1906 APBA Gold Cup
Even More Editorials
In view of the fact that the rules of the American Power Boat Association are about to be revised, we requested a number of practical builders and designers to state their views on the subject.
The majority of the replies suggest that stroke and revolution of engine be taken into consideration, which again brings up the question of determining accurately the revolutions of the engine, and allows the scientific r.p.m. manipulator to get in his fine work.
A rule must be devised to prevent the professional from having too much advantage over the amateur, rate the engine so that the average man stands a chance.
Another matter which should be remedied without fail is the ambiguous wording of the rules, many of the principal parts are worded so indefinitely, that the rule may be so twisted and juggled that the real intent is lost. The rules should be clearly worded by a competent lawyer so that the sportsmen, who consult legal advice before entering a contest, would not have any unfair advantage.
During a conversation in connection with a recent race of note, one of the interested parties made the rather unique assertion, "that although the rule read that way and no doubt the intention was to convey* * *still it legally could not be proven* * *." When sporting contests between gentlemen degenerate to that level it is time for something radical.
Let us hope the new rule will be worded clearly and concisely, that there will be incorporated a clause barring evasions of the spirit and letter of the rule, and that the duties and limitations of the officials in charge will be plainly set forth.
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Elsewhere in this issue we publish a letter from H. J. Leighton, designer of Chip II and builder of her engine. Whether or not she is entitled to the Gold Challenge Cup of the American Power Boat Association, Chip II is a great little boat. The row as to who has won the cup is not yet settled, with the honors about even.
As stated before the idea of producing compression by means of an auxiliary cylinder or pump is not original with Mr. Leighton, he having merely adapted the scheme to his outfit.
It is stated that, wit a few changes, the engine will be manufactured commercially.
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Editor Power Boat News:
In reply to yours of some time since, I have requested Mr. Wainwright to forward you all photos he has of Chip II and her engine.
I am sorry that no photo of her engine was taken while it was here at the shop, but we were so pressed for time that everything of this kind was omitted.
Now, in regard to the hull, it was a trifle over 30 ft. long, 4 ft. 8 in. wide, and is built upon the same lines as all the boats I have been putting out for years. The planking was 1/2 in. cedar copper fastened to elm frames, spaced about 6 inches.
The engine consisted of two power cylinders of 4 in. diameter and 10 in. stroke, with cranks opposite, and provided with exhaust ports leading through the wall of the cylinder.
Instead of using a crank case pump to mix and deliver the charge, a double acting pump was attached tot he shaft. This being 6 1/2 in. diameter and had a stroke of 6 in. One end of this pump connected to one power cylinder and the other end to the other, and an automatic check valve was placed in the head of each power cylinder. A Schebler carbureter was connected to a pipe leading to each end of this pump cylinder, and these pipes were provided with automatic check valves. The cranks were so spaced that in running the engine the pump drew in a charge, the piston returning about 1 in. of its stroke and compressing the charge it contained to that amount. At the time the power piston connected to this end of the pump uncovered the exhaust port and the charge passed to the power cylinder, the exhaust port of same closing at the time the pump piston reached the limit of its delivering stroke.
It is doubtful if at any time there was much pressure in this pump cylinder except due to the operation of the automatic valves, as in operation it could hardly be expected to fill entirely and it neared the end of its stroke much more slowly than the exhaust port of power cylinder was closed.
The power cylinders were equipped with my regular make-and-break spark, the current for starting being supplied by Columbia dry cells, and then a Holtzer-Cabot magneto was used.
The water circulation was by means of two plunger pumps, one connected to each cylinder and overflowing through pieces of hose, and driven by an eccentric on the main shaft of the engine, this eccentric also operating the sparking mechanism.
The lubrication of the crank shaft was by splash method, and the main bearings and pump cylinder had sight feed lubricators as did the intake pipes of each power cylinder.
The propeller was one of my regular three-blade wheels of 20 in. diameter 42 in. pitch.
The weight of the engine was about 650 pounds.
I trust this description will give you the particulars asked for. If any points occur to you that I have omitted I will be glad to furnish them. I wish you would contradict emphatically a statement being published to the effect that this outfit was kept behind closed doors where it could not be seen during the races. This boat was kept at Capt. D. H. Lyon's boathouse not more than two or three hundred yards from the starting point, and while it was in a boathouse, to the best of my knowledge, the doors were not closed night or day until during a rainstorm after the last race.
I know that numerous parties were invited to inspect the boat and engine, and I am not aware that anyone was refused admittance.
Syracuse, N.Y. H. J. Leighton
(Transcribed from Power Boat News, Oct. 13, 1906, pp. 630-631. )
[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. LF]
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