- The high-speed combustion engine as a boat drive was premiered in August 1886
- Motorboat prototypes were tested on the Neckar near Bad Cannstatt
- In the same year, Daimler registered a patent for the motor drive for boats
Stuttgart. It didnât have a sail, nor was it rowed by muscular strength: at first glance, the observers on the bank could not tell what was moving the boat, which cruised on the Neckar near Cannstatt so effortlessly in August 1886.
Perhaps an electric motor was hidden in the housing in front of the helmsman? No, the little boat had the high-speed combustion engine by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach working in it. Even before the first drive of Daimlerâs first car, the motor carriage, he launched this innovative drive system on water 135 years ago. It corresponded with the mobility pioneerâs vision of motorization âon water, on land and in the airâ.
In the summer of 1886 Daimler equipped three differently-sized boats with the small and powerful one-cylinder engine, which, because of its distinctive shape, was also known as the âgrandfather clockâ. They offered enough space for between two and ten people.
The âNeckarâ was the biggest of the three, with the âRemsâ in the middle and the âSchwabenâ the smallest. The engine, on which Daimler and Maybach had been working since 1882 in Cannstatt and which debuted in the two-wheeled âReitwagenâ (âriding carâ) in 1885, proved to be highly successful as a boat drive.
However, there were still reservations from the public over the use of the new engine in vehicles. Daimler therefore wanted to give the impression of an electric drive system. His son, Paul Daimler, reported: âIn this [first] boat, which was even fitted with electrical insulators and wires during the day in order to keep the fact.