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Sea Trials

Tom Adams Boatbuilder

Adapting an aero engine for Unlimited Hydroplane use is no less complex today the it was in 1949; in fact, our respect for what the original team achieved in those few frantic spring months prior to that July's Harmsworth Trophy challenge grew with each obstacle we encountered. What the originals achieved in five months took us over a year, and even our defence of Griffon fittings and expertise being more readily available sixty-five years ago could do to little lessen that respect.  

This mighty boat was original driver Harold Wilson's "Moody Miss" - blindingly fast one day, pouting the next.  During the first week of sea trials, she lived up to her reputation.  The weather on May 9, 2013, her launch and her first run were nearly flawless, and Miss Canada IV seemed eager to be done with her team's 40 mph speed limit.  The second day saw a change in everything; the rain was cold and heavy, very nearly leading to a scrub, and when we did get on the water, cooling issues arose; first one bank of cylinders ran hot, then the other, and then both.  Post-test inspections of the cooling pickups revealed nothing amiss.  This gremlin continued to bedevil the team for months.  On the third day, after re-routing some cooling lines, Miss Canada IV seemed like she was ready to put on a show.  She easily achieved her 60 mph limit, looked pretty for the helicopter shot, and then began to steer and plane erratically and once again lost her cooling.  A quick trip back to her berth at Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre showed us why.  No more bronze rudders for Miss Canada IV; it was time for a new cast steel unit.

Anyone who has tried to bring a high-performance racing boat to life will tell you the road to real speed is built on a thousand frustrations.  And so it was during the summer of 1013.  Along with being the Belle of the Ball in Gravenhurst and Rideau Ferry came cooling, fuel pump, ignition, supercharger and propeller issues by the boatload.  But as each problem was addressed, Miss Canada IV's potential emerged.  By the time she was pulled from Lake Muskoka in October, the team was already looking forward to an even faster, more rewarding Summer 2014.

Three steps and many planes

Touch down

On the wharf

Ready to go

She's hot!

Let's sort this out

Water intake or pump issue?

Day 2 - It's a little wet out side!

Leaving the slip

Take off

She's a little warn

Tom, Norm & Peter at work

Top test speed only 60; not 100+...requires self discipline from these guys 

Return to slip

The Sea Trials Team

Back into Lake Muskoka...It's been a long time.

Thrust and direction

Tom's final inspection before the 1st run

We're off

What's her temperature?

We have a cooling issue

At berth

Ready for take off

Heading out to the bay

Return to the slip

Day 3

We're moving

She feels good

Only 3 days!...It's amazing 
what the Rolls will do to a bronze rudder.