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This 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 Alloy Runabout
Fast Launch for Water Ski-ing or Yacht's Tender

An 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 the event.

The 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.

Its 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.

Designed 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.

The dimensions are: 14 ft. in length overall and 5 ft. 4 in. beam. The weight is 850 lb.

Seating 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.

The 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.

Following 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 were entailed.

The cost of the boat is £750 plus £100 for the trailer if required. Several craft will be available for next season.

Photo 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.

With acknowledgement to Motorboat & Yachting Magazine for permission to reproduce this article