group of young men, who were interested in
Outboard Racing, decided to organize an Outboard Racing
Club for the purpose of putting on their own races and to
better promote Stock-hydro Racing. This
all began to take
place in the fall of 1949. Some of the members who helped
organize the Toledo Outboard Club
(now known as River
View Yacht Club) were: Al Perkins, Jim
Owens, Buz Smith,
Bob Fisher, Norm Ramstadt, Fritz
Stoner, Erv Schwab,
Charles Remele, Skip Hight, Jake Fredericks, Charles Ladd,
Frank Hoffman and Les Tahl (who helped with the legal aspect
The idea of setting up a club got started one Sunday
afternoon at Bob Fischer’s dock on Edgewater Drive.
of the above mentioned members who owned hydro-planes got
together at the dock and decided to start the club. A meeting was
scheduled for the following Sunday at Bob Fisher’s dock.
At that meeting about 15 to 20 fellows showed up. We appointed
a chairman, Al Perkins, and decided to contact the Toledo Blade
to find out what we could do to let the public know about this
club and what they had to suggest to locate other men who
might be interested in Stock- Hydo Racing.
Mr. Perkins and
Mr. Remele then contacted Lou Klewer, who put an article
in his column about the new club forming in Point Place and also
mentioned that if anyone was interested they should attend
the next meeting at Bob Fisher’s dock. In the mean time, a rough set of
by-laws was set up and
an election of officers took place. We
also started scheduling
Outboard Races which were Stock Utility and Stock Hydro.
this time it was decided that no dealers were to be allowed to
hold office, nor were any women allowed to become members
In the following weeks, we were asked by the City
Recreation Director, Art Morris, who had heard about the club, if we would be
interested in putting on the races for the “Aquarama” a sports spectacular
put on by the City every year at Walbridge Park.
We agreed to put on the Outboard Races.
The City furnished the trophies and the time clock.
A small entry fee was charged. The
club saved these fees and it was through this means that we were able to get the
down payment for the present club property.
Toledo soon became well known for Stock–hydro Racing and a very active
Outboard Club. It was not unusual at all
to draw as many as 150 racing boats to one of these races.
Bob Fisher’s dock
soon became too small so we moved from his dock to the “Town Tavern”.
After a few meetings at this spot, we were offered the use of the
upstairs rooms of Thompson’s Inn (now known as Bush Marina) for our
meetings. Babe Francis, proprietor of
Thompson’s Inn also let us use his waterfront to build a dock.
We built a dock out of lumber and oil drums.
This dock did not work out well. Our
largest boat at the dock was a 12 foot Wolverine.
Tanner, at this time joined the club, and through his efforts we made a deal
with Frank Komorny to purchase his property which was a former fish market on
Edgewater Drive. Our present club
is now on this side.
We also put on
races for Ottawa River Yacht Club, Swan Boat Club and Detroit Beach Club.
As the old saying goes “Now you know the rest of the story.”
Courtesy of Al Perkins.