1908 Detroit Motor Boat Show

Detroit Boat and Engine Show

Detroit Boat and Engine Show
The First Annual Detroit Motor Boat Show

Detroit decided to have a show and, strange to say, while it was held after all the other shows this year, it was one of the most successful ever held, taking third place in matter of attendance, enthusiasm and sales. Without a doubt the city of Detroit is an ideal town to hold a boat show, as its twenty-four miles of water-front enables every one to go yachting. For those who like deep water the Great Lakes afford ample opportunity for cruising. While the situation of the town for yachting is ideal, unfortunately there is no building of sufficient size to hold a boat show. The Light Guard Armory, where this show was held, is far too small to hold an exhibition the size of which this town will support -- in fact, several prospective exhibitors were compelled to cancel their space, as it was impossible to get a 32-foot cabin cruising launch through the doors and permission could not be secured in time to make larger entrances.

Detroit as a city produces some of the best gasolene engines and without a doubt some of the worst. There are several firms in this town selling engines on the "skinned" engine plan, and make a practice of catching the uninitiated far enough away to prevent their returning the goods. In fact, many go out of business after one season. These concerns are well known in the locality and the management positively refused to allow them to exhibit their lines. The following well-known manufacturers exhibited engines and boats: Buffalo Motor Co., Buffalo, N.Y.; Strelinger Marine Engine Co., Detroit, Mich.; Roberts Motor Co., Clyde, Ohio; Ferro machine & Foundry Co., Cleveland, Ohio; Vim Motor Cop., Sandusky, Ohio; Scripps Motor Co., Detroit, Mich.; United Mfg. Co., Detroit, Mich.; Lockwood Ash Motor Co., Lansing, Mich.; Dingfelder Motor Co., Detroit, Misc.; Waterman marine Motor Co., Detroit, Mich.; Regal gasoline Motor Co., Coldwater, Mich.; Racine Boat Mfg. Co., Muskegon, Mich.; Stratton Engine Co, Fitchburg, Mass.; Lisk Marine Engine Co., Detroit, Mich.; Sintz-Wallin Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.; International Motor Co., Chicago, Ill.; Michigan Wheel Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.; C. M. Jacobson, Detroit, Mich.; and other equipment houses and boat-builders well known locally.

The Detroit Motor Boat Club sanctioned this show, giving their moral support, and a committee appointed by the Commodore made all strangers welcome in the reception room As the members attended in uniform they gave the exhibition a nautical appearance. The club displayed various cups won during the season, including the RUDDER Cup for the Long-Distance Race and the prize won by Grayling.

At the close of the show, in appreciation of the manager's efforts, the exhibitors presented Mr. A. B. Moulder with a watch through Commodore C. W. Kotcher.

It was unanimously decided to hold a show next year that would be second to none.

(Transcribed from The Rudder, April, 1908, p. 389. )

[Thanks to Greg Calkins for help in preparing this page. —LF]

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