contact us at: [email protected]
The SNAPPY sub chaser was introduced in 1932/33 as the 'sister' boat to RACER 1. The first version had the same removable hatch arrangement as RACER 1 but SNAPPY's hatch featured a funnel, bridge and single rotating gun, the bridge and funnel being from the Valiant and the small gun from the Nelson. This was yet another example of the same pressings being re-used on a variety of boats; the bridhe and funnel pressings were by now, over 10 years old!
Fig 10.8 - SNAPPY Sub Chaser with original box and key- circa 1932
Figure 10.8 shows an extremely good example of the first Sub Chaser. It had a light grey deck and a dark grey cover and hull, and also featured a motor brake the same as RACER 1. The boat came in a sturdy card box with a lift off lid and a brass key.
A number of these early boats have been seen but none (so far) have the 'SNAPPY' name on the hull. It could be that these have all come off, not being entirely water proof, but it is also likely that the early boats did not initially have a name decal. There is no trace of there ever being a decal on the boat in Fig.10.8
Also shown is the original Oilit leaflet which recommends Oilit oil to keep the speedboat 'seaworthy' but what is more interesting is what is stamped on the back...
Just as Sutcliffe simplified RACER 1, they also simplified SNAPPY and soldered the lid to the deck, thus sealing the motor. Again, like RACER 1, the boat retained the motor brake, and all these versions of the boat do have a SNAPPY decal. The decal is unusual in that the style doesnt appear on any other boat of the time, and also that it is so big!
Fig 10.10 - SNAPPY Sub Chaser - circa 1934. (Brownhill Collection)
Fig 10.11 - Snappy Sub Chaser - circa 1935. (not CJB Collection)
Fig 10.9 -SNAPPY sub chaser circa 1932. (not CJB Collection) - Note - box shown is for BLUEBIRD
Fig 10.9 shows a rather unusual example of an early SNAPPY. The shades of grey are quite a lot lighter and and the superstructure is unusual in that the funnel is much longer than usual and the rear gun is pointing unusally high... has someone 're-made' a missing centre section or is this model original? Note no decal on the bow but deck decal intact.
The final incarnation of SNAPPY prior to cease of production in 1939 is shown in Fig 10.12. The motor brake has been dropped and the decal style is much smaller and more subtle, much more akin to the GRENVILLE decal of 1939. Did Sutcliffe change the decal style so that these naval vessels 'matched'? Also notice that this final version of SNAPPY uses the new deck pressing used on the Type 3 RACER 1; the rudder rail is now part of the pressing and the rear 'cockpit ' is much smaller and only just takes the decal.
Fig 10.12 - SNAPPY Sub Chaser - circa 1939. - Note use of later deck pressing.
Fig 10.10 shows a fine original example of the MK2 SNAPPY, however Fig 10.11 shows another slightly unusal version. The bridge section is higher than usual, the mast is not original (missing crows nest) and the shade of grey on the bridge appears lighter?Again - is this original?
When production re-started after the war, SNAPPY didn't make the cut. It would be several years before the 9" hull would again be used for a naval boat; FURY the MTB would be introduced in 1955. (Fury is not covered on this site but an example can be seen at www.boysvintagetoys.com.)
Fig 10.8 - Sub Chaser - circa 1932
'PART OF THE CLOCKWORK MECHANISM OF THIS BOAT, OF WHICH NO SOURCE OF SUPPLY IS AVAILABLE IN THIS COUNTRY IS OF FOREIGN MANUFACTURE, BUT THIS CONSITITUTES LESS THAN 20% OF THE TOTAL COST OF PRODUCTION'
Mechanism inside 1932 Sub Chaser.
Another early Sub Chaser, but closer examination shows that the deck turret is soldered in position and no longer rotates.
The purpose of this declaration is almost certainly owing to the sharp restriction on imports that occurred between the wars in the effort to counter the depression that affected Great Britain at that time. To this end, the Import Duties Act was introduced in 1932 - precisely when the Sub Chaser was introduced!
Reverse of Oilit Leaflet - circa 1932
Fig 10.8 - Sub Chaser - circa 1933 (not CJB Collection)