ALLEN BROWN’S (a.k.a. Brownie) HYDROPHOBIA – 6 cylinder Falcon engine

Story by Tricia Bailey (Brown) daughter of Allen Brown – owner/driver Hydrophobia

Circa 1975

Dad loved boat racing and as he was on a very tight budget he would do most of his mechanical repairs himself. He used to get me to come out and help, we’d spend the week nights out in the shed hovering over the boat.

I remember most of all when he would hold down the valve springs with a spanner and screwdriver.

And I would have to drop in the collets, and he would say don’t let them fly or we will never find them. I must admit, I did feel the pressure to ensure the engine was ready for the boat to be back on the water for another run on the weekend.

The boat leaked so bad he had to be the last one in the water and the first one out. And could not swim to save himself. Hence the name ‘Hydrophobia’.

Dad said that Hydrophobia was a terrible boat when he first got it, until David Gill worked on it. After that it was a great boat and fast!

COLOUR PHOTO – 3 BOATS: Dad said it was a handicap race and he won!

Allen Brown in Hydrophobia, the other two are John Lewis in Vulture, and Trevor Matthews in Assassin too.  (Handicap race at Albert Park Lake – Allen Brown/Hydrophobia won this race)! David Gill worked on all three of these boats

BLACK & WHITE PHOTO: Photo taken at Lake Eppalock by The Age photographer.

The black and white photo is Hydrophobia doing the kilo run (one boat on it’s own over a measured kilometer) at Lake Eppalock  and dad (Allen Brown – Hydrophobia) did 76mph. 

Ernie Nunn from Sydney and quite a few other blokes used to come to Lake Eppalock for the Kilo run because it was a very good lake for it.

Brownie said he was out on the water in Bennie Foxes runabout (as a crash boat) when Bob Saniga flipped Bayswater Bulk (timber hydro) doing 150mph, over a timed flying kilometer run (attempting to break the Australasian speed record which they already held with Stampede). David Gill was a scrutineer at this race.  Bob survived the crash.  Brownie & Bennie hooked onto Bayswater Bulk after it flipped but had to let go or the hydroplane would have pulled them under.  And down she went! The next day they salvaged the hydro.

Click on the photo’s below to enlarge




SCRUBCAT & MISCHIF both David GILL hulls

Monday 6th May 2019
In memory of Jack Long who passed away at 8pm last night aged 87.
Today we remember with great respect and admiration Mr Jack Long owner driver of racing boat ‘Scrubcat’ which today still holds the Australasian/Australian 266 side valve record. 
SCRUBCAT was the very first boat that David Gill (GILFLITE Boats) ever built when he initially went out on his own in business. (The build took place where David first rented part of a factory in Ringwood from Graeme Williamson – owner driver: Manta Ray). These were the very early days of David’s boat building career before David and Kevin Gill moved into their factory and started building GILFLITE Boats at 62 Vinter Avenue, Croydon Vic.
Before Vulture, before Hustler before anything else was SCRUBCAT built for Jack Long!
Jack Long helped David Gill get his business ‘GILFLITE’ up and running in the early days and for this as well as his courage as a racing boat driver we pay tribute. 
Rest in Peace Jack Long ‘Champion of champions’

The GILFLITE Freedom

From the GILFLITE Archives
Here’s a link to the GILFLITE Freedom …. a unique design by David GilL, way ahead of it’s time, manufactured by GILFLITE Boats. The Freedom was released by GILFLITE in 1992, as with all new boat designs by GILFLITES chief designer, the design of the Freedom was thoroughly researched and tested as a high performance sports boat before it hit the market. David saw the Australian boat market changing years before it actually did with the need for bigger boats to host a range of water sports activities.
When the Freedom was first introduced to the Australian market at the 1992 Melbourne Boat Show, people just didn’t know how to react. Customers were aware that GILFLITE was bringing out a new boat which was to be unveiled at the ’92 Melbourne Boat show but no-one expected anything like the design of the Freedom. It took a while for the market to catch up and realise what GILFLITE was offering. Now, 30 years later our customers and the GILFLITE members still comment on the forward thinking of the Freedom and how well the original design sits in the current day market.

The GILFLITE Freedom –https://www.gilflite.com.au/freedom/


GILFLITE Javelin Mk I, Mk II, Mk III

The following link will take you to the history of GILFLITE Boats – Javelin Album


Javelin Mk II

Javelin Spitfire add

BELOW: Javelin complete rebuild by GILFLITE (completed in 2017)

above: before restoration


below: restoration completed

GILFLITE Javelin Mk III  –              maintenance & upgrade work completed, gelcoat/metalflake restored  


GILFLITE Javelin Mk III – new GILFLITE windscreen

GILFLITE Javelin Mk III – new Easytow tandem trailer

GILFLITE Javelin Mk III – gunnel replaced

GILFLITE Javelin Mk III – re chromed

GILFLITE a style of life


‘HUSTLER’ – the first GILFLITE built in 1968, (not including race boats).

Hustler is the first speed boat built out of the original GILFLITE factory in Vinter Ave. In fact, the bloke who asked David & Kevin to build him this boat had just returned from the  boat races and wanted them to build him a boat  like Vulture. Hustler remained in the same family for around 40 years until the original owner passed away.

The boat is now back at GILFLITE.

Looks Good!  Sounds Good!  Goes Good!

Racing Boats



Manipulating the laws of physics …

1971 – E.C. GRIFFITH CUP – Australian Motorboat Championship Unlimited.
The Worlds most spectacular sport.
“It began way back in 1910, unlimited powerboat racing was in those days a sport for the wealthy or apparently wealthy few, and their mighty motors thundered a chorus that could be heard for miles as the message was bellowed out that the greatest single event in Australian motor sport was here. They were real racing men in those days and boats were not treated with kid gloves. To race your boat back in the Golden Years of the Griffith Cup you had to drive it to and from the race meeting. Often the only navigation lights were the flames from the red hot open exhausts, but they were the pioneers of power-boat racing; they laid a foundation for the coming generations.”

Easter Sunday – 11th April 1971
Event No. 4: Boat Name: Miss-Chif, Driver: WallyCooper, Hull: David Gill, Club: VSBC
Main Race: Boat Name: Vulture, Driver: John Lewis, Hull: David Gill, Club: VSBC

These were the early days of what was to become GILFLITE!

The EC Griffith Cup is thought to be the world’s second oldest motor sport trophy still being contested…..