Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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All Blog Posts (214)

Thanks for contributing to a great Seafair weekend!

Hats off to everyone connected with the vintage hydroplanes; drivers, crews and all museum volunteers who brought the thunder back to Seafair!      We heard many positive comments from fans in the pits and on the shore and endless stories of the "glory days" of boat racing in Seattle.   Thanks to Dave Williams for coordinating the vintage event.   You deserve a couple days of sleep!   Let's not take this for granted.  Who else can we thank to insure the museum fleet is a continued part of a the… Continue

Added by Steve R. Chavey on August 8, 2011 at 11:45am — No Comments

Unbelieveable 10 days

     For those of you that have ever given a dollar, a days worth of work or anything else to the Museum out of the kindness of your heart.....you should be VERY proud of the show those men and women put on over the last 10 days. The 5 boats that participated in the Tri Cities, were sparkling,,,,,,I mean they glistened in the sun. Those that piloted the boats put on a GREAT show for the fans. They created a few cool formations and the photo ops were spectacular. The best part was being able…


Added by Michael Opel on August 7, 2011 at 4:47am — No Comments

Fastest Man Afloat

Stan Sayres' famous "Slo-Mos" have made Seattle the nation's motorboat capital.

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, August 23, 1954

To the close-knit speedboat fraternity of Detroit, the stumpy, graying figure of one Stanley St. Clair Sayres is like something out of a recurrent bad dream. Four years ago Mr. Sayres, an obscure automobile salesman from Seattle, Wash., came to Detroit with a strange contraption which, on the record, would go faster on…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on August 3, 2011 at 6:51pm — No Comments


This newly-revised Museum web site kicked off on October 19h 2010. We are now up to 423 "members", from all over the U.S. and even International. It is an amazing "blog", with lots of photos, videos, and hydro racing history. It also provides  the ability to follow all of the Museum restoration progress. But it is important to point out that the 423 are members of the "blog" and not literally members of the Museum itself. Museum membership indicates financial support, which helps us pay the…


Added by Bob Senior on August 3, 2011 at 2:29pm — 1 Comment

Vintage Hydroplane return to Seafair!

Vintage hydroplane racing returns this summer - experience the roar and thunder the way it used to be! Boats like the Miss Bardhal, Miss Wahoo, Oh Boy! Oberto, and Miss Thriftway will be making a come back this summer thanks in part to the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum in Kent, WA. The vintage boats will also be on display in Stan Sayres Pits and a meet and greet autograph session with past drivers will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

2011 Hydroplane…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on August 3, 2011 at 9:40am — No Comments

Miss Chrysler Crew

As a professional film camera man for motorsports during the sixties and seventies I was privileged to be close to the action. In 1967 I was in San Diego filming the Chrysler Crew as it was firing up. The ringing scream of those two Keith Black Marine engines was ear splitting. As it pulled away the noise was positively shattering! I haven't seen any other comments on the sound of this machine but from dragsters to Indianapolis or Nascar, Nothing came close.

Added by Jack Reynolds on August 1, 2011 at 11:49am — 3 Comments


The UNLIMITED NEWSJOURNAL has been distributed via snail mail in hard copy since 1973. J Michael Kenyon of the Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Commission once described the UNJ as "arguably, America's finest source of Unlimited hydroplane news and views". With the June, 2011 issue, UNJ is no longer being sent via U.S. mail The UNJ is now on-line and FREE! It features Breaking News, Race Reports, Statistics, Color Photos, History, and more. The address is… Continue

Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 17, 2011 at 11:04am — No Comments

Bitten by the Big Bad Boat Bug

The zealots who cannot shake the unlimited hydroplane habit open the new season in the certain knowledge that heartbreak lies around the bend.

By Coles Phinizy

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, June 2, 1975

After 15 honest years of handling lesser brutes, in 1973 Tom D'Eath, a 29-year-old Michigan boat driver, got his first try in an unlimited hydroplane. When he moved up into the biggest class of them all, D'Eath joined an elite group of boat…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 14, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

1967 Gold Cup Crash

There has been a lot of traffic on the blogs this week about the Notre Dame and Harrah's Club crash in heat 1A of the 1967 Gold Cup. Here are a few photos from our archives that may clear up a few questions. (All photos are from the collection of the Hydroplan Museum  Many were taken by Rich Ormbreck)


1. The Notre…


Added by David D. Williams on July 1, 2011 at 12:46pm — 3 Comments

2011 Hall of Champions


Gar Wood and Dean Chenoweth were inducted into the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum’s Hall of Champions on Saturday night the 14th of May.



Added by David D. Williams on May 19, 2011 at 12:05pm — No Comments


Museum Executive Director David D. Williams has written four books about Unlimited hydroplane racing that belong

on every hydroplane racing fan's bookshelf. They are "Hydroplane Racing in Seattle", "Turbine Racing in Seattle". "Hydroplane Racing in the Tri-Cities", and "Hydroplane Racing in Detroit". They can be ordered via the Museum

by visiting the Museum STORE button and then clicking on BOOKS AND MAGAZINES. You will also find numerous other publications on boat racing that…


Added by Bob Senior on May 8, 2011 at 9:10pm — No Comments

Hydro Fever Saturday May 28th!




Save the date - Saturday, May 28th from 10 am to 4 pm for HYDRO FEVER at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum. 5917 South 196th Street   Kent, WA 98032


It's the annual Open House, and admission is FREE.HYDRO FEVER will include a Live auction of hydroplane memorabilia at…


Added by David D. Williams on May 7, 2011 at 1:52pm — No Comments

Visiting from Sweden - what a blast.....

In early April I had the chance to visit the Hydroplane museum for the first time. I would like to thank everyone for the welcome and I must say I am impressed by the work and dedication of everyone. 


I am working with a boat museum here in Sweden but we have nothing like what you have. Being a boat racing fan it was like coming to heaven. There is nothing even close to unlimited hydroplanes here. I am restoring a small inboard hydroplane which origin is from one of Ron Jones…


Added by Hans Larson on May 2, 2011 at 11:57am — No Comments

Crash and Carry On

That could be the motto of Dean Chenoweth, unlimited hydroplane champion and a man with unlimited courage.

By Coles Phinizy

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, August 24, 1981

In his workaday world 43-year-old Dean Chenoweth of Tallahassee is a near-perfect person. He doesn't smoke. He doesn't drink. He eats what he needs, takes diet supplements and runs eight miles a day. Although a model of abstinence in his ordinary life, in his…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 28, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Rich Triumph At A Ripe Age

Gar Wood always wanted to build and race the fastest powerboats in the world. Finally, when nearing 40, he realized his ambition.

By William F. Nolan

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, February 4, 1963

They all laughed when Garfield Arthur Wood challenged England for the Harmsworth Trophy in 1920. Wood was nearly 40, an age at which few sportsmen are found behind the wheel of an unlimited hydroplane. Besides, the English had held the…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 28, 2011 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Stan Hanauer: True Gentleman.

I knew that his days were growing short but still, it came as a personal blow to learn that Stan Hanauer had passed away last week. I flat loved the guy and I will miss him a great deal. Stan was a fine human being.


There are so many good people who will read this post that knew Stan far better than I, who can tell the great stories of his Navy days, or his hydroplane racing days.  I wasn’t a close personal friend, but Stan and I were simpatico on a special level as fellow…


Added by Marc Connelly on April 25, 2011 at 11:48am — 1 Comment

One Lap in the Life of the Green Dragon

One Lap in the Life of the Green Dragon

By: Ryan Smith…


Added by Ryan Smith on April 24, 2011 at 7:13pm — 1 Comment

Stan Hanauer

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is sad to announce that Stan Hanauer passed away last evening at 8pm. His family was with him at the time. Services will be announced soon. Stan was 90 years of age. 



Added by Don Mock on April 22, 2011 at 8:49pm — 3 Comments

Waiting for Summer....

I can almost smell the water and feel the breeze against my face, as I anxiously wait for the racing season to start.  A visit

was made to the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum for quick fix of those hydroplane boats; along with a visit to Stan

Sayers Park Memorial Park to breathe in the beauty of Lake Washington. It was an unusual day for February, a special

gift from nature for those of us  who live near  Seattle; as that there was no rain to…


Added by Valaree Weiss on April 9, 2011 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Is there a future for automotive power for unlimiteds?

By Doug Ford

Reprinted from h1unlimited.com.

There has been a lot of chatter lately about the potential of an automotive powered unlimited hydroplane--and for good reason. They are loud. They would clearly be a fan favorite. They attract an entirely different group of potential sponsors such as automotive products, motor oil, spark plugs,…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 5, 2011 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

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