The first gasoline engine powered watercraft to hold the water speed record using under water boat propellers was the forty foot boat named the Dixie IV designed by Clinton Crane. It set the record on September 9th. 1911 with a speed of 45.21 mph. The record then started to change hands many times in the next eight years by long and narrow sporty racing type gas engine boats.
A totally different kind of watercraft came on the seen and set the record at 70.86 mph on September 9th. 1919. This boat was the HD 4 and was a hydrofoil boat that had the hull out of the water with underwater “pontoons”. This was such a radical and amazing craft compared to the other boats at the time. The famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell contributed to the design and development of this boat along with his chief engineer. They got the Idea of making a hyrdofoil boat after reading an article about them in 1906 and visiting with Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini around 1910-1911 and riding in Forlanini’s hydrofoil boat. They were very impressed with it and stated the ride was as smooth as flying. Bell and his team came home and started work on thier boat and in 1913 finalized the design and began production of the HD 4. For many years improvements were made on it. It was powered by two 350 hp. Liberty engines on either side of the cockpit and utilized airplane style propellers pushing the air, unlike under water boat props, something like an Everglades air boat you see today. How it operated was from a dead start the hull would be in the water and as it got underway and speed was gained, the hull would be lifted out of the water because of the under water pontoons creating the lift. The hull was totally out of the water so just the pontoons and attached bracing had contact in the water. Less drag creates faster speeds. What a sight it must have been to see this boat flying accross the water at 70 mph!
We don’t sell airplane propellers but we do sell hundreds of boat popellers at the lowest cost for all modern boat engines. Please look around our boat propeller website or call us at 1-800-573-5533.