Round the world powerboat takes shape

Alan Priddy holds high hopes of success

British ocean adventurer Alan Priddy will be making his second attempt to secure the round-the-world powerboat record at the end of the year aboard his 90ft wave-piercing aluminium hull Good Heart.

Powered by twin waterjets, Priddy plans to average a constant 25 knots from a top speed of 47 knots.

When he made his last attempt in 2002, the record was just under 75 days, and while his RIB, Spirit of Cardiff, was unsuccessful, it gave him valuable background which has been incorporated in the design of the new boat.

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Since 2002, the record has been trimmed down to just under 61 days by New Zealander Pete Bethune in the trimaran Earthrace.

Among the crew joining Priddy will be consultant psychiatrist and powerboat racer Jan Falkowski and travel journalist Clive Tully, both veterans of Priddy’s previous record-breaking trips. Honda Formula 4-Stroke racing champion Shelley Jory-Leigh will also be aboard.

Unusual about Good Heart is the way she is being built. Rather than choosing a traditional boatbuilder, Priddy went for Micklewrights Structures Ltd in the West Midlands, whose stock in trade is making steel-framed buildings.

“I particularly wanted their engineering skills and welding capability,” explains Priddy, “and the fact that they are open-minded not just towards the design of the boat, but the way it would be built.”

The early stages of the hull’s construction have been completed upside down for ease of welding but the end of July saw the boat rolled 180 degrees in a circular steel frame ready for the deck and wheelhouse to be attached.

The most striking aspect is its incredibly long and narrow bow and its flat sides producing a modern-day ‘Dreadnought’ appearance.

One thing’s for sure, comments Priddy: “You won’t miss her when she’s afloat. With her Good Heart red finish specially formulated by DuPont, she’ll be a head-turner wherever she goes.”

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