Clinton Crane's Yachting Memories
High Speed Launches and the Harmsworth Trophy
While I was working over sailing boats, the French and Italians were beginning to build fast motorboats, equipped with the new automobile engines. In the latter part of the last century and the early part of this, European automobiles were much better than those built in this country, particularly their engines.
A New York firm named Smith and Mabley had been specializing in selling foreign cars. Smith was the salesman of the outfit, and he felt that it would be a good advertisement for them to equip a small hull with one of their foreign engines. I don't know who sent him to me, but he came to my office in 1903 and wanted to know if I could build a small hull that would go 21 miles an hour with a 24-horsepower Panhard motor. I asked him how heavy the motor would be and whether it would really develop 24 horsepower. He said he didn't know the weight, but they had one in their shop and I could weigh it.
They had, connected with their salesroom, a repair shop, because those foreign cars needed servicing by someone who understood them. Their repair shop was headed by a man named Franquist. He not only had a Panhard motor in the shop, but he had scales, and I was able to rig up with him a testing stand, so that we could determine the horsepower of the motor. We found that it would actually develop 24 horsepower.
One of the things that I had studied very closely in Glasgow was propeller design. Froude had published a series of propeller tests, made in his testing tank, which were amplified and confirmed later by Professor Durand, of Cornell, and D. W. Taylor, in Washington. With these tests, it was possible for any student to calculate the best propeller to be used for any particular type of boat, if the speed and resistance of the boat and the horsepower of the motor were known.
At that time there were no general manufacturers of all sorts of propellers which could be bought from stock, and each one had to be separately designed. I planned a little boat 30 feet long and 3 feet 8 inches wide, in model very similar to the boats which Normand had designed for the Bath Iron Works. When finished she weighed, complete with engine, 770 pounds. She was built by Thomas Fearon, of Yonkers. Even before she was launched, Smith and Mabley christened her Vingt-et-un, French for 21. On trial, the little boat actually made 22½ miles per hour. She was fun to drive, but very wet and quite contrary in form to the ideas of the other speedboat builders. I am sure that she was a great help to the advertising side of the Smith and Mabley business.
|Vingt-et-Un's defeat of Swiftsure established the gasoline engine's superiority over steam in small craft.|
They then planned to have me design a larger boat, with a larger engine which they would build themselves in their shop. They planned on a four-cylinder, 75-horsepower engine, and we built another hull which we called Vingt-et-un II. This hull was 40 feet long and of similar design and not only proved fast, but the engine proved reliable. Up to that time, Nat Herreshoff at Bristol had been quite certain that he could build a small steam plant that would drive a boat just as fast as these new gasoline motors, and be more reliable. So he constructed a beautiful small steamboat, called Swift Sure, of the same length as Vingt-et-un, and the boats were raced against each other at Newport. Vingt-et-un won rather easily.
This convinced Herreshoff that, for small, fast boats, the day of steam engines was over, and he built for Frank Croker the following year, 1904, a hull very similar to Swift Sure, but equipped with a Mercedes engine. It was arranged that this Croker boat, which was named XPDNC, should race against the Challenger, which we had built in 1904 and taken abroad for the Harmsworth races, when she came back from Europe in the fall. But, as Challenger had another breakdown, Vingt-et-un was substituted. The two boats raced from New York to Poughkeepsie, and the XPDNC won.
In the fall of 1903 I ran a very extensive series of progressive speed trials of the Vingt-et-un II on the Speedway course in the Harlem River, which had been laid out by the Gas Engine & Power Company for the trials of their own launches. It was a mile long, and paralleled the trotting Speedway along the river. Although there was some current in the Harlem River, the channel was fairly narrow, the water smooth, and it was really an ideal place to run a progressive speed trial. A. E. Luders, who was my chief draftsman at the time, and is now head of the Luders Construction Company, took account of the engine revolutions and I steered the boat and took times over the course with a stop watch.
We ran at a series of speeds, starting at about ten miles an hour, with a double run in each direction so that we could make a tidal correction. From the speed revolutions and size of the propeller, we were able to deduce the horsepower for each speed. This speed-revolution curve, slip and speed-horsepower curve I published in the transactions of the American Society of Naval Architects, Vol. 12, 1904. It proved most useful in the designing of later speedboats, and I am assured that it was useful to other designers.
In 1904, Smith and Mabley interested a capitalist named Broessel in the business, and they expanded their shop and prepared to build an American automobile, which they called Simplex. They all felt it should be very good advertising if they could send a boat to Europe and bring back the Harmsworth Cup. This cup had been presented by Alfred Harmsworth, the owner of several big newspapers in England, and had been raced for first in 1903. The race in the summer of 1904 was to take place off the Isle of Wight at Ryde. The new boat, which I designed to use an engine of twice the size of Vingt-et-un H's, was named Challenger, and was tried out near Flushing. She was built in Astoria, just across the river from the Smith and Mabley shop, where the engine had been built. It was much nearer for me to supervise than City Island, where Wood's yard was, and much handier for the mechanics from Smith and Mabley.
Challenger was finished and the engine installed in early May, 1904, and after a good many of the usual troubles we had a very successful run back and forth between Flushing and the entrance of the Sound. We were all ready to call it a day, but stopped before going to the dock as the mechanics wished to look over some part of the engine. When the switch was cut off, the engine backfired. Gasoline which had dripped into the bilge caught fire, and a tower of flame rose from the boat. There were four of us on board, two mechanics from the shop, Mr. Mabley and myself. There were three life preservers, and as I was in charge and a strong swimmer I insisted on the other three taking the life preservers and I stripped, carrying a sweater and a pair of pants in one hand. I ordered the others to get away from the boat as fast as possible, for I had in the past seen a terrible accident where. burning fuel from a naphtha launch had spread over the surface of the water and trapped a man.
We swam away from the burning boat toward the ferryboat Bronx, which had just left her pier at East 134th Street. The ferryboat saw our predicament, came toward us, and put a ladder down from the forward deck so that we could climb on board. There I was with nothing on, and the ferryboat seemed to be absolutely full of women! I was very much annoyed that they wouldn't even give me room to get into the men's cabin and get my clothes on. To my brother-in-law, who was a psychiatrist, I later said, "I simply can't understand it! If I were to appear on Fifth Avenue in the same costume, everybody would run into the buildings. Here they all run to see!"
He said, "Don't you know that if you were on Fifth Avenue without any clothes on everybody would have known you were crazy. On the boat they were quite sure you weren't, and were naturally curious. You should feel complimented."
The naphtha launch mentioned above, now a thing of the distant past, was the first motorboat that could be used without hiring a licensed steam engineer. For power it had a little, three-cylinder, single-acting engine driven by naphtha vapor, naphtha being what we would probably now call gasoline although, as I remember it, rather more volatile. The naphtha was carried in a copper tank in a bow compartment, separated from the rest of the launch by a watertight bulkhead and ventilated and scuppered so that if the tank leaked the naphtha went overboard.
The naphtha ran back through a pipe under the boat and was pumped into the boiler, which consisted of a coil of copper pipe in a round, insulated drum with a chimney. From the boiler, a pipe led to the burner and another to the engine. When running, the pump was driven by the engine, but a hand pump was used for starting. The burner was primed much as you prime a vapor stove. The exhaust led back under the boat through another pipe which condensed the vapor and returned it to the tank forward.
This was supposed to be a safe arrangement, and no licensed engineer was required by law. Most of the larger yachts had naphtha launches, some small enough to be carried aboard an 80 foot schooner. Surprisingly enough, fires were rare. For years at Morris Heights, N. Y., the Gas Engine & Power Co. had one of those engines mounted on its roof for all to see.
But to return to Challenger: The ferryboat pumped enough water into her to put out the fire. I thought all chances of our trip abroad were gone. But, next day, we found that the hull was very little damaged and after the engine had been returned to the shop, cleaned and overhauled, a thorough test proved that we could safely go abroad. So our party, with the Challenger, left New York on one of the big German liners and arrived at Southampton a few days before the race.
Mr. Smith was very anxious to steer the Challenger in the race, but the new backer preferred to have someone who knew something about boats. The Challenger was taken to the yard of Camper and Nicholson to be launched, and that was my first meeting with Charley Nicholson, one of the great yacht designers and yacht builders of our time, who became well known in this country as the designer of two Shamrocks and two Endeavours.
The start off Ryde was handled very much as if it were a dog race. My memory is that there were five entries, and six floats were anchored with a space for a boat between them, the idea being that the boats would lie between the floats until the starting gun was fired. The clutches would then be let in and off they would go. The other boats were all being driven by automobile racing men. I don't think any of them had ever been on the water or known about tide, and there was quite a strong tide flowing through the floats. Again and again these boats would come through without any allowance for the fact the, tide was pushing them on, and go by before they could be stopped. The London Field commented on the fact that the American boat was the only one steered by a sailor.
It was a most disappointing race. There was no question the Challenger was the fastest of the boats there, but I had a very obstinate mechanic. The engine was covered by a hood to prevent spray getting on the ignition system, which in those days was very subject to short circuit, so that a dash of spray would put the engine out of business. We had a hood, but it was not rough and this engineer, when I was not looking, raised the hood because he said the engine needed more air. The water was smooth and all was going well until about halfway down the course when, well in the lead, we hit the wash of a passing steamer. A bucketful of water came in on top of the wiring and we stopped. As the race was for a single heat, we had made an unnecessary trip to England.
The next winter a man named Sam Thomas, from Kentucky, felt he would like to try to win the Harmsworth Cup, and commissioned me to build a new boat if I was willing to guarantee a speed of 30 miles an hour. My experience with the Vingt-et-uns and Challenger, and in particular the data obtained from the trials of Vingt-et-un II, led me to believe that 30 miles an hour was a possible speed with 150 horsepower, which the Smith and Mabley people were willing to guarantee. The resistance curve which we determined for the Vingt-et-un II in her trials on the Harlem River, indicated that apparently the resistance was increasing at a uniform rate of the 1.43 power of the speed, and I assumed, quite erroneously, that this rate of increase might continue to a considerably higher speed.
When the new boat, named Dixie, because of Mr. Thomas' southern origin, was ready to be tried in the spring of 1905, we were unable to make our 30 miles. The engine had been tested and shown it would produce the power. We tried several propellers, and then I started experimenting with the boat's trim, adding weight which should have decreased the speed, but I wanted to find in what trim the boat was fastest.
After several experiments, we found that with 900 pounds added in the after part of the boat she was actually faster than without it. That pointed the way. We moved the engine back and made our speed. This was in the summer of 1905. Mr. Thomas then sold Dixie to Mr. E. J. Schroeder. In the winter of igo6 a challenge was tendered by the Motor Boat Club of America in Mr. Schroeder's behalf to race for the Harmsworth Trophy in the summer of 1907. Dixie won this race at an average speed of 31.78 m.p.h. in Southampton water, but as this was a higher speed than she had made in this country, I am sure the course must have been short.
In the fall of 1907, a challenge having been received, Mr. Schroeder came into the office and wanted to build a new boat to defend the Harmsworth Cup if I could guarantee a speed of 35 miles. As usual, it was a question of engine. Almost all the engines of that period, including the one in Dixie I, were prone to break down during the course of a race. So far as I remember, the only really dependable marine engines of that period were those built by the Standard Engine Co., designed by Carl Riotti, and by the Craig Engine Co. These engines were very heavy, however, hence unsuitable for a racing boat.
My brother at that time had started the building of automobiles. He had a shop at Bayonne and had built two four-cylinder cars. I talked the engine problem over with him, and he said that he could build a 220-horsepower engine that would not weigh more than 2200 pounds. I then decided, if we were to guarantee the speed, I would make use of the same testing methods which I had seen the Dennys use in Scotland.
|Two views of Dixie II, last displacement hull to win the Harmsworth Trophy, which did 36.6 miles per hour in 1908.|
The testing tank in Washington, under the control of Admiral Taylor, had been made available to private designers a little time before. The private designer had to pay all the out-of-pocket expenses, but he had the use of the tank. I therefore designed a model which was subsequently named Dixie II, and tested in the tank this model and that of Dixie I. This gave me a comparison of what would be possible from the use of additional power.
The curves of resistance from the model tank show that up to 26 knots for the boat, which corresponded to 13 knots for the model, the Dixie I was as easily driven as the Dixie II, but from 26 knots on the second Dixie showed a vast improvement. They also showed that 220 horsepower would easily give a speed of 35 miles. I was willing to risk the cost of the hull if my brother would risk the cost of the engine, and we contracted with Mr. Schroeder to build the Dixie II with a guaranteed speed of 35 miles. He would have to pay nothing if the speed was not reached. That same winter I was very busy with the designing and superintending of the building of a big steam yacht for Mr. C. K. G. Billings, in Scotland, so I was away much of the time while the engine was being designed and built, but my brother and I had worked together so much that I had no doubt of the result.
In planning the completed Dixie II, I was hoping to save nearly 500 pounds in hull and engine over the final Dixie I. I made very extensive strength calculations on the hull just as if Dixie were a large destroyer, and finally decided on a much lighter construction than I had used in Dixie I. The engine, although it was to develop more power, also was lighter than the engine of Dixie I, and in the final result Dixie II was more than 600 pounds lighter. The weight per horsepower of Dixie 1, hull, engine, crew, equipment and fuel, was 40 pounds. The weight per horsepower of Dixie II, hull, engine, crew, equipment and fuel, was 20 pounds.
The hull of the Dixie II was built for me by B. F. Wood at City Island. She was 40 feet long and a little over 5 feet wide. The hull was planked with mahogany ¼-inch thick topsides, ?-inch thick bottom with a type of construction known as riband carvel that is, the seams between the framing had light battens, which were screwed to each adjoining plank. The hull had four bulkheads, and complete with engine bearers, deck hatches, rudder and steering gear, weighed 1000 pounds. The V-eight cylinder engine had been built in my brother's shop at Bayonne, and weighed 2205 pounds. I will never forget the horror with which the men who worked on this engine looked at the light construction of the hull which was to carry it. But it was much heavier than airplanes which were to carry much greater power later on. The engine 'vas away ahead of its time, and the career of Dixie II marked a new era in motorboat racing. As a matter of fact, 20 pounds per horsepower was light enough to fly.
Most automobile engines in this period had high tension ignition with spark plugs, a spark being occasioned by a series of tremblers that acted very much the way electric buzzers act. The high tension wire was very susceptible to short circuit from water. My brother believed that the make-and-break spark which he had on his new cars, and which was used on Mercedes cars, would be much more reliable for a boat. The spark from the make-and-break ignition, the break of the current taking place inside the cylinder, was much hotter than the high tension spark on the spark plug. I might add that at this period no one had designed either a satisfactory carburetor or automatic spark advance, so the engineer, in addition to the fuel throttle, had a supplemental throttle to control the air supply to the motor and another lever for controlling the spark advance.
After the Dixie engine was completed in my brother's shop in Bayonne, it was set up at the same angle that it would occupy in the boat. Attached to it was the same propeller shaft that would be used in the boat but instead of a propeller this was attached to a water brake. The engine was run on this stand for 1½ hours at full power before my brother was satisfied to have it installed. Time was running short, as the trial races were almost there, but my brother said we would save time by not having to make the final adjustments in the boat. The eight cylinders were 7¼ by 7¼ inches bore and stroke, much larger than had ever been used before successfully in a high speed gasoline engine, and I had considerable qualms about how the engine was to be started. We always had had starting trouble with the engines in Challenger and Dixie.
A big engine was being tested a little later in Boston which they found almost impossible to start. Someone suggested that a smaller type engine of about 30 horsepower could be clutched to the big one and solve the starting trouble. This small engine was capable of a normal speed of about 600 r.p.m. and the big engine could easily run to 2000. When the little engine was started and clutched into the big one, the big one promptly ran away and strewed pieces of the little one all over Lawley's yard.
I needn't have worried about this Dixie engine, for at no time was there any difficulty in starting. Because of the short time remaining, the hull was sent by truck from City Island to Bayonne and the engine was installed at my brother's shop. We launched the boat into Newark Bay July 26th, gave her a very brief trial, and late that same afternoon I steered the boat, with my brother running the engine, around Staten Island, through the Lower Bay, East River, Hell Gate and the Sound to Oyster Bay, making the run without stopping in a little over two hours. The trial races were set for the next day, July 27th.
I was staying that night with Edward Whitney at his house in Oyster Bay, where Mrs. Crane was meeting me. When I arrived, my face was so black with oil that I was only recognized by my voice. My brother was anxious lest the engine should not have enough oil, and he gave it so much that keeping my glasses clear enough to see was a problem.
I don't think that anybody at the time gave my brother sufficient credit for the designing and building of the Dixie II engine. It was a big jump from a four-cylinder automobile engine of slightly less than 50 horsepower, which was the biggest that he had designed and built at that time, to the Dixie engine with eight 7¼-inch cylinders. The only similar large jump in engineering that I remember was from the turbines of Parsons' early work to the turbines of the Carmania. In my case, the development of the Dixie hull was the step-by-step process from the little Vingt-et-un through three successive boats.
The races that year were in Huntington Harbor. There were almost a dozen American boats entered to try out for the defense of the cup, but Dixie II was so much faster, and the engine so much more reliable, that she never even had to open her throttle wide. The Daimler II, owned by Lord Howard de Walden, and Wolseley-Siddeley, owned by the Duke of Westminster (some class against a small manufacturer of lamps in Jersey City) were both designed by S. E. Saunders & Company, of Cowes.
These boats were both twin screw, and on paper had nearly twice as much power as Dixie II. Although this was an international race for the most noted cup in the field of motorboat racing, the interest was trifling as compared with the interest that had been taken in half-rater racing ten years before. Again, however, Dixie's engine proved unbeatable, and both the English boats were outclassed.
After the Harmsworth Trophy races, Dixie II was shipped to the St. Lawrence to take part in the Gold Cup races, and here again met a large group of American motorboats. The only excitement was caused in one race where Dixie picked up something on her rudder and had to stop for some little time to clear it. While she was stopped the other boats got almost a lap ahead, and for the first time in her racing career, Dixie's engine was opened wide. The boat seemed really to fly.
After the races, in order that Dixie II's speed might be officially certified, I arranged with the race committee of the New York Yacht Club to time her over the measured course which the Club had established in Hempstead Harbor. Boats were anchored at each end of the line on the ranges, and as Dixie passed one end a flag signal was made to the boat at the other end. The second boat, at the finish, signaled back to the first, so that the timing was done by men with stop watches at each end of the course. The mean of four runs worked out at slightly more than 35.75 miles an hour. On this occasion, I steered the boat and my brother drove the engine. That fall in Bayonne Dixie II made 36.6 miles an average of two runs.
Dixie II was the last boat of conventional form to race for the Harmsworth Cup. Schroeder sold her to a man named Burnam, and two years later a hydroplane named Pioneer came from abroad as challenger. The hydroplane was much faster than Dixie, and if the man who was driving it had been content to take it easy she probably would have won. But after pulling out a long lead, something happened to his engine, and Pioneer was dead in the water long enough to allow Dixie to once again successfully defend the cup. Dixie II was the last Harmsworth Cup boat which could be safely driven in rough water; the day of the hydroplane had come.
In 1910 a new challenge was received. The Motor Boat Club of America decided that the Cup must be defended by a hydroplane, and I was naturally commissioned to design a boat for the syndicate which was to build the new defender. I had a number of models made for testing in the Washington tank, and was still hoping that a hydroplane might be developed which was seaworthy. The tank testing this time really led me away from the right direction. One of the models was rather wide and had rather a blunt bow above the water, and this model tripped and went to the bottom. Admiral Taylor and I, who were watching the tests, felt at first that the towing gear had jammed. Everything was very carefully gone over, and when the model repeated its performance I undertook to cure the trouble by giving the next model a very sharp bow before leading to the step which was to carry the weight of the hull. Various forms of bottom were tried, and finally a hull was developed which I felt safe to guarantee to the syndicate would make 45 miles an hour. My brother built a duplicate of the old Dixie engine with some improvements, and the boat was finally equipped with twin screws and raced again at Huntington.
The engines were handled by two engineers, one for each engine, and the boat was steered by a man sitting high above the water in a bucket seat, so that he could see over the spray which she threw up. This seat was aft of the engines, so that the helmsman could communicate with the engineers. The boat was tried out in Oyster Bay Harbor and, as in the case of Dixie II, the engines gave no trouble.
Dixie IV, last of Mr. crane's Harmsworth Trophy winners, made an unprecedented 47 miles per hour in 1910
Why I thought it was necessary to use two engines in the Dixie IV is not easy to justify in retrospect. It was quite obvious that speeds even greater than the Dixie IV's could have been obtained with a single engine, and I had already demonstrated with Dixie II, against more powerful boats, that greater power might be a disadvantage. After all, with weights down to 20 pounds per horsepower and lower, a hydroplane might have been developed with much greater speed than 47 miles per hour. I knew that airplanes were flying when their total load was more than 25 pounds per horsepower, and I should have made the logical deduction.
In the race at Huntington, Dixie IV was steered by Mr. Burnam, who was one of the syndicate. Dixie IV, just as Dixie II, was faster than the two challenging boats, and won the race. Her ultimate speed was 47 miles an hour, which again was a world's record for 40-foot motorboats. However, Dixie IV proved herself to be far from a manageable boat in rough water. In a race at Buffalo later that summer, she took a sheer after crossing the swell of a tugboat, climbed a stone breakwater, and cut off a boy's leg.
When I remember the way that Burnam drove the Dixie IV around the crowded harbor at Huntington, where many yachts were at anchor, I shudder to think what might have happened if she had taken a sudden sheer at that time. I am sure she could have gone right straight through any one of the yachts. That ended Dixie's racing career and ended my work in the design of hydroplanes, as I saw no way of making them safe and useful. Since then the speeds have been raised until, in 1950, a hydroplane named Slo-Mo-Shun IV made over 160 miles an hour, but no one would think of racing any of these boats in really rough water.
To go back a little, the year after the success of Dixie II, Mr. Schroeder was anxious to go to Monte Carlo for the spring races, and wanted to know whether I could design a hull which would be faster than Dixie II, with the same engine. I wasn't sure, but thought it was worth finding out, so we ran some models in Washington. One of them showed perhaps two miles an hour greater speed than Dixie II. This model, which became Dixie III had the same bow as Dixie II but a rather wider, flatter stern.
The Standard Engine Co. at that time had developed a much lighter type of engine than they had previously built, and they, too, wanted a boat to race at Monte Carlo. One of their clients had had a Standard motor on the St. Lawrence, and he commissioned me to design a 50-footer to hold this engine. I took the 40-foot Dixie III's model, which had been developed for the Dixie II engine, and had Wood build a 50-footer to hold the Standard. This boat, named Standard, was ready for trial in February, and I learned then that, although the tank could tell me what would happen as far as speed was concerned, there were other stories which it did not tell. When these two models started to run, they quickly lost stability. The water seemed to go away from the boat amidships, and the weight of the Standard engine was so high that the minute the boat reached a speed beyond 20 miles she was completely unstable. I hoped by the deepening of the rudder and the adding of sponsons to correct this evil, and Standard was taken out again for trial one February day in 1909.
We had engaged a lighter, so that the boat could be carried, put overboard, and taken back again. Standard was launched about abreast of Grant's Tomb on the Hudson. I was steering and there were four other men in the boat. We were all dressed in oilskins, equipped with rubber boots and also with life preservers which this time we wore. As we pulled away from the lighter, I gradually had the engine opened up, but when the speed had reached about 25 miles an hour, the boat rolled completely bottom side up. My feeling was as if a giant hand dragged me from the boat as I went into the water. Almost at once three of the four heads appeared. Just as we were turning back to the hull the fourth head came out, and, having seen that everybody was alive and nobody hurt, we all started swimming toward the lighter as hard as we could, to try to keep some circulation going in our bodies. Never before or since have I been so cold. There were ice cakes floating in the river, and I am sure it must have been well below 32°. The cold really hurt!
Although we had not been going very fast, we must have been going at least three times as fast as the lighter, and from the time we went into the water till we were picked up must have been ten minutes. On board the lighter, we were all taken down into the boiler room and stripped. My brother, who had been watching proceedings, forced me to drink a tumbler of whiskey. He said, "Now Clinton, don't bother about all these temperance ideas, but put this down!" I have been told afterwards I would have been better off with simply a glass of hot water.
A yacht designer who goes on a New York or an Eastern Yacht Club cruise had better be a teetotaler. He is there very largely on business. Everybody else is out for a good time. If he is known not to drink, it is easy to refuse, but if he does drink, it is very difficult to drink with some and refuse to drink with others.
However, I was in no condition of mind to disobey orders. The man who had been under the boat kept repeating and repeating and repeating, "Mr. Crane, I will never go on that boat again! Mr. Crane, never again! Never again, Mr. Crane!" I said, "Nobody is going to ask you, and I don't think anybody ever will go on her again."
Mrs. Crane was at home, and naturally I had been in no position to advise her as to what had happened. A very drunken reporter from the Journal called up and said, "What about this motorboat accident that has just taken place on the Hudson?" My wife said, "What motorboat accident? Tell me about it! "And the reporter said, "Well, a motorboat has just capsized up there, and I think they were all saved." You can imagine that when I finally got home she was in quite a state of mind.
In being dragged out of the boat by the rushing water, I had banged my side and apparently ruptured some small vein. At any rate, I was kept very quiet for the next two weeks, and all ideas of further work on the Standard were abandoned.
Dixie III was never a success, either, and the owner put the engine back in the old Dixie II.
(Reprinted from Clinton Crane's Yachting Memories by Clinton Crane [Van Nostrand, 1952])
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