Viewing ‘Martime History’ Category

Miss America X

I am fascinated by the early generation of high-speed powerboats from the early part of the 20th century. These vessels had some interesting features such as bow rudders, low deadrise stepped hydroplane hulls, wood construction. The most outrageous example was Miss America X with four 1800 hp Packard V12 engines which were later used in PT boats. Fitted with a 300% step up gearbox driving 16 inch propellers, I sometimes use this boat as an example for clients as one end of the spectrum on how speed effects optimum propellers diameter (the other end is a tug boat)

This collection of you tube videos is a fascinating collection of primary source material which has a little bit of something for everybody. My petrol head friends should listen to the first video as the noise of a boat powered by 4 V12 engines is excellent. My wooden boat friends will appreciate the construction but went into one of these monsters.





First aircraft carrier fitted with surface piecing propellers

seasled1The surface piercing propeller was invented prior to World War I by the Canadian Albert Hickman. His logic being that at high speed water has the consistency of hard cheese and the propeller should cut the water like a cheese knife. His propellers were large diameter, a good match for the slow revving early Aero engines used to power his boats. With engines like the Liberty V12 having a better power to weight ratio than a modern outboard motor many of these vessels were extremely fast.

The technical highlight of Hickman’s career was his high-speed planning boats, the Seasled a kind of tunnel hull catamaran. Was used as an aircraft carrier. A 55-foot sea sled. The sea sled carried a 5 tonne Carponi bomber at 47 knots. To launch the bomber, the pilot and the sea sled captain both ran their engines to full throttle. The sea sled would reach 53 knots and the bomber would take off.

Engine Liberty L12 SUZUKI DF 300AP
Year 1917 2010
Weight 383 kg 279 kg
Power 449hp 300 hp
Capacity 27.03 L 4.02 L
RPM 2000 6300
hp/kg 1.172 1.075