History of the Motor Boat
Although the Screw propeller had been added to an engine as early as the 18th century in Birmingham, England by James Watt; the engine powered by outboard motor oil only came about in the later part of the 19th century, at which point Frederick William Lanchester recognized the potential of combining the two components to create the first all British powerboat, tested in Oxford England the powerboat was born. Late in that same period fishermen in San Francisco were being transforming their feluccas into early versions of the Monterey clipper, also known locally as put-puts.
Lanchester began to find the conflict between his job as works manager and his research work irksome. Therefore, in 1893, he resigned his position in favor of his younger brother George. At about the same time, he produced a second engine similar in design to his previous one but running on benzene 800 RPM. An important part of his new engine was the revolutionary carburettor, for mixing the fuel and air correctly. His invention was known as a wick carburettor, because fuel was drawn into a series of wicks, from where it was vaporized. He patented this invention in 1905.
Lanchester installed his new petrol engine in a flat-bottomed launch, which the engine drove via a stern paddle wheel. Lanchester built the launch in the garden of his home in Olton, Warwickshire. The boat was launched at Salter’s slipway in Oxford in 1904, and was the first motorboat built in Britain.