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A 1958 advertisment for Sports Craft from Seacraft Magazine

Sports Craft

Sports Craft were well known builders and retailers of small speedboats, based at 129 Chuch St Ryde, just north of the Ryde Bridge over the Parramatta River in NSW.

They featured in many 1950s advertisments in the popular Seacraft magazine, and produced race winning sports runabouts as well as craft for the general public. They also supplied craft to state government departments and professional fishermen. It was a one-stop shop, you could buy the fitted out boat with engine and trailer. They had a wide range of craft starting with small open boats and going up to cruisers almost 7 metres long, and all were outboard powered.

Keith Lambert was an apprentice then tradesman at Sports Craft from 1955 to 1961, and in May 2012 Afloat magazine wrote about the firm and its background, adding a number of interesting details to the firm's story, which are included below.

Managed by Ted Riley, they built many craft with a staff of boatbuilder tradesmen, outboard mechanics and sales staff plus apprentices. Craft were usually built to order, but in later years sold through Nock and Kirby's as well. They also built race craft- hydroplanes and catamaran hulls. Ted raced his own boats called FUN, his slogan was "Fun is the essence of sport".

The company invented the tilt trailer to keep the wheel bearings dry as larger craft became more difficult to launch. The trailers began as a wooden-framed unit, aluminim was still to come. Sports Craft were agents for Mercury outboards, later switching to Johnson/Evinrude, both imported from the USA.

The runabout KERRIE ANN is one of probably one of many of their craft still in use, and its excellent condition after more than 40 years use shows how well they made their boats.