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Polly

Mtb 102

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Talking to a lady from 102,at Yarmouth Maritime festival last week she said insurance restrictions during windy weather had meant they had not been out so much this year .

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RTTL2757 at RAF Hendon has always interested me, a 'crash' boat powered by two 1700hp RR Sea Griffons (a kind of marinised Merlin) built by Vospers, which would have been an amazing bit of kit... fuel bills must have been apocalyptic  though

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having been out to sea on the old girl, when filming Broad Ambition, an in company with two of HM finest, even with the engines she has - she has got a fair turn of speed, and if you ever get the opportunity to go to sea on her you should, its a magical experience.

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14 minutes ago, grendel said:

having been out to sea on the old girl, when filming Broad Ambition, an in company with two of HM finest, even with the engines she has - she has got a fair turn of speed, and if you ever get the opportunity to go to sea on her you should, its a magical experience.

Oh trust me, I'd absolutely love to go out on her. She's amazing even with the current Cummins(?) motors, I was just reminiscing how awesome she would have sounded at full chat (wasn't that about 40 knots?) with the original petrol/avgas motors!

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I had the pleasure of helming her up to Beccles, which was unforgettable.

 

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There used to be a liveaboard MTB at Woodbridge, the owner sold the original engines to finance the conversion and put a pair of (I think) big Cats in. He had permission to open her up between Waldringfield and Bawdsey  on a few winter days when most of the trot  moorings were empty. I did have a 35mm slide of her at full chat taken from the Waldingfield Maybush garden! 

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The bit of film re.MTB102 that scared me was them cracking on at sea and Griff out on deck doing 'summat wi' ensign'. Those decks are sloping  down to the edges and no toerails or whatever. I got vertigo going through the Mutford Lock!

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By coincidence we've just got back from a week in Portmouth.  Down ther they've got HSL 102 a 64ft RAF high speed launch of 1936 vintage.   In her RAF colours, we saw her tootling about the harbour a couple of times.

3 napier Sealion engines - 500 miles range at 35 knots.  That will give you back-ache!

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Don't know if anyone watches Antiques Road Trip but, this week, Trevanion was out on MTB102 and they had her going at full chat of 35 knots allegedly! Certainly looked very impressive.

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20 hours ago, VetChugger said:

Don't know if anyone watches Antiques Road Trip but, this week, Trevanion was out on MTB102 and they had her going at full chat of 35 knots allegedly! Certainly looked very impressive.

Trevanion at full chat, or MTB102?

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You know what this item is?

Of course you do, it is the original helm taken off MTB102 last month.  Looks in a sorry state doesn't it?  So would you  be if you had been out in all weather since the thirties.  Skipper Richard Bassey reckons it is the first time it has been removed, certainly since MTB102 has been under his watchful eye.

He had a right old carry on removing it, had to make a custom made puller to get it off.  So the helm is now with me.  I took it round to one of our 'Lads Week' crew in t neighbouring village (In fact he is one of our Skippers) who's hobby is restoring motorbikes.

The reason that the helm is now in my care is that I have a huge soft spot for MTB102 and like to help out whenever I can.  Last time out at sea onboard (Last year) I remarked to Richard the sorry state of the helm and why had it not been removed / powder coated?  I got 'That Look' then - 'No one has volunteered to do it'  Here was a chance for me - I volunteered for the job.

So, our motorbike restorer will paint strip and rub down the hand pegs only to a smooth finish as they are heavily pitted.  Then later this month it will go off with some motorbike parts to deepest Pontefract where it will be blasted then powder coated in black.  Back to me where I will exchange some beer chits for the job.  Back down to Norfolk, Richard to collect and then back onboard MTB102 where hopefully it will last another 80 odd years.  Completed photo to follow in due course

Griff

 

BA NBN 538.JPG

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Yes I recognise that. I've had my sweaty mitts on it too, for a few nautical miles between Lowestoft and Yarmouth. Yes Richard verified that with the cummins engines installed top speed is about 25MPH. But, Boy when he opens her right up and that prow starts to rise, she starts cutting through the water and you realise she used to got a lot faster than that (39.8mph on shakedown trials). That's when the hairs on the back of your neck go into the up condition. From the coast of Norfolk to the coast of Holland and back in 4 hours is some going, Then you realise that the engines originally fitted drank aviation fuel at a rate that puts a jumbo jet to shame, you realise that half the weight of the boat was fuel. that these guys were sitting atop a bomb. Wow what a craft. 

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Oooh! whats the bike Griff ?  Paul

It's an AJS of some description - I'll ask the question

Griff

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7 hours ago, FairTmiddlin said:

Then you realise that the engines originally fitted drank aviation fuel at a rate that puts a jumbo jet to shame,

According to my father, the Packard Merlin engines used just over a gallon a minute of 101 octane petrol on each engine when running at full speed. 

Vospers were using a lot of Italian Isotta Fraschini engines before the war and these were fitted to all of their early "short 72" designs, of which MTB 102 was the prototype. They had superchargers fitted so probably used even more fuel than the Merlins.

Once war started they had to switch to building with Packards, as Italy had declared on the wrong side! These were the same as the Rolls Royce Merlin but built in the states under licence. 

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Paul - It’s a AJS 1927 H4 350 deluxe side valve (mouthfulll)

Griff

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I have a 1947 AJS, same year as my boat.

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Herewith, stripped, cleaned, powder coated.  Taking it back down to Norfolk this forenoon to hand over to Richard Bassey then back to it's rightful place onboard MTB102

Griff

 

BA NBN 568.JPG

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No elaborate Turks Head on the sticky out bit that will be at the top when going more or less straight then? 

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