1906 Hudson River Water Carnival
Hudson River, New York, September 10-15, 1906


Motor Boat Club Of America Race Week

Real Motor Boat Records Possible at Last to Secure Authentic Standards for America

Motor Boats to Race for Records and Cups

More Boats in Long Run

Fast Motor Boat Afire at End of Run

Motor Boats in Six Races

Two Drown in Hudson

Dixie Leads Motor Boats

Motor Boats Divide Prizes

Motor Boat Races on the Hudson

The Carnival

Motor Boat Rating Needs Radical Change

Motor Boat Club of America Week

The Reliability Trials

Long-Distance Race to Poughkeepsie and Return

Carnival of the M.B.C. of America

The National Carnival

Editorials

The first race week of the Motor Boat Club of America was held off the clubhouse, 112th St. and the Hudson River, September 10 to 15 inclusive, and out of forty-five entries thirty-eight started in the various events.

The first event of the program was the Reliability trials, and although scheduled to start at 10 o'clock, it was not until 11:35 when the starting gun was fired.

The starters were: Simplex VI, 30-h.p. S.&M. Simplex; Decoy, 30-h.p. S.&M. Simplex; Sparrow, 31.8-h.p. Packard; White Fox, 37.83-h.p. Stamford; Tauntress, 20-h.p. Howard; Blue Peter, 28.36-h.p. Holmes; Ralaco, 18-h.p. Rathburn-Lacy; Yevonne, 50-h.p. Mohler & De Gress.

The object of the reliability trials was, by awarding marks for the various features entering into the construction of the boats and engines, to impress upon the manufacturers the importance of paying attention to those features, and thereby to improve the construction, design, and efficiency of boats propelled by internal combustion engines.

The trials were open to boats propelled by any form of internal combustion engine, and a person had the right to enter as many as he saw fit.. All boats taking part in the trials were compelled to wear life-preservers for each person, and were also to have aboard an observer to be appointed by the club. All boats had to be measured and rated according to the rules of the American Power Boat Association, under whose rules the trials were to be run.

The course was triangular, starting from the clubhouse, and going to a mark up the river, then down the river to a mark below the clubhouse, and back across the river, passing between the clubhouse and a stake boat, distance ten and a quarter nautical miles, the trials extended over a period of six hours.

The marks were awarded as follows:

Reliability--100 marks, less 10 for every stoppage, except for safety or traffic or in compliance with instructions of the Judges, plus 1 mark per minute or part of a minute for the duration of the stoppage. (The use of the reversing gear to clear the propeller of weeds will not be counted as a stop.) Stops occurring between the Club Station (starting and finishing point) and the mark boats will be counted as stops on the certificate, and the duration of such stops will be added to the running time.

Speed--100 marks, less 2 for every tenth of a knot per hour below and plus 2 for every tenth of a knot above the standard theoretical speed for the boat's rating, all such speeds being calculated for comparison on the basis of the American Power Boat Association Time Scale. The speed is to be taken as the mean speed of all completed runs, all stops to count in the running time.

General Condition After Trial--50 marks, in the proportion of 20 for hull and 30 for installation, to be awarded at the discretion of the Judges; deductions to be made for structural defects of hull or installation not caused by grounding or collision.

Economy of Fuel--30 marks to the boat in each class costing the least for fuel per nautical mile per M.P. hour, others in proportion between 30 and 0. "M.P." in the expression "M.P. hour" is the motor power according to the boat's A.P.B.A. rating certificate. Arbitrary values based on market prices will be assigned to the various fuels.

Efficiency of Reversing Arrangements--25 marks, deductions to be made at the discretion of the Judges.

Ease of Control--15 marks, deductions to be made at the discretion of the Judges.

Starting of Engine--25 marks, less 1 mark per minute or part of a minute's delay in the Club floats or at the conclusion of the reversing test.

The day was very poor for this kind of a race, owing to the river being full of driftwood which put Tauntress out of the going at the very start, owing to striking the cup on the outside of her hull where the circulating water enters.

Of the boats entered, only Sparrow and Simplex VI were able to cover the course nine times. Sparrow's elapsed time for the whole course being 6h. 3m. 48s., giving her a speed of about 17.5 miles an hour. The following is a complete summary of points received:

Condition

 

Reliability

Speed

After Trial

Economy

Reversing

Control

Starting

Total

Simplex VI

100

19

50

19

15

9

15

227

Decoy

100

8

50

19

22

13

22

234

Tauntress Retired on second round, water circulation stopped
White Fox

100

25

50

21

25

15

0

211

Torino

100

4

50

22

5

3

5

189

Yevonne

100

8

50

30

3

2

3

196

Blue Peter Ran out of fuel on the fifth round
Ralaco

100

55

50

17

10

6

10

248

Sparrow

100

94

50

27

25

15

25

336

Tuesday's race was the long-distance event to Poughkeepsie and return, the most tiresome of all, especially for the spectators, as it was over six hours after the start before the first boat finished. There were nine starters in this event and was won by Sparrow, owned by Mr. Chas. J. Swain, which had an allowance of 3h. 57m. 27s. over Irene, the scratch boat.

The first boat to finish was Artful, owned by Mr. Payne Whitney, and fitted with two six-cylinder Speedway engines, of 132.73-h.p. Artful finished at 3h. 35m. 33s., having covered the course in 6h. 5m. 33s. She was handled by Charles L. Seabury, her designer and builder, and averaged 21.9 miles for the entire distance, which is very good going for a boat of her type.

Sparrow finished second, at 4h. 15m. 55s. being well within her time allowance. Simplex VI was third to finish, with Durno fourth, and Decoy fifth.

There were two events scheduled for Wednesday, the mile and kilometer championship in the morning and the free-for-all in the afternoon. The championship event brought out the Dixie, Standard, XPDNC, Mercedes U.S.A., and Vesuvius. Dixie, which is owned by E. J. Schroeder, has a Smith & Mabley Simplex engine of 132.72-h.p. Standard is owned by Price McKinney, and has a Standard double acting engine of 300-h.p.; XPDNC is owned by J. Siegel, and has a Mercedes engine of 60.85-h.p., Mercedes U.S.A. is owned by H. L. Bowden, and is equipped with a 60-h.p. Mercedes; Vesuvius is owned by L. L. Haggin and has a Hurd & Haggin engine.

The starts were all flying, the time for both mile and kilometer being taken on the one run. Dixie was sent over the course first, doing the kilometer in 1m. 23s.; while Standard followed, doing the same distance in 1m. 7s. and the mile in 2m. 35s.

The free-for-all American championship in the afternoon brought out Dixie, Standard and Skedaddle. This event was started at 3 P.M., and was three times around the same triangle used on the first day, making 303/4 nautical miles. Standard was first across the line, followed by Dixie and Skedaddle, who got a very poor start. Standard retained her lead and gradually increased it until near the finish of the first round, when she carried away her rudder thereby putting her out of the race. In the meantime Dixie increased her lead over Skedaddle, and finished a winner in 1h. 20m. 1s., having covered the course at the rate of about 26.57; Skedaddle finished 24m. 38s. later, having made a speed over the course of 23.07 miles.

Thursday was set apart for general handicap racing, the boats being divided into six classes. This race was scheduled to start at 2 P.M.; but, owing to the customary delays which seemed to be a part of the program, the starting gun was not fired until 3:25. Twenty-three boats started in this race, which was the largest showing on any one day. The mishaps were varied and numerous. Irene, upon which all eyes were turned, was doing some very fast traveling, and overhauling the balance of the fleet in fine style, when she suddenly stopped and was later towed into the club float, where it was found that she had picked up a plank with her propeller

Mercedes U.S.A., however, took the prize this day for cutting up capers by getting on fire when about two hundred feet from the finish line. Mercedes is owned by Mr. H. L. Bowden, of Boston, and was shipped here especially for the races. As soon as the fire was discovered the crew put on their life preservers and slid overboard, while the Revenue Cutter Manhattan put out the flames, the crew being picked up by various boats, while the unlucky one was towed to Morris Heights for repairs.

Friday's racing was of the same kind as the previous day's, and really a continuation of it, the entries being practically the same, with the exception that four dropped out, although one more boat actually finished than there did on Thursday. The water was rather rough, owing to a strong wind blowing against a flood tide, and this made the going very wet and disagreeable. Dixie again made the best time over the course, covering the 30 miles in 1h. 19m. 6s. The Skedaddle, however, covered the course in 1h. 22m. 10s., which, when the fact that she rates 10 feet less than Dixie is taken into consideration, makes it the best performance of the day.

The final races of the club were held on Saturday, and brought out a field of twelve starters, the rest having dropped out as they saw there was no chance of winning. Sheboygan, Tuna, Dixie, Skedaddle and Sparrow won again with their customary regularity.

Sparrow wins the Interstate trophy, and was designed and built by E. H. Godshalk & Co. for her present owner; Sheboygan wins the prize for cabin boats and was designed and built by the Gas Engine & Power Co. & C. L. Seabury & Co., Cons., for J. L. Reiss. her engine is a six-cylinder Speedway, and her dimensions are 45 ft. o.a., 44 ft. 6 in. w.l., 6 ft. 6 in. breadth and draws 2 ft. 6 in.. The National challenge trophy goes to Skedaddle, designed by H. J. Gielow and built by the Electric Launch Co.

In the evening, after the race, the club was beautifully lighted up as were the boats in the river, while the fireworks display was set off from the float adjoining the club.

(Transcribed from The Rudder, October 1906, pp. 597-601. )

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


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