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Silver Streak

Vessel Number: HV000685
Date: 1923
Previous Owner: Alan McFarlane ,
Vessel Dimensions: 4.91 m × 1.49 m (16.1 ft × 4.9 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
SILVER STREAK is a racing hydroplane from South Australia that was originally built in the USA. It was imported to Adelaide in 1924 and embarked on a racing career winning many State titles. It was well known in the early period of powerboat racing and interprets the story of how the sport developed in the state in the 1920s and 30s.
DescriptionSILVER STREAK was originally built in1923 in the USA as MISS BROADWAY for owner Gerald T. White. It was built by Clifford S. Hadley to a design by Chris C. Smith and is understood to be the first of the Broad Channel Yacht Club's 151 – Class of racing hydroplanes. With its sister craft MISS NEW YORK it was equipped with a 3-cyl. 18-25 H. P. Pierce-Budd Motors. The Rudder - Volume 39 1923 notes that MISS BROADWAY, built from THE RUDDER plans, is “the Fastest Boat in Jamaica Bay”.

It was imported to South Australia by Alan MacFarlane in 1924. The Register Friday 28 March 1924 reports under YACHTING:

“Mr. Allan MacFarlane, of Wellington Lodge, has ordered from Mr. L. E. Selby, the owner and pilot of the original Margaret, a duplicate hull and a Pierce-Budd engine complete. From all accounts she will be a handsome little craft.
Her hull is of solid -mahogany, the bottom double-skinned with aeroplane cloth, laid over marine glue between the skins, brass fitting throughout, and the whole of the woodwork highly polished.”
MARGARET was also built to the same plans as MISS BROADWAY and MISS NEW YORK., and in October 1924 it was reported that MacFarlane had imported MISS BROADWAY from Lou Selby.

He renamed it SILVER STREAK and quite quickly established a winning record. The Mail Saturday 13 December 1924 under HYDROPLANNING THRILLS:

“ The Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron's hydroplane race for the Bennett Gold Cup, held at the Outer Harbor this afternoon, was full of thrills .The cup was won by Silver Streak, with Kinchic (last year's winner) second and Three's None third."

Silver Streak is a duplicate of the American champion speedster Margaret III, which holds the world's record speed for her Class at 35 miles an hour. It is fitted with a Pierce Budd two stroke engine.”
The Mail Saturday 20 December 1924: HYDROPLANE THRILLS

“The hydroplane racing for the Bennett Cup caused plenty of excitement for crews and spectators alike. The speed of the winner Silver Streak was an excellent achievement. Considering the world's record for this class of boat is 35 M.P.H. Silver Streak's 33 M.P.H. is a great performance."

Further reports build a coloured story of race wins and social events. Another sister craft was imported and called NALTERIE and it gave strong competition. On October 1, 1925 The Australian Motor Boat and Yachting Monthly reported:

“Mr Allan MacFarlane is not quite satisfied with the American engine in his Silver Streak that was imported complete from the United States, and is having one of another make installed.”
The Mail Saturday 13 December 1926 noted a major incident in its racing career - HYDROPLANE THRILLS Silver Streak Sunk

“The excitement of the contest was added to by the fact that Mr. A. McFarlane's hydroplane. Silver Streak, when running at a fast speed, capsized and threw her crew of two overboard. The water stopped the engine and the speedster sank. Whippet, another hydroplane, attempted to give aid, but no ropes were available. The crew was rescued from the river, and the submerged motor boat later towed back to the squadron shed by Commodore A. G. Rymill's launch Hood. The hull and engine were undamaged.”

It was soon racing again, and then made the social pages. The Australian Motor Boat and Yachting Monthly Page 20 July 1, 1927- ROYAL PLANISTS

“South Australia is proud of the fact that she was the first State to give the Duke and Duchess of York the thrills of hydroplaning.
While staying at Mr .Allan MacFarlane's Wellington Lodge Station, on Lake Alexandrina, the Royal. Couple were taken for spins in the Margaret type hydro, Silver Streak, and expressed themselves as delighted with the sensation. The boat was handled most of the time by Mr. Clive MacFarlane”

Racing continued and another win was recorded. The Advertiser Monday 23 December 1929 BENNETT GOLD CUP SILVER STREAK WINS FROM NALTERIE

“Restricted class hydroplanes competed for the Bennett Gold Cup at Outer Harbor on Saturday afternoon. Silver Streak proved too fast for her rivals, finishing 200 yards ahead of the second boat”

Then it returns to the social side. Advertiser Saturday 28 June 1930 AMY JOHNSON IN A HYDROPLANE

“When the hydroplane Silver Streak flashed through the waters of Lake Alexandrina yesterday, with Amy Johnson at the wheel, the onlookers glimpsed something of the spirit of the intrepid girl, who had blazed a trail across the sky. It was her first experience of hydroplaning, but she says it will not be her last.
It was Mr. MacFarlane,jun., who inveigled her into going for a spin in the Silver Streak, which lived up to its name when the Duke and Duchess of York trusted themselves to its mercy.
But used to the speed of the air, Miss Johnson did not turn a hair when Mr. MacFarlane let the hydroplane go at a rate that would have staggered the traffic police. As a matter of fact, she was not happy until she took the wheel herself. Then the young lady, who has been advised against solo flying for a while, had the time of her life. The onlookers gasped when she put her foot on the accelerator, but she came up smiling, though drenched with spray.”

When SILVER STREAK was imported from America in 1924 it had the Pierce Budd 25hp 3 cylinder motor but this was replaced with a Meadows engine. To launch these craft at Outer Harbour a sling was placed underneath and they were lifted in and out of the water using a manual operated crane. SILVER STREAK raced in the restricted class at Outer Harbour.

SILVER STREAK was purchased in the mid-1970s with the existing Meadows engine which was complete with no missing parts. Restoration started immediately but soon after with business commitments the work was stopped and it laid idle for a long period. When work recommended the two owners stripped down the engine and began the rebuilding, while the hull was overhauled and restored to its original finish. The engine is a Meadows 100hp Cormorant and its restoration was completed in early 2007. By chance the original Pierce Budd engine was found in a coastal town in SA, it had been in storage for over 30yrs and was also complete, allowing the full story of its racing to be told.

Vessel Details
Hull material and construction:cold mouldedcold-mouldeddouble diagonaltriple diagonaldouble-diagonaltriple-diagonal
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:planing
Hull shape:step bottom
Hull shape:vee-bottomv-bottomv-sectionvee-section
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Motor propulsion:petrol
Additional Titles

Primary title: Silver Streak

Previous title: Miss Broadway

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