Old Boats Buffalo

Niagara Frontier Antique & Classic Boats Inc.

Dart Boats are our main Featured Boat for our 2018 Show

History

The history of the Dart speedboat begins in the Roaring Twenties when the desire for fun, frivolity, and speed began a boom in production of the newly-popularized mahogany runabout. Capitalizing on this growing trend, the Indian Lake Boat Company of Lima, Ohio developed a line of fast runabouts with the evocative name of Dart, beginning production in mid-1925. 

The Dart quickly grew in popularity as they were enjoyed as ride boats on inland waters such as Indian Lake, achieved favorable race finishes at regattas from the Midwest to the East Coast, and developed an aggressive dealer network throughout the United States.

Continuing to ride the wave of motor boat popularity, the Dart line of boats attracted the attention of investors in Toledo, Ohio.  Webb C. Hayes, II, grandson of President Rutherford B. Hayes, put together a team that included the heads of Toledo's largest companies.  In late-1928 a new company was formed, Dart Boats, Incorporated of Toledo, Ohio.

Designer Irving "Hocky" Holler was retained from the Indian Lake Boat Company to refine the Dart lines and hardware into a first class product, to be produced at a new factory on the Maumee River in Toledo. In a short time Dart grew to be one of the country's leading boat builders, with iconic design, fast and stable hulls, and the reputation for first-class workmanship.

Dart Boats, Inc. was at the forefront of the industry, producing a top-of-the-line product favored equally by Prohibition-era bootleggers and the well-to-do. The company was also known for their international marketing efforts, with dealerships in Great Britain and Sweden shipping Darts as far away as the Dead Sea. Unfortunately, economic struggles due to the Great Depression and a subsequent Toledo bank crash brought a halt to production in late-1931.

More Featured Boats to be Announced Soon!