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Firefly II

Vessel Number: HV000033
Date: 1949
Designer: Keith Barry
Previous Owner: Keith Barry ,
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 3.83 m x 1.72 m (12.6 ft x 5.65 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
FIREFLY II is a wooden and fabric three-point hydroplane built in NSW in early 1950. It was the first Australian power craft to set and hold a World Water Speed record, which it achieved in 1950 with its driver Keith Barry. It remains in excellent condition and is in the collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Description
FIREFLY II is a 3.8 m long three-point hydroplane, built in wood, plywood and fabric in Sydney NSW. FIREFLY II set a World Water Speed record on the 14th of February 1950 when designer, builder and driver Keith Barry reached 116.34 kph, ( 72.29 mph) a new record for the 91 cubic inch (1500cc) class.

Keith Barry and his friends built the boat in 12 days when they heard that a rival driver Ernie Nunn was going to challenge for the world record in the Nunn family's boat DO. They both raced at dawn on Kogarah Bay, NSW in calm water. Ernie's niece Enid started the chase with a new speed of 106.07 kph. 40 minutes later Keith Barry set the new record, watched by a crowd of several thousand on the shoreline.

Keith Barry was an engineer and he fitted FIREFLY II with an engine from a friend's MG racing car. Later that year in November the same friend, Bill McLachlan, was given the opportunity to raise the record. Bill was 18 kg lighter than Keith and he steered FIREFLY II to a new record of 125.54 kph (78.01 mph) which stood until 1952.
Vessel Details
Current status:covered
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Current status:not on display
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Hull material and construction:plywood/chineply/chine
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:multihull
Hull shape:planing
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:4-stroke4 cycle
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:petrol
Propeller:single
Related materials:awards/trophies
Related materials:drawings
Related materials:film
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:news clippings
Related materials:photos
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Deck material and construction:other
Alternate Numbers

: A7

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