Classic Australian Wooden Power Boats








Andrew Dishington has put together this compilation of hydroplanes which have competed in power-boat events in Tasmania over the years. It includes Tasmanian owned boats and a number of visitors that competed in events such as national titles held there, and boats invited to compete at the Devonport Regattas.

Some boats were well known to race fans whilst others slipped quickly into obscurity without fanfare. 

Three point hydroplanes arrived on the scene in the mid 1950s following the success of "Slo-Mo-Shun" and other Jones design hydroplanes in Gold Cup racing in the US. Jones plans were made available free of charge to Australian powerboat racers.

I was taken by surprise by the number of boats that have come and gone over the years.

I am only a "compiler". I have only assembled material supplied to me by others. Recognition and gratitude is due to those who have assisted me in this project. They include Francis Ransley, John Palmer, Len Robinson, Allan Mansfield, Nigel Lovell, Grant Lovell and Brian Mahoney and contributors to the "Tassie’s Raceboat History" Facebook page.

Please note that it is merely a work in progress, and that as more material surfaces over time, it will become a comprehensive volume.

Any other information you may have would be gratefully received. You can contact Andrew Dishington on or this website at




About Time

M. Healey, Victoria

 One of a number of visiting 4.2 hydros that raced in
difficult conditions at Devonport in 1988




Afternoon Delight

Nigel Lovell

Afternoon Delight, DeSilva design from the USA. 19 ft long 8 ft wide built by Nigel Lovell in 1976, powered by a Waggot built 350ci Chev. driving a H&H gearbox and Cary prop.

Did one kilo run at Franklin at 112mph also held the lap record on the long course at Lake Dulverton.

Sold to Adam Brinton then to John Palmer and re-named The Poacher. John said that he put a match to the boat and burnt it.





Harry Crocker



Beer N Boats

Greg Holland, Victoria

5.2 litre hydroplane class.

Competed at the Devonport Regatta



Ben Hur

Tim and Bill Targett.

A mini hydro built by the brothers who lived alongside Diana’s Basin on the East Coast. Powered by their Dad’s 50hp Mercury outboard which caught fire during testing. Unsure if it was ever used in competition.



Country Boy

Grant Lovell, Nigel Palmer

Grant Lovell designed and built the Country Boy- he always liked the American Lauterbach built hydros so he wrote to them to see if they would sell a plan or a kit boat, they answered in the negative but would build one if he wanted to wait as they had a two year waiting list. Grant decided to have a go at a copy which turned out to be the best hydro Grant had ever run. He built it a bit on the light side and it needed to be a tad longer but over all it went very well, it was a bit flighty but had good speed.

She was powered by a 327ci Chev,  put together from bits that were laying around the shed, only had a four barrel carby but seemed to put out a bit of power.

Country Boy had a H&H gearbox and a Cary & Record prop, she was 17 ft.6in x 7ft 8in. and was first run in 1982.

Later sold to Nigel Palmer who achieved 125 (118?) mph in this boat.

The boat is under restoration with a new owner and may soon return to competition.




John Palmer

Originally Orca, built in Victoria and raced by David Jessup.

Powered by a 350 Chev, John Palmer achieved his 100mph badge in this boat.

Later re-named Jubilee by R. Gallahar. Then re-named Little Whinger.



Cyn Sue

Grant Lovell, Dick Lovell

Cyn-Sue was built for Hockey Treloar by Ern Peard in 1958 and was named Jag, powered by a D type Jag. engine. She was the 3rd boat in Australia to reach 100 mph.

Later called Diablo she was then owned by Jim Broadley, then sold to Bob Lockey who raced her in the Sydney area as Cyn-Sue, named after his two daughters.

Bought by Dick Lovell in '67 or '68 for $800 she was in very bad condition. A lot of it had to be rebuilt. It achieved a first kilo run of 101 mph and later with a few mods. set a state speed record of 119mph which she held for a number of years. With a 327ci Chev she was unbeatable for some years, winning the cock of the Mersey in 1974.

She was 16 feet 6 inches long and 7 feet 6 wide, had a H&H gearbox and Stellings prop.

She was sold on, raced by the new owner for a season. She was rescued from a paddock near Port Arthur in very poor condition and is now owned by Ian Gravely of Hobart.

JAG, being launched in Sydney with a V8 engine



Doodles Second

Donald Gorringe



Doodles Last

Donald Gorringe




G Goodsall.

Keith Bennett was involved in building and racing,
probably a modified Noddy, 1958.




Senator Justin O’Byrne, USA designer David Beech as (Noddy) Ford
105E then to Ernie Quon 1958-59 Fidget was capable of 62mph.

Driver has knees up in cockpit due to lack of room.



Queensland hydro Fireball came to Rosevears to contest the 300ci open title in the mid 60's. It wasn't in the best of condition, but was very fast and cleaned up the locals.

The hydro was round the 16-17 feet mark and I think powered by an early Ford motor. A few years ago there was a hydro in the Bundaberg area by the same  name running in the vintage class but from photos is a different boat.

The owner's surname was W.Dunne.

Achieved 139 kph on the Brisbane River in 1965.




(See Gi Gi)




Freebooter ran at the 1984 Devonport Regatta, was from Victoria and owned by Ben Fox. The hydro was built of fibre glass, about 20-21 feet long and ran a small block Chev.



Gi Gi

George Oliver, Bill Ford.

15’6" x 7’ built and raced by George Oliver, probably a David Beech design.

Powered by a 283 Corvette, 250bhp, 16" pitch prop, 84 mph. Later a 360 cid side valve Dodge.

Raced later by George Petropoulos and re-named Fireball, it was capable of 99mph.



David Llewellyn MP

David built Geronimo, a Pluto (similar to Simcat) design hydroplane in 1960 at St Marys.

The frame was constructed substantially from King William pine (Australia’s  lightest native timber) sourced from Strahan, together with a marine ply skin.  

It originally had a Ford 10 engine, then a Simca Flash motor.  It raced at Diana’s Basin, near St Helens.

It was subsequently sold to Gerald Aulich from St Marys and on-sold to someone from the North East of Tasmania.



Happy Daze

Happy Daze was built by Joe and John Sidnell, who owned a joinery factory in Launceston. They had a workmate who had a grumpy disposition, so as a joke they all called him 'Happy', so the boat was named after him.

They raced it at Rosevears - probably 1950's / 1960's.

John Sidnell is holding 'Happy Daze' in the water while 'Happy Holmberg' is in the cockpit.

The Sidnells also built a number of inboard runabouts including the very  successful Susan, which won a Cock of the Mersey.




Havoc raced at Rosevears in 1970, she was owned by Allan Eddington of Victoria.

A very fast 75ci hydro, about 14 feet long.

She won all the events entered in.



Hold On

Brian Richards (See Troubles)



Hot Canary

John Palmer

Ford Cortina engine, maximum speed 75-80mph.

Sold to a Melbourne buyer around 1975.




Les Owens.

Performed demonstration runs at the 1960 Devonport Regatta.

It held the Australian water speed record at 118mph.

Owens was killed in the boat two years later.




Keith Bennett

Same Champion Boat Co. (USA) plan design as Tornado but slightly longer.

Initially a Cortina engine, then a Lotus twin cam (achieving 88mph), then to  Peter Smith with a Toyota engine 1970-71.

Currently being restored in Melbourne.




George Oliver, Paul Stoddard, Kevin Bryan, Robert Parsell.

Built in Victoria and powered by a turbo-charged Ford Falcon engine.




Owned and built by Lindsay Guy

Driven by Alan Conn

Holden 6



Joe’s Joy

Harry Clements



Jubilee / crackerjack is now owned by Scott Adams and is being restored.

(Also see Orca)




B Class outboard hydroplane. Clocked at 56.49mph at Rosevears in 1969.

There was a chap from Burnie who built and raced a few boats, possibly a cabinet maker. This hydro was very small, about 10 or 11 ft, one of those that you kneel to drive with a special racing outboard. He used to carry the boat to the waters edge and rest it on trestles.  

Currently owned by Stuart Beattie.






Lette III

D. Forsyth.

Then raced by D. Sattler as Slo Mo Shun.

Then raced by Ted Dyas.




Built and raced by Percy Crocker, a David Beech design (Pluto), achieved around 65mph powered by a Side Valve Ford V-8 around 1957-58, then twin Holdens.

She was later sold to Warren Nicholls.(?)



Lil Roo

R. Sharman

1500cid Ford Cortina engine. Maximum speed 68mph.


Li'l' Screama

Owned by Gary Marks of Hobart








Another Noddy design(?), then to Kevin Bryan

Midget (on the left)



Mini Muscle

Peter Smith.

Built in Victoria by Donzi Boats to Formula 1.6 Hydro,
she was powered by a Toyota engine.

She later returned to Victoria.




Kevin Bryan, R. Lourll.

Built in Sydney.



Miss Bayswater Bulk Freight

"Miss Bayswater Bulk is the first unlimited in the world built from a fibreglass mould. Joint owners Stan Jones and Dick Carnie built the plug, with Gilflite Boats carrying out the lay-up. Extensive amounts of end-grain balsa and carbon fibre filament went into the hull, topped by a timber deck.

Between the sponsons, a "pod" protrudes into the tunnel allowing the engine to be mounted low in the hull, thus facilitating a low shaft angle. The driveline is offset to the port side of the hull. This idea came from Bill Muncey’s champion thunderboat "Atlas Van Lines". Power is from a Rolls Royce Merlin engine producing 4000bhp @ 4500rpm. Power is transmitted to a 2 blade propeller via a 1 1/4 inch monel shaft from a 286% step-up gearbox.

A 40 gallon fuel tank supplies the 30 gallons of fuel consumed during each race.

The boat was sold to Ron Burton, re-named Aussie Connection, and won the 1989 Griffith Cup.

It is still competing in Victoria.

(Pictured later in life as "Aussie Connection")



Miss Boron

Miss Boron, a little Jones hydro from N.S.W. 12ft x 6ft 6in., raced at Franklin in Aus. championship for 75ci, about '63-'64, was powered by a 4 cyl. 2.5 litre Coventry Climax engine and built, owned & driven by Thornton Simpson.

Recorded 95.49mph at Glenbaum Dam in 1963.  I believe he built a bigger hydro (Miss Boron 2?) and it's possibly owned by Dave Pagano now.

Pictured below is Goldust, pictured on the cover of Australian Powerboat in 1995 where it is said to be the old Miss Boron, but is more likely Miss Boron 2.



Miss Bud

Driven by Bob Saniga, "Miss Bud" competed in the 1979 Devonport Regatta, winning the Cock of the Mersey.

One of the most significant hydroplanes ever built, she raced in the US as "The Pride of Pay n Pack" from 1969 till 1972. She featured a then radical pickle-fork design, and was wider, flatter and less box shaped than her contemporaries. Despite taking some time to develop, she would revolutionise the sport and take hydroplane design in a new direction. Originally powered by 2 x supercharged 426cid Chrysler hemis, she was converted to Rolls Royce Merlin power in 1971.

Designed by Ron Jones originally as a cab-over, she was also changed to conventional configuration for the 1971 season.

At the end of the 1972 season a new "Pride of Pay n Pack" was planned, and "Miss Budweiser" owner Bernie Little bought the boat.

From 1973 to 1975, as "Miss Budweiser", the boat was overshadowed by the new "Pride of Pay n Pack" but managed to take the 1973 APBA Gold Cup when "Pay n Pack" lost a propeller blade. That year she set a world 3 mile lap record of 125.878mph.

She managed to remain competitive due largely to the skill of drivers Dean  Chenoweth in 1973, Howie Benns in 1974, Mickey Remund in 1975 and the leader-
ship of Bernie Little.

A new Ted Jones designed "Miss Budweiser" was being built for 1976 to rival the new cabover "Miss US" and "Atlas Van Lines" (formerly "Pay n Pack"). Norman Putt then purchased the boat, re-named it "Miss Bud" and campaigned it in Australia, selling to Ron Burton in 1977.

From 1976 to 1981 (inclusive) it won the Griffith Cup with Bob Saniga at the wheel. (Bob Saniga had also competed in the American 1974 APBA Gold Cup in Stan Jones’ "Solo", but the boat succumbed to mechanical problems despite having competitive speed.)

She also won the Eppalock Gold Cup, the Morwell Hazelwood Cup, the Yarrawonga Cup, and the Glenmaggie 500 for various owners including Burton, Joe and Steve Cooper, Vern White, and Ken Warby. The boat returned briefly to the United States in 1978, competing at Tri-Cities and Seattle with Bob Saniga driving.

The boat was purchased from World Water Speed Record Holder Ken Warby in 2001, and returned to the United States. It is being restored and will run at various historic Unlimited Hydroplane events organized by the Hydroplane and  Raceboat Museum in Seattle.

Same boat as "Pride of Pay n Pack" as a cab-over
with twin Chrysler V-8s



Miss Faria

Greg Holland (Vic)

Formula 4.2 Hydro, raced at 1988 Devonport Regatta, aka Steamline.

(Not sure if this is the same Miss Faria)



Miss Hobart

Doug Elliott

Doug and George (Doug’s Father) went to a suburb of Launceston to Darrel Forsyth’s house to see "Lette Too" (pronounced Letty) later known as "Miss Hobart". Doug drove his Wolseley car up with the idea if the speed boat was suitable they would bring the boat home.

When they arrived at Darrel’s abode they were shown into the garage where on the wall the plan of the boat based on hydroplane "Slo-mo-shun IV" was drawn in different coloured pencils. The plans were drawn from the offsets sent from the USA by Stanley Sayers, the owner of "Slo-Mo-Shun IV". The Plans were sent to Darrel to make a boat similar but smaller to Stanley Sayer’s boat "Slo-Mo- Shun 1V". The size of "Slo-Mo-Shun IV" was 28 feet in length 11 feet 5 inches beam, "Lette Two" or "Miss Hobart" was 18 feet long, 8 feet 6 inches beam.

"Lette Too" was purchased with out an engine or propeller on the spot for two hundred Pounds and towed back to Hobart.

George ordered a 1958 Chrysler 313 cubic inch V 8 Motor from Chrysler Australia with a purchase price of four hundred and eight pounds for the Boat "Miss Hobart".                   

The propeller was made by "The Pulfer Brothers" Hobart.

Darrel Forysth had a side valve ford V- 8 engine (flywheel facing forward) in the boat, as the Chrysler was some what heavier (mounted flywheel to the rear) and it was as far back in the boat as possible. Miss Hobart now needed a Co- driver as well as the driver to bring the balance rearward.

The first race was at the Lindisfarne course with Garry Shadwick as co-driver & Doug as driver.

Miss Hobart did her time trial lap, the lap time results being Miss Hobart starting last in the race with the fastest time recorded to her. Most of Miss Hobart’s race results recorded fastest times and a very few wins.

During the Summer Season Doug raced every 2nd Saturday at Lindisfarne. Every alternate Sunday Doug & crew raced at Rosevears North of Launceston. Doug raced every year at the Regatta’s Hobart, Bellerive, Sandy Bay & New Norfolk.

Every year in March "The Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania" (MYCT) held their Commemoration Race from Lindisfarne to New Norfolk. Each time Miss Hobart raced in the Lindisfarne to New Norfolk Race she obtained fastest time. Never a win as she was handicapped out of the race.

Miss Hobart & Doug won 2 Unlimited Tasmanian Championships in 1960 & 1961.                      

During the summer season the boat racing at Rosevears was held on every second Sunday as there was a church on the opposite side of the river "The Northern Speed Boat Club" requested the speed boats have mufflers fitted to each speed boat. Doug, obeying the rules, fitted mufflers to each side of the boat. As Doug approached the buoy for the first scratch race off came one of the mufflers, plonk into the river, with the result Miss Hobart missed the scratch race. Doug took the other muffler off never to be fitted again.

Sold to a Mr Keats of New Norfolk who ran it as "Casper" with a side valve Ford until it threw a conrod through the sump and the hull.

Later owned by former Bathurst winner, John Goss, who used it as a ski boat.

She was at one time seen left unattended at the Austins Ferry boat ramp after running out of fuel, and was swamped as the tide rose before the owner returned.

It was last seen in the West Moonah area, and I’m told may have fallen victim to the ’67 bushfires.




J. Jago.

Built by Donzi, it was a Formula 1.6 litre hydro.

Currently owned by Ian Gravely of Hobart




J. Heggarton

Formula 4.2 hydro that raced in the 1988 Devonport Regatta.

Was the first 4.2 hydro to crack 100mph when owned by Joe
Cummins (pictured).




Built and raced by Len Robinson, a scaled up Thunderball.

302 Windsor engine, later raced by Darren Robinson, achieved
116mph in 1979.




D. Parker

Competed in Stock 4.2 litre hydroplane class, 1988 Devonport Regatta



Nurv Gas

Nigel Lovell

Purchased from Sydney in 1971.

18' x 8', powered by a 427ci Chev (later a 454ci Chev?), H & H gearbox, Hi Johnson prop.

Nigel Lovell never had much luck with this boat so was sold to Warren Nichols, then went to Adam Brinton who raced it successfully, then maybe to John Palmer.

It clocked 203kph in 1986.

It was last seen in a shed out towards Lilydale along with Rocket. She may have been damaged or destroyed in a fire.




Was 17ft and powered with a Ford 272ci engine,
was built by Keith Bennett about '66-'67, owner
was Dave Cooper of Hobart.

After Dave had finished with it, was possibly
called Hi Hope.




David Jessup

Built in Victoria. Raced by John Palmer and re-named Crackerjack
with a 350 Chev, then by R. Gallahar as Jubilee.



Orca II




L. Hinds

A modified Noddy, Fiat engine, 1958

Note - Oscar may have been built as Dynamite



Palmers Plumbing

John Palmer, Nigel Palmer

22 foot Jones design hydroplane, possibly built by
Russ Coombes from NSW.

Powered by a 350cid Chev.




"PITSTOP", sponsored by "The Examiner", competed in the 1974 Devonport Regatta. 392 ci supercharged Hemi Chrysler stroked to 430 ci: 1400 plus hp, 181 mph

2Oft hydroplane originally designed and built in the United States by  Wickens.

Owned and driven by Don Preece of Pitstop Motors, Melbourne, Victoria. Powered by supercharged 392 ci stroker Hemi Chrysler, producing in excess of 1400 bhp on Shell A fuel.

This is probably (at the time of writing in 1974) one of the oldest boats still competing in Australasia.

Initially called "Hydrophobia ", built in Southgate, California, and fitted with a Keith Black 286 ci Hillborn injected motor, it held the World Water Speed Class Record at 131.7 mph.

In 1965 it was purchased by Spencer Miller who brought it to Australia and changed the name to "Kangaroo Kid ".

A short time later the boat was acquired by Keith (Crazy Horse) Hooper, the then holder of the Australia Water Speed Record at 133.6 m.p.h. in a hydroplane called "Tiger ".

Keith fitted a 392 ci supercharged Hemi Chrysler to attempt to better his own record but, however, failed to do so.

The boat changed hands again and was re-named by its new owner, Trevor  Matthews, "Assassin ". Trevor campaigned this boat very successfully from 1967 to 1971. In that period of time he won three Australasian Unlimited Open Speed Boat Championships, i.e., the Griffiths Cup.

After a couple of frightening mishaps, Trevor sold the boat to Don Preece who in two years re-designed and fibre-glassed the hull and fitted its present and most powerful motor.

"Hydrophobia "—286 fuel injected Chrysler; 600 plus h.p., 131 mph.

"Kangaroo Kid "—392 c.i. supercharged Chrysler; 700 plus h.p.

"Assassin "—392 ci supercharged Hemi Chrysler; 900 plus h.p., 139 m.p.h.

"Pitstop "—392 ci supercharged Hemi Chrysler stroked to 430 ci; 1400 plus hp, 181 mph

Pitstop as Assassin

Pitstop at Horsehead Creek, Devonport, promoting the 1974
Devonport Apex Regatta



Quickly Too

Grant Lovell

Quickly Too was a DeSilva design from the US., 16ft 6in. x 7ft 4in., built by Grant Lovell when he was 17 years old.

First powered by a Holden 6 and later by the Oldsmobile 225ci. Did just a whisker over a hundred with the Holden and 114mph with the Oldsmobile in 1983.  

She was sold to a Mr. Heazelwood, then to G. Rooke. More recently to Stuart Beattie and is now under restoration with Chris Chivers.




Brian Mahoney, early ‘70s

Ro-Anne was probably built by Keith Bennett and finished by Brian
Mahoney. About 14 feet, powered by a Ford 75ci and then a Ford
Lotus engine. Was raced all over Tasmania and some Titles in
Queensland in the early 70's.



Road Runner

Francis Ransley, John Palmer, Nigel Palmer

In 1968 New Zealander Peter Knight built "Road Runner" to pursue the most prestigious trophy in New Zealand powerboat racing, the Masport Cup. "Road Runner", designed by Henry Lauterbach, was fitted with a Ford V8 engine. Knight’s first Masport Cup triumph came in 1973 at Lake Karapiro. He retained the cup with victory at home the following year.

"Road Runner" was imported to Tasmania by Francis Ransley of Wynyard. It was fitted with a fuel injected 400cid Chevrolet engine producing a dyno’d 660 bhp (a modest output considering the achievements of the boat) and more importantly, mountains of torque, necessary because of high gearing: "Road Runner" had a 50% step up gearbox.

It holds the Tasmanian Unlimited and 7.5 litre Australasian speed record at 142mph, (and because the classification no longer exists, it’s a record unlikely to be broken).

The boat was purchased by the Palmer family of East Devonport. John Palmer had success with the boat including winning the 1987 Devonport Cock of the Mersey, but never managed to beat the speed record set at the kilos.

"Road Runner" had an altercation with a sand bar which resulted in the boat being badly damaged and is awaiting repair.

From Francis Ransley:

"When I got the boat I sold the Gurney Westlake motor to a chap in Penguin who wanted it for a race car.  I tried a 350 chev motor I bought from Peter Cooper in the boat but it was much lacking, so I decided to build my own motor especially for the boat, which I did. New 400ci Chev block,  Brownfield heads, Hank the Crank  shaft specially made, Carrillo rods specially made, Aries special pistons, etc etc.

Wanting to protect my investment, I sent all the parts to Tom Szekeres at Dyno Services in Melbourne to be assembled and tuned. Tom was not very enthusiastic about the kit, but I talked him around and the rest is history.  Road Runner had a Cassales  12'   angle box, and I fitted  50% gears driving through an 1 1/8  shaft made by Heat Treatments P/L, a division of Mc Greggor  Bros P/L in Auckland  NZ,  which cost me $1750

The slowest part to get made was the prop, specially made to suit boat and motor, by Phil  Rolla, of  Record Propellers in Switzerland. He took a year to make a $2500 propeller. (The prop is now at the bottom of the Tamar River) These are 1970's prices, but she was built with the best.

First kilo run was 128 mph, next was 136 mph, then 141.92 and then 141.21 mph.

I lost my pilot and boat licence in 1982, due to heart problems, which I still have, and the disappointment is that I was about 5 mph under the world record, held by Peter Knight in NZ, from whom I bought  Road Runner, and I knew where there was another 10+ mph in the boat!"




Brian Richards

Competed with a 351 Ford, later a 454 Chev.

Last known owner- Peter Smith of Launceston. Possibly
damaged or destroyed in a fire.




O. D (Don) Gordon-Smith, Simpson / Stewart, E. Quon

A modified Noddy powered by a Simca then a Cortina engine.

Recorded 80.29mph at Rosevears in 1961.




Built by T. Campbell from the remains of Thunderball, she was powered by a Toyota engine.

She was later sold to Chris Oldham from Hobart.

A new Mercury Twister engine has been fitted. The one that was in her had the top blown off one of the cylinders, probably from hydraulic lock. The inner plate that was replaced has water circulating behind it to cool it from the exhaust gases. That was probably the failure point and it proved to leak. Jason Roughley cast a new aluminium "twister" exhaust plate and finished it by hand for this engine as they are no longer available.

In the old days she was so fast due to the tuned length expansion chambers that Tony Gray used. Really, the only difference between a twister and a regular straight six (excluding the leg exhaust chamber) is the configuration of the exhaust plate.

Sirocco is still in pristine condition with Stuart Beattie.




Slipray came to Tasmania from N.Z.,the owner was Terry Baynton, who worked at Savage River. As far as I know he was here for a few years before returning to N.Z.

The photo with the boat painted white and yellow was taken by Nigel Lovell at the 1971 Griffith Cup at Lake Eppalock, the second was after a repaint at Rosevears.

She was about 18 feet long powered by a 427cid Chev and very fast.




(See Lette III)

Ted Dyas

Corvette V-8 350bhp

Won a Cock of the Mersey.

Boat and driver retired after a frightening incident at Rosevears when
she struck the bank heavily after her steering failed.

This followed a sinking at a previous meeting due to a holed sponson.





Warren Nicholls

He flipped it and it was wrecked ,so when he was able to retrieve
the boat from the bottom of the river he took it home and the
remains were burned. 




Greg Holland

aka Miss Faria


Super Joey

Francis Ransley, David Jessup, R. Sharman, Adrian Smith

Owned by Francis Ransley, it was powered by a stock 13b Mazda rotary power plant and was capable of around 70mph.

Was sold to R. Sharman of Camdale, who also competed in a boat called Lil Roo.

Later ran an Isuzu Bellet engine.



Super Roo

A David Gill hydro built and designed in Melbourne to suit a 6 cylinder Ford power plant. Owned by Francis Ransley who fitted a Boss 302cid Ford V-8.

Sold to Ron … … … … then to Peter Smith.

Some of the Tasmanian records of Super Roo under Francis Ransley’s stewardship as 300ci and 5 litre are:

1 May 1971    82.24 mph

6 May 1972     97.26 mph

31Aug 1974   102.71 mph

6 Sept 1975   105.77 mph

16 Apr 1977   108.99 mph

During this time she won 6 state championships.

Super Roo looking very forlorn - she ended up on the tip.




Unlimited outboard hydroplane.

Clocked at 44.79 at Franklin in 1970


Tee Cee

Owned by Brian Mahoney and built by Dave Gill, about 15-16 feet,
powered by the Lotus twin cam engine. Was raced here and on
the mainland.

Was sold over there, also early '70s.



The Poacher

John Palmer

Originally Nigel Lovell’s Afternoon Delight.

Powered by a 350 cid Chev, John won 3 Australian titles
(and 3 bi-centennial medals in 1988.)



The Saint

Built by Tommy Hilder, possibly another 6er,
then sold to Tony Courtney.

The Saint (on the right)




Original design by American Dr. Eastman (Piranha), modified extensively by Len Robinson.

Originally powered by a MGA engine, then a Cortina 1975-76 season. Broke 3 state records and took 3 state titles (achieved 86mph).

Then sold to Tony Gray of Hobart who powered it with a horizontally inboard mounted Mercury Twister powerhead (presumably from his skiff Dy-No-Mite after that hull was destroyed).

The famous USA boat Piranha, Built and designed Dr. Eastman.
Raced by Mickey Remund said to be the first successful
cab-over hydroplane.




Also at the 1972 Devonport Apex Regatta.

She was owned & driven by George Petropolis of Devonport
and powered by a Ford V8.

George later raced Fireball (ex Gi Gi) and he built the hydroplane
Rocket for Brian Richards of East Devonport




Keith Bennett, Doug Ripper, Peter Smith

Then to Doug Ripper with a Toyota Twin Cam then to Peter Smith, then to John Palmer 1970-71.

Tornado was built by Keith Bennett for Robert England off a Champion Boat Co. USA. plan and powered by a Ford 75ci Cortina engine. Keith's Hurricane was the same plan but altered to be a bit bigger all round.

I also think Rocket was from a Champion plan.



Touch Along

Dickie Crawford




McCulloch Brothers

 Probably another 6er.

Powered by a Holden engine, she was later raced by
Brian Richards as Hold On.




Mark Jessup, Bryan Lehner David Adkins

80hp Mercury

Carribean hull imported from the US (was at a mainland boat
show). Mark Jessup bought it.

David Adkins installed a 313 cid Chrysler V8 driving a home
made chain driven stern-drive.

Technically not an actual 3 point hydroplane, but was classified
as a hydroplane in its day.




Mainland boat, now located in Risdon Vale.

Unsure if it has ever competed in Tasmania.



Built and raced by L. Quinn

Stepped hydro, possibly Ford 10 engine around 1958



Victorian 4.2 hydros, Devonport Regatta








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