A 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 of things).

    The idea of setting up a club got started one Sunday afternoon at Bob Fischer’s dock on Edgewater Drive.  A group 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.  At this time it was decided that no dealers were to be allowed to hold office, nor were any women allowed to become members of the club.

   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. Hugh 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.”


Submitted Courtesy of Al Perkins.