The History of the Powerboat

Did you know that motorboats have been used for sport as early as the beginning of the 20th century? Ever since the invention of the internal combustion engine, motorboats have been a fun and easy way to maneuver the sea.

history of powerboat

Interest in fast motorboats really took off in 1903 when The Marine Motor Association was formed as a branch of the Royal Automobile Club. This new association inspired large manufacturing companies to start building motorboats for recreation and soon competitions became popular among nations.

The first motorboat competition was in 1903 and it varied from the races we’re used to today. Rather than racing between boats or individuals, the competition was between nations. Each nation was required to build their boat using materials found only in their country.

The competition, called the Harmsworth Cup, was a sad affair as many of the boats wouldn’t even start. Dorothy Levitt of England won the competition in a motorboat that was the first properly designed motorboat for high speed. She reached a speed of 19.3 mph and set the world’s first water speed record.

In America, it was the naval architect John L. Hacker who pioneered motorboat design and developed the first successful step hydroplane, which could go faster than an un-imaginable 50 mph. The boat, called the Kitty Hawk, was the fastest boat in the world at the time and allowed the Americans to win the Harmsworth Cup in 1907, and remain undefeated from 1920 to 1933.

We’re fascinated with the history and skill of powerboating! If you’ve ever been interested in learning to operate your own yacht or just want to have a nice day out on the water, give us a call! We’ll make sure you have an experience you won’t forget!

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