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Johnson Seahorse outboard engine of the hydroplane MATILDA

Date: c 1961
Overall: 1270 x 555 x 800 mm
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Outboard motor
Object No: 00002809

User Terms

    This seahorse outboard engine was built for use on the hydroplane MATILDA. The 15 foot skiboat MATILDA is one of the earliest production fibreglass runabouts built in Australia by leading fibreglass boatbuilding company International Plastics in 1961. It was a very popular runabout which enjoyed widespread usage throughout Australia.
    SignificanceMATILDA is representative of a very significant era in the history of small boat technology and the introduction of fibreglass technology which eventually superseded both wooden planking and plywood as popular building materials.
    HistoryMatilda is one of the first mass-produced fibreglass runabouts to be built in Australia. Sleek and sporty while spacious and reliable, runabouts like this became the family car on water. In the booming 1950s and '60s, with high unemployment and money to spend on recreation, the mass production of motorboats opened up the world of pleasure boating to middle class Australians. Fibreglass hulls and outboard motors were easier and cheaper to maintain than older wooden boats with inboard motors. Their lighter weight and increased engine power also meant they could reach the faster speeds needed for towing water skiers. And 'trailer sailors' did not have to be experts to navigate the waterways and handle their craft.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Johnson Seahorse outboard engine of the hydroplane MATILDA

    Web title: Outboard engine used on MATILDA

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