On Saturday the APBA Vintage Unlimited Hydroplanes and Inboard Raceboats were on the water at Lake Chelan, Washington. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the mid 80’s and the water was flat all day. The sound of the big Merlin’s and Allison’s pushing the Unlimted Hydroplanes to 130 MPH was fantastic!

This is the 16th consecutive year for the Vintage Raceboat Exhibition at Lake Chelan, where they actually raced competitively until 1960. The event which is sponsored by the APBA and the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum was very well organized and the spectator attendence was great.

The race boats are lifted into the water with crane’s and each boat comes with a big crew.

Throughout the day, they provide rides in the big Unlimted Hydroplanes for the many volunteers that donate their time to work at the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum in Kent, Washington.

“Miss Thriftway” U-6o Unlimited Hydroplane returning to the dock after a run.
I don’t think they enforce the No Wake rule on Saturday during the exhibition runs…

“Miss Wahoo” U-77 at speed driven by David Williams Executive Director of the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum.

“Miss Bardahl” U-40 driven by Dixon Smith.

“Miss Bardahl” is the 1963-64-65 National Champion and Gold Cup Winner.

Powered by a huge Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12

Dixon Smith let me sit in the cockpit between runs and this is the view that the driver has.

Dixon Smith (the driver) and his brother David Smith (shown below center) have been involved with “Miss Bardahl” since the early 60’s and are very passionate about the boat. They were very pleasent to talk to and loved to talk about her rich history.

“Some Things Are Meant To Be Loud” – And I can tell you, They Are Loud…

“Miss Budweiser U-12 leaving the dock.

“Oh Boy! Oberto”

“Buccaneer” is one of the beautifully prepared Inboard Vintage Raceboats.

This was my first time at this event. I’m certainly glad that I had the opportunity to make it down to Lake Chelan to see it first hand, and I hope to return next year.

For more information on this event you can contact the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum by clicking here.


You might like...
« « Previous Post         |         Next Post » »
3 Responses to “2010 Mahogany & Merlot on Lake Chelan – Vintage Hydroplane Edition”
  1. Rick

    They would have had to drag me kicking and screaming to get me out of that cockpit! That's if they were able to catch me. You lucky son-of-a-gun. Great photos, wish there was a sound bite to go with it. That would be a great ring tone.

  2. Texx

    Rick – It was fun to sit in the cockpit of "Miss Bardahl" and to imagine for a moment what it would be like at speed. Back in the day (1962), in race trim it had a top speed of 180 MPH. It's 30 ft long with a weight of 6,950 Pounds.

    I wish there was a way to post the sound that the big Rolls-Royce Merlin made at speed, not to mention the thick aroma of 115 Race Fuel in the air after a run – It was great!