Troy Boat Club formed for socializing

By Melody Vallieu

March 22, 2014

By Melody Vallieu

City Editor

The Troy Boat Club saw its existence in 1944 after six local residents came together out of a shared desire to socialize with other boaters on the Miami River.

Terry Netzley said his father, David Netzley, was one of the inital people that helped to start the club.

Netzley, who grew up with the club, said his father owned a boat and motor sales business, and the family moved into the boathouse at Treasure Island while he was a child.

“It (Troy Boat Club) was for people to enjoy their personal watercraft on the river,” Netzley said. “It was all centered around boating.”

The Troy Boat Club was incorporated in May 1946, and Netzely said members met at the Treasure Island boathouse for many years until later building their own clubhouse. At that time, the club had about 40 members.

“They not only had social get-togethers, but races on the river for years,” he said.

Netzley said racing weekends were big weekends, and Troy Boat Club members also were members of the Miami Valley Boat Racing Circuit, which included clubs from other town. Netzley said members would race their boats at Troy, Piqua, St. Marys, and the club event ventured to Richmond, Ind., one time.

“The boat club members built the docks, put the dam in and took the dam out for the city and generally improved the area for the boater’s use,” said Netzley, who got his first boat, a Century with an Evenrud motor, at the age of 12.

Netzley said Sundays also were big days on the river.

“Everyone would come with their big picnic baskets,” he said. “There was a lot of social activity.”

As time went along, Netzley said boating trailers got better and it was so much easier for members to travel to larger bodies of water. He said the boats also got bigger, allowing for trips like Ohio River cruises, and the boat club eventually waned.

But, Netzley said, for him and many others, a lot of fond memories came from years spent at the docks and on the Miami River.

“Some of fondest memories would be fishing,” Netzley said. “I learned to fish down there.”

• Troy Emergency Crew

The Troy Emergency Crew came about following the drowning of a young adult on the Miami River.

The crew actually was born by members of the Troy Boat Club, and served the city of Troy with water rescue for 59 years.

In later years, the Troy Emergency Crew continued to contract with Hobart Arena to be on-hand for first aid during events and also with Kenworthy’s Motocross.

The 59-year-old organization disbanded in December 2003 for lack of volunteers.

Melody Vallieu can be reached at or (937) 440-5265 or on Twitter at @TroyDailyNews.