Self-Propelled Surfboard (Apr, 1950)
SKIMBOATINGâ€”newest fad at Cypress Gardens, Floridaâ€”is rapidly outgrowing that novelty classification. It provides you with all the thrills of aquaplaning without making you lug a boat along. Also, you can break down this self-propelled surfboard into three small sections.
Developed by Emil Hansen of Bryn Mawr, Pa., the craft has a 7-1/2-hp outboard engine housed in a watertight aluminum hull. It’s 90 inches long, 24 inches wide and weighs 120 pounds. Top speed is about 30 mph and you steer it with a rudder aft and by shifting your body.
One important safety feature is the tractor-type propeller set forward to prevent clipped toenailsâ€”or something worse. But the board has another novel feature which is its greatest boon to inexpert sportsmen. This is a safety switch that works in conjunction with the tiller ropes. As soon as you drop the steering rope, a magnetic switch automatically stops the motor.
Then, the Skimboat quietly waits until you swim up, climb aboard and start zooming all over again!