Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

We're racing through history!

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 then. A postage stamp is forty nine cents; a gallon of gas is over four dollars a gallon. The population of Seattle is 659,000 a new car is $20,000 and the average household income in America is $52,000. But one thing that hasn't changed is Seattles love for the hydros! The roaring, bucking, bouncing, fire breathing Thunderboats continue to be the high point of the summer for Seattle Sports fans.

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum will be bringing two of their restored vintage hydros to Seafair to run exhibitions in between heats of turbine racing. The vintage hydros dating back to the 1950s have been lovingly restored to their original condition by a crew volunteers. Even though the boats are old, they are still plenty fast and will hit speeds of almost 140 mph during their exhibitions. They are powered by 2,000 hp supercharged WWII vintage fighter engines out of P-51 Mustangs.

When the boats aren't on the Lake running, they are on display at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent. The Hydro Museum’s mission is the nation’s only museum deducted entirely to power boat racing and its mission is to honor, celebrate and preserve the history of Hydroplane Racing.

About the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is the nation's only public museum dedicated solely to powerboat racing. Formed in 1983, the museum's mission is to preserve and exhibit important artifacts from the sport of hydroplane racing. The museum features an incredible collection of vintage hydroplanes spanning seven decades, including boats that have won 17 Gold Cups.

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is also the nation's primary resource for historical and educational information on hydroplane racing. The museum's extensive collection of books, magazines, race programs, newspaper, photos, trophies, and other memorabilia dates back to the turn of the last century. They have over 200 hours of rare, vintage racing films transferred to videotape, covering hydroplane racing for the 1940s to the present.

The stories of famous drivers are there as well. Legendary Bill Muncey, Ron Musson, Mira Slovak, "Wild" Bill Cantrell and other past drivers are featured, plus information on many of the top modern drivers, including Chip Hanauer.

In addition to great archives on the the history of hydroplanes, the museum is also a fully equipped boat restoration shop. Over the years, they have restored seven of the most famous Gold Cup and Harmsworth winners to full running condition. They include the Miss America VIII (1929 and '31 Harmsworth winner); Slo-mo-shun IV (1950, '52, and '53 Gold Cup winner); Slo-mo-shun V (1951 and '54 Gold Cup winner); Hawaii Kai III replica (1958 Gold Cup winner); Miss Thriftway (1961 and '62 Gold Cup winner); the legendary "Green Dragon" Miss Bardahl and the 1967 Miss Budweiser. Most important, these great hulls have been restored by museum members, people like you who loved the boats and simply could not see them fade away.

The museum is located at 5917 South 196th Street Kent, WA 98032.


8:30 a.m. - Gates Open
2:40 p.m. - Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum Seafair Vintage Exhibition
6:00 p.m. - Gates Close

8:30 a.m. - Gates Open
2:40 p.m. - Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum Seafair Vintage Exhibition
4:30 p.m. - Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum Seafair Vintage Exhibition
6:30 p.m. - Gates Close

7:30 a.m. - Gates Open
2:40 p.m. - Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum Seafair Vintage Exhibition
5:15 p.m. - Awards Ceremony at Stan Sayres Pits Stage
6:00 p.m- Gates Close

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