Mysterious Junk Nearly Completed; Historical Launching Due Next Week
Nearing completion, the mysterious Chinese junk designed and constructed in secret beneath the house squash courts by Peter Black '42 and David Ewing '42 will be launched early next week, they announced last night.
Revealing for the first time the location of the boat's construction, Black explained that the work had progressed to the point where the secret elements are incorporated within the boat and covered up. The vessel, equipped with heavy armor plate and a powerful cannon, promises to be of naval importance although the designers refuse to divulge any information in this respect except that its value lies in "the element of surprise."
The boat's main feature is the ability to pass under bridges with safety. Civilians throwing objects from bridges have always been the sailor's nightmare, but, as Ewing pointed out, with the armor as protection they can "sound 'general quarters' and retreat below decks" to escape rocks and safes hurled down upon them from Lars Anderson or Cottage Farm Bridge. For this reason, the boat would be invaluable to the invaders of Britain because they would be able to pass unmolested under the bridge at Scapa Flow. To foil German agents desirous of the construction plans, the designers have built their revolutionary craft without plans according to Chinese custom and Bernie Warner.
The newly conceived center of gravity is a carefully guarded secret and is heavily surrounded by armor to prevent injury. The boat has an auxiliary simplified marine engine as well as a full set of logistics on board.
Black and Ewing have received advice from the designer of the "Yankee," Frank Paine, of George Lawley Company which is also doing experimental naval construction. Direct assistance was given by Freeman Koo '42 as representative of the Chinese government, one of the foreign powers interested in the experiment.
Sir Gerald Campbell has been invited to be a guest of the members of the Far Eastern Yacht Club at the launching.