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In 1932, Sutcliffe revolutionised the manufacture of pressed tinplate model boats. Until then, the hull consisted of 2 'halves' which were soldered together. The innovation was to press the hull from a single piece of tinplate and then attach the deck with a single soldered 'seam' that ran around the entire circumference of the boat. This enabled Sutcliffe to make boats faster and cheaper. By 1950, all thier tinplate boats would be made in the same way, almost until the factory closed in the early 1980's.
At the heart of all these boats was a simple 9" hull pressing. This pressing had a hole for the prop shaft and a hole for rudder. There would be a variety of 'deck' styles over the years but the pre-war line up was 'RACER 1', a simple little speedboat, 'SNAPPY', a sub chaser, and 'ZIP', another speedboat but with a bigger motor so it was, well, zippier! When production re-started ater the war, SNAPPY and ZIP had been dropped from the liner up, but RACER 1 lived on, albeit with a different design. The rare and curious un-named 'pull along' appeared very briefly just after the war, but by 1950, that had been dropped too.
Bluebird 1 also used the 9" hull as its basis; this will be covered in another section of the site.
It would not be long until the design would be copied; in the early 30's Hornby introduced boats into its range that had an almost identical hull pressing. Good on you Mr Sutcliffe!
The Hornby Hawk..... recognise the design?! (NOT CJB collection!)