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#1 HistoricMustang

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 22:52

Would it be possible for us to document the evolution of Hydroplanes and their "tracks". Believe this would be of interest to some members so if another thread is currently on record I have not been able to locate with the search word "Hydroplane".

Henry

http://www.vintagehy....com/index.html

Can anyone offer more of this place:

http://www.vintagehy...oat_museum.html

And these:

http://www.vintagehy...m/longgone.html

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#2 Bob Riebe

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 05:01

You would do better to best by checking out this organization.
http://www.unlimited....com/photos.cfm
http://www.unlimited...t.com/index.cfm

The more they dick around with the web site the less good it gets but the links page has about all worth seeing.

If you join, you get the club magazine ten times a year, and like motorsports, the mag. has declined over the years but it is still about as good as it gets.(And they do cover every race plus some other classes. I.e. GP hydroplane, and other V-8 classes.


The tracks that have the longest history are:
Detroit, MI Chrysler/Jeep APBA Gold Cup
Evansville, IN BUDWEISER Thunder On The Ohio
Madison, IN Madison Regatta
Tri-Cities, WA Budweiser Columbia Cup with Wings
Seattle, WA Texaco Cup at Seafair


They kept on racing even during the nasty recent years.

I was at Evansville when a lap record was set and it is truly cool to watch a big hydroplane whine/whoosh by at 200 mph only thirty some feet away (you can sit on a rock by the water which is even closer, but if you dangle your feet in the water you will be told to stop, OR LEAVE.)
That was fifteen years ago, and from what I have heard they have not yet been over-run by safety nazis.

I attended races at Detroit, Evansville and Madison.
Detroit was marvelous watching qualify from the Roostertail club deck, which was in the river. They came by the deck wall with six feet of clearence, at most, as you looked down at them.(The Roosertail was closed and sold, so I do not know if you can do that anymore) and at Madison, the entire city is a historic site.
(Evansville I was told was hot, and when I was there I found out they were not lying. I actually skipped the races after viewing qualifying, as they do not lap as fast and I had seen what I wanted to see the first day. )
Also, IT WAS HOT!!!!!!!!!!
Those two are the best and from western people I communicated with, the eastern races are better for the fans if for no other reason one can truly get CLOSE to the races.

#3 f1steveuk

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 15:03

I'd like it, you cannot have an interest in the land speed and water speed records, and not get sucked into the world of hydro's!!!

#4 Sandy M

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 15:35

Hi,
Hydroplanes truly are fantastic examples of racing machinery. I especially enjoy the 50's and 60's vintage ones for their thundering Rolls Royce and Allison V-12's, beautiful woodwork, and colorful paint schemes. Here's two good sites for historic vintage boats being restored and replicas built. Check out the sequence photos of the hulls being being built and restored. Regards, Sandy

http://www.missthriftway.com/
http://www.missbardahl.com/

#5 Bob Riebe

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:20

If you want to find the history of the hydroplanes, it would not hurt to start by exploring the boat racing exploits of this gent, Gar Wood.

http://info.detnews....category=sports

#6 Buford

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:55

I love hydroplane's. I have seen them race four times, twice in San Diego, once in Madison, Indiana, and once in Las Vegas. I have lost track of them now since they no longer appear on ESPN or anywhere else that I know of on TV.

#7 Jerry Lee

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 17:05

My first racing love. I've been to every Madison Regatta since 1981 (My streak is still going). Also, went to Evansville a number of times in 80s and 90s.

A good history site is the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum site: http://www.thunderboats.org/

The site for the current series is here: http://www.abrahydroplanes.com/

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 20:46

I never saw them, but I heard them...

The wonderful roar through the trees and houses, I wonder what it was like down at Hen & Chicken Bay?

#9 Bob Riebe

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 21:51

Originally posted by Jerry Lee
My first racing love. I've been to every Madison Regatta since 1981 (My streak is still going). Also, went to Evansville a number of times in 80s and 90s.

A good history site is the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum site: http://www.thunderboats.org/

The site for the current series is here: http://www.abrahydroplanes.com/

Ah, then you must have heard the team that was running a boat with two big-block Fords; it gave a new meaning to the word LOUD.
Bob

#10 Jerry Lee

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 14:53

Originally posted by Bob Riebe

Ah, then you must have heard the team that was running a boat with two big-block Fords; it gave a new meaning to the word LOUD.
Bob


I remember a number of Automotive boat coming and going. None ever had the speed or reliablity to run with the aircraft engine powered boats. But they were loud. For my money though, the loudest was always the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine.

Some time in the late eighties or early nineties(when the turbine revolution was at its beginning), Jerry Schoenith attempted to start the ATA or "Automotive Thunderboat Association", either as a rival, or a compliment to, the then current race series. A few boats were built and run but it didn't amount to much.

#11 Bob Riebe

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 17:49

Jerry:
Was that at Madison, or Evansville about ten-fifteen years ago when one of bi-wing boats took a corner too wide came up on shore, then kept right on going back into the water?

It may be on the Unlimited Detroit sight, but I know one of the links used have a head-on shot that occurance.

Madison is a beautiful town in beautiful country, I have to get back there one of these days.


The Unlimiteds Detroit is worth joining just for their magazine that has all comings-goings and rumors.
Bob

#12 Bob Riebe

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 17:59

From the UD site, here is a Larry Wilson picture of the infamous "Lobster Boat"

Posted Image

#13 Jerry Lee

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 18:29

Originally posted by Bob Riebe
Jerry:
Was that at Madison, or Evansville about ten-fifteen years ago when one of bi-wing boats took a corner too wide came up on shore, then kept right on going back into the water?

It may be on the Unlimited Detroit sight, but I know one of the links used have a head-on shot that occurance.

Madison is a beautiful town in beautiful country, I have to get back there one of these days.


The Unlimiteds Detroit is worth joining just for their magazine that has all comings-goings and rumors.
Bob


I seem to remember a boat getting beached in Evansville some time ago but the memory is somewhat fuzzy.

I used to subscribe to Unlimiteds Detroit back in the early 80s but haven't seen one in a long time.

You're right about Madison - a beautiful picturesque town. My family first went and camped on the Kentucky side of the river in 71 and 72. I was there but unfortunately can't remember the legendary '71 Gold Cup as I was only 2. We started going again in 81, and stayed in Madison itself. We would always get there on Thursday. The river would be open for qualifying and testing all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We'd just sit in the grass on the riverbank all day in front of the pits doing whatever and watching what was going on. Sunday we'd get there early to get our spot, and watch even more testing. The race would start at 11 and end at around 5.

It's so much different than Evansville with the concrete "riverbank" and Heat. The heat - in 1989 we were there and we would take turns walking 4 blocks back to the Hotel room (people had stay to watch our stuff and hold the spot) and to sit in the Air-Conditioning for 20 minutes. The bank sign temperature indicator said 120 C. Our family uses the term "Evansville Hot" for anything unbearably hot.


SEAN

#14 Jerry Lee

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 19:31

I see the intial post suggesting documenting the evolution of the Hydros. I can throw some stuff in from the top of my head.

1982 - "Pay -n- Pak" is the first turbine powered boat to win a race in Seneca Falls, NY

1983 - Jim Lucero adds a reinforced cockpit to the "Atlas Van Lines" boat and Chip Hanauer gets belted in with a 5-point harness (everyone still used a tight fitting seat and wore a small parachute or "deceleration pack" hoping to get thrown clear in case of an accident)

1984 - This year sees 3 turbine boats entered and the "Atlas Van Lines” is the first to win on outright speed. It breaks the old Piston speed record, 140.801, by 5 m.p.h. Also, first turbine to win the Gold Cup (Unlimited Hydroplanes most prestigious race)

1985 – The “Miss Budweiser” introduces the first enclosed cockpit, a development that will save many lives. The “Miller American”, formerly “Atlas Van Lines” gets a handle on turbine reliability issues and dominates the season making it necessary to have a turbine in order to complete.

1986 – The governing body outlaws the use of the Lycoming T-55 L11 motor which made more hp than the L7 version. I think this is the first time an Unlimited boat is actually limited with the exception of minimum length and the stipulation that it must be propeller driven only.

1988 – The enclosed cockpit becomes mandatory on all boats.



Is this a bit of what you're looking for?

#15 Bob Riebe

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 19:49

Sadly, I found going through the UD links, all the best links are kaput or merely still just there.
Last year I checked some of the best sites and they were still going.
Times are tough.
Bob

#16 f1steveuk

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 19:59

It's a shame but I posted on here about my interest, then had to do this!

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...1QQcmdZViewItem

#17 Bob Riebe

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 22:13

Here is a picture of an old boat from the team that now runs U-8.
When they come cookin by you whilst doing this it is impressive.

Posted Image

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 23:31

That is one helluva good pic, Bob...

I see the prop screwing away in mid-air there... I guess that's when the jet part takes over?

#19 HistoricMustang

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 00:26

Originally posted by Bob Riebe
Here is a picture of an old boat from the team that now runs U-8.
When they come cookin by you whilst doing this it is impressive.

Posted Image


WOW! I work for the company that makes those soap suds. :rotfl:

Henry

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#20 race4aliving

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:25

Awsome picture Bob. when I lived in the Pacific northwest I used to attend a few race's a year... those were great weekends.

#21 Bob Riebe

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 03:50

Originally posted by Ray Bell
That is one helluva good pic, Bob...

I see the prop screwing away in mid-air there... I guess that's when the jet part takes over?

I do not know if you are serious with that inquiry, but the exhaust was, is, designed so as to NOT impart any forward motion.
That came about back when piston engines were still the majority.
I think, but do not quote me, with the propeller disengaged, if they turn up the heat, the boat must not move, or at least not to any advantagous degree.
Bob
PS-- The one lap fastest, among all circuits, was 173 mph.
This site has a great deal easy to find quick info:http://www.hydros.us/

#22 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 04:04

Yeah... I was serious...

But I guess with an exhaust that size, a smallish gas turbine engine wouldn't have so much jet effect.

#23 Bob Riebe

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 04:16

Originally posted by Jerry Lee

1986 – The governing body outlaws the use of the Lycoming T-55 L11 motor which made more hp than the L7 version. I think this is the first time an Unlimited boat is actually limited with the exception of minimum length and the stipulation that it must be propeller driven only.

It took me awhile to find it but it was the Miller Lite boat powered by a GE T-64 that really brought about the limiting of the turbines.
The Bud boat was always the top team, and I remember way back Bernies driver said it went by him like he was standing still.

#24 Jerry Lee

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 15:09

Yes, the boats must be propeller driven with no other assistance.


Originally posted by Bob Riebe

It took me awhile to find it but it was the Miller Lite boat powered by a GE T-64 that really brought about the limiting of the turbines.
The Bud boat was always the top team, and I remember way back Bernies driver said it went by him like he was standing still.

'

You may be confusing the Miller Lite All-Star boat with the Miller American boat. The Miller American, owed by the Fran Muncey team and was the Atlas Van Lines boat the previous year, absolutely dominated the 1985 season and ran the L-11 version. Steve Woomers 7-11 team also had one L-11 motor that they would usually save for the final heats. The nicknamed thiers "Big Wally".

The Lite boat only ran in 1984 and was a dog. The GE engine was mounted in reverse (with the exhaust shooting straight up behind the drivers head). It only had 1 or 2 respectable races. In 1985 the Budwieser team bought this hull, changed it to a conventionally mounted Lycoming and did extensive hull modifications and added a canopy and ran it in the 1986 season.

The L-11 was banned for '86. However, if the GE was indeed the inspiration for the ban then it was only would have one been based on potential.

SEAN

#25 Jerry Lee

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 15:47

A little more research into the Lycoming engines

Wikipedia states that the T-55 L7 produces 2850 hp and the L11 produces 3750 hp.


The racing series also introduced fuel regulators a number of years ago so the current use L7s aren't producing thier full potential of hp.

SEAN

#26 Bob Riebe

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 18:26

An Allison powered boat has won severl races recently, and they are a bit concerned as they are running out of parts for the Lycoming they now use.
There is supposed to be another auto-engined style concept being considered.

One of the best things of the early turbine covered boat years was the wonderful variety of styles; now they are all starting to look kind-of similar.
Bob

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 19:24

Originally posted by Bob Riebe
.....now they are all starting to look kind-of similar.


There's a familiar ring to that sentence somehow...

#28 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 19:32

My late friend Tony Hogg - sometime Editor of 'Road & Track' magazine - did a little light hydroplane racing after giving up on Lotus cars. He became very friendly with Bill Muncey - the great hydroplane Champeen 1955-1981 (I believe) and Tony produced quite a nice soft-backed book about the great man, who - tragically - lost his life soon after in a high-speed accident at Acapulco.

DCN

#29 HistoricMustang

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 22:01

Thanks Doug!

For those that may not be aware the developers here in Augusta were developing a Hydroplane lake. In fact it is still in place and is used for fishing at the park under development at the former road circuit.

Posted Image

Can the members supply other circuits of water and just wondering if any other "dedicated" Hydroplane lakes were developed or may still be in place?

Henry

#30 Bob Riebe

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 22:46

They are considering doing match racing at Firebird lake down by Firebird raceway.

If you look at this link: http://www.hydros.us/ might/should give you some idea of the earlier courses which were 3 mi. and longer, with races far longer than the six laps ones run now.
Now the biggest are two and one-half miles.
They tried an exhibition up at Valeeyfield, Quebec,, but the course is too small for a full scale race, which is too bad as Valleyfield has the star inboard attraction in North America besides the Unlimiteds.
If you really want to start at the beginning Gar Wood and the international challenges is where to start.
Bob

#31 Bob Riebe

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 23:01

Originally posted by Doug Nye
My late friend Tony Hogg - sometime Editor of 'Road & Track' magazine - did a little light hydroplane racing after giving up on Lotus cars. He became very friendly with Bill Muncey - the great hydroplane Champeen 1955-1981 (I believe) and Tony produced quite a nice soft-backed book about the great man, who - tragically - lost his life soon after in a high-speed accident at Acapulco.

DCN

For the miles at the controls, Hydroplanes probably were even more chancey than sprint cars.

In '81 Muncey died, in '82 Chenoweth died, and back in '66 Musson and Thompson, another two of histories bes,t bought the farm.
That is four of the top ten in all time wins.
It takes/took dedication and cajones the size of a basketball.

They do NOT do it for the money.
Bob

#32 Bob Riebe

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 04:38

I finally found it on the Unlimiteds.net site, the photo of a unlimited hydro cutting a corner a little bit too wide:
Posted Image

I am still not sure where it happened, but with the intake extension, and lack of trees, it looks like it was out west.

#33 Jim Thurman

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:25

Originally posted by Bob Riebe
I finally found it on the Unlimiteds.net site, the photo of a unlimited hydro cutting a corner a little bit too wide:
Posted Image

I am still not sure where it happened, but with the intake extension, and lack of trees, it looks like it was out west.


That was at Firebird. IIRC, that was match racing as well.

And since it hasn't been mentioned, Firebird is in Arizona, near Chandler, southeast of Phoenix.

Muncey was a legend in San Diego. After they opened up Fiesta Island, you could get really close to them there too.

#34 Jerry Lee

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 15:14

Originally posted by HistoricMustang
Thanks Doug!

For those that may not be aware the developers here in Augusta were developing a Hydroplane lake. In fact it is still in place and is used for fishing at the park under development at the former road circuit.

Posted Image

Can the members supply other circuits of water and just wondering if any other "dedicated" Hydroplane lakes were developed or may still be in place?

Henry


Years ago the Unlimiteds used to run in Miami Marine Stadium that was purpose built for powerboat racing. It was the shortest course they ran on all year at 1 2/3 mi. All other courses were 2, 2.5 and 3 at the time.

Your picture looks as though it would have been too small to be able to accomodate the Unlimiteds. Perhaps built for Limiteds and Formula Tunnel boats?

#35 HistoricMustang

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 21:45

Thanks Doug. :wave:

Based on these dimensions the lake were (are) about 1/2 to 3/4 miles long in one direction.

Henry

http://www.augustain...racklength.html

#36 Bob Riebe

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 23:14

Here a comparison of where they raced with ten year gaps.

1957
Chelan, Washington
Detroit, Michigan
St. Clair, Michigan
Tahoe City, California
Seattle, Washington
Buffalo, New York
Detroit, Michigan
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Madison, Indiana
Las Vegas, Nevada

1967
SAN DIEGO
SACRAMENTO
KELOWNA
SEATTLE
TRI-CITIES
MADISON
DETROIT
TAMPA

1977
SAN DIEGO
SEATTLE
TRI-CITIES
DAYTON
OWENSBORO
MADISON
DETROIT
WASHINGTON D.C.
MIAMI

1987
LAS VEGAS
SAN DIEGO
SEATTLE
TRI-CITIES
DETROIT
MADISON
EVANSVILLE
MIAMI

1997
PEARL HARBOR
LAS VEGAS
SAN DIEGO
SEATTLE
KELOWNA
TRI-CITIES
NORFOLK
MADISON
EVANSVILLE
DETROIT

2007
SAN DIEGO
SEATTLE
TRI-CITIES
DETROIT
MADISON
EVANSVILLE

#37 Jim Thurman

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 00:11

Originally posted by HistoricMustang

Can the members supply other circuits of water and just wondering if any other "dedicated" Hydroplane lakes were developed or may still be in place?


Obviously, Daytona International Speedway has Lake Lloyd, which I believe was site for some boat races...

And Hanford Motor Speedway had a lake to be used for drag boats and inboard/outboard races.

#38 wildman

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 18:58

Originally posted by Jerry Lee


I remember a number of Automotive boat coming and going. None ever had the speed or reliablity to run with the aircraft engine powered boats. But they were loud. For my money though, the loudest was always the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine.

Some time in the late eighties or early nineties(when the turbine revolution was at its beginning), Jerry Schoenith attempted to start the ATA or "Automotive Thunderboat Association", either as a rival, or a compliment to, the then current race series. A few boats were built and run but it didn't amount to much.


Not sure if Schoenith had anything to do with it, but the Unlimited Light Hydroplane Association (http://www.ulhra.org) was formed in 2001, to sanction races for pushrod V8-powered hydros. They run as a support event at some ABRA Unlimited races, as they did at Seattle a couple of weeks ago, which was my first exposure to the "Lights." They seemed to have a fairly well-subscribed field, including Bill Muncey's son, Wil.

Posted Image