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Sic Transit

July 2024
1min read

Considering the toil, time, and hardship it took to build the Panama Canal (see page 64), it seems almost flippant to report that a three-foot-long model cruiser named Ancon II last year became the smallest vessel ever to pass through the Canal. The boat, built from a kit by Major Kenneth Thomas of the U.S. Air Force, made the journey from the Atlantic side to the Pacific in eight and a half hours. Ancon II carried two and a half gallons of fuel for her nine-tenths-of-a-horsepower engine. She could reach nine knots when fully loaded, twelve knots as she became lighter. The boat was guided by a radio transmitter and was lifted from one level to another through the locks by being tied to a control boat, aboard which was a Canal pilot. Major Thomas paid seventy-two cents for the fifty-mile transit, the minimum rate for a ship in ballast.

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