1908 Iowa Centennial Celebration Regatta

St. Louis Motorboat Gossip
by Miles J. Burke

The Minnie C at Fort Madison
St. Louis Motorboat Gossip

Edwin C. Koenig, a wealthy young St. Louisan, who a few days ago was a steam yacht enthusiast, then caught the automobile craze and this year spent all of his spare time on the Mississippi River experimenting with an eleven thousand dollar speed boat, Independence, which was finished for him late last Spring, and which is creating no end of interest in the game in St. Louis. Mr. Koenig is a speed boat enthusiast. Independence has an eight-cylinder Jencick motor, the cylinders of which are 7 x 7 inches. At 1,000 r.p.m. the motor develops 210-hp. and has done much better. The hull is 42 feet by 5 feet. In a speed trial over a regular measured mile on the Mississippi River, three trips over the course down stream and the same number up stream, the time was figured out and it was found that Independence had made an average speed of 32 3-10 miles an hour. Walter Beauvais, a boat builder, and William Ranning, neither of whom had anything to do with the building of the boat, timed the trials. The boats has been in two races this season. In a local race against Yankee No. 2 she won easily with an average speed of over 30 miles an hour. Because of a defective clutch Independence was unable to compete in the St. Louis Power Boat Association Regatta.

Later, Fort Madison, Ia. men and Mr. Koenig agreed on two match races between the Minnie C II, of Fort Madison, and Independence, the first to be at Fort Madison and the second contest at St. Louis. A centennial celebration was being held at Fort Madison and a five hundred dollar purse was being offered for the race. Independence was within a short distance of the Minnie C all the way and had a good chance to win until the seams in the front bulkhead opened because of the terrific strain of running in water that did not average more than five feet in depth while the boat draws close to four feet. The Minnie C draws less than three feet of water.

The water rushed into the boat, but Mr. Koenig was able to finish. it took a week to tow the Independence from St. Louis to Fort Madison. The boat did not arrive until the morning of the race and was anything but the best trim for the contest.

Mr. Koenig returned to St. Louis and praised the Minnie C and the Fort Madison men highly. he will make the trip to Davenport next Spring for a chance at the Minnie C at the Mississippi Valley Power Boat Association's Annual Regatta.

Independence has prompted a local syndicate of St. Louisans to turn out a new boat which will be launched shortly. All details are being kept secret, but it is stated that it will have an eight-cylinder, two-cycle motor developing over 250-hp. The boat will be out in a few days. Commanche II, a new boat, Missouri II, a new Yankee and at least a half dozen other speed boats of high class will be on the water at St. Louis by next Spring. A St. Louis physician, Dr. Max Starkloff, has been dickering with the owners of the Dixie I in an effort to bring that boat to St. Louis. He already owns the Irma, a cabin cruiser launch that cost twelve thousand dollars. Like a number of other wealthy St, Louisans, he now has the motorboat speed "bug" also.

(Transcribed from MotorBoat, Nov. 25, 1908, pp.16, 17. )

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

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