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Wooden Motor Boats of the Early 1920's Through the 1930’s

Wooden Motor Boats of the Early 1920's Through the 1930’s

  • 1930's Boats
  • Dodge Boats
  • Horace E. Dodge
  • Horace E. Dodge Boat and Plane Corporation

In this technological age, many neglect to reference the “written word” found in books. When I started this business 30 years ago, the internet was in its infancy and in true form, the only access I had to the history of Motor Boats was by flipping pages in old “Motor Boating” and “Rudder" magazines. One day a colleague introduced me to a collection of books, authored by Bob Speltz, who amassed a unheard of collection of stories on Motor Boat manufacturers. I was fortunate enough to acquire a set of 7 Real Runabout (ISBN info Below) volumes and was satisfied I had come across the Holy Grail of reference. I spent countless hours devouring the details in these books and found myself focusing on those manufacturers that changed Motor boating forever.

Wooden Boat Book - Real Runaboutes VI

  • 16’ split cockpit with 40 hp @25mph.
  • 21’6” split cockpit with 115hp @35mph
  • 25’ triple cockpit with 125hp @32mph
  • 25’ triple cockpit with 165hp@38mph
  • 25’sedan with 165hp@34mph
  • 28’ triple cockpit with 300hp@45mph
  • 28’ Sedan with 300hp@38mph

1931 Dodge Straight 8 Flathead

1931 Dodge Restoration Story Here:

https://absoluteclassics.com/pages/the-story-of-a-1931-dodge

Real Runabouts - Book Series ISBN Link: 

https://isbnsearch.org/search?s=the+real+runabouts

Formula Boats

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motorboat 1920

  • The History of Recreational Boating

01 The History Of Recreational Boating

Today it’s common to see roads, docks and marinas bustling with people taking their family, friends and boats out for an afternoon on the water. Many enjoy anything from snacks to a full dinner and drinks in the comfort of their boat as they take a break from water skiing, swimming, fishing, racing or sailing. While it’s an investment for us to purchase from the boating industry, the history of boating shows us that boats are much more accessible now than they were in the past.

The beginnings of ancient boating can be traced back to pre-history, however, at that time boats were primarily used for work. Using boats for pleasure — what we know as the recreational boating industry — didn’t develop until much later. When recreational boating began, it was a sport for kings and the socially elite. The industry has quite a history.

Many accounts claim the history of boating for sport can be traced back to the 1600s — and once the United States was formed much of the boating industry has risen and fallen with key points of American history.

History of Recreational Boating

The earliest history of recreational boating begins with kings and royal regattas on the Thames River in the mid-1600s. Charles II of England is recognized by many as the world’s first yachtsman. Before he took the throne in 1660, he spent ten years in exile in Holland. When he returned home to take the throne, he was welcomed with a generous gift of a yacht and a crew. King Charles II spent time sailing on the Thames. You might say he was a serious recreational boater — many historians estimate he went on to  build 20 yachts  throughout his life.

His passion for pleasure boats sparked interest from many others, and can likely be traced to another monumental point in pleasure boat history — the first sailing club. Imagine a time without marinas or boat clubs. While boating became an activity enjoyed by many of the elite members of society, there was no formal space for them to gather. Eventually, in the early 1700s, many of these yachtsmen came together and formed the first sailing club in the world — a significant part of the history of sailing.

What was the name of the first boaters’ club? Many believe it was The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork on the southern coast of Ireland — however, others claim the Neva Yacht Club in Russia was first. Either way, this was a key point in the history of recreational boating. Shifting the focus to domestic history, in the United States, the first boating club was founded in 1839 in Detroit, followed just six years later by one in New York.

Up until this point in history, boating was synonymous with sailing or rowing. It was a lot of work — and much of the work was done by a crew hired by the wealthy individual who owned the boat. But all of that changed in the late 1800s when Gottlieb Daimler, a German engineer and inventor, created an improved version of the internal combustion engine — not only for automobiles but boats, too. This engine completely revolutionized the industry, as it took a lot of the hard work — or the need to hire a crew to do the hard work — out of boating.

Of course, with motorboats come racing. In 1903, the world came together for the first international motorboat race of its kind, the Harmsworth Cup, formally known as the British International Trophy for Motorboats. An Englishman won, racing his motorboat at a speed of 19.5 miles per hour.

By 1910, outboard motors were manufactured, making it possible for boaters to put the engine on their boat, remove it for service or transportation, and then reattach it or attach it to another boat. This new versatility led to making recreational boating more accessible and economical to the public.

Just a few years later, the recreational boating industry sped up when American inventor John L. Hacker created a boat known as the Kitty Hawk. For those who recognize the name — yes, he knew the Wright Brothers. This cutting-edge boat became the first boat to travel at a speed of 50 miles per hour.

Modern History of Recreational Boating

03 Boating Industry Begins To Organize

1920S AND 1930S — BOATING INDUSTRY BEGINS TO ORGANIZE

The National Outboard Association and the Marine Trade Association were both created. The merger of a few companies in the outboard motor business come together to form the Outboard Motors Corporation. Despite these marine organizations and businesses forming, pleasure boats were still primarily for the wealthy. There are a few big reasons why — the Great Depression had a significant impact on the economy, and these boats weren’t being mass-produced yet. So, the industry was made up of expensive, mostly custom-built, mahogany-hulled runabout models with larger engines.

This is also just after the “Big Three” automobile companies emerged, and the sale of automobiles began. Many who may have wanted a boat couldn’t transport it, as the automobile industry was beginning to take off.

1940S — THE WAR AND INTRODUCTION OF FIBERGLASS BOATS

For the first half of the 1940s, the industry was consumed with World War II. Resources were limited, and the boating industry was focused on building boats for the military. There wasn’t much time or money for recreational boating.

Perhaps due to the developments in military boats, the beginning of this decade is credited with introducing perfected fiberglass boats to the market in the United States. They were affordable, durable and low maintenance, making them a hit.

By the end of this decade, the economy began to return to normal — as it grew, so did boating usage and profits. The 1940s — both the good and the bad — shaped the industry and resulted in high sales, new companies entering the industry and technological advances that created a boating experience that was easier, more accessible and, many would argue, more fun.

1950S — BOATING INDUSTRY BOOMS

The boating industry boomed, like many other industries, after the war. To give some perspective on just how big the boom was — in 1950  The Boating Industry  reported there were just under 450,000 registered motorboats in use. By 1959, the industry was selling that many boats in just one year. The challenge for the boating industry became keeping up with consumer demand — from a workforce and supplies standpoint.

Up until now, hulls had been made of wood or metal — now fiberglass hulls became more common. Volvo released the first sterndrive of its kind, known as the “Aquamatic.” Boats continued to evolve throughout this decade, showing off the newest features through an increased number of boat shows across the country. The first initiative of boating safety standards also began with the first meeting of the American Boat and Yacht Council with a mission to “to develop and make available recommended practices and engineering standards for improving and promoting the design, construction, equipage and maintenance of small craft concerning their safety.”

Thunderbird, one of the companies that would grow to be a part of Formula Boats, was founded in 1956. Two years later, Vic Porter — from the same Porter family that owns Formula Boats today — began building and selling small fiberglass runabouts under the business name Duo, Inc.

1960S — BOATING BECOMES THE TOP FAMILY SPORT

Despite a dip in the economy at the end of the 1950s, the January 1960 issue of  The Boating Industry  cites boating as the nation’s top family sport. Boat engines continued to improve. Shortly after Volvo’s introduction of the “Aquamatic,” Mercury introduced the MerCruiser engine. Modern versions of both of these engines are a part of many Formula Boats today. Here began a competition for market share that continues to this day.

Production thrived, expanding overseas. Honda built the first mass-produced four-stroke engine. Innovation continued as Ski Nautique introduced the boat-trailer combo.

1970S — WAVES IN SPEED AND ENERGY

Believe it or not, the  world record for the fastest boat  was set at 317.58 miles per hour in 1977 and has yet to be broken. At the same time, concerns about energy efficiency began to rise, partially as a result of rising gasoline prices, leading to some negative perceptions about a lack of energy efficiency. Perhaps as a result of the focus on energy efficiency, a new, smaller watercraft known as the Kawasaki Jet Ski entered the market and became the first commercially successful personal watercraft.

Two important industry associations were created — the Marine Retailers Association of America, with more than 50 boat dealers represented, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), formed by the merger of two previous associations. Both of these marine associations showed continued interest in improving the industry as a whole through professionalism and best practices. Associations helped the industry in the midst of the negative energy efficiency attacks by providing “Boating Energy Conservation Kits” for dealers to use in promoting boats in this new energy sensitive society.

1980S — BOATING INDUSTRY FACES CHALLENGES

Energy prices didn’t get any better — in fact, they continued to rise in the early 1980s. Unemployment and inflation were also high, leading to a challenging economy for recreational boating. The federal government only made things worse when the Department of Energy discussed a new initiative to save gasoline — ban weekend boating.

At the time the outlook seemed so dim that in 1980 NMMA Executive Vice President Frank Scalpone said, “This year is pretty much beyond redemption for most of the companies. It will probably be one of the worst years ever.” In an attempt to help the industry, the NMMA launched a campaign to share the story of boating from an economic standpoint — at the time, the industry was responsible for  700,000 people .

The financial hit to the industry translated to cuts and mergers. Chrysler sold its boat manufacturing division while Sea Ray and Bayliner merged with Brunswick, becoming the world’s largest boat and boat engine manufacturer. Fortunately, it wasn’t all bad. Volvo created new products as well as an independent subsidiary dedicated to the cause — Volvo Penta. Yamaha became a player in the outboard market. Chris-Craft catamarans got back in the powerboat racing market — eventually becoming a part of Outboard Motors Corporation. Mercury introduced cutting-edge technology — electric fuel injection.

1990S — EYES ON WASHINGTON

Despite the few silver linings to the state of the industry in the 1980s, the impact was devastating. Estimates showed the price of boats being cut in half — sales were even worse. According to the Marine Retailers Association of America, of the boats sold with a price tag of over $100,000, sales dropped  77 percent.

The federal government was yet another cause of the industry getting off to a slow start in the early 1990s when it passed a luxury tax — if you paid more than $100,000 for a boat, you were charged an additional tax of ten percent. Thankfully, the tax was repealed in 1993, but not before several bankruptcies were filed and countless jobs were lost. The boating industry had its eyes set on Washington, which led to the creation of the Congressional Boating Caucus — a bipartisan group that would concentrate on boating issues in government.

Again, the end of this decade found the boating industry climbing back, slowly but surely, from a significant hit. The jet boat market began to surge, and jobs began to return to the United States.

2000S — ECONOMIC TURMOIL CAUSES A DOWNWARD SPIRAL

While the 2000s began strong, the global economy began to weaken as the political unrest in the Middle East grew, and the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11. War broke out, natural disasters struck and the economy took a turn downward.

Despite the negative shifts, in 2005,  12.94 million  registered recreational boating vessels were recorded — the highest in history. Unfortunately, the early downward spiral at the beginning of the decade only led to more suffering for the economy in the late 2000s, and it had quite an impact on the boating industry. Jobs were lost, so was available credit. Consumer spending plummeted, and any unnecessary spending was cut — as a result, boat manufacturers and dealers struggled. At one point,  Boating Industry Magazine  estimates that possibly 40 percent of all United States dealers closed their doors.

On a brighter note, the 2000s was a busy decade in Formula Boats history — our boats won the Mercury Constructor’s Cup, twice. Several of our boats were recognized, and our 240 Bowrider was named Powerboat Magazine’s Boat of the Year. We also introduced our first luxury yacht and expanded our manufacturing plant.

Recreational Boating Today — On the Rise

04 Recreational Boating Today

Today it’s clear to see how far the evolution of the history of boating has brought us. The  2016 Recreational Boating Participation Study  showed that an estimated 142 million Americans went boating in 2016 — that’s 36 percent of households in the United States. The majority of them — 62 percent — have household incomes under $100,000. The average age an individual has their first boating experience is 12 years old. We’ve come a long way from the early history of recreational boating when it was meant for kings and society’s elite.

The industry continues to grow and shows no sign of stopping. In 2017,  11.96 million  recreational boating vessels were registered in the United States — higher than the previous three years. The total value of recreational boats sold in the United States hit a new record of  almost four billion dollars . The NMMA has projected that the industry growth will continue through 2018.

Contact Formula Boats

As the recreational boating industry has continued to grow and evolve throughout history,  Formula Boats history  has continued to do the same — keeping up with new trends by focusing on giving individuals the ability to build their dream boat. If you’re interested in learning more about Formula Boats or in building your boat with us, please  contact us .

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An Index of Plans and Articles in MoToR BoatinG Magazine's Ideal Series of Books

Johnson Outboards 1922 - The Beginning Years

Johnson outboard motors made their public debut at the New York Boat Show in January 1922. It is unlikely that the Johnson brothers; Lou, Harry, Clarence and their brother-in-law Warren Conover, had any idea of the impact their little outboard would have on the world of boating.

The Johnson brothers were cut from the same cloth as many of the great American engineers of the early part of the 20th century. From relatively humble beginnings in Terre Haute Indiana, the Johnson’s became some of the premiere engineers of their day. The manufacturing of their small two cylinder outboard would not look very grand on their resumes when compared to building the first American monoplane, aircraft engines and record setting inboard speedboat engines, yet outboards would be their most lasting achievement.

The small 2hp outboard that went on sale in 1922 had its roots in failure. After their aircraft and engine factory was destroyed in a storm, the brothers concentrated their efforts on a small two cylinder air-cooled motor that they adapted to be used as a helper engine on a bicycle. These Johnson Motor Wheels sold well for several years, but the economies of scale with which Henry Ford and others could produce automobiles rapidly eroded the market - after all, who would buy a motorized bicycle for the same cost as an automobile?

Typical of the determination Americans had at the time, Lou Johnson was able to adapt some of the Motor Wheel’s engine to a new purpose; an outboard motor. The water cooled 2 cylinder outboard would weigh in at only 35lbs, this was about ½ that of the typical cranky rowboat motors of the day. Six pre-production motors are believed to have been produced, full-fledged production began with serial number 507. There can be no doubt that the Johnson’s hit a home run when sales for their little $140 outboard topped 3324 units their first year.

Why was the Johnson's little outboard such a tremendous success? In addition to being lighter in weight, the Johnson Waterbug or Light Twin (Both names were used in the advertising) incorporated many features that we take for granted today but were revolutionary in 1922. A key component was the reliable flywheel magneto from the Quick Action Magneto Co of South Bend IN - later to become part of the Johnson company. Many outboards in 1922 used battery ignition and some still had large gear driven magnetos like the ones used on cars & tractors. The Johnsons Quick Action Magneto was small, compact and among the most reliable ever constructed. This magneto proved so good that the majority are still working 85 years later!

Another feature was the use of a rope to start the motor. Here again, Johnson set the trend over the competition who used “knucklebuster” knobs, leather straps or required the operator to wrestle the flywheel to start their outboards. (These were the days long before OSHA!) The rope start was simple, relatively safe (as long as you don’t whip someone with the cord!) and effective.

There were a number of other novel features incorporated in the Johnson outboard; the easy to use and reliable carburetor with three settings; Choke, Fast & Slow. A simple piston waterpump to cool the motor was employed for many years. And to keep the motor on the boat but still make it detachable in a jiffy, secure screw-type transom clamps were used. (Some outboards required you to bolt them on the transom!) The ability to tilt the motor up when beaching or in shallow water was also a rare on other outboards in 1922. While these features may be commonplace today, the Johnson brothers were the first to combine all of them.

One of the most welcome and useful new features on the Waterbugs was the ability to turn (or swivel) the motor through a full 360 degrees. This gave the operator much greater maneuverability and a positive acting reverse for bringing the boat into the dock. While this feature had been used for some time by the European brand Penta, (the Johnson’s licensed it from them), Johnson was the first US company to popularize it. This feature met with immediate public acceptance and is still incorporated on many small outboards today.

The success of the Johnson outboard and its variants; salt water (brass & bronze), canoe mount and even the very rare Model F inboard, was immediate and far reaching. Almost overnight the Johnson’s were producing more outboard motors than anyone else in the world and they worked hard to keep the lead.

The Model A received an update in 1925 becoming the A-25 and also received a single cylinder brother the J-25 the same year. In 1926 a larger motor called the Model P and rated at 6 horsepower, was introduced. Each subsequent year more models and higher horsepower models were produced, outboarding having caught the publics fancy in a big way! Competition from rivals like Ole Evinrude’s second company Elto, Lockwood and the original Evinrude firm, created a swarm of advancements in technology & horsepower. Johnson lead the way with many new features in the late 1920’s; rotary valving, higher horsepower and, possibly their crowning achievement, the smooth alternate firing A and K models of 1930. (1929 was the first time the famous Sea Horse logo appeared!)

The success of the Johnson brand right from the start set the pace for decades to come. Even after becoming part of Outboard Marine & Manufacturing Corporation (later known as OMC), Johnson was still the one with the firsts: first with remote fuel tanks, first with full gearshift, first manufacturer to make 1 million outboards and many others!

Model Identification

Johnson outboards from the 1920's and 30's will have their model and serial number on the top of the flywheel stamped into the rope sheave. (See photo below)

The newer hooded models will have the number stamped into the front of the gas tank or on the port (left) bottom side of the block about ½ way between the front & back of the motor. (You may need to remove the cowl to see the number)

Click on the .pdf file below to see a listing of all the Johnson models from 1922 to 1942. (You will need the Adobe PDF viewer to see the link)

Johnson Model ID Chart 1922-1942

The age of a specific motor can be obtained by simply reading the serial number and comparing it to the chart below. It has been observed that some serial numbers will fall into a different year from the model they depict, this is because a motor was produced at the end of the calendar year for sale in the new year. (An example is the webmasters HD-39 that has a 1938 serial number) Also different will be Canadian Johnson motors - the below is only for South Bend or Waukegan produced motors:

Caring For Your 1922-42 Johnson Outboard Today

Due to the number of models produced from 1922 to 1942 it is next to impossible to completely cover all the service and maintenance differences unique to each. Here is a very brief overview to consider should you be looking to put one of these motors back in service.

Magnetos and Spark Plugs

The early Johnsons all used Quick Action magnetos and these have proven to be very durable and reliable. In most cases the coils themselves are fine however it is likely the condenser will need to be replaced - any 2 microfarad equivalent will work. It is also recommended that the spark plug wire be replaced since most will have deteriorated to the point of cracking. Be sure to use only copper cored sparkplug wire, the modern automotive carbon core wire will not work. The points on almost all models should be completely disassembled and thoroughly cleaned since oil will often have soaked into the insulators causing them to short. Most Johnson models had a point gap of .020” and spark plug gap of .032”. The Johnson ID Chart gives the original sparkplug recommendation, you can cross reference this to a modern plug at the Champion website. Timing on all Johnson outboards in this period will be variable since the magneto plate moves to advance and retard the spark as needed.

Lower Unit & Water Pump

The early Model A and J Johnsons and even the later 1930’s motors used a piston pump with small check valves. The piston must be free to move and the check valves have to be able to do their jobs to have the motor pump water.

Starting in the late 1920’s all but the little Model J single Johnson outboards had a very simple pressure/vacuum cooling system that used the prop wash to force water up into the block and down and out ahead of the propeller. For this system to work all the plumbing must be 100% air tight and obviously there is no tell-tail – your only system check is how hot the cylinders get! Even after other waterpump systems were developed the pressure/vacuum system was used on many of the higher 9, 16 and 22 horsepower Johnson outboards up into the 1950's.

In the 1930's a nother water pump using an eccentric cam of brass and later a rubber rotor was used on the smaller 2-5hp motors. These have been found to perform well typically with only a good cleaning. Should you need a new rubber rotor for one of the HD or TD series, AOMCI member Bob Long in WA makes replacements - Bob can be reached at the following email address: [email protected] . (Bob also makes replacement impellers for newer motors but the old impeller hub must be supplied on an exchange basis.)

Checking the water lines and cylinder water jackets for blockage is good practice. The cast iron cylinders on the early Johnson outboards will often have rust scale that will block water jacket and cause them to overheat. The liberal use of compressed air, picking at the blockage with wire and a lot of flushing are really the only options to fix this problem, short of disassembly of the cylinder and removal of the freeze plugs.

The lower unit should be filled with grease and always checked for accumulated water after each use. Many people like Lubriplate 105 for the lower unit grease, though often something heaver may be required due to the simple seals used on most of these motors.

Fuel System, Oil Mix & Starting

The float type carburetors used on most early Johnson models are simple and reliable. Many times a good cleaning of the bowl and tank is all that is required to put them back in running condition. Due to the corrosive effects of modern gasoline it would be wise to recoat the cork float in the carburetor with a modern fuel-proof coating – discuss this with your local hobby shop owner, they will be able to offer the best alcohol proof solution.

Be sure all fuel fittings are tight and leak free. Most solid fuel lines can be reproduced using copper line and compression fittings still found at hardware an plumbing stores today.

The fuel mixture will vary from model to model, most use a fuel mix of 1/2pt of TCW-3 outboard oil per gallon of gasoline. CAUTION: A few of the budget motors and all the performance motors in the 1930's may require 3/4 and even 1 pint per gallon! Be sure to use a quality regular grade of gasoline, lead free is fine and actually what was originally recommended (then known as Marine White Gasoline). Only use a quality grade of 2-cycle oil marked TCW-3, never use automotive type oils .

The Johnson A, A-25 and many of the other early motors have only a single needle valve. Begin with this at 3/4 to 1 turn open from the lightly seated position and adjust it when the motor starts to the best running position. Once the fuel tap is turned on in a few seconds you should see the needle shaft rise out of the bowl cover. If the motor is cold you can tap the needle a couple of times to "splash" some raw gas into the carb to assist in starting - don't over-do it, or you will flood the motor. Place the carb lever on "C" for choke and advance the magneto handle to the center of its travel (See the model ID photo above for the approximate location). If the motor does not start after 3 rapid tugs on the starter rope place the carb lever on "F" for fast and try 3 more tugs. If the motor still will not run then shut off the fuel tap and continue with 3-5 tugs on the starter rope - once the motor starts be sure to turn the fuel valve back on!

Lost or Broken Parts

Unfortunately, if you have a 1922-42 Johnson outboard you can’t go to your local Johnson dealer and expect any help. The AOMCI Webvertize are free ads and deliver amazing results if you are looking to buy parts or find a good home for an old Johnson outboard. You can also try one of the many on-line auctions like eBay or Craigs List but for our money the Webvertize is better!

Some vendors we have for related parts are as follow, click on the link and it will take you to the website. (Please note we do not have any affiliation with these folks) Brillman Co. (Ignition supplies)

Otto Gas Engine Works (Stock and custom piston rings) Champion Spark Plugs (Spark plugs and old plug conversion ) Art DeKalb's Site (Reproduction parts)

Lee Pedersen (Ignition wire and terminals)

American Outboards (Decals)

Bob Long Impellers (Waterpump impellers for TD series and later)

Information for this web-page was obtained from the AOMCI publication FOUR MEN FROM TERRE HAUT by J.M. Van Vleet, THE OLD OUTBOARD BOOK 3rd Ed. by Peter Hunn and from 40 years worth of Bob Zipps' excellent articles on the Johnson A's in the OUTBOARDER (Magazine of the AOMCI). And a special thanks to Bob Zipps for proofing and editing this page!

Previous Feature Outboards:

The information on this website is intended for personal use only. The copying and distribution of this information for any other purpose is strictly forbidden without prior written consent.

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The Boats of Chris-Craft

Launched in 1984,  WOOD ® magazine is the world's most trusted woodworking resource — a distinction we've earned by guaranteeing our readers' success in their woodworking shops. It is the  mission of our staff to inspire and inform woodworkers at every stage of their journey by providing reliable and accurate project plans, woodworking techniques, and product reviews.

Back in 1894, thrill-seeking vacationers on Michigan's St. Clair River paid a nickel or so to skip across the water at 5mph in a powered rowboat. At the helm was Christopher Columbus Smith, a boatbuilder as well as an outdoors guide and market hunter.

He and his older brother Hank had joined up to build boats in Algonac, Michigan, some 10 years earlier. What they began there eventually became a company name synonymous with powerboating worldwide—Chris-Craft.

Speeding into the 20th century

The engine the brothers had adapted to their rowboat was like a small steam engine. But instead of water heated in its boiler, it heated naptha. It wasn't many years later, though, that the gasoline engine came along. And Chris Smith jumped on it.

As then sole proprietor of the "Chris Smith & Co., Boat Builders and Boat Livery," he began powering his wooden boats with the gasoline engines. The "runabouts" he created added the thrill of speed to boating. By 1910 one of his mahogany-planked boats with its 100-hp engine was clocked at 33 mph. Two years later, the Chris Smithbuilt Baby Reliance II set a record of 53.7 mph over a measured mile—the first time that any boat had passed the 50-mph mark.

Into the 1920s, Chris Smith's boats, driven by racer Gar Wood, set speed records everywhere they went. One race even defined the materials that were to become a Chris-Craft trademark.

To qualify for the 1920 international Harmsworth Trophy speedboat race, held in England, all boat and engine materials must have originated in the country of the entrant. Smith's boats had always been planked with Honduras mahogany, but Honduras was a protectorate of Great Britain. So the boat that Gar Wood was to pilot to victory was constructed of Philippine mahogany (actually not a mahogany at all), which met the rules because the Philippine Islands were a United States' protectorate. From that time on, practically all wooden boats from Algonac advertised as "solid mahogany" were made from Philippine mahogany, with structural members of native woods such as white oak.

Following more than a decade of racing achievements and technical innovations, Smith and Gar Wood ended their association in 1922. From then on, Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company used its racing expertise and reputation to make and sell wooden runabouts, now brand-named Chriscraft, to the general public. With a workforce of 30 men, the company built and shippeda boat about every week from spring through fall that year. That number, though, was soon to change dramatically.

Runabouts come of fashion

The Roaring Twenties produced more than a rage for the Charleston. Buyers were becoming more and more interested in powerboating for fun and sociability. It was a boon to boatbuilders, and none more so than Chris Smith & Sons.

The Algonac boatbuilders took advantage of the nation's new appetite for powerboating, and by 1929 could produce over 900 units annually. But Chris Smith & Sons did something no other boatbuilders had tried: It standardized construction.

All boatbuilders, including the Smiths, had always built boats one by one. But realizing that they could sell more Chris-Crafts (as their runabouts were then officially called) than they could build, the Smiths began experimenting with standardizing models in 1924. They began to cut parts from templates and divide the work into specialized crews that performed only one operation on a hull instead of building the entire boat. The changeover resulted in the company producing some models at the rate of a boat-and-a-half a day.

In 1926, the Smiths once again tried something new—selling through franchised dealers, just as cars were sold. Previously, all boats had been sold direct from factory to customer. That year, you could buy a 22' inboard Chris-Craft runabout for less than $2,000. And that included electric start and reverse as standard equipment items. (Today, that same boat, in excellent original or restored condition, would cost you about $20,000.)

With increased production and a growing dealer network, the "World's Largest Builder of All Mahogany Runabouts" was using a lot of wood. In 1927, for instance, Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company contracted for 1 million board feet of Philippine mahogany—at a cost of about 15 cents per board foot.

The building of a Chris-Craft

The boats built by the Smiths had a reputation for quality construction (see the cutaway illustration below ), even though they were more or less mass-produced. Chris- Crafts of the 1920s and 1930s and for years to come featured doubleplanked bottoms of solid Philippine mahogany. In between was a water-repellent layer of oil soaked canvas. The keels were either Philippine mahogany or white oak. The oak, steambent, was used for the ribs. Bolts and screws were bronze (later, silicon bronze), and the screw holes were plugged with Philippine mahogany "bungs," a name picked up from beer barrels.

Inside, hulls were coated with linseed oil below the water line, then covered with two coats of Valspar marine varnish, followed by paint. Outside, the hull bottoms received a heavy coat of green or gray paint.

All visible natural wood—the Philippine mahogany—on the hull, decks, cowls, etc., was rubbed with grain filler, sanded, and covered with four coats of marine varnish. When the boat was completed, upholstery and all, mechanics fitted it with an inboard engine. All boats then were tested for speed and handling along a measured course on the St. Clair River.

Only for a few years following World War II, when wood shortages were widespread, did Chris-Craft depart from its quality construction. The boat company substituted white cedar—or any other suitable wood it could find—for the then-scarce Philippine mahogany it had so long relied on. But when substitutions were made, management insisted that the hulls be painted rather than stained and varnished as was traditional.

The end of an era

Chris-Craft survived the Great Depression of the 1930s—barely—by introducing utility craft, which cost less. By the early 1940s, the company was up and running full speed again, featuring nearly 100 models. During World War II, Chris-Craft devoted much of its production to the war effort. (As with all boat manufacturers, the company was prohibited from making pleasure craft from 1943-45.) It built landing craft, target boats, aircraft rescue boats, and command boats (resembling PT boats). These required a switch to plywood, a foreign material to the company, but one to which it easily adapted.

The 1950s and 1960s saw Chris-Craft embark in new directions—kit boats (even kit furniture), outboard motors, mahogany-and-fir plywood boats, steel boats, fiberglassed plywood boats, and molded fiberglass boats. It was a period of experimentation and great expansion. Eventually, Chris-Craft Industries—a publicly held company emerged when the Smith family decided to yield ownership. The 1960s also marked the end of an era as Chris-Craft Industries completed the transition from mahogany to completely fiberglass construction of its boats.

By the 1980s, not only had the wooden boat long left the scene, but so did Chris-Craft as an independent boat manufacturer. The company and the name were acquired by Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) in 1989.

Editor's note: The complete company archives of the Chris-Craft boat division were donated by Chris-Craft Industries, Inc. to the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia, in 1987. Also donated were two early Chris-Craft boats, a 26' runabout and a 38' commuter, both of which have been restored to original condition.

For more information about Chris-Craft, see The Legend of Chris-Craft by Jeffrey L. Rodengen.

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Motor Boating began in 1907 as The Motor Boating Magazine. The first actively copyright-renewed issue is February 1929 (v. 43 no. 2), © January 18, 1929. The first actively copyright-renewed contribution is from February 1957. ( More details ) It was renamed Motor Boating and Sailing in 1970, and MotorBoating in 2000. It ceased publication in 2011.

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Boat of the Week: This Vintage Superyacht Blends Classic 1920s Design With Modern Tech

'fair lady' has been meticulously restored to look like a 1920s art nouveau showpiece, but without sacrificing modern comforts., julia zaltzman, julia zaltzman's most recent stories.

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Fair Lady

For Jonathan Turner, owner of the authentic 1920s yacht Fair Lady , the marriage of classic design with modern technology is a match made in heaven. The 121-footer, built and launched by Camper & Nicholsons in 1928, bears all the hallmarks of the fabulous flapper era, but remains a yacht designed for adventure, owned by a man intent on finding one.

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The exterior is by Charles E. Nicholson, one of the most famous names in yacht design in the early years of the last century, while the interior comes from the drawing boards of modern yacht designer John Munford. This unlikely dream-team of two designers separated by a century has resulted in a unique yacht. Fair Lady ’s mahogany-paneled walls and Art Nouveau furniture ooze original character, while the contemporary adaptations provide every modern comfort on board. The 1920s ship’s wheel and brass binnacle, for example, sit alongside the very latest electronics and navigational equipment in the wheelhouse.

The card room on the main deck retains the original pearwood detailing and the “chairs are the same as when it was built,” says Turner. “We know that because we’ve got the original photos.”

Fair Lady

The 121-foot yacht has been refitted to retain its 1920s Art Nouveau charm without compromising modern comforts.  Burgess

What began as a whimsical purchase of a Triumph TR3 over 20 years ago for Turner has grown into a passion for “old things.” Fair Lady is his first yacht, and she is part of Turner’s sweeping collection of vintage cars and motor memorabilia, including an XK140 Jaguar and eight vintage Bentleys, one of which he drove in the Monte Carlo Rally. He’s also raced the Orient Express across Europe (and won), completed the Peking to Paris Rally twice, and says his first experience of the Peking endurance race dramatically changed his life.

“We were the first people to drive through Iran since the fall of the Shah in 1977, and the first non-Chinese citizens ever to have Chinese driving licenses–all of this in a 1928 Bentley,” says Turner. “That car has been part of my life for 20-plus years. I realized then at the age of 30 that you can go anywhere in the world with old machinery that everybody else thinks is going to break down and have a phenomenal adventure.”

Since undergoing a significant refit at Pendennis in 2006, Fair Lady has had several return trips to the U.K. shipyard for maintenance. “It costs a fortune every year to get the timber varnished,” Turner says. “It’d be so easy to cut costs and paint it, but that’s not what you do with antique furniture. I love old furniture, it’s got character and was built properly. Fair Lady is basically an Edwardian house on the water.”

Fair Lady

Some of the equipment like this brass telegraph is original, but just about everything else has been modernized, with a period-correct overlay to hide the latest technologies.  Burgess

A sheltered alcove on the sundeck makes a popular spot for breakfast. The expansive sunpad and wooden sun loungers aft catch the sun, and on the main deck a chic Parisian bench bends around the stern. Each of the guest cabins have vintage 1920s telephones that have been converted to plug into a modern socket. An old-fashioned radio has been reconditioned to hold an MP3 player. “Everything on board–the doors, the handrails, the master cabin–is the same as when it was built,” says Turner. “I don’t want anybody to go on that boat, with all its charm and beauty, and see anything modern.”

Along with Turner’s appreciation for authenticity is his palpable sense of fun. “I bought a yacht with a funnel and a horn that properly honks because it’s really cool,” he says.

For those looking to share in the adventure, a seven-day charter itinerary along the Scottish coastline could be just the ticket. Fair Lady will sail via the Inner Hebrides, the Treshnish Isles, all the way up to the Talisker whisky distillery in Stein, before returning by Loch Drumbuie, one of the best yachting anchorages in Scotland. Turner’s private Cessna 208 seaplane and private estate on the shores of Loch Sunart can be included in the trip.

Fair Lady

Now located in Scotland, Fair Lady offers a retro lifestyle in some of Britain’s most charming cruising grounds.  Burgess

“I don’t spend as much time on board as I’d like, but hopefully this year with Fair Lady being in Scotland, that will change. What I really want to do is get 12 friends together and have some fun on board. When I’m racing my cars I’m by myself, and that’s a bit selfish, whereas when you’ve got a sociable boat like Fair Lady, then you can really enjoy yourself.”

Fair Lady is available to charter through Burgess from $73,000 a week. Here are some other shots of this very classic lady.

Fair Lady

The 121-footer had an extensive refit in 2006 to bring it back to her former glory. She returns each year to Pendennis to have all mahogany revarnished.  Burgess

Fair Lady

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Brown Boat Company

James G. Brown (1851-1920) was a former housebuilder/developer who constructed many homes in Lakefield, Ontario. J.G. Brown also worked on and off for his mentor, Thomas Gordon. He is said to have had an argument with one of the Stricklands (the Strickland family had early on invested in T. Gordon Canoe Co.) and quit his job with T. Gordon Canoe Co. In the mid 1870s he purchased a property on Water Street and made a first attempt at producing canoes. In 1887 he made a second attempt, and this begins nearly half a century of building canoes, skiffs and small outboard boats. Very little is known of his early production. His canoes and skiffs became as famous as Gordon’s and Strickland’s. The company produced board and raised batten canoes, flush batten canoes, metallic batten canoes, canvas covered canoes, and cedarstrip canoes, as well as skiffs and outboard motor boats. The company successfully operated with the conviction that there are enough people who desire and appreciate superlative workmanship to provide a market for its products. Early on, he also rented out his canoes and row-boats at his waterside property on Water Street.

  • 1887 The official start of the Brown Boat Company.
  • 1918 A fire destroyed the factory, 90 canoes and 1 motorboat.
  • 1920 J.G. Brown dies. He was 69 years old.
  • 1920 His son Fred Brown (1890-1938) takes over the company.
  • 1924 Another fire destroys the factory.
  • 1938 Fred Brown was fatally injured and dies.

The company was purchased by George Cook who started “Sailcraft”, building cedarstrip sailboats. This company was partly closed during the war. They built sailboats up to 1956 and later also tried their hand at building fiberglass boats.

( by Dick Persson )

ARTS & CULTURE

The early, deadly days of motorcycle racing.

Photographer A.F. Van Order captured the thrills and spills of board-track motorcycle racing in the 1910s

David Schonauer

Racing on wood track

A century ago, Americans fell in love with speed. While the Wright Brothers flew overhead and Model T’s rolled off Henry Ford’s assembly line, the new sport of motorcycle racing began drawing large crowds bent on celebrating a piston-powered future.

The Hendee Manufacturing Company introduced the 1.75-horsepower, single-cylinder Indian in 1901. Harley-Davidson followed in 1903. Inevitably, racing ensued. Early contests were held on horse-racing ovals and bicycle velodromes, but around 1909 wooden tracks built specifically for cars and motorcycles began to appear in Los Angeles and then elsewhere.

It was in 1911 that a livery worker named Ashley Franklin Van Order moved from Illinois to Southern California so he could ride his motorcycle year-round. Van Order took a job selling Harley-Davidsons and began riding competitively, but his racing career was cut short soon afterward by an accident, followed by an ultimatum. “His wife, Lilly, told him that if he ever rode again, she was out of there,” says Van Order’s grandson, Jim Bolingmo Sr., a retired professor of science and math. Van Order turned to photography, and the images he amassed from the mid-1910s through the 1920s—his own and possibly others’—constitute the most complete and compelling visual record of early motorcycle racing.

The races must have been spectacular for people who were accustomed to thinking of horsepower in terms of actual horses. The bikes were designed to run fast, and that was about it: they had to be towed behind other motorcycles to get them started, and they had no brakes. The tracks, called motordromes, came in various sizes—a circuit of a mile and a quarter occupied the current site of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills—and were made of lengths of 2-by-2 and 2-by-4 lumber with rough-cut surfaces. The turns were severely banked, allowing riders to reach speeds of more than 100 miles an hour. Crashes were frequent and horrific—riders who went down faced being impaled by splinters—and often fatal. Spectators shared in the risk: at many motordromes, they peered down from the lip of the track, in harm’s way. On one particularly lethal day in 1912, several observers—from four to six, accounts vary—were killed along with Eddie Hasha and another rider at a motordrome in Newark, New Jersey, when Hasha lost control of his bike and slammed into the crowd.

Yet people flocked to the races at board tracks from Denver to Milwaukee to Long Island. “Photography is great for documenting things like this, and great photography is better than just snapshots. And Van Order was much better than just a snapshot photographer,” says Charles Falco, a professor of optical sciences and physics at the University of Arizona and the co-curator of “The Art of the Motorcycle,” an exhibition that broke attendance records at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City in 1998. Falco says he included a Van Order image in the exhibition to give audiences a sense of the thrill of board-track racing. The action photos are remarkable, given that they were shot on relatively slow-speed glass negatives, and the portraits endure as graceful studies of youthful ardor. In his work, the sport’s stars—such as Albert “Shrimp” Burns (who died in a 1921 crash in Toledo, Ohio), Eddie Brinck (who was killed in a race in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1927), Ray Weishaar (a 1924 casualty in a race in Los Angeles) and Ralph Hepburn (who survived the motordromes but died trying to qualify a car for the 1948 Indianapolis 500)—remain lords of the boards.

By the mid-‘20s, the sport began to lose its appeal. Perhaps the novelty wore off; certainly the carnage was appalling. Newspapers began referring to motordromes as “murderdromes,” and local governments closed some tracks. Race officials and the motorcycle manufacturers that sponsored racing teams tried to implement measures to slow down the bikes, but that went nowhere. By the early 1930s, board-track motorcycle racing had become a footnote in motorsport history, and Van Order’s career as a photographer was over. He wrote a column about the old days for Motorcyclist magazine and founded a club called the Trailblazers, whose sole purpose, says Bolingmo, was to get the surviving board-track racers together once a year for a dinner. Van Order continued his column through the early 1950s, when declining health forced him to stop.

His glass-plate negatives remained in a box for most of those years. He made copies of many of the images on modern film shortly before he died in 1954, at age 68, and the material passed to his daughter. In 2000, Van Order’s great-grandson, Jim Bolingmo Jr., had many of the photographs digitally restored with the idea of selling fine-art prints, but that plan was put on hold when he died at age 49 of brain cancer in 2003. Today the original negatives and restored images reside with Jim Bolingmo Jr.’s widow, Sharon Con—the last links to a little-known photographer and a time when people were entranced with the idea of going faster than they had ever gone before.

David Schonauer is the former editor in chief of American Photo and has written about visual culture for several magazines.

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Visiting Indy during the Month of May? Take a self-guided tour of Hoosier racing history

Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2023. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum closed for renovations in November 2023 and will not reopen until April 2025. Track tours are still available .

Hundreds of thousands of tourists and race fans flock to the Circle City every year during the Month of May and Indianapolis 500 weekend.

For racing die-hards with time to kill — or Hoosiers looking to be tourists in their own city — here's a self-guided tour of some Indy 500 history.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

The obvious: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

The IMS Museum , housed on Speedway grounds, is home to over 55,000 racing artifacts and more than 300 vehicles, including the 1922 Duesenberg, 1938 Maserati, 1948 Watson and 1911 Marmon Wasp , which won the first Indy 500. Book a guided tour of the museum's collection for $10 to get an expert-led look at racing history.

Visitors can also register for various grounds tours that take you to iconic locations such as victory podium and the beloved yard of bricks, the Pagoda, Gasoline Alley and the Snake Pit. These tours range from $25 to $70 for adults, with discounted pricing for children and seniors.

Shhhhh: There's a secret in the Motor Speedway Museum's basement. They're letting people in on it.

In 2021, the museum decided to open its basement vault to the public, allowing you an exclusive look at some of its most valuable vehicles, including race-winning cars, pace cars and vintage motorcycles. It’s such an exclusive experience, in fact, that cameras aren’t allowed on the tour. These 30-minute guided tours are open to groups of up to six and start at $150 per person.

To learn more about the museum and to book a tour, visit imsmuseum.org .

The less-than-obvious: Indy 500 history hiding in plain sight

Stop for a pretzel and a pint (or two) at Guggman Haus Brewing Co. , located on the former stomping grounds of the Boyle Racing Team.

The operation, located at 1701 Gent Ave., was led by “Umbrella” Mike Boyle, a shadowy labor leader from Chicago who twice went to prison (jury fixing and violating an anti-trust law, if you're curious) but nonetheless ran one of the more successful teams in the race's history. Three-time Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw drove for Boyle.

While the original building is no longer, its footprint has been rebuilt and is now home to the aforementioned brewery and taproom featuring racing-themed brews like the Wilbur’s Prize Pilsner and the Winner’s Milk Jug Stout.

Pay your respects at Crown Hill Cemetery

Crown Hill Cemetery is home to several Hoosier notables, including the poet James Whitcomb Riley, President Benjamin Harrison and notorious bank robber John Dillinger. But it’s also the final resting place of dozens of drivers, mechanics and other figures associated with the Indianapolis 500.

Here are just a few of the racing legends buried at Crown Hill:

  • John Donald Aitken : Winner of 15 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but only one Indy 500 (as a team manager). Competed in races and feature events at the Speedway from 1909-16. (d. 1918; Lot 386, Section 37)
  • Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker : Winner of the first race held at the Speedway — a four-lap motorcycle sprint held in 1909. Later drove in the 1922 Indy 500 and would go on to hold multiple unrelated driving and motorcycle records. (d. 1960; Lot 150, Section 60)

Cannon Ball: Indy man won first ever Speedway race, but what came later was crazy

  • Floyd Davis : Co-winner of the 1941 race alongside Mauri Rose, drove in four races. (d. 1977; Lot 320, Section 53)
  • Carl Fisher : Speedway co-founder who also developed Miami Beach, Florida. (d. 1939; Lot 42, Section 13)
  • Harry "Cotton" Henning: Chief mechanic for Boyle Racing who worked with Wilbur Shaw. (d. 1948, Lot 91, Section 78)
  • Chet Miller : Drove in 16 Indy 500 races and achieved five Top 10 finishes. Died while practicing for the 1953 race.(d. 1953, community mausoleum south, B-19-A)
  • Arthur Newby : Speedway co-founder and founder of Indianapolis Chain and National Motor Vehicle Company. (d. 1933; Lot 39, Section 23)
  • Herb Porter : Also known as “Herbie Horsepower,” Porter was a mechanic for Indianapolis 500 winners Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford and AJ Foyt. (d. 1999; Lot 754, Section 28)
  • Howard “Howdy” Wilcox : Winner of the 1919 race and holder of five Top 10 finishes, Wilcox was the first driver to break 100 mph. He died racing in Pennsylvania. (d. 1923; Lot 240, Section 56)
  • Howard “Howdy” Wilcox Jr. : Son of the driver, Howdy is known for founding Indiana University-Bloomington’s Little 500 bicycle race. (d. 2002, community mausoleum north, F-16-2A)

If you’re looking for more or if a map of the highlights would be helpful, the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation has put together a detailed list at bit.ly/3m3PKei . You can also visit crownhillhf.org/tours and find the Racing Legends tour, a downloadable app that lets you build your own tour of all 61 racing legends at Crown Hill, read short bios and, in some cases, listen to recordings by local historians and personalities.

Crown Hill: For decades, their work has brought Crown Hill Cemetery's 'people museum' to life

See some of the hottest cars of the 1920s

Still going? Head downtown to the Indiana State Museum to see Vintage Vision: Cars of the 1920s, an exhibition showcasing 10 of the most-coveted vehicles of the decade, including the 1926 Duesenberg Model A Roadster, all on loan from the IMS Museum.

While you're there, take a stroll through other galleries showcasing the Hoosier State, including explorations of our natural history, Indiana's development as a territory and state and its contributions to American pop culture. Typically closed on Mondays, the museum will be open Memorial Day — perfect for visitors who are sticking around for the holiday weekend.

Admission to the museum, including all galleries and exhibitions, is $16 for adults, $15 for seniors and $11 for children. Learn more about the museum and buy tickets at indianamuseum.org .

Some final thoughts

Go in any order you like, but consider this local's advice: Sunrise and sunset are some of the best times to take in the breathtaking scenery at Crown Hill Cemetery, which is filled with greenspace and offers sweeping views of the city. You could spend all day there, truly. Also, starting at the cemetery allows you to move south and avoid some midday backtracking (the same could be said for the state museum, but in the opposite direction).

You could also add stops. If you're starting early on the west side, you can grab breakfast at Charlie Brown's Pancake & Steak House , for instance. The diner, 1038 Main St., is full of Indy 500 memorabilia. And we would be remiss not to mention Long's Bakery at 1453 N. Tremont St., a cash-only spot with donuts so beloved, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing owner David Letterman once tossed them, barehanded, into a (pre-pandemic) theater audience as a sort-of party favor.

IndyStar is the ultimate source for comprehensive coverage of all the Month of May activities, from pre-race festivities to race day news and updates. Subscribe to get unlimited digital access of all our Indy 500 coverage: indystar.com/subscribe .

Contact IndyStar newsroom development director Holly Hays at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @hollyvhays .

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Visiting Indy during the Month of May? Take a self-guided tour of Hoosier racing history

Detail from a 1954 Mercedes W196, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in a room called The Basement Collection, in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s museum. This original car, given to the IMS by Mercedes-Benz in 1965, is a closed-wheel version of their Grand Prix world championship cars from that era.

COMMENTS

  1. Wooden Motor Boats of the Early 1920's Through the 1930's

    The Dodge Boat Company was started by the Dodge brothers in about 1920. Dodge had already seen success in the automotive business. They coined the name" WaterCar" and began building this model in about 1924 which featured the engine forward of the windshield and an aft cockpit. By Andrew MiddletonMar 2, 2021. Tags.

  2. 85 years of boating history

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  3. The History of Recreational Boating

    In 1903, the world came together for the first international motorboat race of its kind, the Harmsworth Cup, formally known as the British International Trophy for Motorboats. An Englishman won, racing his motorboat at a speed of 19.5 miles per hour. ... 1920S AND 1930S — BOATING INDUSTRY BEGINS TO ORGANIZE.

  4. The Lasting Appeal of 1920s Commuter Yachts: Here's a Slideshow of Six

    The elegant designs of commuter yachts, with their clean, graceful and often awe-inspiring lines, have lived on. Here's a slideshow of six of today's best from the Robb Report, ranging from Doug Zurn's 45-knot Zurn Lynx, which looks like a modern version of a classic commuter yacht, to the futuresque Yachtwerft Meyer Silverline. The ...

  5. Motorboat

    A motorboat with an outboard motor. A motorboat, speedboat or powerboat is a boat that is exclusively powered by an engine.. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit. An inboard-outboard contains a hybrid of an inboard and an outboard, where ...

  6. 9 Stunning Wooden Boats That Blend Classic Design With Modern Tech

    HackerCraft, Queensbury, NY. Founded in 1908, HackerCraft is one of the most prominent names in the wooden-boat world. The builder does series of boats such as its Sport, Sterling, and Racer ...

  7. 1920s historic motor boat race video

    By Staff. April 23, 2014. Historic motor boat racing is pretty amazing. British Pathé News has uploaded 85,000 historic films from the archives on to Youtube - all in HD - including some stunning early 20th Century powerboating and sailing footage. Pathé News was originally founded in France in the 1890s and established in London in 1902.

  8. Runabout (boat)

    A runabout is any small motorboat holding between four and eight people, well suited to moving about on the water. ... Among the leading builders of 1920s runabouts was John L. Hacker, [citation needed] who founded the Hacker Boat Company in 1908. Hacker was a pioneering naval architect who developed many design innovations, like the 'V-bottom'.

  9. Coastal motor boat

    Coastal Motor Boat was a small high-speed British torpedo boat used by the Royal Navy in the First World War and up to end of the Second World War. ... built by Camper and Nicholsons in 1920, preserved as a museum ship. She was restored in August 2011 and is on display at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

  10. An Index of Plans and Articles in the MoToR BoatinG Ideal Series

    An Incomplete List of the Plans Sorted by Name. Volume 1, * Designs of Ideal Motor Boats and How to Design a Motor Boat * (1920) -. Volume 2, * How to Build Sixteen Ideal Motor Boats (1927) A Practical treatise on motor boat building in general with detail working drawings and instructions on building many types of cruisers, runabouts, speed ...

  11. Johnson Outboards

    Johnson lead the way with many new features in the late 1920's; rotary valving, higher horsepower and, possibly their crowning achievement, the smooth alternate firing A and K models of 1930. ... If the motor still will not run then shut off the fuel tap and continue with 3-5 tugs on the starter rope - once the motor starts be sure to turn ...

  12. The Boats of Chris-Craft

    Chris- Crafts of the 1920s and 1930s and for years to come featured doubleplanked bottoms of solid Philippine mahogany. In between was a water-repellent layer of oil soaked canvas. The keels were either Philippine mahogany or white oak. The oak, steambent, was used for the ribs. Bolts and screws were bronze (later, silicon bronze), and the ...

  13. Motor Boating archives

    (More details) It was renamed Motor Boating and Sailing in 1970, and MotorBoating in 2000. It ceased publication in 2011. Persistent Archives of Complete Issues. 1908-2011: Google Books has most of this magazine's run, by arrangement with the publisher.

  14. 1920's

    Historic information from the 1920's for the boat industry! Historic information from the 1920's for the boat industry! Home; Inventory. 1900's; 1910s; 1920s; 1930s; 1940s; 1950s; 1960s; 1970's; Fiber Classics and Skiffs; Retro Modern; Chris Craft; Other Boat Makers; Services & Restoration. Boat Storage and Restoration ...

  15. 1920s Archives

    1924 26′ Chris Craft Roman Numeral Rarity. $ 124,500.00. 1920's Mahogany Bay presents The History of Wooden Boating in America THE ROARING TWENTIES Production Line BoatsGarfield Wood never intended to go into the boat building business. His goal was to personally set every speed record on water and be recognized as the world's speedboat king.

  16. This Vintage Superyacht Blends Classic 1920s Design With Modern Tech

    Published on August 14, 2020. By Julia Zaltzman. Burgess. For Jonathan Turner, owner of the authentic 1920s yacht Fair Lady, the marriage of classic design with modern technology is a match made ...

  17. MOTORING AS IT WAS A Look-Back to the 1920s

    MOTORING AS IT WAS A Look-Back to the 1920s (Continued from the September roue: WE FIND "Owen John", the amateur motor-noter, ending his annual holiday in Scotland with pungent thoughts on two topics which have a topical ring to them, i.e., the ending of "British Summer Time", and the forthcoming Motor Show.

  18. Brown Boat Company

    1918 A fire destroyed the factory, 90 canoes and 1 motorboat. 1920 J.G. Brown dies. He was 69 years old. 1920 His son Fred Brown (1890-1938) takes over the company. 1924 Another fire destroys the factory. 1938 Fred Brown was fatally injured and dies. The company was purchased by George Cook who started "Sailcraft", building cedarstrip ...

  19. The Early, Deadly Days of Motorcycle Racing

    Photographer A.F. Van Order captured the thrills and spills of board-track motorcycle racing in the 1910s. Many of the tracks A.F. Van Order frequented were built of wood and banked to enable ...

  20. Issues 1920

    Subscribe Today. Motor Sport content since 1924. Fully searchable archive across 200,000 articles. Race history insight and analysis from the last 95 years. Exclusive discounts to motor sport related events. Subscribe.

  21. Cars in the 1920s

    Cars in the 1920s. Henry Ford near a Model T car in 1921. From 1919 to 1929, primarily North America and parts of Europe experienced the rise of the Roaring Twenties. Social and economic circumstances underwent dramatic changes. The economic power and high employment of the United States allowed Americans to spend more extravagantly on ...

  22. Talavera 1920 Floorplan

    Stay in the Know with Thor Motor Coach. Subscribe for the latest news on our motorhomes, the RV lifestyle and more! Learn about the Talavera 1920 Floorplan and review specifications, options and features of this TALAVERA motorhome.

  23. Visiting Indy during the Month of May? Take a self-guided tour of ...

    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum closed for renovations in November 2023 and will not reopen until April 2025. Track tours are still available. ... Cars of the 1920s, an exhibition ...

  24. 2024 Acura ZDX and Type S EVs Priced Above the Competition

    The single motor in the base rear-drive A-Spec makes 340 horsepower and 325 miles of range, while the dual-motor A-Spec range drops to 315 miles, and the top of the line Type-S range is 288 miles ...

  25. List of motorcycles of the 1920s

    List of motorcycles of the 1920s is a listing of motorcycles of the 1920s, including those on sale, introduced, or otherwise relevant in this period. Motor cycle. Abako; Ace Four (until 1924, see Indian Four) Adma (motorcycle) AFW (motorcycle) Agon (motorcycle) AJT motorcycles;