Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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All News Posts (255)

The new Miss B!

Ron has a new girl this season, a 3-ton rear-engine beauty with sophisticated curves and a 170-mph yen to be '66 champion.

By Ron Musson, world champion driver, unlimited hydroplanes

Reprinted from Popular Mechanics, March 1966

Unlimited Hydroplanes are the world's fastest and largest competition powerboats, and this year I'm driving a  brand-new one of radical design.

Some people think the new Miss Bardahl is too far out,…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 27, 2011 at 7:30pm — 2 Comments

The Aerodynamics of Unlimited Hydroplanes

By Doug Ford

Reprinted from h1unlimited.com.

In the 1930's and 1940's, aerodynamics played little or no role in the performance of the Gold Cup boats and Unlimited Hydroplanes.  But, in 1955 the boat racing fraternity got a rude awakening as Lou Fageol and Slo-mo-shun V performed the first ever 360 degree blow-over while at high speed on the backstretch of his final lap of qualifying for the Gold Cup in…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 12, 2011 at 9:49pm — 4 Comments

The Man Who Builds The Thunderboats

By Bill Ames

Reprinted from Science & Mechanics, August, 1974

The Unlimited Division of the American Power Boat Association is the smallest active racing class of that group. This elite coterie fields less than two dozen boats each year, to compete in about ten races. Yes these few regattas attract a total of more than two million spectators!

The universal appeal of these "thunderboats" is a product of roaring sound, flashing color, and the hovering dangers of…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 10, 2011 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

1958 Miss Bardahl update

Here's the latest update from the engine shop and the boat shop.

The right cylinder bank has been cleaned and decarboned. Awaiting the return of the valves which were sent for grinding  then they can be lapped and assembled. Also awaiting the arrival of a new hone and a bore gauge micrometer for the cylinders then rings can be fitted. The left cylinder bank cleaning should begin next Saturday. Cleaning and taping  of parts for painting continues. The accessory…

Added by Glenn D. Raymond on January 9, 2011 at 4:03pm — No Comments

The Master Speaks

An Interview with Ron Jones Sr.

By Anne McRayde

Reprinted from Skid Fin Magazine, 2003, Vol 1, No. 1

How did you first begin building boats?

You could say I was born with it. My father was Ted Jones, who invented the three-point hydroplane, as we know it today. As a little boy, I was able to go with Dad, and my three sisters, and Mom to the lake and watch Dad test. When he was out testing my three sisters, who are…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on January 8, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

A Detroit Debacle

A Seattle Hydro Roared Home First In The Gold Cup But Then Officials Stepped In, And The Affair Became A Detroit Debacle.

By Jim Atwater

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, September 10, 1956

Covered with grime, Bill Muncey bounced out on the orange deck of Miss Thriftway and did a happy jig. "By golly," shouted the husky driver as his big hydroplane swung into its pit, "by golly, it's about time." On shore Owner…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 29, 2010 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Slo-Mo-Shun Leads the Pack

By Thomas E. Stimson, Jr.

Reprinted from Popular Mechanics, July, 1951

If some steel-nerved power-boat driver has the courage to hold his throttle wide open for a full 30 seconds this year, there’s a chance that a brand new world record for a speed across the water will be made.

Today, half a dozen of America’s blue chip sportsmen have their eyes fixed on a terrific speed of 200 miles per hour, a figure that was fantastically out of a reach a few years ago. None…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 26, 2010 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

The Museum Gift Shop is open for last minute holiday shopping.

The Hydroplane Museum Gift Shop is open from 10 AM to 8 PM today, December 23rd and will be open tomorrow Dec 24th from 10 AM to 2 PM for last minute holiday shopping. We still have a complete inventory of boat models, Tee shirts, books and DVDs for the hydro fan in your life. Stop in and mention that you saw this post and you will get $10 off any purchase of $50 or more!…


Added by David D. Williams on December 23, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

Holiday Hours

The museum will be closed on Saturday December 25th and Saturday January 1st.

Added by David D. Williams on December 22, 2010 at 3:07pm — No Comments

Two Rooster Tails Wash Out A Fifth Gold Cup

In his attempt to win still another racing trophy, defeated Champ Bill Muncey was frustrated by a wall of water and an oilman's boat.

By Hugh Wahll

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, July 15, 1963

"Washing down" is an old tool in the lockers of most hydroplane racers. A tactical maneuver, now illegal under the racing rules, it consists of deliberately aiming the fierce fire-hose power of the towering rooster tail from the stern of your…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 18, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Year-end Giving

Those desiring to make end-of-year donations for any charitable organization are reminded to have your gifts turned in or post-marked before the end of business on December 30th since December 31st is a legal holiday this year. If the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is one of your…

Added by Rick lentz on December 10, 2010 at 4:46pm — No Comments

Blue Blaster update posted on the Group Page

Don Mocks report from December 9th

Added by Steve Compton on December 10, 2010 at 7:25am — No Comments

Chris Denslow photos from our Holiday Stocking Stuffer catalog.

By a twist of fate, my family goes way back with the hydroplane photographers of yore. I met Vic Condiotti. And I believe that it was my father who gave Bob ‘Cuddles’ Carver his nickname after accompanying him to a ‘tie up’ to the entrance buoy entering turn one on Lake Washington one day. I remember him at cocktail parties hosted by my parents, thinking he had maybe the tenth coolest job on the planet, after the hydro drivers themselves, of course. That was over 50 years… Continue

Added by Marc Connelly on December 8, 2010 at 5:52pm — No Comments

The Dave Villwock Story

By Fred Farley - H1 Unlimited Historian

A boat racer since age 16, Dave Villwock accepted his first Unlimited Class assignment in 1989 as crew chief for Bill Bennett's MISS CIRCUS CIRCUS. Chip Hanauer was its driver. In 1990, Chip and Dave emerged as National High Point Champions with six wins in eleven races.

Following years of success in the flat-bottom inboard category, Villwock was High Point Champion in the 6-Litre Hydroplane Class in 1988 with Jerry Yoder's SUNSET…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on December 4, 2010 at 1:30pm — No Comments

AMAZING BOOK, "HYDRO'S WHO'S WHO", 1946-2008, By Jim Sharkey

I recently purchased Jim Sharkey's amazing book, "HYDRO'S WHO'S WHO, 1946-2008". It lists all of the boats, all the drivers who drove them and what year(s) they raced. There is a chonological listing of a) all the Unlimiteds and their name changes; b) all the drivers and all the boats they drove; and c) a yearly breakdown as to how each boat finished in each race. The book is absolutely amazing with all the infomation and details. If you need to know about a hydro hull,…


Added by Bob Senior on December 4, 2010 at 9:37am — 1 Comment

Blue Blaster 101: Year ID

As we have progressed on the restoration of Bill Muncey’s Atlas Van Lines at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, the topic often comes up on which year of the boat should we recreate. To the casual observer, the Blue Blaster looked pretty much the same throughout its illustrious career. But like most race boats, the Blaster underwent subtle changes from its…


Added by Don Mock on December 3, 2010 at 10:30pm — 3 Comments

"Blue Blaster" Updates

A new group has been started for uploading the restoration updates on the 1977 Blue Blaster. Join the Group and keep up on the progress of Don Mock and his crew.

Added by Steve Compton on December 3, 2010 at 8:38pm — No Comments

Be a member of the Museum - Join NOW!

On October 19th the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum launched an exciting new web site. We are approaching 250 members on the new site. You can read about, and participate, in Museum events, post and/or enjoy many hydroplane racing photos and videos, create a blog, startd a discussion on the Forum or join the group for your favorite hydro. But please understand that by registering on the site, you have only become a member/participant of the web site, it does NOT include membership in the…


Added by Steve Compton on December 2, 2010 at 7:26am — 1 Comment

Dave Villwock will be the Guest Speaker at the Museum Annual Meeting on Dec 4th!

Future Hall of Fame driver Dave Villwock will be the guest speaker at Saturday Nights Annual dinner meeting.

Villwock is currently tied will Bill Muncey for all time unlimited wins with 62!…


Added by David D. Williams on November 30, 2010 at 2:49pm — 1 Comment

A Tribute to the Griffon Bud

By Fred Farley - H1 Unlimited Historian

The Rolls-Royce Griffon-powered MISS BUDWEISER of 1980 is one of the sport's legendary champions. Nicknamed the "Juggernaut," the Griffon BUD won 22 races and defined the state of the art in Unlimited racing between 1980 and 1984.

There were actually three Griffon MISS BUDWEISERs. The first appeared in 1979 and the last in 1985. But it is the "Juggernaut" that inspires awe.…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on November 28, 2010 at 10:00pm — No Comments

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