Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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Museum Vintage Exhibition at Seafair

The Hydroplane Museum Celebrates Seattle’s Hydroplane History!

This year’s Seafair hydroplane race will be the 65th year that we have raced Unlimiteds Hydroplanes on Lake Washington. When the first race was run back in 1951, Seattle had a population of 467,591. Harry Truman was President and a postage stamp cost three cents. A gallon of gas cost 20 cents. You could buy a new car for $1,500 and the average household income in the US was $3,515. A lot has changed since…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 28, 2015 at 8:53pm — No Comments

Silent Seafair Thunder U-95

Reprinted from The Guide, July 31, 1973.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane! No, it’s, it’s Super-boat! Where? Why where else, on the course for the Seafair Unlimited Hydroplane Trophy Race. You may not see a big red S on its side, but you can tell it by its number. It is, and mark this well, the U-95.

Actually nobody yet really knows what exactly to expect from the worlds newest entry in the field of unlimited hydro racing. But it is expected…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 13, 2015 at 10:36pm — No Comments

Madison Has A Hometown Team Like No Other

By Aaron Lynch

Reprinted from h1unlimited.com

The City of Madison’s ownership of a hydroplane is like none other in racing. As a result of the community ownership, their fans are like none other.

This unique ownership draws not only those who enjoy the spectacle of hydroplane racing but also is a source of civic pride for the residents of the Madison area. In its 54 years on the Unlimited hydroplane circuit, the Miss Madison has had many highs and lows but…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 1, 2015 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Team Spokane’s Humble Start Stirs Memories Of Hydro Fever

Reprinted from The Spokesman-Review

It was a perfect fit from the start.

The Pacific Northwest, the self-styled boating capital of the world, and unlimited hydroplanes, the world’s fastest fleet.

It’s a union that spawned hydro fever and in the fall of 1957. It spread from Seattle to Spokane, where the Miss Spokane - the U-25 Lilac Lady - rose out of a local fund drive.

The Miss Spokane was campaigned for four seasons of near-misses from 1958 through 1961…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on June 4, 2015 at 9:29pm — No Comments

First Unlimited Hydroplane Race on the Columbia River

On July 24, 1966, the first Unlimited Hydroplane Race occurs on the Columbia River at the Tri-Cities. Bill Brow in the Miss Budweiser wins the race. On this warm and windy day, Miss Budweiser wins both of her qualifying heats and qualifies for the final race. At four o'clock this afternoon, Miss Budweiser rips through the water and beats out her competition with an average speed of 92.402 miles per hour.

Crowds Line the Columbia

This year was the first time the…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 26, 2015 at 5:25pm — No Comments

Unpredictable 'Slough Race' A Bygone Rite Of Spring

By Craig Smith

Reprinted from The Seattle Times, April 15, 1994.

Boats crashed into logs, bridge pilings and each other in a wacky annual race on the narrow Sammamish Slough. But when a spectator was hit in 1976, the `Slough Race' was history. This is a look back.…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 3, 2015 at 6:00pm — 3 Comments

The New Unlimiteds

By Jack Schmale

Reprinted from MotorBoating, February 1967

Six months ago a miscellany of thoroughly unqualified public speakers was soap-boxing the doom of unlimited hydroplane racing. Lady Luck in 1966 had finally flown the thunderboat coop and four of unlimited hydroplaning’s drivers were lost, their magnificent speed steeds reduced to twisted hulks of metal and splintered wood - all within the swiftness of two short weeks, two successive regattas: 1966 was…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on March 13, 2015 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Video Vault Q&A

What is the Video Vault?

The Video Vault is a private Group, on our web site, that provides Museum members access to hundreds of hours of hydroplane video footage. Some of the footage is very rare, not seen in public for decades.

Why a Video Vault?

The Museum’s mission is to inspire and motivate learning and achievement while honoring, celebrating and preserving the legacy of Unlimited Hydroplane racing. By providing access to our…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on March 9, 2015 at 8:00pm — No Comments

The Legend of Lauterbach Boats

By Rick Franke

Reprinted from http://proptalk.com

If it is accurate to call two generations a dynasty, then Henry and Larry Lauterbach are the dynasty that dominated powerboat racing design and construction for more than 60 years.

Henry, a high school dropout who never went to college, never formally studied engineering or naval architecture, was a self-taught genius who read everything he could about boat design and construction…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on March 1, 2015 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Good Intentions, Bad Results

Pushing the hydroplane envelope didn't always work.

Reprinted from Hemmings Motor News, February, 2013.

The world of Unlimited hydroplane racing is extremely dangerous stuff under even the best circumstances. The drivers who race hydros make Sprint car jockeys and those souls who strap into Top Fuel projectiles look like geeks. The principle of these wildly overpowered racing boats is to balance them atop planes at full speed, limiting their contact…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on February 24, 2015 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Ted Jones Launches a Seattle Tradition

Engineer Ted Jones harbored a lot of creative (even radical) ideas about boat design, which spawned one of Seattle’s most storied traditions — unlimited hydroplane racing.

By David Eskenazi and Steve Rudman

Every summer thousands of Puget Sounders flock to Lake Washington to…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on February 21, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

Model Tether Boat Racing at Detroit Water Works Park and Belle Isle

Hello Hydro Fans,

Before there was RC, you raced your boat on a 52-foot tether cable, one at a time.

The competition was against the clock-Model Tether Boat Racing.

These boats and their gas and steam engines were all homemade, scratch built

by the talented toolmakers and machinists of the 1924-1955 era.

Here in Detroit known as the Detroit Model Power Boat Club, we were the epi-center for

Tether Boat Racing at Detroit's Water Works…

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Added by kent Lund on February 10, 2015 at 9:09am — 2 Comments

Aqua Allisons

Reprinted from www.enginebuildermag.com.

There are three amazing numbers that would seem to make this giant powerplant pretty much incomparable with motorsports use. The numbers are 12, 1710, and 1600. Certainly a little explanation is needed.

First, there’s the 1710 number, which is part of its official name the V-1710 engine which actually is the number of cubic inches it displaces. The 12 is the number of cylinders,…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on February 7, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Fastest Craft Afloat Made More Stable

By Joanne A. Fishman

Reprinted from The New York Times, June 6, 1982.

The conditions were perfect. The lagoon was as smooth as a sheet of glass and there wasn't a whisper of wind. In the third heat of the world championships last fall, Bill Muncey, driving the thunderbolt Atlas Van Lines, shot into the lead. But while accelerating down the backstretch, his boat rose into the air, flipped and landed upside down, killing the man who had dominated the sport for 20…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 18, 2015 at 12:55pm — No Comments

A Blast from the Past

What do you do with the shattered remains of the greatest race boat ever built?

Reprinted from http://www.atlasvanlines.com.

"The last time this boat was in the water, it was upside down, broken in half, she was a…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 15, 2015 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Tri-Cities Will Host 2015 HAPO Gold Cup

KENNEWICK, Washington - H1 Unlimited Chairman Steve David and officials of the Tri-City Water Follies have announced that the Tri-City group will host the 2015 APBA Gold Cup July 24-26.



The HAPO Gold Cup will mark the 50th anniversary of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing on the Columbia River between Richland, Kennewick and Pasco, Washington under the direction of the Tri-City Water Follies.



Past Water Follies President and current Vice President of H1 Unlimited Mike Denslow…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 10, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

Jon Peddie Remembered

By Fred Farley - H1 Unlimited Historian

Former MISS MADISON driver Jon Peddie passed away on November 25, 2014 at the University of Louisville Hospital. He was 71.

Jon was a larger than life figure who owned and operated Peddie’s Body Shop in his hometown of Madison, Indiana, for many years.

He raced Unlimited hydroplanes from 1977 to 1983. He drove two different MISS MADISON hulls during 1977-78 and started chauffeuring Bill Cantrell and Graham Heath’s MY GYPSY…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on November 29, 2014 at 3:38pm — 1 Comment

THE PAK IS BACK!

2014 was an exciting year at the Museum, and 2015 is shaping up to be one too!

The "Winged Wonder" Pay 'N Pak is Back and in the Museum's restoration shop with the hopes of finishing the restoration and running the boat at both the Tri-Cities and Seafair races next summer.

Come down and check on…

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Added by Hydroplane Museum on November 7, 2014 at 3:26pm — No Comments

Memories of Gold Cup on Lake Coeur d' Alene in the '60s

I became a race fan back in the '60s when my uncle took us to watch the Gold Cup on Lake Coeur d' Alene by boat from his cabin nearby. I've become a race fanatic ever since. Going to the races on Lake CDA in 2013 was a 45-year plus nostalgic weekend. We need to keep the races coming here! Wish I could donate but not able to at this time. Watch Seafair religiously via streamline every year from Idaho!

Added by Lisa Alger on October 8, 2014 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

Indulge me here. I'm trying to prove a point I made the other day to some friends.

Okay, here's a question:

When you think about Unlimited Hydroplane Racing during the period from, say 1955 to 1970, what comes first to mind?

1. A Driver 

2. A Boat

3. An Event

No essay answers, please. Just tell me which of the 3 choices comes immediately to mind. It's easy to pick all 3 I realize, but I just want to know what you think of first.

Just curious. Thanks for indulging…

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Added by Phil Lampman on September 13, 2014 at 8:02pm — 5 Comments

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