General Electric in Lynn, Massachusetts.
The boat was lightweight cedar covered in
canvas, with a mahogany transom, engine
hatch, and framing near the steering wheel.
It comfortably seated two. The engine was
forward of the cockpit.
In 1907, she was lost for six months
while being rail shipped to the Norris homestead in Monmouth, Maine. She later turned
up in a Kansas rail yard; the following year,
she was racing the lakes. But Norris was
unhappy with the then 15-hp engine so he
swapped it for a 20-hp and the boat, named
by Norris’ sisters after a mythological Native
American serpent, gained a reputation as the
boat to beat.
The legendary boatbuilder John Hacker
ended her reign by designing a competi-
tor with a planing hull — faster and more
efficient than Atosis’ displacement hull. “My
grandfather ran up against one of those
Hacker-Crafts and Atosis couldn’t defeat it,”
Jim Norris recalls. “His answer was to build
the Cobboseecontee Kid, and he wiped the
Hacker-Craft out.” By then, GE had trans-
ferred Norris to Schenectady, New York,
where he raced on the Mohawk River. “Most
powerboat racing in those days was done
by the well-to-do who had boats built for
them. My grandfather had the know-how to
build his own,” says Jim Norris, noting that
the Cobboseecontee Kid was upgraded with
a 60-hp Roberts aircraft engine to improve
performance, but its owner was still dissatis-
fied until the iron pistons were replaced with
aluminum to boost power.
Norris family donated Atosis to the Antique
Boat Museum in Clayton, New York.
“Atosis has been stored most of her
life,” says museum curator Dan Miller. “She
was completed in 1907, so she’s 105 years
old. That was the early days of powerboat
racing. What makes her so important and
exciting is that she’s never been modified or
repainted. The only damage occurred in the
1980s when a lead battery tipped over and
acid burned the canvas.” Of the legendary
museum’s 320 boats, Miller ranks Atosis
among the top 10 and plans to make her a
“We were all raised on stories about
our grandfather, and my brother and sister
and I all raced powerboats. Maybe it was
ancestor worship,” says Jim Norris. “After he
died, the boat’s location was kept a secret
so nobody would mess with it at the Maine
home. He was already gone before any of us
were born, but if he were alive, I’m sure he’d
want to know what all the fuss was about.”
— DAVID LISCIO
4265AD_Micron_Champagne NA_BoatUS_Layout 2 03/02/2012 16: 36 Page 1
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EXTRAORDINARY, E-MAIL YOUR SUGGESTIONS TO LETTERSTOEDITOR@BOATUS.COM
If We Made Our Formula Any Finer, We’d Be Bottling Champagne.
While a bottle of bubbly certainly has
very different attributes, the level of
quality and precision that goes into
producing each can of Micron® is similar.
The Micron family of products is the
pinnacle of today’s antifouling technology
— formulated to deliver maximum
antifouling performance in even the
harshest fouling environments, and on
all types of boats. And because Micron
products are polishing paints, they
actually become smoother over time,
reducing drag and fuel consumption,
leading to a significant reduction in
carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide
emissions. Micron paints also provide
multi – seasonal performance which
means the boat can be hauled and
relaunched without recoating. It gets
better. Because the polishing action
reduces build-up, when the time does
come to re-apply, you’ll spend less time
sanding. You just can’t buy a better
antifouling. And that’s certainly worth
raising a glass to.
®, Interlux® the AkzoNobel logo and all products mentioned are
trademarks of, or licensed to, AkzoNobel. © Akzo Nobel N.V. 2012.
Use antifoulings safely. Always read the product label.