Classic Australian Wooden Power Boats






Rob Horne sent in this picture of Mercury, a Lewis skiff.



                                                                                                                            Rob suspects the photo was taken at Greens Lake Corop
                                                                                                                            with Ron Lynch from Echuca steering and that the boat
                                                                                                                            in the background is Lou Crump's boat Lindy Lou.

                                                                                                                            Mercury ran a 266ci Ford V8 and held a speed record at
                                                                                                                            one stage. Rob remembers seeing the boat race in the
                                                                                                                            Frog Trophy at Yarrawonga and believes Mercury won the
                                                                                                                            race in 1956.

                                                                                                                            A new boat was built by Keith Simpkin to replicate the
                                                                                                                            original and was powered with Jag 6. Not much is known
                                                                                                                            of this boat and its race history with the Jag motor except
                                                                                                                            that his late brother Geoff Horne bought it from Cam Pickens
                                                                                                                            of Echuca. He replaced the Jag with a fresh fuel injected
                                                                                                                            Windsor 266 ci Ford V8 coupled to a Haynes Vee drive .

                                                                                                                            The boat was raced at various VSBC meetings around late
                                                                                                                            1970's until retired. Geoff then set up a Jones hydroplane
                                                                                                                            with 302 ci Guerney Eagle Ford V8, which unfortunately led
                                                                                                                            to his death after a race accident at Lake Boga Nov 1981.

                                                                                                                            Mercury was sold to Gary Beehag who made it into a pretty
                                                                                                                            quick social runabout and then sold it to someone around
                                                                                                                            Sydney when Gary moved to QLD.