& YACHTING - NOVEMBER 1954
article appeared in Motorboat & Yachting Magazine
in November 1954, and was a follow-up to the debut of
the Simmonds prototype at a rare live broadcast by the
BBC from the Ruislip Lido.
35 m.p.h. Light
Fast Launch for Water Ski-ing or Yacht's Tender
interesting launch, the first of a standard class, has
been completed by Simmonds Motor Launches, 236 Twickenham
Road, Isleworth, Middlesex. The designer and builder
has been well to the fore as an outboard hydroplane
pilot in his self-built hull "Wallibong."
This craft, incidentally, recently won the Daily Mirror
50-mile race at Oulton Broad with a record timing for
new launch was started on the drawing board two years
ago and the development and construction of the craft
have proceeded without haste, the finished product presents
a first class job of work and the performance equals
the designer's expectations.
first public appearance was in connection with a water
ski meeting at Ruislip Lido during the first weekend
of September. Many readers will no doubt have seen the
television broadcast of the event.
to serve the purposes of towing water skiers, also as
a yacht's tender or family runabout, the boat attains
35 m.p.h. The power installation is a 1½-litre
Ford Industrial unit converted for marine work by the
builder. The unit is flexibly installed on Silentbloc
mountings amidships and has proved remarkably quiet
at all speeds, as we experienced on a later occasion
on the Thames. A clutch is provided in the transmission
system operated by a lever to starboard of the wheel.
Forward drive only is provided for the standard installation,
but reversing gears can be fitted if desired.
dimensions are: 14 ft. in length overall and 5 ft. 4
in. beam. The weight is 850 lb.
accommodation is provided for five people in two cockpits
arranged fore and aft of the engine. Three can sit comfortably
forward and two are accommodated aft. Passengers in
the after seats during part of our Thames demonstration
reported that they had experienced a pleasant trip.
craft began to plane at about half throttle and at the
maximum engine speed of
3,000 r.p.m. skimmed the water cleanly. As, of course,
with craft designed for high speeds she behaved best
at top speed and turned a very tight circle in both
directions, banking nicely at full throttle. Although
we turned and cut across our wake we kept perfectly
dry on board until the engine was throttled down and
we came off the plane when the story, as might be expected,
was slightly different.
our runs on the river, the boat was loaded on its specially
designed trailer, and was towed home to the builder's
garage. Mounting on the trailer proved an easy business
taking not more than five minutes. Spot marks on the
gunwale gave the correct position and a metal clamp
with screw connection secured it in place. No lashings
The cost of the boat is £750 plus £100 for
the trailer if required. Several craft will be available
for next season.
captions (see inset image): Top - The Simmond’s
prototype light alloy speedboat making close turns at
full throttle; Middle - The
steering cockpit. The clutch lever can be seen on the
right of the wheel; Bottom (and above left)
- Mounted on the trailer – an optional extra.
acknowledgement to Motorboat & Yachting Magazine
for permission to reproduce this article