Campbell’s Jetstar is museum star

History beyind record breaker's runabout revealed

Donald Campbell’s one-off hydrojet sportsboat Jetstar is on show at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

The boat has pride of place in the Falmouth museum’s entrance foyer. The 13ft sportsboat was Campbell’s run-about during the weeks preceding the crash that took his life 40 years ago.

Campbell had been planning to promote both the ill-fated Bluebird and Jetstar at the London Boat Show on 5 January that year – the day after his death.

The museum says: “A beautifully blue hulled and mahogany boat, it is believed that Jetstar was Campbell’s hope of future financial security. He had developed the innovative speedboat for families, with the main advantages of speeds up to 40mph, and safety modifications, such as no propeller, so it was ideal for towing waterskiers.

“After his death, the Norris brothers continued working on Campbell’s design and a reasonably successful version of the boat did reach the market, under the name Bluebird Marine.”

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Jetstar remained with the Norris Brothers until current owner Andy Stirland acquired her in 2003 and this year she finally made it to the London Boat Show, on the stand of MBY’s sister magazine Classic Boat.

You’ll be able to see Jetstar on show in the Maritime Museum’s opening foyer until June this year.