New Boats of 1904
High Speed Motor Boats
Italian Launch of 200 Horse Power coming Here
Cup-Racing Vessels to be Exhibited at Sportsmen's Show
Rival Contestants Appoint Committee

A 200 horse-power motor boat is likely to be seen in local waters this coming season. This boat will be imported by an automobile firm that deals in Italian motors. The boat is now practically ready for use. It was made in Turin and will be a competitor in the big race of nearly 100 miles to be held at Monte Carlo within the next two months. The boat is 50 feet long and is fitted with twelve-cylinder engines. In spite of its powerful engines the total weight of the boat will be but 2,050 pounds, and in order to insure quiet running the engine mechanism will be worked out on the turbine system.

Two of the fastest motor boats in this country and that are matched to race during the coming season for a cup will be exhibited at the Sportsmen's Show, which will be open Friday night in Madison Square Garden. These are the Smith & Mabley boat, Vingt-et-Un, and the Hollander & Tangeman boat, which will be known as the Fiat. The Vingt-et-Un had its trial run last November and developed the high speed of a mile in 2:26, with wind and tide in favor.

The hull of the Fiat boat has recently been completed, and the engines will probably be installed to-morrow. The boat is 34 feet long, and its motors will be of 24 horse power. That the boat has been designed and built with the sole idea of speed may be seen from the fact that the thickness of the hull will only be three-eighths od an inch. Twenty-five thousand rivets are used in the planking. The total weight will only be about 1,200 pounds.

The two firms that have offered the cup for their match race have just appointed a committee of four persons, each firm naming two members, one being a mechanical expert and the other a practical yachtsman. Smith & Mabley have named for their representatives, Gustav Franquist and the mechanical member and Clinton H. Crane as the yachtsman. For Hollander & Tangeman the mechanical representative will be E. T. Birdsell and S. Sutphen will be the yachting man. Mr. Sutphen has designed the Fiat boat, which has been made in Bayonne, but will be fitted with Italian motors. These four members will appoint two more, one representing each of the respective requirements, and the committee of six will then arrange proper time allowance rules for the races.

The rules of the American Power Boat Association will not be accepted by the rival firms. It is claimed that these rules are not satisfactory for boats of fast speed. In fact, this fault is admitted by the members of the organization themselves, and at the recent annual meeting it was proposed to add another class to the list of power boats already arranged for, so as to include special rules for the longer and speedier boats. As the rules stand to-day it is absolutely impossible for the high-power boats to win any race in which the smaller motor boats compete, simply because the speedier boats have to allow such an enormous handicap in time allowance.

(Transcribed from the New York Times, 16 Feb. 1904 - - p. 5. )

[Thus we have the first "protest of APBA rules. This trouble of rating and time allowance would fester continually for the next five years, and hinge upon the basic way of determining an accurate way of measuring horse power. Also, the protest became manifest when the race trophy was titled the "Gold Cup," and was run nearly at the same time as the first running of the APBA Gold Cup. Tomorrow will feature an article covering the adjustment of the APBA rating rules --GWC]

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


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Leslie Field, 1999