One of the problems trying to track down old raceboats is that very often their original identity know to all is changed to suit a more practical useage, especially the one off’s as we have seen before ie the Formula Claudia/Boad Jumper of Bill Wishnick which was found with an add on cabin that did little to enhance such a successful boat.

The current problem we now have is this, Halmatic built the 25 Ocean hull / cruiser based on the defunct Campbell Christina…..5 of these hulls were built for racing one of which was Ultra Violet which started life as Sir Max Aitken’s Drone with structure by Clare Lallow’s yard. We have now confirmed she is at Bursildon with one side fire damaged but repairable..

of the others Albert Figgins Silver Spray  was the first

of them adapted for racing under the guidance of Ken Raybould and was powered by 2 I/O Mercruisers. Figgins also had 3 other hulls manufactured the first was THUNDERFISH, the second was THUNDERFISH 2 which was lightly built for speed but whose hull failed in the Miami Nassau and sank and the 3rd hull was never used and subsequently has vanished but according to Ken was of a very strong special lamination.

There were and still are a number Halmatic 25’s claiming to be ex race boats but as we see only 3 could possibly be those raceboats, UV is accounted for which leaves Silver Spray and Thunderfish. Now comes the problem, to find the correct boat and dismiss the imposters

Terry Allin has a fine 25 cruiser with special superstructure

built in Yarmouth IOW and now powered by a large single engine, Terry was told this boat had race history and during the revamp traces of a painted Union Jack were found on the hull and he was told she maybe Ultra Violet…this is not the case but further investigation by Terry has revealed 4 massive engine bearers which go under the wheelhouse structure and on into the cabin, the centre 2 being close couple with approx 2 ft between them.

Thunderfish was powered by twin 400 hp Ford Dearborne Interceptors based on the 7 litre Galaxy block ..mighty engines needing stout bearers, as far as Terry’s boat is concerned tick box 1…next is the fact that Terry’s boat (now called ALICE) has during works carried out produced very thick core samples and white gelcoat…tick box 2….Remnants of engine mounts exist on these bearers directly under the current wheelhouse about a third of the way forward of the stern approximately where THUNDERFISH had her engines mounted tick box 3…..there is also evidence under the decks of air intake ducting from the coamings to an area where the old engines were…tick box 4.

But we still need proof..and ALICE may just have that, in the bow there is a large reinforced “tank” which now has an entry manhole cut into it..a ballast tank? tick box 5…The only person who may know all the answers is Ken Raybould until then we wait and hope that another competitor has “surfaced”

Meanwhile Charles Lawrence has pictures of boats in the CI’s claiming race heritage

BOAT 1 looks to be a standard Ocean 25 but notice that distinctive bustle which appears in all three pics is this the same boat?


BOAT 2 is obviously ALICE prior to repaint and engine upgrade


BOAT 3 is an unknown claiming to be ULTRA VIOLET

If anyone can remember this boat from its Yarmouth rebuild please contact us so we can get this puzzle sorted.


Rare photo

It is amazing what you turn up on Google if you have time..whilst hunting for images of various boats this suddenly turned up…BLUE MOPPIE being loaded /offloaded from a freighter…where unknown but picture originated from the German magazine Das Boote (The Boat?)…

Fiona, Lady Arran


Fiona Bryde Colquhoun later Countess of Arran, sped into the record books in 1980 as the fastest woman on water when she reached 102 mph in a power boat on Lake Windermere. She became the first person to go over 100 mph in an offshore boat, instigated the Badger Protection Bill and was a friend of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond.


One July morning in 1932 a 14 year old Fiona Bryde Colquhoun stowed aboard Kaye Don’s RR Merlin powered Miss England 3 during a practice run he made prior to his setting his 119mph record at Loch Lomond……


That 14 year old went on to become through marriage at the age of 19 the wife of the future Lord Arran, Boofy to his friends. The couple lived in an age excitement, fast cars, fast living and many changes to the world.

Lady A as she was affectionately known was to later comment that “speed relaxes me” it is in my blood, maybe that illicit ride was the start of that particular craving ….But until 1963 the craving was confined to horses and fast cars then as guest of Vosper designer Peter Du Cane she witnessed the Paris 6 Hour race and asked the organisers if she could race her (Boston) Whaler only to be accused of being mad! 3 years later at the age of 48, a member of the British team in the Du Cane designed Badger 1 she finished the race, the only Briton to do so! from then on there was no stopping Fiona Lady Arran…

1965 Badger 1 designed by Peter Du Cane raced at Iver

1966 the Paris 6 hours finishing 14th out 90 entrants

1969 An Avenger 21 Badger IV and the first record 55mph in the Cornish 100.


1970 Badger V a Cougar cat raced jointly with Alf Bullen and the Fairey Huntsman Fiducia with John Frost in the C-T-C 


1971 Lorne Campbell and Graham Stevens design the “Highland Fling”

1972 Highland Fling takes Class 1 record at Lake Windermere 82 mph

1971 Lorne Campbell designs Skean Dhu


 1977 Cael Na Mara another Lorne Campbell multi hull, fast but unsuccessful.

1978 Skean Dhu takes Class 2 World Record at 92 mph Then another WR 102MPH AT THE AGE OF 62 and first woman to break the 100mph barrier beating American Betty Cook. The UIM record for electric boats in the minute An Stradag 50.8mph.

Lady A raced with Lady Aitken in the London Monte Carlo in Ford Express, entered the Cowes Torquay with the boats Laura Lucy and Hell’s Angels Then another Lorne Campbell “The Granny Arran”……

How on earth do compile a history on Fiona Lady Arran? I do not think you can, her records speak for themselves! Lady A was born in an age when life was lived to the full. When she started racing boats there was no health and safety just the pure pleasure of speed on water…..she also experimented with hull shapes and through Lorne Campbell’s designs set off on a path totally contrary to the rest of the world and succeeded. Lady Arran was the product of an age we now surely miss and we will miss her too!.

All photographs courtesy of Graham and the Powerboat Archive.

Mike James  May 2013



The Ultra Violet saga cont’d

Since we have now been able to confirm that the boat at Burseldon is Lady Vi’s Halmatic Ultra Violet/Drone we have to puzzle over the identity of Terry Allins craft and there are only 2 boats which might supply the answer….both  GRP Halmatic hulls and both raced by Bert Figgins…SILVER SPRAY and THUNDERFISH…The important thing to remember is only 3 Halmatic hulls were raced! There is only one way to solve this puzzle and that is to consult the driver of both craft the one and only Ken Raybould who was also responsible for their build and preparation.

Terry Allin’s response to my telling him his boat is not Ultra Violet
Hi Mike,
The mystery deepens ! I can give only the following info:-
  • She was originally twin engined and later converted to a single engine layout. On the projecting/reinforced part of the transom there remain feint visible signs of two large round holes where presumably two large outdrives were fitted with further holes for exhausts (?) plus air intakes on the side coamings. I will check under the wheelhouse sole to see if there is any sign of old engine beds. 
  • In 1990 a Yarmouth yard undertook the molding and fitting of the present cabin top and wheelhouse, converted the transom to a single engine layout and glassed in new single engine beds and an engine bulkhead.  
  • I believe she was a light colour probably white.
  • The Yarmouth yard where I bought her (Yarmouth Marine Services) mentioned the Union Jacks evident on the hull when repainting her.
  • No original numbers evident so far  
  • One feature is the bow is occupied by a large reinforced ‘tank’ with a manhole entry in the bulkhead, presumably for water and possibly as ballast ?
  • The layup is very heavy, evidenced by hull and deck core samples
Hope the above is of some use.
Kind regards,
Ps whats happening to ‘Ultra Violet’ is she to be repaired ?

STAY TUNED….for further developements



Can you remember ?…..

Since we started the web site we have been inudated with many requests to help track boats down and other requests for help…but this is one of the more unusual ones…

.Back in the early sixties as a teenager Roy Bolson, grandson of the Poole Boatbuilder worked with the families pleasure boats off Bournemouth Pier and remembers a raceboat in the early years becoming swamped and close to sinking during one Daily Express CT. She was brought alongside the pier, the only thing is Roy cannot remember the colour or no of the craft bar for the fact that the Fire Brigade were summond to try and pump her out.

They were hampered by the hoses being clogged and the mesh was removed to assist pumping but they promptly sucked some cutlery and the attempt was abandonded! Roy said he could save her and volunteered his services to slop out using buckets, his offer was accepted and the boat was roped alongside another craft to be assisted back to the RMYC with him merrily slopping out on the way.

He remembers she was inboard and about 30ft and has a vague recollection of the boat being owned by 2 brothers…once back in the saftey of the RMYC and though wet through Roy and his friends were feted by the members, bought drinks and the owners took his address and told him a surprise thank you would be in the post! They were given the taxi fare home back to Bournemouth but you’ve guessed it the surprise never arrived and it has played on his mind ever since…What was the boat, who were the owners? plus the fact his friends never believed him that the surprise was never received…..were you there? do you remember the event? we have checked the records but cannot find anything in 61/62/63 but that is not to say it was recorded, the closest could be the Prout Bros cat but that was on the island I believe..I have since spoken again to Roy and he is adamant it was during one of the early please if you can help let us know so we can put his mind at rest! and ours!

Lady Arran

It is with deep regret that we have to advise of the passing of Lady Arran on Thursday 16th April…Powerboat racer extraordinaire who participated in the Paris 6 hours, Class 3 and of course the Cowes Torquay and then set a speed record in an electric powered boat. Lady Arran was also a champion of that beleaguered species the Badger after which several of her race craft were called. The funeral will take place in the village of Filleigh, North Devon at 12 noon Friday the 24th…To all her Friends and Family we would like to pass on our sincere condolances.

 St Paul’s Church, Filleigh, nr South Molton, EX32 0RU. Family flowers only. Burial at Luss, Loch Lomond. For those wishing to attend the funeral, please telephone 01598 760336 Ext 2 or email

The Phoenix….

Over the past 18 months one of the most famous powerboats of the 70’s has been restored by club member Nick Wilkinson….the one and only HTS….and here is the first picture in her new livery..

They are still around

A visitor to Cowes Haven and one of Freezer’s last builds…the Aluminium Perkins powered WILLICK …apologies please note corrections…as the memories fade we need to check and double check…now does anyone have a picture of Miranda Cundy’s Blue Rain?


Nick has just posted this picture of the engine bay of HTS now that it is full with 13+ Litres of diesels……nice tight fit Nick! …..not a lot of room to move there then!