I always liked the idea of a engine cowling that opens like a race car hood for easy access to the engine bay. Pulling off these engine cowlings can be a bit tricky (especially when the boat is in the water) and then one needs to find a place to set them once they come off that won’t be kicked over, stepped on, etc.
Here’s some pics Mr. Phil Kunz emailed to me after I was grumbling to him how tricky it would be to set up my hydro up to do just that:
Astonishing moment powerboat racer cheats death at 130mph in spectacular crash on same lake where Bluebird pilot Donald Campbell was killed
Keith Whittle had just set a new record for Formula 2 class in 200hp boat
But his boat flipped one and a half times through the air in Lake District
Hundreds of spectators watched on Friday as Whittle escaped unscathed
Donald Campbell lost control of his Bluebird on same lake stretch in 1967
By Mark Duell
Adrenaline junkie Keith Whittle had just set a new record for the Formula 2 class in his 200hp boat named Pepstar when he spectacularly flipped on Coniston Water in the Lake District. His boat somersaulted one a half times through the air before landing top-down on the water, in an accident witnessed by hundreds of spectators on Friday. Mr Whittle escaped unscathed but shaken. It happened on the same stretch of Coniston that claimed the life of speed record ace Donald Campbell, who lost control of his Bluebird at more than 300mph in January 1967. He already held the water speed record of 276mph and was trying to beat it. His boat was named after the car in which his father Sir Malcolm Campbell had set what was then a land speed record of 146mph in 1924. Martin Campbell, who witnessed the crash, said: ‘Your initial response is hoping the driver gets out and he did but it is still quite shocking when it happens.
‘Most drivers carry oxygen but Keith didn’t need it, he managed to get out straight away. It all happened in an instance and he was a bit shaken up.
Coniston Power Boat Records Week is the only event in the Powerboat Racing Calendar to bring together all classes of boat.
Jim Noone, chief technical measurer, added: ‘Keith was trying hard for the record and when you’re right on the edge these things can happen.
‘But the safety element has advanced in the past ten years and crashes like this are very survivable. He was a bit shaken and a bit cold but other than that he was fine. ‘The water conditions were perfect and there were nine records set through the week and Keith had at least two of them.
‘The high speed runs are always exciting and you have a mixture of relief and elation – it was the last run of the week and certainly the most dramatic.’
Worth a read & reflection – page 17 in the Nov issue of Propeller magazine:
– 50 Years of Boat Racing History – by W. Melvin Crook.
The article was written in 1953(?) for the 50th Anniversary of the American Power Boat Association (born 1903).
Greg and I bought the Buccaneer from Tom Bock in 1995 and was our first UL. We sold that to Paul Becker about 2002 and he ran as UL. He sold to Greg Walden from Atomic Screen Printing. He ran as a UL around 2006-2007? I actually drove it a heat at the Tri-Cities race that year. Greg sold to Jon Bosserman and Greg and I bought it back from John when we came up with the simulator idea. So yes the old Buccaneer is now the simulator. The low trailer was a big part of that decision because the boat is only a couple feet off the ground off tilt. Tom put the canopy on it and when we picked the boat up it didn’t have the tail on it, but it was in his garage with the skull and cross bones still on it and I said “I want that, it’s going back on the boat”. So we put it back on for the first UL race.
When we built the boat as the simulator we were well aware of the boats historic value. We “surgically” removed the portion of the cockpit from the firewall to the windshield as one piece with the thought in mind that some day it might be a vintage boat. We have all the hardware, prop shaft, strut, rudder etc. The boat itself is in pretty rough shape. Not rot so much as several broken ribs, stringers and sponson problems. Nothing that a lot of tender love and care couldn’t fix. Will make a photo album of the simulator project.
Right now this boats roll as a simulator is a real boost for the sport. We have run hundreds of kids through this thing and they all come out of it with huge smiles on their faces. The kids are the future of boat racing, from a “ride” in this positive experience to the next step….a J-Stock hydro or runabout. The simulator has two seats side by side with video screens, steering wheels, gas pedal, and a seat with speakers in it. It has a lid that closes, notice resemblance to the first turbine Pay n Pack. On the out side we have a monitor for each of the inside monitors and the parents can see and hear exactly what the kids see inside. Using the hydro-mod game that Scott Przybylski built. We have taken it to events such as the Taste of Edmonds, Tri-Cities race and the Coeur d’Alene race. Will be doing some boat shows and single day events/parties etc for a nominal fee of course. Think we have plans for the Spokane Boat Show in January.
Here’s a photo recently located that shows a different view of Tom Watts hydroplane than those I previously posted. Lots of engine, not much boat. Lots of courage required.
Regards Graeme Morley