Uig powerboat owner Seumas Macleod is planning to make a living with speed, after spending the past week breaking UK and world inland water speed records.
24-year-old Seumas is at Lake Coniston in the Lake District of England, taking part in Coniston Power Boat Records Week. His powerboat, a small RIB called Black Pudding, is competing in the PF850 class, powered through the water by an 850cc Yamaha outboard engine which has been stripped down and rebuilt by Seumas at his own workshop in Miavaig.
Today (Friday November 2nd) the hard work of many months has paid off, with the latest of four consecutive records set in flat calm conditions on the waters of Lake Coniston.
A one kilometre course is marked out on the water, and competitors take two runs at it, one heading north and one south. The average speed of the two runs is taken as their time for that round.
Seumas said: “I’ve been out every day this week except Wednesday, which I spent re-tuning the engine to squeeze a bit more out of it. On Monday I got 62.79 miles per hour, 63.65mph on Tuesday, 67.83 on Thursday and after three runs this morning (Friday November 2nd) I hit first 69.99mph twice, and then 70.10mph.”
The previous world record time was 67.47 miles per hour and Seumas is the first to set any record in that class in the UK.
Seumas attributes his success to the time he has spent rebuilding his engine, but especially to his own design of propeller, which he describes as ‘sharp and perfectly balanced’.
“I designed the propeller on CAD in a shed at our family business, Seatrek in Miavaig. It was manufactured in China to my design and I’m very pleased with how it’s performing.”
The performance of his new design propellor will help with marketing when he launches his new business, Forge Marine, which he hopes to start soon from Miavaig. All design work would be done here in Lewis, but manufacturing would go overseas.
For the time being though, Seumas is enjoying seeing the records fall before him, supported by parents Murray and Janet Macleod, who are acting as his support team during the competition. Once his final speed run is complete they’ll be heading home with the boat in tow and, ferries permitting, will be back in Miavaig at the weekend.
Seumas then has a predictable ambition for the short-term: “I want to take the engine apart because I’m sure I can get a bit more speed out of it for next year’s competition. But I must admit I’m feeling pretty good just now.”
Picture shows Seumas on Lake Coniston during the speed trials this week
(Chris West Photography).