the year, of which little ever became known outside of the locality in which they occurred, or concerning which records are not easily secured at the end of the season.

The racing waters include the entire length of the Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Florida, with the exception perhaps of a short trip in the vicinity of Cape Hatteras, the Gulf coast, or rather, some parts of it, the Hudson River in the East, the Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi and other streams of the gigantic middle-western watershed, the Great Lakes and nearly every portion of the Pacific coast wherever there are harbors. It also includes any number of the smaller bodies of water in the Middle West and Northwest.

Strange to say, the record, in so far as number of days of racing is concerned, is held by the British Columbian town of Nelson, where the Kootenay Club held races on fourteen separate days, and there were several classes on each day. Next in importance, in so far as number of racing days is concerned was at the other extreme of the continent and almost but not quite due east, at Winthrop, Mass. Thirteen days were given up to racing by the Winthrop Yacht Club, covering a period beginning on June 12th and ending on September 6th. Then there were many clubs whose programs covered periods of six, seven or eight days, as, for instance, the Ocean City Yacht Club of New Jersey, the Independent Yacht and Boat Club of Long Island, had eight days each; the Jubilee Yacht Club in Massachusetts waters, the Motor Boat Club of Savannah, and the Seattle Motor Boat Club six days each; while in the interior, the Pewaukee Yacht Club, on a Minnesota lake, raced on nine separate days, Spring Lake Motor Boat Club of Michigan seven days, the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club of Hamilton, Ont., six days, and the Interlake Yacht Racing Association of the Great Lakes six days. Each of these organizations had many classes on most of its race days. Even the little Huguenot Yacht Club at New Rochelle, just under the shadow of the New York City boundary, had racing on five separate days, although the number of starters was never large on any one day. Greenwood Lake is also an active racing center, as there were races on that sheet of water on five separate days, and many classes on each day. Even Moosehead Lake, away down in Maine and away up in the mountains, had races on four days during the Summer. There does not appear to be such a great preponderance of interest in the Middle West, therefore, as had been popularly supposed. The fact is that the motorboat, and, as a consequence, motorboat racing, appeals to all localities very much alike, excepting possibly certain stretches of water in the east, and even there the interest is growing.

In the vicinity of New York the sort of racing which appeals perhaps the most strongly is the cruising or long distance contest. The Marblehead race, for example. Is now a classic event, the Block Island race is fairly attractive to motorboat owners, the New York Motor Boat Club’s race to Albany and return proved to be a very strong drawing card, and the long-distance races of the National Carnival and of the Hudson-Fulton program proved to be attractive to owners of the boats suited for that sort of work. In the interior there are some long-distance races, especially those on Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario, but for the greater part when one gets away from the coast, the interest is concentrated largely in short-distance races in which purely racing craft appear.

Aside from the cruising races, the events of greatest importance in eastern waters were the raced of the National Carnival, so-called, and those of the Hudson-Fulton celebration. The classes were well-filled in each of these events, but in each class there was something of extraordinary interest outside that of the race itself to assist in getting entries.

Curiously enough, the records show that there is little disposition on the part of racing men to go very far away from home. Of the great number of winners mentioned, scarcely a dozen went out of their home waters. A very few, like Buffalo Courier, Dixie II, and Hoosier Boy were sent on occasion many miles away from home, and not under their own power either, to participate in important events. Lamb IV, which made a fine record in western waters, traveled no great distance from that section of the Mississippi River and its tributaries immediately above St. Louis; and the records of some of the best-known boats of the east, such as Peter Pan II, Gunfire II and others, were made within a very few miles of New York City. Whether this is due to the lack of system or uniformity in the arrangement and handling of races, or to the fact that the boat owners prefer to gain full experience in their home waters before going abroad, cannot be said; possibly something is due to each of these considerations.

One thing has to be made quite evident in the compilation of the records printed; that is, that most race officials paid too little attention to making exact records and records suitable for preservation in permanent form.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Dec. 25, 1909, p. 48)

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Buffalo Motors

In addition to the already splendidly varies and many sizes in regular heavy-duty and speed types on which the makers of Buffalo engines have based their claim of "an engine for every sort and size of boat," the Buffalo line, built by the Buffalo Gasolene Motor Company, at Buffalo, N.Y., will include two new engines for 1910. These are an improved V-type, eight-cylinder, high-speed engine, giving extremely high power in concentrated space and the sought-for and valuable advantage of a much lower center of gravity than any other type of engine affords, and a four-cylinder, 4¾ x 5-inch high-speed engine which will give a speed engine of a size smaller than the present 60-hp. Buffalo speed engine and which is designed to transform runabouts and medium-sized launches and racers into much faster boats.

These two new Buffalo speed engines will add one to either end of the present Buffalo line of speed engines—making the assortment for 1910 consist of the new four-cylinder, 4¾ x 5; the four-cylinder, 6¼ x 6¾, 60-hp.; the new six-cylinder, 6¼ x 6¾, 90-hp., and the new V-type, eight-cylinder, planned as a concentrated power plant for the speediest of racers.

The new Buffalo V-type has been given the same careful designing and testing and has embodied in it all the improved applications of safe marine practice that has characterized the other engines of the Buffalo line. This engine consists of two four-cylinder engines set at an angle of 90 degrees from each other and 45 degrees from the horizontal, both engines operating a single, four-throw crank shaft. The cylinders being thus tilted, with a battery of four cylinders on either side, the resultant lower position of the engine in the boat is apparent and the much lower center of gravity is obvious. The connecting rods from two opposite cylinders will operate on one crank pin. To obviate any possible contact between the two connecting-rod boxes on the crank pin, the pin will be turned with a double fillet, which will provide a separation on the bearing surface.

The crank shaft will be made extra large in order to gain additional bearing area on the crank pins. The crank shaft will then be drilled through laterally to eliminate excessive weight. In every part, both in the main sections and in the detail, the engine shows capable designing to stand up not only under excessive speed but also under excessive strain. In order infallibly to hold this new concentrated motor of high power it is being fitted with a clutch of special design and special material. It will be provided with double high-tension ignition. The oiling will be force-feed direct to the cylinders and to the bearing surfaces, including the crank pins, which absolute oiling system is used on all the Buffalo engines and which has proved signally effective on high-speed engines, as was evidenced by the performance of the Buffalo speed engine in the champion Hoosier Boy.

In order to secure extra factors of strength in the new engine, with the idea in mind to turn out a speedy motor, which, like the engine in Hoosier Boy, will not only show speed but endurance on long runs, special steels and alloys will be used. Just what these special metals are the Buffalo Gasolene Motor Company is not yet ready to make public.

It was only last Spring that the Buffalo Gasolene Motor Company placed a speed engine on the market for the first time. One of the first speed engines turned out—a 75-hp. Engine—was placed in Hoosier Boy, owned by J. W. Whitlock, of Rising Sun, Ind., and racing under the colors of the Buffalo Launch Club, the Hoosier Boy won race after race and became Champion of the Great Lakes and Central West. To give further test to her engine Hoosier Boy made a thousand-mile run from Rising Sun to Peoria, Ill.

The new V-type is designed as a far more powerful engine, has the added advantage of a lower center of gravity which will give a steadier boat and will permit of greater speed on turns, to say nothing of the fact that the new engine will occupy little more than half the space. The pronounced success of the first Buffalo speed engine in making a champion racer of Hoosier Boy augers well for greater things from the new V-type.

The new four-cylinder, 4¾ x 5, light-weight, high-speed engine that will be added to the Buffalo line for 1910 is provided to fill a demand for a speed engine with a lot of power in it, but small enough to fit a boat which could not contain the Buffalo 60-hp. Speed engine, hitherto the smallest speed engine in the Buffalo line. For the man who wants to turn his runabout or medium-sized boat into a craft fast enough to compete with most of the racers, or who wants to increase the speed of his present medium-sized racer so as to contend with the fastest in his class, this new engine is placed upon the market. It is a marine adaptation of an automobile type of motor. The cylinders are cast in pairs and it has double ignition.

For 1910 the Buffalo line will include twenty-one different marine engines – surely a varied line to choose from. All of them are of the four-cycle type, the Buffalo line for eleven years having built its reputation of four-cycle engines. The 1910 assortment shows a 3-hp. Engine; a 4-hp.; a 5-hp.; a 6-hp.; a 7½-hp.; a 10-hp.; a 12-hp.; a 15-hp.; an 18-hp.; a 20-hp.; a 24-hp.; a 30-hp.; a 36-hp.; a 40-hp.; a 54-hp.; a 60-hp.; a 65-hp.; a 90-hp.; a 100-hp.; the new V-type engine and the new 4 3/8 x 5 lightweight, high-speed engine.

In the regular type the Buffalo line will run the wide range from 3 to 100-hp. And from two to six cylinders, in the slow-speed, heavy-duty type the range will be from 4 to 54-hp. And from one to six cylinders; and the lightweight, high-speed type will provide the new four-cylinder, 4¾ x 5, a four-cylinder 60-hp., a six-cylinder 90-hp., and the new extremely high-power V-type engine. The two new speed engines, the engine that made the Hoosier Boy champion and a representation of the engines in the regular and heavy-duty types, will be shown to the public at the Boston boat show in January, in spaces 68-72, at the New York show in February in space F, on the arena floor, at the Buffalo show in March and at the Detroit show.

"Buffalo quality" is a term familiar to users of marine engines and has been made famous by the actual performances of Buffalo marine engines the world over. The high reputation of the Buffalo is broadcast. The engines have a proven capacity for work and wear. Their mechanical perfection, their reliable, ever-ready, constant service, and the zealously maintained Buffalo quality that is in them had brought them into world-wide use. They are made in a plant at Buffalo that is remarkable in many ways. It is a plant that strives for and attains absolute interchangeability of parts. Every part of every Buffalo engine is trued down to 1-1000th of an inch.

This, together with careful designing and accurate allowances for heat expansion, is what gives the perfect Buffalo compression and its results of conserved power and constant untroubled service. The cylinders are ground and all wearing surfaces are ground and hardened. Undoubtedly it is the careful workmanship on Buffalo engines, combined with their many mechanical improvements and the highest grade of materials, that has earned their high reputation for durability. One of the splendid features of the Buffalo engines is the complete water jacketing, not only of the cylinders but of the cylinder heads, the valve chambers and the exhaust.

The world-wide use of Buffalo engines in racers, cruisers, in fishing fleets, work boats and craft of every kind is well known. They are in the Fiji Islands, in the Mediterranean, in South America, on the inland lakes of Africa, in the coast boats of Asia. The supply ship that carried relief to Peary in his pole finding party through the ice floes to the northernmost point of navigation was powered with a 36-hp., heavy-duty Buffalo engine. The remarkable performances of Hoosier Boy powered with a Buffalo speed engine are too familiar to the public to need rehearsing. Last Summer Lawyer Vince H Faben, of Seattle selected a 100-hp. six-cylinder regular type Buffalo engine for his new 75-foot cruiser-yacht Maude F. Of this engine Mr. Faben wrote:

"I have personally worked out the engine all Summer and have permitted
no one to run it but myself since it was installed, and she is working per-
fectly. To say the least, the engine is assuredly all that you claimed for
it. I have never taken off the cylinder head, nor have I had occasion to
clean a spark plug since she started to run, nor have I been compelled to
crank her, as she starts very reliably from the plug by simply turning on
the electric current through the spark coils."

MotorBoat readers should send to the Buffalo Gasolene Motor Company at Buffal, N.Y., and get its catalog, which tells the detailed story of the Buffalo engine.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Dec. 10, 1909, pp. 180-182)

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

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