The QUAY - A Real World Powerboating Philosophy!
Contact - Terms - Profile
When I say 'Quay' just use your imagination!
Be sure to scroll down the page and check out the Adrian Bright Powerboat Engineering PROFILE - he's not just a funny face!
Adrian Bright Powerboat Engineering, PO Box 2847 Cannonvale, Queensland 4802 AUSTRALIA
Ph: 0451 371 949
Terms and Conditions:
This website is ultimately a reflection of my passions - and an invitation for you to engage in the lifestyle . However, some specific products and services will be offered. I can assure that such products will only be from entities relevant to the subject and will be of a quality known, trusted and in many cases, used by me.
All photos are for interest, information and illustrating points and products; they are gathered from a variety of sources and used positively and in good faith; some are my own, some are used with permission and credited, and some are gleaned from uncredited and apparently unrestricted web sources. Should any photo be identified - and a credit or some restriction applies, please let me know immediately and it will be name-credited or removed as soon as possible. Note: Pace Boat Photo by Reg Blunt.
All information and advice put forward is delivered in good faith but I have to be realistic and state:
Every effort is made to provide honest, accurate information which is given in good faith. However, no responsibility is accepted for inaccuracies, discrepancies, negative outcomes, or any loss or harm, material or personal, resulting from the adoption of information contained in the Adrian Bright Powerboat Engineering website.
Adrian Bright – Consultant Marine Engineer. A.B.N. 15 414 870 185
The wonders of the Marine environment
Perhaps it’s only when you live in an environment like this for a while that you really experience the heartfelt desire to preserve it.
My wildlife interest has focussed on birds, but the world beneath the waves reveals magical beauty and an incredible variety of life. Taking a beginners SCUBA course on a reef trip, brings with it a stunning insight into the reef’s ecosystem and incredible diversity. But taking your own boat to a deserted tropical island beach and snorkeling a fringing reef can be just as rewarding. Just be sure to layer plenty of environmentally friendly sunscreen on your back - and the back of your neck and legs!
The marketing gurus would tell me to put ‘Our Vision’ and/or, ‘Mission Statement’ on this page, in the hope that you believe it! This entire website is those things; it is essentially my philosophy. It's an insight into my passion and the science and personal values I hold dearly. To understand the path that brought me here, check out the ‘Profile’ story on this page. It illustrates how the passion evolved - and has never diminished.
My philosophy embraces a passion for powerboat technology and the value I place on the environment, particularly the marine environment - and how these things can harmonise. I loved authentic offshore powerboat racing – but equally, I love being immersed in the nature of the marine environment. The beautiful region of islands, beaches and the magnificent wildlife of ‘The Great Barrier Reef’, where I live, was my natural ‘destiny’.
The really disappointing aspect is the mindless damage that power and greed inflicts on this magical paradise. Massive coal mines and bulk shipping terminals, chemical and silt run-off from farming, the all too obvious effects of global warming and the careless discarding of plastic rubbish, all contribute to this entire ecosystem dying at a truly alarming rate! My powerboat passion appeared to be in conflict with my true values until I realised that the marine industry itself, while being part of the problem – has a huge moral obligation to be part of the solution.
Some sectors of the marine industry, influenced by vested interests under threat, accepted scripts of blatant misinformation about alternative fuels, without ever testing the negative claims for credibility! Those aware of my background in motorsports, engine technology, powerboat racing and years specialising in fuel system components, will understand how easy it was for me to appreciate that the fuel developments were both an obvious path and an opportunity for me to truly engage in ‘doing something’ to make a difference! This opportunity now embraces, not only fuels, but the evolving power sources.
Unfortunately efforts to ‘do something’ – joining a ‘renewable fuels industry representation association’ and proposing promotional and PR initiatives - came up against, what I can only assume were the views and weight of certain industry members. I was assured that great strides were being made via negotiation with the State government for a bio/renewable fuels mandate. The outcome: “up to 10% ethanol” in petrol and “up to 3% bio/renewable” in diesel. Think about it! A typical government policy to placate both sides of the debate. Not surprisingly, the ‘association’ disintegrated – and biofuels, ethanol in particular, remain a minute fraction of the, already low quality, fuels in Australia.
To understand why Australia has such a massive blind-spot in respect to global warming/climate change or any of the consequences. And in turn, bio/renewable or any replacement energy source beyond the 20th century status quo. Requires that the link between ‘capitalism without rules’ and the economics of political parties is grasped. While this circumstance prevails Australia will continue to defy science, morality and basic common sense.
If there is anything amusing to be observed in this scenario, it is the vehement attack by one side of politics, on the suggestions by the other, during the 2019 election, that electric cars were the future. Outrage and ludicrous propaganda followed. That was before the realisation that electric cars plug into a 70% coal fired electricity grid, then suddenly electric cars are cool and we need more coal fired power stations. The simple truth is, the energy policies of federal government – either side - remain the consequences of moral bankruptcy and the venal lust to stay in power.
The reality now is a ‘world’ largely comprehending the urgency, and moving toward an era of massive energy changes. And in fact, while Australia federally, remains stubbornly reluctant – some in the corporate sector and therefore, some in State Governments, are recognising community demands and indeed the economic logic, of moving forward. Beyond the clear acceptance of changes in the auto sector, developments in public transport, heavy transport, aviation and shipping – embracing the spectrum from bio, renewable and synthetic fuels, through hybrid and battery-electric, to hydrogen and fuel-cells - is becoming quite bewildering.
This is precisely where a clear understanding of how this revolution can be embraced by the smaller vessel marine sector, particularly the planing hull segment, becomes my focus and the essence of where this website is going.
Modern marine propulsion efficiencies can indeed harmonise with understanding rapid environmental change. The basic physics applicable in each subject is compelling. But ultimately both factors influence our health and quality of life – not to mention, that of every other living thing - and the planet itself! We can make a difference – and still have the best time ever doing it!
So, seriously contemplate ‘life’ while dwelling quayside - and let this ‘vision and mission’ reveal a philosophy, far more profound than a few hollow promises could ever articulate.
Please, do it for me!
It’s a long story, this is merely the highlights:
England 1961, an eleven year old has dreams of an outboard to turn his 10ft dinghy into a powerboat after watching the very first ‘modern era’ offshore powerboat race outside the USA – the first Cowes-Torquay. During the race an incredibly noisy boat stopped right off the headland where he is watching – the boat is ‘Glass Moppie’, the driver and crew were Sam Griffiths and Dick Bertram. AB really can claim to have been there at the beginning!
(The Sam Griffiths Trophy was traditionally awarded to the Class-1 Offshore World Champion; it is the pinnacle of the sport. The Bertram Yacht Company ‘Moppie’ series were the prototype ‘deep-vee’ hull designs used in performance production and racing boats to this day.)
A C&G London Institute automotive technology graduation and a five year Ford apprenticeship – plus a passion for motor racing, saw him work his way to a top auto race-team building F2 and F5000 cars - that company later became Roger Penske’s UK Indy-car factory.
In 1973 he happened to see an offshore race again - ‘Dry Martini’, ‘Unowot’, ‘Miss Embassy’ - multiple V8’s, howling outboards, smoke belching diesels, even gas-turbines - this is awesome! He dreams powerboats again and buys an 18ft sportscruiser. June 1976 he joins Sabre Engines turning Ford diesels into race winners; by ’77 he is assistant engineer on the Sabre powered boat that wins the British Championship – the die is cast!
In 1978 he races a powerboat – on a lake – taking his ex-John Nicholson (Nicholson McLaren Engines) OE class Hodges/Mercury circuit cat to second place in the Duckhams Oils Club Championship – but his heart is really ‘offshore’! He leaves Sabre to briefly run Fletcher International Sportsboats (Christchurch) retail rigging shop
By this time his marine engineering reputation is such that he is commissioned by RYA scrutineers to strip and measure one of Renato Della Valle’s ‘Rothmans’ engines during his three heat sweep of the 1982 Class 1 World Championship.
AB spends six months in Australia, returning to the UK in ’83 to establish ‘Adrian Bright Powerboat Engineering’ – taking Mercruiser and Earls Performance Products dealerships. By 1985 he is racing with a client – including the 25th Anniversary of the Cowes-Torquay Classic. His shop is close to Roger Penske’s Indy-car factory and a relationship develops with ‘Penske Cars’.
Consultancy commissions continue, including an order to strip and inspect one of the Fiat IVECO engines from the 1984 Round Britain race-winning Buzzi mono ‘White IVECO’. At year end he takes his first offshore A-Class win in a client’s Hunton 23 Sportscruiser. Through ‘86 and ’87 he continues maintaining production class raceboats, racing with clients and taking more wins.
By now he is supplying most of the top offshore teams with Earl’s fluid system components – including Cougar Marine and Class-1 World Champion, Steve Curtis.
Keen to run his own team, AB buys a new Revenger 25 Sportscruiser hull which he rigs with a single Mercruiser 260. Launching halfway through the 1988 season, he throttles and navigates with Penske Cars CEO, Nick Goozeé on the helm. In six races, ‘Sweet Revenge’ takes six class wins and third Cruiser overall on each occasion, beating B-Class cruisers with twice the power. AB then smashes the Cruiser A-Class speed record on Lake Windermere.
For ’89, two clients order B-Class Revenger Sportscruisers; he throttles and drives with each client at various times, the team wins countless races, two championships and takes B-Class speed record. ‘Sweet Revenge’, renamed ‘Daddies Toy’, takes A-Class National Championship for its new owner.
In 1990 AB takes the Offshore Racing Drivers Association (Cruiser Class) Championship and is awarded UK Offshore Boating Association ‘Engineer of the Year’ trophy at year end – in recognition of industry position and client success. In ‘91 he teamed up with Ring Powercraft in the new Ring 26 B-Class sportscruiser, again, winning virtually every race entered.
Throughout this time a parallel career develops, writing for ‘Powerboat International’ and ‘Raceboat’ magazines. He is elected technical representative for the Power Cruiser Racing Association and is invited by the RYA to assist in re-writing the Production Cruiser Class rules.
In 1993 AB moves to Australia and meets up with offshore racers: Ross Willaton and Bill Barry-Cotter. Working with Ross at Greg Swain Marine, he throttles in a couple of races for Rocco Emanuel in a 33 Fountain – prompting Ross to say (He’d had a few beers!) “There are only two good throttlemen in Australia – you and me”! (He was right on the second one – Ross subsequently became a ‘World’ Champion in both US Superboats and X-Cats!)
Adrian Bright Powerboat Engineering re-established on the Gold Coast, taking Earl’s and Mercruiser again. Supplying fuel and fluid system components to offshore, ski-racers and several Gold Coast based V8 Supercar teams, he quickly becomes a top Australian Earl’s dealer. In 1998 Earl’s invite him to work directly with them in Sydney. McIntyre Equipment brought in the first Steyr MO236 marine diesel from Austria at this time and AB’s interest evolved into friendship with Rob McIntyre. AB represents (contracts) Earl’s and Steyr in Sydney region until returning to QLD in 2000.
In 2001, ABPE Pty Ltd establishes a dealership for Mercruiser, Yanmar, Steyr-Motors and Suzuki in a new marina/resort in north Queensland. AB also imported two Sunsation performance sportscruiser hulls from the US. In 2007/8 he runs a Sunsation 288 demo boat as the ‘Official Pace Boat’ for the AOPC/Superboat offshore series; AB is awarded the AOPC 2007 Clubman of the Year Trophy. AB also provides the start-boat and escort for the Bass Strait Rally and takes in a Poker-Run on the Gippsland lakes while in Victoria.
The writing career develops further with contributions in ‘Australian Powerboat’ and a regular four-page performance/technical section for ‘Propeller’ magazine in Australia and NZ. Further contributions appear in Superyacht magazines ‘OCEAN’ and ‘ULTIMATE BOATING & LIFESTYLE’.
The north Queensland marina/resort developer failed, deeply affecting the business. Substantial financial loss is followed by the marina being completely destroyed by cyclone Yasi. The move is made to Airlie Beach. AB becomes contracted consultant and north QLD representative for Steyr-Motors Australia, also taking private consultancy work, writing occasional magazine articles and developing the ‘Sportscruiser-Sport’ blog. The Bass Strait Rally was re-run in 2011 which saw AB team up with an entrant from WA; they successfully complete the event in a Scarab 26. His account of the Australian Offshore Challenge / Bass Strait Rally is published in ‘Trailer-Boat’ magazine and remains a popular website hit.
It can be stated that the early interest in boats and the subsequent education and training that led to the passion for motorsport, evolved into a profound understanding and a wealth of experience in powerboat engineering. Over the years, this has been complimented by the study of the physics and mechanical engineering principles applicable to refining powerboat dynamics, efficiencies and performance. While the studying never culminated in seeking formal graduation, it is gratifying to see boats with concepts AB instigated over 30 years ago, still racing and winning in the 21st century. Some things just speak for themselves!
Now into the second decade of the 21st Century, the focus has been revised. While a long running legal commission is still very much active, AB is no longer taking consultancy work. The technical focus is now on the practical transition from fossil fuels to a net-zero and ultimately, fully zero carbon future. The invitation now, is to offer power and fuel technology stakeholders a partner in facing the challenge of gaining market and operator acceptance, across the planing hulled craft sector. Embracing every commercial, service, military, leisure and competition application.
For AB, the offshore powerboat technology flame burns as passionately as ever, however he equally values a lifelong interest in observing wildlife, birds in particular. Addressing climate change, habitat conservation and promoting environmental awareness, are in complete harmony with the engineering and operational practicalities of evolving power source and fuel technology, in fast planing craft applications.
Regardless of political manipulation, an understanding of climate change facts is leading to change at the level of responsible corporate strategies and investment decisions in the now urgent quest for reaching net-zero emissions. Low-carbon power in planing craft applications, must be considered and operational, research and development instigated. Equally, such development must build societal understanding, acceptance and market demand.
At the sporting level, professional motorsports are now trending positively in clean engine and fuel technology. Alternative power sources and fuels do not represent the end of enjoyment and sporting challenges, on the contrary, it is the very place where technical solutions evolve and are proven!
AB always welcomes interest and discussion.
Build assistant and No.2 Race Mechanic for Trevor Taylor in F5000 Leda 1972.
Rebuilt the Sabre engines for The Earl of Normantons's Levi/Souter 'Alto Volante' after it partially sank a week before the 1976 Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race.
Installed the first Sabre 365's in HTS 1977.
Hodges/Mercury OE Class cat. 2nd place club championship - but my heart is 'offshore'.
'Sweet Revenge' six races, six wins with Penske Cars CEO Nick Goozee.
With Will taking another class win in the uniquely engineered surface-drive Revenger - still racing 30 years later!
Start of London-Brighton under Tower Bridge with Mike Ring in Ring 26 - another class win!
Bob taking the overall win in the Round-the-Island race at Cowes.
Australia and a class win in a Fountain 33 on the Gold Coast with Rocco Emanuel
The Sunsation starting the Australian 'Superboats'
Groovin on a Sunday afternoon!
And observing wildlife!
Lady Fiona, Countess of Arran presenting my A Class speed record certificate, centre stage at the London Boat Show
With Bob Humphrys at Guernsey, my 'team' took first and second in the cruiser class at the Guernsey Gold Cup festival
With Will Haycock and wife at the royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes receiving a 'consolation' prize from Princess Caroline of Monaco. The Cowes-Torquay-Cowes has always been jinxed for me, in about five attempts we finally made it to within sight of the finish and the Beaverbrook Trophy for first in cruiser class - when we ran out of fuel!
When receiving valuable trophies, I alway like to have my bodyguards close by!