Text Size


On the evening of July 2, 1949, the finalization of the IMPBA was presented to the then model boat representatives. Some of the organizers were: Barney Kiewicz, Ed Kalfus, F. Schneider, and a Mr. Sparr. The first draft of the IMPBA Constitution, By-Laws, and Racing Rules were presented. These original documents are now the property of IMPBA, and the boaters were strictly "tether" boaters. Tether racing was against-the-clock racing. There was a center pole in the pond and a 52'6" aircraft cable. Four laps on this circular course was a 1/4 mile, and the boats were timed for four laps and the top speed in each class was the winner.

The first president of IMPBA was Barney Kiewicz of Detroit, Michigan; thus the IMPBA was formed. The IMPBA presidents throughout the organization's history are:

Barney Kiewicz, Michigan 1949 - 1950
Charles Baxman, Michigan 1951 - 1958
Pete Yauczer, Missouri 1959 - 1960
Jim Dunham, Illinois 1961 - 1964
Mert Mischnick, Illinois 1965 - 1966
Bob Packman, Illinois 1967 - 1968
Bill LeFeber, Indiana* 1969 - 1974
John Bridge, Michigan* 1975 - 1976
Len Skweria, Indiana 1977 - 1978
Fred McBroom, Indiana 1979 - 1982
Gus Johnson, Florida 1983 - 1984
Gene Taylor, Tennessee 1985 - 1988*
Doug McNeely, Florida 1989 - 1990
Bernard Bathauer, Indiana 1991 - 1992
Joe Ingrao, Florida 1993 - 1994
Dick Tyndall 1995 - 1998
Tom Grannis 1999 - 2000*
Dick Jones, Iowa 2001 - 2002
Patrick Kelly 2003 - 2004
Bill Zuber, Alabama 2005 -
* Deceased

Boating in the early formation days of IMPBA was that of tether boating racing. Tether boating was against the clock, and the procedure was as follows: The course was a 105' diameter circle with a center pole at a maximum of 36" above the water line. The center pole had a free turning pivot at the top and a wire cable running line which measured 52'6" including the boat running bridle. The running bridle had to withstand a 250 pound pull test before it was permitted for use in competition. Once the boat was fired up and ready to run, it was hand launched with a person manning the center pole to hold the running line above water level until the boat was up to speed so the running line would not drag in the water. The boat owner waited until he thought the boat was running at top speed, then he would call for time. The boat had to make four laps in order to be timed. Four laps of the 52'6" radius circle equaled 1/4 mile.

Some of the big names in boating at that time were Ed Kalfus, Joe Horvath (the only two tether boaters to exceed 100 mph), Roger Mathews, Bob Graham, Pete Yauczer, Bob Palmer, Bill Baughman, Max Beiderman, Charles Watkins, and Tom Perzentka.

Radio control boating IMPBA was picked up in the late 1950's and early 60's.