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Old 05-05-2005, 11:06 AM   #1
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Country: England
Location: Oxfordshire
Occupation: Graphic Designer & Photographer
Interests: Motorsport
Boat name: Marseltese
Boat make: Simmonds Ski Boat 1954
Cruising area: Mostly my back garden

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oxfordshire
Posts: 5
Simmonds ski boat anyone?

I have a Simmonds aluminium-hulled ski boat sitting in my back garden, crying out for the tlc and restoration I intend to give it as soon as time and other commitments allow. In the hope of generating more enthusiasm, I wondered if there were any other Simmonds owners out there?

I only discovered a few months ago that the boat was originally owned by David Brown, founder of Aston Martin. It was built by Donald Simmonds of Twickenham, and was the first production example to leave the company's workshops, making its debut at Ruislip Lido in September 1954. Strangely, the event was televised live by the BBC, which is how David Brown came to hear of the boat. He subsequently used the Simmonds as a tender to the yacht he then owned.

That is about the limit of my knowledge of the boat's early history - any history, in fact! I have owned it for some time, having purchased the boat merely to save it from the scrap merchant. It was at risk of being sold for its aluminium content alone, and the original Ford engine had already been removed and dumped in the bottom of a very deep marina.

Discovering that the boat is not only very stylish in a Fifties way, and would compliment my early TR2 quite well, but also has an interesting history in its own right, has revived my determination to restore her. Any help and advice on that score, perhaps from someone who owns one in better condition than mine, would be much appreciated.
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Old 05-05-2005, 11:35 AM   #2
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Country: England
Location: Plymouth
Boat make: Fletcher Arrowflyte
Engines: Mercury 75

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Plymouth
Posts: 402
Sounds interesting.

Post some pictures.
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Old 06-05-2005, 11:01 AM   #3
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Country: England
Location: Oxfordshire
Occupation: Graphic Designer & Photographer
Interests: Motorsport
Boat name: Marseltese
Boat make: Simmonds Ski Boat 1954
Cruising area: Mostly my back garden

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oxfordshire
Posts: 5
Pictures of my boat would merely depress everyone, but I'll try to sort out some pictures of what a Simmonds should look like!
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Old 06-05-2005, 02:50 PM   #4
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Country: England
Location: Plymouth
Boat make: Fletcher Arrowflyte
Engines: Mercury 75

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Quote:
Originally posted by Marseltese
Pictures of my boat would merely depress everyone,


There are lots of people on here with 'projects' on the go. You might actually cheer some of them up!
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Old 06-05-2005, 03:26 PM   #5
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Yeh, I need cheering up.
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Old 06-05-2005, 05:37 PM   #6
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Country: England
Location: Oxfordshire
Occupation: Graphic Designer & Photographer
Interests: Motorsport
Boat name: Marseltese
Boat make: Simmonds Ski Boat 1954
Cruising area: Mostly my back garden

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oxfordshire
Posts: 5
You're probably right Matt - although you cheered me up with that guy on eBay trying to sell his Noble!

You'll have to wait a while tho, as I'm off out the door any minute for a weekend in France. Oh, the life.
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:52 AM   #7
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Country: England
Location: Oxfordshire
Occupation: Graphic Designer & Photographer
Interests: Motorsport
Boat name: Marseltese
Boat make: Simmonds Ski Boat 1954
Cruising area: Mostly my back garden

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oxfordshire
Posts: 5
As chance would have it, there's a Simmonds appeared on eBay since I started this thread. I've been watching eBay for Simmonds for about a year now, and seen nothing. Now there have been two in a fortnight.

The one on sale now is in far better condition than mine - it looks as though it might actually float! It should give you an idea of what they look like anyway:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:19 AM   #8
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Country: England
Location: Oxfordshire
Occupation: Graphic Designer & Photographer
Interests: Motorsport
Boat name: Marseltese
Boat make: Simmonds Ski Boat 1954
Cruising area: Mostly my back garden

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oxfordshire
Posts: 5
I thought I'd drag this one back up to the top again, just in case any Simmonds owners chance across the post.

Things have progressed a little since I started this thread, although not as far as the restoration of my own boat is concerned! I encountered some kindred spirits through the new oldspeedboats forum, and the idea of a register met with sufficient muted approval that a holding page for a new website (at www.simmonds-motorlaunches.co.uk) has now been created. Very temporary at the moment, but should take off shortly. The discovery of another half-dozen surviving boats renewed my enthusiasm.

There's a concours example on eBay at the moment:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1

The boat is being auctioned on behalf of the owner by a "professional" seller. Strange tactics, however, with the starting price being, in effect, the reserve. I suppose it is probably worth the price, but unlikely to sell on a first bid.

If there are any other Simmonds owners out there, or if you know where one is lying, untended and unloved, please let us know!
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