Fairey Marine – Boat, Raceboats, Rivals and Revivals by Charles Lawrence

Charles Lawrence has researched Fairey Marine and its boats, associated types and their rivals since 2008. He catalogued the drawings in the office of the late Alan V Burnard, the designer of the Fairey powerboats. Details of his books currently in print may be found here.

For further information about any of the books listed here, please contact us.

Fixing my Faireys by Ben Curtis

This booklet is exactly what it says on the cover – Fixing my Faireys is based on the hands-on experience of Ben Curtis rebuilding his boats over the past 15 years.

A slim illustrated manual packed full of advice for anyone contemplating the purchase or refurbishment of a classic Fairey motorboat. It clarifies parts and issues, many not obvious, nor exclusive to the hot moulded Faireys or indeed to motorboats – and makes practical suggestions for those willing to try.

A useful glossary, a potted history of Fairey Marine and detail of hot moulding are included.
ISBN 978-0-9956451-2-7, 2017, Softback, 32 pages, 210x210mm
£5.00 (plus £2.50 p&p) Available from charleslawrencechiswick.uk

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Motor Yachting and Boating by Peter Heaton (Pelham Books), 1973

300+ pages covering all boats with 5 pages relating to Fairey Marine and the Spearfish, Huntsman 31 and Super Swordsman

ISBN 0-7207-0626-2

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25 Years of Motor Cruisers by Alex McMullen (Adlard Coles), 1991

188 pages covering all makes of boats including Huntress, Huntsman 28 & 31, Swordsman, Spearfish, Dell Quay Ranger, Christina 25, Triana 25, Tantarella, Tropica and Omega.

ISBN 0-7136-3450-6

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The Daily Telegraph-BP Round Britain Powerboat Race by Crab Searl (Robert Hale), 1970

Out of print now but available in good 2nd hand book shops – 170 pages with many photos

ISBN 7091-1214-9

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Faster Than The Sun by Peter Twiss, OBE, DSC

Peter has now published the 3rd edition of his wonderful book to include more photos and details of his wartime exploits – 216 pages are included in this Limited Edition hardback version. Price £20

ISBN 1 904943-37-3
(only available from Grub Street Publishing Ph: 0207 924 3966 Web: www.grubstreet.co.uk) published 2005

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Seamanlike Sense in Powercraft by Uffa Fox (published in 1968 by Henry Regnery Company, Chicago)

This very well written and fascinating 253 page book contains excellent articles, drawings and photographs on many different types of boats, engines and propellers. Included are 3 pages on Huntsman 28 ‘John Peel’.

Also featured are boats such as Turbinia, Philante V, Vivacity, Trevega, Bluebird along with 52 pages on the Cowes – Torquay races. An absolute must for all powerboat lovers.

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The Man Who Built the Swordfish: The Life of Sir Richard Fairey by Adrian Smith

This is a very detailed but gripping biography of Sir Richard Fairey by Professor Adrian Smith of Southampton University, in which both technical details and personal relationships are described with great clarity.

Of course Sir Richard had died in 1956, before Fairey Marine’s powerboats were even the glimmer of an idea, so you may think this book has no relevance to FOC members. Not directly, maybe, but this book is a fascinating account of a very strong character who for 40 years ran the business he founded to become one of Britain’s greatest aircraft companies.  Yet Fairey Aviation was to be destroyed by political whim only four years after Sir Richard’s death.

A fascinating book, and strongly recommended!

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FAIREY MARINE – Racing Dinghies and Utility Boats by Charles Lawrence

A facsimile copy of Fairey’s 1958 sales brochure, with introduction and comment. 1958 was Fairey Marine’s most successful year for dinghy and sailing cruiser production, which gave them the financial strength to launch their beautiful range of offshore powerboats.

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FAIREY MOTORBOATS : the 1957 file by Charles Lawrence

This is a commentary on Fairey Marine’s recently discovered original motor boat documents.

In 1969 Peter Twiss had been lent a file which was not returned, but it contained the correspondence which started in 1957 between Fairey Marine’s directors and American naval architect Ray Hunt, Bruce Campbell, George O’Day and Sir Max Aitken describing the events leading up to Fairey’s original powerboats.

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Hurry West – the first Cowes-Torquay race in 1961
by Charles Lawrence

Discovery of an unpublished typescript by Peter Twiss describing the first Cowes-Torquay race in 1961 prompted Charles Lawrence to find out more, and he has published a full account of the race as Hurry West.

This explains the significance of the race where there were only nine finishers from the 27 boats that started, and four of these had deep-V hulls designed by Ray Hunt and another by Sonny Levi.

The winner was Thunderbolt, a Bruce Campbell Christina driven by Tommy Sopwith, followed by Jim Wynne in Yo-Yo, a Bertram 25. Charles Currey’s Fairey Diesel Huntsman was third, although the Billy Butlin Huntsman 8 driven by Peter Twiss was holed and beached.

The book reproduces the official documents and background to the race, with details of the key people and participating boats, with new colour drawings of 29 of them.

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COWES-TORQUAY OFFSHORE POWERBOAT RACES 1961-1978 by Charles Lawrence and Graham Stevens

This book tabulates the first eighteen years of the Cowes-Torquay races which were sponsored by the Daily Express.

The collated results are with brief details of competitors  and race comments.  Illustrated by course maps, a thumbnail photograph of almost all boats entered and a profile drawing by Charles Lawrence of each of the winning boats, and includes an index of boat names, years raced and race numbers.

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British Offshore Powerboat Marathons by Charles Lawrence, Graham Stevens and Ray Bulman

These races are especially significant, because the Cowes-Torquay race was, and remains, a serious endurance race at 150 or 300 miles offshore in a day. However, the Marathon races repeated this effort for up to 14 days.

Fairey boats took part in four of these five races.

In 1969 the Ford sponsored Fairey Huntsman Team won the team prize, with Fordpower finishing third, Fordsport fourth and Seaspray fifth.  The independent entry Fiducia was sixth and Fordspeed, the fourth Ford team member, was twelfth.  In the Round Scotland race a lone Huntsman, Fordspeed, entered.
However, in the 1972  London Monte-Carlo race, Huntsman 31 Double Century was sixth, and Huntsman 28 Fordspeed was seventh in her third Marathon.

Finally, in the Round Britain Historic Class in 2008 a 34 year old Spearfish 747 Miss Daisy finished 29th overall, followed by a Huntsman 31 Xanthus 36th and Swordsman a 33, was 38th.

The book describes the background and ever evolving context, the entries with brief details and a photo of each boat, the progress of the events and the results.

For further information about any of the books listed here, please contact us.