Self-Propelled Surfboard (Apr, 1950)

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Self-Propelled Surfboard

SKIMBOATING—newest fad at Cypress Gardens, Florida—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 toenails—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!

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