We're racing through history!
Hello Hydro Fans,
Before there was RC, you raced your boat on a 52-foot tether cable, one at a time.
The competition was against the clock-Model Tether Boat Racing.
These boats and their gas and steam engines were all homemade, scratch built
by the talented toolmakers and machinists of the 1924-1955 era.
Here in Detroit known as the Detroit Model Power Boat Club, we were the epi-center for
Tether Boat Racing at Detroit's Water Works Park. In addition to the Detroit Model Boat Club,
other Clubs from Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Toronto came to Detroit
to race each other. The "big years" (before the war) were the 4th of July weekends of
1939, 40' and 41'.
I realize that these boats are not full size,
Tether boat racing may have inspired Hydroplane enthusiasts.
The grandfather of Joe Tate, a contemporary full size Hydroplane driver,
built and raced his tether boat in Water Works Park. Urban legend has it that Grandpa Tate
created surface propping. And, in 1939 Garwood visited the Detroit Club at Water Works Park,
likely looking for "speed ideas."
In 1961, a tether boat broke the 100 mph ceiling, built by Ed Kalfus of the New York Model Knights Club.
I have been a avid tether boat historian and collector for 25+ years.
A website I recently started- www.tetherboat.com
I welcome comments and shared interest.