Bathtub boats are small watercraft designed around bathtubs or close facsimiles and are used in bathtub races. I have to mention that this article is based mostly on Wikipedia.
Early boats were whimsical and crafted from a variety of materials. Today, most racing bathtub boats are monohull planer types with outboard motors. The rules restrict the engine to 8 hp (6 kW), and the weight to a minimum of 350 lb (159 kg) including driver. There are three classes of bathtub boats: Stock, Modified, and Super-Modified. A form resembling a roll-top tub must be an integral part of the structure. Most tubbers make their “tub” by using a bathtub as the model mold to lay down a fiberglass mold. Stock motors must be an unmodified stock engine, but can be tuned by adjusting the timing. Modified motors can only modify the lower leg and propeller. Super Modified can modify the entire engine as long as factory parts are used.
Bathtub racing started in Nanaimo, British Columbia and involves the use of a bathtub boat. The idea was conceived to showcase Nanaimo to the world, with the first races beginning with the “Nanaimo to Vancouver Great International World Championship Bathtub Race” in 1967.
Frank Ney, Nanaimo’s mayor at the time, was one of the largest supporters and promoters of the annual race from its establishment until his death in 1992, and was an avid participant. He would regularly dress as a pirate and tour the town and surrounding communities.
Until the 1990s, the race was held as a part of Vancouver’s annual Sea Festival,(aka Sea Fest), when tubbers raced from Nanaimo to Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach. With the demise of the Vancouver Marine Festival in the mid-1990s, the race now involves a course beginning in Nanaimo Harbour and ending at Departure Bay. The race is held the last weekend of July every year. Because of the race, Nanaimo is sometimes known as the Hub, Pub, and Tub city.
Other cities, like Auckland’s North Shore with its Englefield Bathtub Derby, and Bremerton, Washington with the US-Canadian Friendship race now hold bathtub races, but the Nanaimo event continues to be the most widely known.
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