Boat restorers and collectors alike dream of stumbling upon a 'Tolka' at least once in their lifetime. She was built in Bell Laboratories in Baddeck, Nova Scotia sometime before 1928 for the family of Alexander Graham Bell's partner, Casey Baldwin. Baldwin was alongside Bell for many of his inventions and discoveries. Few people know these men invented the "hydrofoil" type of boat and held the world speed record on water for an entire decade at 70.86 mph.
At 36', 'Tolka' has a unique design incorporating a hard-top with folding windscreen at the helm, a sliding navy top for the remainder of the cockpit, and a large forward cockpit complete with a second complete helm. Most of the hardware was with the boat, and what wasn't was re-created from an extensive collection of family photographs, and even a video of it in use nearly 90 years ago. Tony Lash, who saved the boat in his teenage years, was able to live to get another ride in the re-born 'Tolka' before passing.
BUILDER: BELL LABORATORIES
'Tolka' was forensically
restored by Breen Boats between 2009-12 for noted collector Lee Anderson. Powered with the original 680 cu. in Sterling Petrol at 200 hp that she was imported into Ontario with in 1928, there isn't a single detail that hasn't been exhaustively researched and documented to guarantee accuracy of restoration. Tolka completed a Boatshow tour across North America where she won top honours at each show.
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