Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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All News Posts (248)

A Stormy Day on Lake Mead

In a wild windup, Chip Hanauer won the hydro title.

By Shelley Smith

Reprinted from
 Sports Illustrated, October 1, 1990  

Chip Hanauer was rounding the first turn in the third heat of the Budweiser Las Vegas Silver Cup on wind-chopped Lake Mead at 120-plus mph when he felt his 6,000-pound, jet turbine-powered Miss Circus Circus boat flip sideways and into the air. A four-time national hydroplane driving champion, the 36-year-old Hanauer…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 7, 2012 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Changes Are Stealing Some Of The Thunder, And Risk, Of The Unlimiteds

By Alexander Wolff

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, September 10, 1984

Unlimited hydroplanes, the powerboats that attract hundreds of thousands of fans when they race, have always had two very tidy certainties associated with them. One is that they make a particular sort of ear-splitting noise. Promoters like to refer to it as "thunder," and the vessels themselves as "thunderboats." In fact, the sound is more like what you'd expect a power mower to make while running…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 29, 2012 at 9:42pm — No Comments

Couch Racing Links

If you were unable to attend the Couch Racing with Chip Hanauer event, or you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the event by clicking on the links below:

Couch Racing with Chip Hanauer - Hour 1

Couch Racing with Chip Hanauer - Hour 2

If you did attend the event, either in person or in the Internet, thank you for attending and…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 21, 2012 at 8:08pm — 1 Comment

Norm Berg Builds a Pair

By Bill Curry

Reprinted from the 1979 Spirit of Detroit program

When today's Spirit of Detroit Regatta is history the unlimited hydroplane sitting in the winner's circle may well be a product of Norm Berg's Tacoma, Washington boat shop. You see, the 37-year-old Berg is the builder of Bill Muncey's 1978 national champion Atlas Van Lines, winner of the last two Detroit River go-arounds. Norm Berg is also the builder of two other top-flight contenders - Circus…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 14, 2012 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Life Is A Circus Circus

Bob Steil, former owner of the Squire Shop hydroplanes, has just acquiring the 1979 U-31 Miss Circus Circus from the Dave Bartush collection in Detroit. The hull is a duplicate of the 1979 U-2 Squire Shop, with both being designed by Dave Knowlen and built by Norm Berg. The U-2 demolished in a test run in late-season 1981. Bob Steil then bought the former Miss Circus Circus as a replacement. The "new" U-2 was itself badly damaged at the 1981 UIM World…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 14, 2012 at 7:49pm — No Comments

The Pak Is Back - Really!

One of the sport's winningest, most important boats arrives back in Seattle this week.  Dr, Ken Muscatel purchased the 1973 Pay 'N Pak (Atlas Van Lines, Miss Madison) from the Dave Bartush collection in Detroit. The famous hull make a brief appearance before being moved Ken's Burien shop today. Ken's plans are to restore the boat to its original Pay 'N Pak livery.…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 14, 2012 at 7:24pm — 1 Comment

Thunderboats Indeed

This is an unreleased military photo taken in the Pacific ocean. Isn't that Billl Muncey in the Thriftway?

Added by Jack Reynolds on April 13, 2012 at 2:37pm — No Comments

I'm official

Last week I received my official membership card and pin (thanks David), so I feel official.  It's been a couple of months now volunteering each Thursday at the museum helping restore the 1958 Miss Bardahl.  Yes, it's work, but what a great bunch of guys.


I sent an email today to our firm's (Bader Martin, just in case anybody needs a good CPA) event planning committee suggesting they consider renting the facility for our next event.  David, it might be a good idea to add…


Added by Steve Bishop on April 12, 2012 at 4:12pm — No Comments

Iconic Hydroplane Makes a Big Move

Here are some links to some photos of the Slo-mo-shun IV being moved from the Museum of History and Industry's Montlake location, Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in Seattle.

Seattle Times Photo Gallery

The Center for Wooden Boats



Added by Hydroplane Museum on April 4, 2012 at 9:43pm — 1 Comment

Chip Hanauer vs. Jim Kropfeld

Through Them, the Rivalry of Their Mentors Lives On

Reprinted from the Los Angeles Times, September 17, 1986

SAN DIEGO — Bill Muncey vs. Dean Chenoweth. Atlas Van Lines vs. Miss Budweiser.

There were some fierce hydroplane races between those intense rivals in the 1970s and early '80s.

Muncey was the American Power Boat Assn. national champion in 1972, '76, '78 and '79 and is the all-time leading unlimited hydroplane racer with 62…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on March 27, 2012 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Driving On the Fragile Line Between Life and Death

He's Mr. Calm, Cool and Collected in the Most Dangerous Game of Hydroplane Racing

Reprinted from the Los Angeles Times, September 09, 1985

SEATTLE — The deaths of boat racers Jerry Bangs and Bill Muncey gave Chip Hanauer the opportunity he needed to become the No. 1 driver of unlimited hydroplanes.

When Bangs was killed on Lake Washington in 1977, Hanauer was chosen to replace him. He was 22, a weekend racer, a schoolteacher with a…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on March 18, 2012 at 10:56am — No Comments

Moving The "Grand Old Lady"

As many of you know, Seattle's Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) has long been the home of the Slo-mo-shun IV, unlimited hydoplane racing's "Grand Old Lady". Well, MOHAI is moving from it's long time location at McCurdy Park, near the University of Washington, to the Naval Reserve Armory Building at Lake Union Park.

Slo-mo’s radical…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on March 2, 2012 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

What were they thinking?

Unlike what has been seen in Formula 1 car racing, Indianapolis car racing, NASCAR, or Limited class boat racing, Unlimited hydroplane racing has brought out many unique and very unusual designs. Clear, not all of these worked as hoped, but they sure made things interesting, and often advanced the state of the technology.


Renown aerodynamicist Doug Ford…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on February 15, 2012 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

First visit

Completed my first visit to HARM on Saturday, met lots of great people, and signed up to work with the restoration crews.

Added by Steve Bishop on February 13, 2012 at 3:01pm — No Comments

Thunder On The Bay

Biscayne's waters shivered to the opening of the unlimited-hydroplane racing season as a new winged marauder called 'Pay 'n Pak' awed and eventually overcame Bill Muncey, the suffering 1972 champion.

By Dan Levin

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, May 23, 1973.

The noise of the big boats set knees and spines humming Sunday in Miami's Marine Stadium, but the shock waves were even more intense. Out on the roiled water of Biscayne Bay a…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 29, 2012 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

Help Restore Bill Muncey's Atlas Van Lines

Join the Blue Blaster Booster Club and help restore Bill Muncey's Atlas Van Lines.

Dues are $100.00 per membership. These funds go directly to help the current Atlas Van Lines restoration project.


Membership benefits include:

  • Dynamic Blast From The Past BBBC membership tee-shirt.
  • Exclusive BBBC membership…

Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 19, 2012 at 8:18pm — No Comments

4th Annual R/C Model Show

The 4th Annual Roger Newton Memorial scale model unlimited hydroplane show will be held at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent, Washington on Saturday, February 11th from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM.

Admission is just $5.00 for the general public and is free to all Museum members. A pizza lunch will be available.

Come and learn about the exciting sport of scale model unlimited hydroplane racing from some of the nation's best model builders. Over 50 of these beautiful…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 19, 2012 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Museum Closure -- Keep Up Your Skills

I hope fellow volunteers are using this down time to maintain their restoration skill levels.  Since shop time available for most of us is limited, we need to keep our minds sharp for the time when we return to 'action' next week.

Here is my practice at the future resto of Miss Madison; she is running again, rounding that final buoy heading towards ...



Added by Randy Mueller on January 19, 2012 at 3:32pm — No Comments

Slo-Mo-Shun V - magazine promotion for Mobiloil 1955

Hi. Just found this promotion for Mobiloil in a technical magazine in Sweden in 1955. This is nice showing that the unlimited hydroplanes were famous in Sweden even though we didn´t have unlimited in Sweden. Since I have been furtunate to meet Ron Jones Jr last year at the Hydroplane Museeum this is special to me.... Hope to be back soon...…


Added by Hans Larson on January 13, 2012 at 3:58pm — No Comments

Annual Membership Meeting & Holiday Party

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum will be holding it's Annual Membership Meeting and Holiday Party, Saturday, December 10th from 6 PM to 9 PM. Once a year we all gather to share a meal, honor our outstanding members, and elect new Board Members and Officers.

This year's dinner will include a special visit from Gold Cup champion owner Erick Ellstrom of this year's National High-Points Champion team, the U-96 Spirit of Qatar racing team.

Cost is $15 per person. We would REALLY…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 5, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

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