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Old Jul 11, 2012, 12:27 PM
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historical old tether boats from this area......

I was reading about the history of tether boats in the Washington, D.C. area and found the name of the man who built the first one in 1930. He was Elmer Luke of Washington, D.C. It said that in 1935 he sold "WASP" to another boat enthusiast who lived in Georgetown. In his abandoned house I found the WASP in complete original condition. Are there any more surviving 1930s tether boats ? I've also found the only surviving "POND YACHT" that I am aware of from the Reflecting Pool. These 50-inch hull sailboats preceeded the tether boats and were sailed from 1918 to @ 1935. reedbanjo@verizon.net
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:35 AM
"Unnecessary Necessity"
coriolan's Avatar
Canada, QC, Quebec City
Joined Sep 2006
5,762 Posts
Good to see someone showing interest for tether boats, that WASP in original condition is a rare find! When IMPBA started, they had a tether boats category as it was very popular in the 30's and 40's(specially around New York). Here is a picture of another American pionner: Ed Kalfus and a link to a site with lot of infos about classic tether hydros(IC and flash steam)as well as their engines:
http://www.onthewire.co.uk/folly.htm
http://www.onthewire.co.uk/hydlist.htm
There is some excellent videos of tether hudros on YouTube too:
Tethered Hydroplane (0 min 52 sec)

A class flash steamer (1 min 37 sec)

Flash steam hydro of Bob Kirtly (1 min 29 sec)

Naviga A3 tethered hydroplane (1 min 33 sec)
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 12:54 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Apr 2007
3,658 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by reedbanjo View Post
I was reading about the history of tether boats in the Washington, D.C. area and found the name of the man who built the first one in 1930. He was Elmer Luke of Washington, D.C. It said that in 1935 he sold "WASP" to another boat enthusiast who lived in Georgetown. In his abandoned house I found the WASP in complete original condition. Are there any more surviving 1930s tether boats ? I've also found the only surviving "POND YACHT" that I am aware of from the Reflecting Pool. These 50-inch hull sailboats preceeded the tether boats and were sailed from 1918 to @ 1935. reedbanjo@verizon.net
Post Photos!! Please! I am going to assume that you are going to take steps to preserve these wonderful artifacts of our history.
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Old Jul 12, 2012, 09:03 AM
RC boat Rock Star
Kalamazoo, MI
Joined Apr 2004
2,933 Posts
Oh yeah, I just have to see a couple of shots of what you've got!
We've got it made to compared to the boats of that era as the owners built everything themselves including engines and props. Tom Perzentka which you know better as Octura was one of the first to sell a lot of things already done. These puppies were hitting 100 MPH+ about 50 years before RC boats did.
It seems like you've found a couple of pieces of the Holy Grail of model boating. Those belong in a museum.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by craig_c View Post
Post Photos!! Please! I am going to assume that you are going to take steps to preserve these wonderful artifacts of our history.
I fully intend to preserve them - but tether boats are being thrown in the trash faster than I can located them. Joe Sparr was the kingpin of the Baltimore, Md. early tether boat fellows.....racing homebuilt 30cc engines which were three times the size of the Hornet, Atwood Champion, and Dooling. Many years ago I was able to locate Mr. Sparr. We enjoyed many an evening of horse trading stuff. He wanted engines which he was never able to afford or locate, and I wanted to reassemble and restore his Class A tether boats.....which had been taken apart over the previous fifty or sixty years. He would pull out an engine wrapped in some old rag, and I would pull out a couple of 10cc store bought engines which he had always wanted to own.....and we would trade. I would bring his 30cc engine home and clean and polish it and take it, along with other trade goodies, back to Baltimore. He would pull out the original hull for my lovely 30cc engine and the trading would furiously start again. Many trips later I had all three 30cc engines back in the original hulls and mounted on stands so they could be appreciated in "as new condition." I was so very lucky to locate and be able to spend a lot of nights with such a handsome piece of history as Joe Sparr was.
Reed Martin reedbanjo@verizon.net restorer of old tether boats
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