The Hull is now awaiting “hospitalisation” and after several nightmare quotes will be going for repair in a couple of months time, new stern new flanks and relamination in internal area’s. The cabin structure will be lifted off and sit on my drive to be sanded, sealed and repainted in her original colours. I am still hunting for some commercial backing for the project and to date have received help from Robbins Timber Bristol, trade discount on supply of new items promised and a pledge of £1000.00 from Tommy Sopwith towards “expenses”. She will be rebuilt to historic condition as the 1961 race and will be re engined with modern GMV8’s using the original layout of one thro V drive and the other direct drive.
I cannot believe that it is already 7 months since she arrived and the planned 2 year restoration is passing so quickly, maybe a rethink is called for but I will persevere!
Lastly, when completed Thunderbolt will attend as many race venues, shows and marine events as possible and will be acting as a visual fundraiser for the SEAFARERS UK charity otherwise known as the KING GEORGES FUND for SAILORS which was for so many years a charity associated with the Cowes–Torquay as its nominated charity.
Designed by Ray Hunt and built at Hamble by Bruce Campbell
9′ 8" BEAM
Hull by Walter Lawrence three layers of quarter inch ply cold moulded stiffened and strengthened with internal plates under both engines, externally, unlike most Christina’s she also has a final diagonal laminate keel to waterline plus another length of veneer from the bow to stern between the 2nd and 3rd spray rails.
Power 2x 325hp Cadillac Crusaders
Steering; mechanical on right angle gearing box’s and solid shafts with universal couplings to 2 spade rudders
Controls; Bloctube aircraft type using hollow bronze tube and ball joint couplers.
Fuel Tanks; 5 aluminium welded aircraft grade total capacity 175 gallons
Instrumentation; 2 oil pressure 2 oil temp 2 water temp 2 amp meters 5 fuel 2 electric repeater compasses and 2 rev counters.
Drive; 2 x1 and a quarter inch stainless steel shafts close coupled with 1 driven thro V drive.
MAX SPEED 1961 42 knots
As for my final dream…to be present at Cowes on August Bank Holiday 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that most famous race the COWES –TORQUAY! With of course the first winner “Thunderbolt”
THUNDERBOLT NEWS UPDATE 15/03/07
The future is looking good, Thunderbolt is now at the INTERNATIONAL BOATBUILDING COLLEGE at Oulton as of the 20th of April to undergo her hull rebuilding, which will include : New Transom, new spray rails, relamination of the topsides at the stern, relamination of the hull where areas of separation have been found and internal lamination repairs.
The college at Oulton is famous for training attendees in all aspects of boat building from traditional through to modern day glass techniques and I am grateful that their recognition of Thunderbolts unique history and provenance has provided her with a “second chance”, I know she will be in safe hands! I am also grateful to ROBBINS of BRISTOL who will be supplying new timbers for the hull at bulk cost. Without the assistance of the above “friends” her future was very shaky, as the marine industry really did not want to know or help which is a sad reflection on how they view their history.
I have also spent 8hrs belt sanding the teak decks which were very weathered and in some places a grey black, they are now a lovely honey brown after the removal of 2mm off the quarter inch planking that’s saved me another load of money!
I am also fortunate to have on board Mr Ken Raybould who worked for Bruce Campbell from 1959 to 1963 (Ken is famous for his driving expertise in the early years of the Cowes Torquay with Bert Figgins in his boats Silver Spray and Thunderfish) he will be offering valuable advice and assistance during the restoration. Ken oversaw Thunderbolts birth back in 1961 and was instrumental in testing her once completed, he also said that she was temperamental! The Crusader engines gave many problems during set up, primarily with fuel feed and he kicked her the day before the race. They were all amazed when Tommy Sopwith won!
It is hoped that new pictures of the restoration will be posted soon …keep checking.
THUNDERBOLT PICTURE UPDATE 14/05/07