© Science Museum/Science and Society Picture Library
Miss England was built for Henry Segrave in 1929 to challenge the world water speed record and to regain the Motor Boat Championship of the World from the American Gar Wood.
Gar Wood's vessel, Miss America VII had twin aero engines developing 2000 hp but Miss England, built at the Power Boat Co. in Hythe on the Isle of Wight, used a single Napier Lion engine from one of the Schneider Trophy aircraft giving 950 hp. The aim was to use a much lighter structure, relying on contemporary aircraft techniques, and a new, more scientific, hull design.
Miss England took the Motor Boat Championship from Gar Wood's Miss America VII at Miami in March 1929. She also put in a timed run of 91.91 mph, making her the fastest single-engined boat in the world, but this was just insufficient to beat Gar Wood's absolute speed.
The high-speed planing hulls developed at the Power Boat Co. led, during the Second World War, to the motor torpedo boats and patrol vessels used by British forces.