Building The New Miss Bardahl [1967]

The new Miss Bardahl is fast becoming ready for the 1967 campaign of the unlimiteds.

In a small informal ceremony at the Bardahl boat shop in mid-February the completed hull was turned over to Ole Bardahl by the Karelsen Boat Company of Seattle. The Bardahl crew then took over the finishing details.

Bardahl was pleased with the new hull. "This boat is much lighter than any of our other ones," he said. "The improved non-trip areas and light weight will make much higher speeds possible."

Billy Schumacher, who will be the 1967 driver, and Ole Bardahl were both frequent visitors during construction to watch the progress and make suggestions. While modeled after her predecessor, the Green Dragon, the new Miss Bardahl incorporates the latest thinking of Karelsen and the experienced Bardahl crew. This is the second unlimited hydroplane built by the Karelsen company; which also built the last Miss Exide.

After delivery the crew did the fiberglass covering of the deck followed by cowling and painting. A late March christening date still allowed plenty of time for water testing before the start of the racing season.

The hull is fabricated of 5-ply Douglas fir plywood only -inch thick, but designed to withstand the terrific pounding of 180-mph speeds. This plywood is made of the full length of the 30-foot-4 hull by Georgia-Pacific's marine plywood division to eliminate cross-the-beam joints. Thin one-piece hull material is supported by marine fir plywood frames ?-inch thick.

The engine is a Rolls Royce Merlin, a modified model V-1650-9 which is a V-12 with 1650 cu. in. displacement. Bore is 5 inches and stroke is 6 inches. She uses 24 spark plugs. Supercharger ratio is 5.80-to-1, maximum engine speed 4200 rpm and propeller speed 12,000 rpm with a 3.04 step-up gearbox.

Ready to run, she will carry 85 gallons of aviation gasoline and 15 gallons of Bardahl oil. Various propellers for different water conditions are 13" in diameter but vary in pitch from 17" to 24". They turn on a 1" diameter Armco 17-4 PH stainless steel shaft.

At top speeds the new Miss Bardahl will ride on the air tunnel, balancing on the aft tips of the sponsons and the lower half of the propeller.

(Reprinted from Sea and Pacific Motor Boat, April 1967, p.110)


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Leslie Field, 2000