In 1894, Fred wanted to test the engine destined for the first motor car but he was unable to try the advanced single cylinder engine on the road.  The Locomotive Act of 1865 required all road locomotives, which included cars, to travel at a maximum of 4 mph in the country and 2 mph in the city, as well as requiring a man carrying a red flag to walk in front of road vehicles hauling multiple wagons!

So he put the engine into a paddle-wheel driven flat-bottomed boat and transported from Fred’s garden where he built it with his brothers Frank and George to the River Thames at Oxford.

It was launched in the autumn of 1894 and became the first British motor boat, and was used for the next ten years on the Thames and then for at lest ten more on the River Wey.

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