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Chrome Plate

Vessel Number: HV000104
Date: 1935
Designer: Boles
Previous Owner: Tasman and Phil Storey ,
Vessel Dimensions: 3.35 m x 1.3 m (11 ft x 4.25 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
CHROME PLATE is timber hydroplane built in Sydney in 1935. It was professionally built for Tasman Story who custom made the outboard he used to power the craft. CHROME PLATE is a typical racing powerboat from the 1930s when the sport was popular, with many enthusiasts making parts or even all of the craft themsleves.
DescriptionCHROME PLATE was built by M & W Shevill of Sans Souci, NSW in 1935. The 3.35 m (11 ft) long hydroplane is made from Australian red cedar planking on spruce frames, with a single cedar plank for the topsides, and a painted calico foredeck. The cockpit is framed from mahogany plywood.

The hull has a single step on its underside just forward of amidships. The idea of the step was to break the flow of water along the hull and reduce drag caused by surface friction. Many craft used this detail around this time, which preceded the widespread adoption of the three-point hydroplane.

The owner and driver Tasman Storey had a series of four speedboats from 1932 that all bore the name CHROME PLATE, and this was the last of these craft. It was designed by Boles in North America, and at the time Storey had two craft built, a light weight one at 56.7 kgs for smooth water, and heavier one at 68 kgs for general racing. This craft is the heavier version. The name was a means of advertising his company Chromium Plating Co. of Australia, based in Glebe, Sydney, which was selling rust-proof boat parts. His son Phil was the racing driver, and won many races including the C Class championship in Sydney on 29 February 1936. Its speed was 65.8 kph.

Tasman Storey made his own 2 cylinder, 500cc outboard engine which powered the craft for racing in the C Class division. It was modeled on the then-popular American Elto engine. He was hoping this might be the prototype for a locally produced outboard. It was made from a combination of aluminum, brass and iron castings, and alloy steel parts machined or forged from stock sections and a large number of small firms contributed to the fabrication of the parts.

Commenting about the engine in the 1990s, power boating enthusiast and journalist David Toyer said: “In its day, CHROME PLATE represented an innovative, highly technical period of boat racing. The engine is particularly remarkable, with superb machining and workmanship. The chrome-plated cylinder bore is absolutely incredible. The engine is a gem. You just couldn't make an engine like that today but back in those days there were small engineering works around (like Tasman's) which could turn out special parts like those in this engine. Today it would cost a fortune."

Sadly Tasman Storey died suddenly in 1938, and no further progress was made toward establishing a motor manufacturing business based on his motors.

The craft remained with his son, and in 1994 Phil and Phyllis Storey gifted CHROME PLATE to the Australian National Maritime Museum where it is now part of the National Maritime Collection.

Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:flat bottom
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Motor propulsion:2-stroke2 cycle
Motor propulsion:outboard
Related materials:awards/trophies
Related materials:film
Related materials:interviews
Related materials:photos
Related materials:references
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Deck material and construction:other

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