Between 1928 and 1933 the Dart Boat Company built some of the finest, fastest and most elegant wooden boats in the country at their manufacturing facility in Toledo, Ohio. And because they were fast, Dart boats were popular with bootleggers who used them to transport illegal liquor across Lake Erie during the Prohibition years. (and girls too based on the cover shot)
Today, more than 80 years later, original Dart Boats (and Indian Lake manufactured boats – the predecessor to the Dart Boat Company) are rarely seen, but it’s always a treat when one shows up at a boat show or classic boating event.
Yesterday we received an e-mail from our friend Scott Ramsay (co-owner of Ramsay Brothers Restorations with brothers Dave & Chris Ramsay) in Toledo, Ohio to let us know that their new Dart Boat Company website is now up and running.
Scott noted: “Texx – The Dart Boat Company has launched it’s new website…finally. The site is still in the development stages, but functions pretty well.”
Here’s an excerpt from the new Dart Boat Company website that says it all…
Dart Boat Company
In the midst of the Roaring Twenties the desire for fun, frivolity, speed, and sport set the stage for a boom in production of the then-new mahogany runabout. Capitalizing on this growing market, the Indian Lake Boat Company in Lima, Ohio developed a line of fast runabouts with the evocative name of Dart. Continuing to ride the crest of the wave of motor boat popularity, the Dart line of boats attracted the attention of investors in Toledo, Ohio, and in 1928 a new company was formed, the Dart Boat Company of Toledo, Ohio.
Designer Irving “Hocky” Holler was retained from the Indian Lake Boat Company to refine the lines and hardware into a first class product, to be produced at a new factory in Toledo. In a short time Dart grew to be one of the leading boat builders, with iconic design, fast and stable hulls, and the legendary reputation for first-class workmanship. The Dart Boat Company was at the forefront of the industry, producing a top-of-the-line product, but also known for their international marketing efforts. Although favored by Prohibition-era bootleggers and the well-to-do, economic difficulties at the beginning of the Great Depression brought a halt to production.
Eighty-five years later, the iconic Dart boat models have resurfaced in Toledo. Within a few miles of the original Dart Boat Company factory, a skilled band of craftsmen are recreating the most beautiful of the original Dart models, as well as some interpretations of the originals. Today’s models are built to the same exacting standards and exquisite detail of the original boats, but incorporate modern power and improved hull construction for ease of use and simplicity of maintenance. Call today for more information on how you can become a caretaker of one of these works of marine art.
Scott Ramsay – Dart Boat Company
So now, if you are looking for information on the original Dart line of boats or if you are interested in owning a modern recreation of these iconic wooden boats from the golden age of motor boating, check them out.
To go directly to the new Dart Boat Company website you can Click Here. As they continue to develop their new website, you can also visit them on their Dart Boat Company Facebook Page – by Clicking Here.
Last August, with Scott’s help, we reported the 2012 Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show and the Ramsay Brothers Restorations rare, unrestored 1927 22.5′ Dart Jr. manufactured by the Indian Lake Boat Company. Scott mentioned in his e-mail yesterday that the Dart Jr. is going to be a part of a National Prohibition Exhibit, which is a unique way to display their unrestored boat… Stay tuned for more information. Here’s a shot of the 22.5′ Dart Jr. from the 2012 Algonac Boat Show in Michigan.
And because it’s Sunday, here’s a short video from 1928 featuring some folks “whooping it up” aboard thier Indian Lake-built Dart runabouts on the Maumee River near Toledo, and Lake Erie near Put-In-Bay. – Texx
[youtube width=”440″ height=”344″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_hc7I7xzVY[/youtube]