Coastal Motor Boats 1916-1925

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    M.R. B

    Does any member know where the archives of Cox & King, Boatbuilders, of Wivenhoe are located?

    RN Coastal Motor Boats (CMB) – Britain’s first Motor Torpedo Boats – in the Great War era were all built to Thornycroft designs except CMB 113, which was a Cox & King design. Most sources say CMB 113 was never completed; but the boat was in the Navy Lists for Oct 1920 – Apr 1925, and there is evidence that it was at the Osea Island CMB Base in 1919.

    Cox & King built racing powerboats before the Great War – as did Thornycroft. But the characteristic C&K design for such boats was quite different from that of Thornycroft, and there is reason to believe the Admiralty considered post-1918 that in the light of wartime experience the C&K design was better in certain respects – notably general seaworthiness, and ability to maintain speed as Sea State increased. Thornycroft’s, however, was a big firm – and fairly ruthless in suppressing competition. I wish to have some evidence of CMB 113’s appearance and construction, for it’s possible that if the RN had adopted the C&K design the inter-war history of the ‘CMB Service’ might have been different.

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