Spitfire Restoration – Inboard

This section is a living work in progress

My 1968 Mitcham Marine Spitfire before restoration, looks far better than it really was.

John Neate in similar boat to mine (pic above) and below after restoration.

My 1968 Mitcham Marine Spitfire after restoration.

The above boat was purchased knowing that it required complete restoration. It did float (and leak) and the trailer was positively dangerous. The engine was from a quad bike and had it worked might have been quite awesome, but it did not. The restoration was then on to bring the boat back to ‘almost’ original condition with the advice of the designer and original builder Mr John Neate. John agreed that he would upgrade certain parts if he was doing the restoration.

The boat was stripped out and the quad engine sold as scrap, but the good news is that I found a fibreglass boat builder who actually worked on them in the 1970’s and he did the major hull repair work. I did the rest which included building a new stainless steel trailer. The engine in the following picture was found in a workshop near Leeds on its original pallet and was unused, because no knew what it fitted.

Jet Unit trial fit before the boat rebuild & re-paint

I made this ‘joystick’ control lever from some scrap 15mm central heating tube and a cycle brake handle. It makes the handling fantastic. The lever is pushed forward for forward and pulled back for reverse. The cycle lever controls the accelerator, but if any mishap the throttle is released and the boat slows.

Joy-stick installed in the boat. It is placed in the centre for ease of control and makes the operation really slick.

Getting there, but a long way to go yet. At the same time I was restoring the Mitcham Marine Spitfire outboard model. Parts for both of these boats is impossible to get as they are no longer made. My excellent network of specialist engineers and supplies is vital.