Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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Hydroplane Museum's News (126)

Hall of Fame Inducts Bill Boeing, Jr.

In a ceremony on Friday, October 26, 2012 at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum near Seattle, Bill Boeing, Jr. was inducted into the Unlimited Hydroplane Hall of Fame, just short of his 90th birthday.  

Bill Boeing, Jr., the newest inductee into the Unlimited Hydroplane Hall of Fame, participated in racing as an owner between 1956 and 1960.  

Bill Boeing, Jr. Photo by Ed Clark

In the middle-fifties, when seemingly everyone was jumping on the…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on November 12, 2012 at 4:40pm — No Comments

Mahogany & Merlot 2012

Join us at Lake Chelan on October 5th through 7th!

The 2012 Mahogany & Merlot Vintage Boat Show is a "on-the-water" boat show and FREE Family Friendly event featuring the Vintage Unlimited Hydroplanes from the Hydroplane And Raceboat Museum in Seattle, along with restored Vintage Inboard ‘Limited Class’ Hydroplanes, and Antique & Classic Mahogany Runabouts from the Golden Era of pleasure boating.…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on October 4, 2012 at 3:05pm — No Comments

Gold Cup Madness: The Annual Epidemic

The sober citizens of Seattle go slightly daffy every year when the time comes for the roaring hydros to defend the city's proudest possession—the Gold Cup

By Wilbur Jarvis

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, August 10, 1959

In the early part of August each year an odd kind of euphoria overwhelms the otherwise rational people of Seattle. They start shooting off fireworks. The males put on pirate costumes and wander around town kissing, and…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on September 18, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Fifty Years and Still Flipping

By Dixon Smith

Reprinted from www.h1unlimited.com.

Question 1: Can a raceboat be made that will not flip?

Answer: Probably.  

Question 2: Can that unflippable boat be a consistent winner?

Answer: Yes, but as one pundit said many years ago about another program, “when  the Boeing Board of Directors changes the basic laws of Physics or gives us an…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 30, 2012 at 6:30pm — No Comments

The Race That Nobody Remembers

By Fred Farley - Unlimited Hydroplane Historian

The 1971 Madison Regatta will never be forgotten for as long as men race boats. That, of course, was the year when Jim McCormick guided the community-owned MISS MADISON to victory in the race of races--the APBA Gold Cup--before the hometown crowd.

But as memorable as the 1971 regatta was, no one seems to want to remember the race that followed it in 1972.

In lieu of the Gold Cup, the city of Madison hosted a World's…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on July 2, 2012 at 8:39pm — No Comments

Special: The Large Economy Size in Gold Cups

Seattle's favorite grocery store manager wins new customers for Thriftway Supermarkets by winning races and prizes in a high-powered thunderboat.

By Rex Lardner

Reprinted from Sports Illustrated, July 8, 1963

Bill Muncey, an assured, chunky man of 34, with sandy hair, giant forearms, a handsome, round face and amiable spaces between his upper teeth, looks like what, in fact, he is: a young man on the way up in the grocery business. "The…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on June 10, 2012 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

Dixon Smith Lecture Videos Available

In case you were unable to attend Dixon Smith's Racing Development of the Merlin from the 1950's thru the 1990's lecture held at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum last Saturday evening, you watch a video recording of the event by visiting our Ustream channel (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/thunderboats), or by just clicking the "UStream" button on the far left side of our web site.

Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 23, 2012 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Unlimited hydro fixture Fred Leland dies at 74

Innovative hydro owner, boat builder and driver was linked to Miss Rock and PICO American Dream.

H1 Mourns the Loss of Fred Leland

Unlimited hydro…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 21, 2012 at 3:15pm — 1 Comment

Russ Schleeh - The Shanty Man

Note, 1956 Seafair Trophy winner and National Champion Russ Schleeh passed away on May 6, 2012. Russ died at home in Mission Viejo, California. He was 93.

By David Tremayne

Whatever it was, the photograph on the wall in Dan Gurney's office showed it to be a smoking heap of tangled metal on the bed of a desert. "Is that a Flying Wing?" I ventured, and Dan, America's finest…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 20, 2012 at 11:17am — No Comments

Canada's Miss Supertest III - The Harmsworth Champion

By Fred Farley - Unlimited Hydroplane Historian

One of the all-time favorite Unlimited hydroplanes, the Canadian MISS SUPERTEST III was undefeated in the four races that she entered during her abbreviated career.

She won the 1959 Detroit Memorial Regatta and the 1959-60-61 Harmsworth Trophy races. With Bob Hayward driving, the "III" started in ten heats, finished first in eight of them and placed second twice.…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 19, 2012 at 9:02pm — No Comments

Rolls-Royce Merlin

A brief overview of the Rolls-Royce Merlin in Unlimited racing.

By Fred Farley - Unlimited Hydroplane Historian

The first boat to show up at a race with a Merlin was the MISS WINDSOR, a home-built (by Lorne Armstrong) step hydroplane that attended the 1946 Gold Cup at Detroit but failed to start. MISS WINDSOR only started in one heat of competition. This was at the 1948 Maple Leaf Trophy in Windsor, Ontario, where it failed to finish.…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 16, 2012 at 8:44pm — 1 Comment

The Unlimiteds Hit The Water For The First Time In 2012

The Tri-Cities testing date is now confirmed for this coming Friday, May 18th.

Two H1 Unlimited Air National Guard Series Hydroplanes will be conducting extensive test runs on the Columbia River.

The 88 Degree Men® and the U-11 Peters & May boats are due to start testing sessions at 10 AM on May 18, off the shores of Columbia Park. Drivers Scott Liddycoat and JW Myers will be in the Tri Cities on May 17 doing personal appearances while the boat…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 14, 2012 at 12:55pm — No Comments

The Lone Star

A record ninth Gold Cup victory moves a quiet man closer still to mentor Bill Muncey in the reckoning for Unlimited hydroplaning's all-time greatest exponent.

By David Tremayne, 1993

Stan Hanauer tells it best, but since he is Chip's father it's not surprising that he should know the inside story of his son's 1982 Gold Cup victory. It was the first of that record nine, and…


Added by Hydroplane Museum on May 10, 2012 at 5:00pm — No Comments

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

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

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