42 Sport Cruiser
— By Capt. Bill Pike
— September 2003
Magicians of Mahogany
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Besides building new boats, Mayea Boat Works restores old ones, like Gar Wood’s Miss America X (right), a fabled fire-breather that the Mayeas just started work on. Affectionately called “Eight Tons of Dynamite,” the boat set a world water-speed record of 124.86 mph in 1932, thanks to four 1,900-hp Packard engines that burned a lively mixture of gasoline, benzol, and alcohol. Today’s race officials would have been horrified by conditions in the cockpit underway, however. Gases from the straight-pipe exhausts blasted past with a vengeance. And boat-tester that I am, I’m convinced the sound levels Wood and throttleman Orlin Johnson endured would have blown PMY’s sound meter to smithereens.
I brazenly asked Larry Mayea if I could test drive Miss America X once she’s fully restored. “You’re the first guy I’ll call,” he replied—quite seriously, I thought.—B.P.
This article originally appeared in the August 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.