Motorboat Monday: A diminutive Fairey with a fair bit of urge

After last week’s shallow-draft scorcher from North America, today’s offering for Motorboat Monday comes from three thousand miles West, and could barely be more different in character than the V8-motivated Kindsvater.
It’s only fifteen feet long, and has a fraction of the power, but good things come in small packages. As with last week’s boat, today’s has been the subject of a painstaking restoration, and is a glorious example of a boat that has become rather rare.

The name sums it up. This boat was built in 1959 by a company that many marine and aviation enthusiasts will have heard of: Fairey. The Aviation side of the business came first, you may remember the Fairey Swordfish bi-plane, the Firefly fighter or the Gannet airborne early warning aircraft. No? Inexcusable. After the war, the boatbuilding arm of Fairey was born, with both commercial and leisure customers.
This was one of their smaller boats. More famous is the Fairey Huntress (as seen in From Russia With Love), the larger Huntsman and the later Swordsman, all of which were to become extremely highly regarded. The 15 foot Fairy Cinderella was of good stock, then.
This example is, it has to be said, not wholly original. But I’m not so sure this is as much of an issue with a classic boat as it is with a car. Both need a lot of maintenance, for sure, but it seems crazy not to upgrade components on a boat when the opportunity arises, particularly if it makes it easier to live with.
The majority of examples of the Cinderella were built for the use of outboard motors – this rare inboard-powered machine is properly referred to as a Fairey Carefree. And don’t be fooled by the Volvo Penta tachometer.
Wicked Fairey’s Sea Tiger engine is in fact a marinized version of the Ford Crossflow engine. In this case it’s essentially the same tune as the 1600 GT engine, which gives the little boat something around 100hp, enough for around thirty knots.
It’s a planing hull, of course, with a medium vee shape. There are pronounced spray rails at the bows for a reasonably dry ride, and I imagine she’d be a pleasure to be aboard.
She’s certainly a pleasure to look at. Her lines look entirely conventional until you reach the stern, where you notice a beautiful reverse sheer and trapezoidal transom. The polished wood shows off her construction – cold-moulded ply in typical Fairey style.
I enjoy the contrast in the image above – the sedate, graceful British Fairey against the atomic power of the no-holds barred American Kindsvater. I’d like both, please.
(Images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2017.Thanks to the Classic Motor Boat Association)

By |2017-01-23T15:00:56+00:00January 23rd, 2017|Motorboat Monday|7 Comments

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RoadworkUK is the online persona of Gianni Hirsch, a tall, awkward gentleman with a home office full of gently decomposing paper and a garage full of worthless scrap metal. He lives in the village of Moistly, which is a safe distance from London and is surrounded by enough water and scenery to be interesting. In another life, he has designed, sold, worked on and written about cars in exchange for small quantities of money.