BRITISH POWER BOAT Co.

Cover of BPB Brochure

Cover of British Power Boat's own publication and history.
The photographs and text are taken from this publication

"At the same time this opportunity must be taken of stating that the Admiralty, which must be largely dependent on the initiative, resource and inventive capacity of private firms, are highly appreciative of these qualities, as displayed by the British Power Boat Company; and are gratified that a new Company which can supply essential Service requirements has thus been started in this country."

The First Lord of the Admiralty, House of Commons, April 13th, 1938. - reproduced in the British Power Boat's own publication dated January 1939.

Preface from BPB's history of the company
from its founding in 1927 to January 1939.

Mr. Hubert Scott-Paine discovered how to build a craft which in contrast to the ordinary ship would travel over the surface of the water instead of forcing its way through it. This type of craft attained high speed with commercially usable horse power and although it was a planing craft, it had neither the disadvantages of lack of manoeuvrability or seaworthiness associated with stepped hydroplanes, nor the lack of directional stability and longitudinal stability associated with other types of planing craft. This discovery and the development of suitable British High-Speed light-weight machinery placed Britain in the forefront of World development of high speed craft and armed the British Navy with a type of Motor Torpedo Boat superior to any other in seaworthiness and cruising endurance, combined with speed.

The results of Mr. Scott-Paine's work are to be seen in the formation of The British Power Boat Co., Ltd., with a capital of 750,000 which with employees numbering approximately 1,200 operates the largest and most modern Boat Building Factory of its type in the World.

The whole of this organisation, is arranged for immediate expansion to twenty-four hours working, when occasion arises, and is at the disposal of the Nation for the defence of Britain and the Empire.

The Shipyard at Hythe, home of The British Power Boat Company Ltd.

1927 Company founded

1928 Prototype craft construction for trial purposes

1929 Boats from 10 to 35 ft in length produced

1930 The Depression, however Scott-Paine refused to adopt a policy of retrenchment, turning to building modern high speed Motor Boats,for use with the Army, Navy - especially as a fighting vessel - and Royal Air Force.

1931 General Service Tender, a 37ft. 6in. 200 h.p. boat offered to the Air Ministry, who after trials placed orders for a number of boats, including No. 261

1932 The first all metal racing boat "Miss Britain III" designed and built

1933/34 "Miss Britain III" took part in International racing events bringing to Britain many trophies. She set up a salt water speed record of 110 m.p.h. powered by a Napier engine.

The first 45 ft. Admiral's high speed barge handed over at Devonport .

1935 The first of a new type Motor Torpedo Boat was built and launched, a year ahead of any rivals and underwent trials which included rough weather trials, all of which met with success.

1936 The company produced a 60 ft. Ocean Recue Launch for the RAF( No. 100), as well as new classes of general service and target towing vessels for the Army.

1937 the First Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla (Leader MTB 01), consisting of six 60 ft. POWER Motor Torpedo Boats left for service in the Royal Navy in Malta travelling under their own power.

1938 In November the BPB launched their new 70 ft. MTB, powered by a 1100 h.p. Rolls Royce Power-Merlin, which was the first marine unit of its power-weight ratio to develop 1,100 B.H.P.

1939. With the coming of the War, British Power Boat Company opened a second boatyard on Holes Bay, Poole, where my late Father was the Chief Storekeeper.

200 h.p. aircraft tender for the RAF 1931
Admiral's High Speed Barge handed over at Devonport, 11th October 1934
64 ft. Ocean Rescue Launch,
Royal Air Force

Flotilla Leader of the first MTB Flotilla, POWER
60 ft. Class, 1935

Length 60 ft; Speed 37.5 knots;
2x 18in Torpedoes, 8 Lewis Guns;
Crew - 1 Officer 8 Seamen.
Endurance - 600 nautical miles at 20 knots.

POWER 70 ft. Class with three 1100 h.p. Rolls-Royce Power Merlins.
2 x 21in or 4 x 18 in Torpedoes; 2 or 3 automatic guns in power turrets; Speed 42/45 knots with full war load;
Crew - 2 Officers, 1 PTO, 8 Seamen.
British Power Boat's 63 ft. high speed Air-Sea Rescue Launch, in the English Channel in 1942 (from Ships Monthly, pp35 - 38, circa 1975)

The Boat shop in 1939, notice the various types
of boats being built, those nearest the camera
are 37.5 ft RAF sea plane tenders.


The works restaurant and recreation area, very much in the 1930s Art Deco Style, photographed circa 1938

Areas in the world where British Power Boat 'POWER' Fast Motor Craft are in service.(1939)
Power Boats built two or three fast motor launches with which to advertise. One of them was "Black Panther" which survived WW2 and found her way to Lymington Slipway where she remained for some time until she was ultimately sold, she was painted white with a red waterline and her fore after and midship decks and combings were highly varnished, she looked a real picture and she was fast! My Father was given permission to take her out as often as he liked, especially to keep her machinery 'exercised'. As a result I also got to spend many hours aboard her and was taught to steer her.
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