A new type of motorboat takes to the water in disguise

Aug 30, 2018

Can’t catch us

A STRANGE craft has been seen darting around Britain’s south coast recently. It has been causing something of a sensation among local seafarers, not least because it is painted in “dazzle” camouflage. This is composed of a series of geometric shapes and was used on vessels in the first world war to make it difficult for an enemy to estimate a ship’s speed and heading. A similar bit of subterfuge was behind the paint scheme on this mystery boat. But rather than dodging artillery shells or torpedoes, this dazzle was designed to make it hard for competitors to see details of the hull.

That is because the vessel was a prototype of a new type of craft called the R35, developed by Princess Yachts, a producer of luxury motor yachts. (Fittingly, the company’s base in Plymouth is near the naval dockyards that did much of the wartime dazzle painting.) But the secrets behind the boat’s hull will be available for all to see when the first production R35 is...

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