Some Resources I Have Found Useful

Across the Lake

Auld Acquaintance by Guy Lombardo.

(Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1975.)

Out of print. Used copies available through

Bell : Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude by Robert V. Bruce.

(Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1974; Gollancz 1973) 

An excellent biography of the complex person who was Alexander Graham Bell. Features one chapter about his work on hydrofoils. This is reprinted on this website as Alexander Graham Bell and the Hydrofoils.

garey_thumbnail.jpg (9026 bytes)Bill Muncey : Boat Racing Legend by Stephen A. Garey

©1982 by Steve Garey Unlimited.
112pp., Second Printing May, 1991.
Library of Congress No.91-672.

Published by Unlimiteds Detroit

For reprint rights to material from this book please contact the author at

"This engrossing book on unlimited racing is entitled "Bill Muncey: Boat Racing Legend" and is yours for just $10 postpaid. Lots of rare photos and race statistics. Send check or money order to: Legend Book, PO Box 24764, Detroit MI 48224" —Thunder Letter August 16, 1996 (Vol. II no.128)

The Bluebird Years: Donald Campbell and the Pursuit of Speed by Arthur Knowles with Graham Beach

"This all-time bestseller includes the classic account by Arthur Knowles of the preparations and final, tragic attempt in 1967 to push the world water-speed record past 300 mph. New material by Graham Beech: the recovery of Bluebird, the funeral in 2001, and the debate on how best to restore and exhibit Bluebird."

1 85058 766 3
200 pp

Boats Unlimited by Harold Wilson

The Book of The Racing Campbells by Richard Hough, 1960.

A Century of Gold Cup Racing by Fred Farley and Ron Harsin

(Bristol Fashion Publications, Harrisburg PA ©2004)

228 pages; ISBN 1892216523.

"2004 Celebrates 100 years of racing for the Gold Cup - The Crown Jewel of Hydroplane Racing.

Fred Farley, the Official APBA Hydro-Prop Unlimited Historian, and Ron Harsin, have written this excellent account of the history of the Gold Cup which had its start in 1904. In those early days, the boats ran at the Blistering Speed of 24 mph. Today's Unlimited Hydroplanes - The Thunderboats - set the Water on Fire at over 200 mph!

These pages contain over one hundred black & white photographs, many of which have never been published. It is also the first known record of the races to have all the drivers' and owners' name correctly listed for each race.

After 100 years of racing you can finally own the definitive book of this truly thrilling, yearly event!


Available from Amazon (USA) [24.95 USD], Amazon (Canada) [$25.49 CDN] ($24.95 list)

Classic Speedboats 1916-1939 by Gerald Guétat with Eric Ledru.

191 pp. First published in French in 1995. Published 1997 by Bay View Books Ltd.

ISBN 1-870979-96-6

Classic Speedboats: The Summitt 1945-1962  by Gerald Guétat.

MBI Publishing Company. First published 2000

ISBN 0-7603-0916-7, 191 pp., Retail price $39.95 USD

[Classic Motorbooks (]

Clinton Crane's Yachting Memories by Clinton H. Crane.

(Van Nostrand 1952)

David Greene's Statistical History of Major League Boat Racing, Vol. 1 & 2 by David Greene

(1993, with supplements). Complete statistical coverage of unlimited events from 1900 through the present. An incredible resource, this is my primary source for statistics during this period. Out of print and very difficult to find.

Ditchburn Boats: A Muskoka Legacy by Harold Shield, photography by Bev McMullen

(The Boston Mills Press, 2002)

©2003 ISBN 1-55046-412-4, 155 pp.

Colour and black & white photos.

Donald Campbell, C.B.E.

Famous Speedboats of the World by D. Phillips-Birt.

(Muller 1956) 

Thumbnail of The Guide to High Performance Powerboating (6756 bytes)The Guide to High Performance Powerboating : From Racecourse to High-Speed Pleasure Boating / Joanne A. Fishman with photographs by Forest Johnson

© 1989 by Joanne A. Fishman

Hearst Marine Books, New York

The Harmsworth Trophy: The World's Greatest Motorboat Race, 1903-1961 by Donald W. Peterson.

High Speed Small Craft by Peter Du Cane.

(Tuckahoe, N.Y.: John De Graff, Inc., 1950).

Features an interesting chapter on Slo-mo-shun IV.

newton_thumbnail.jpg (6155 bytes)"Hydro Classics" Coloring Book : featuring unlimited hydroplanes from 1950-1959

"for hydroplane fans of all ages"

by Roger J. Newton

©1989 by Roger J. Newton
Published by Newton Marine, 14518-167th Pl. S.E., Renton WA 98056

I purchased my copy from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum.

Thumbnail of Hydro Legends (5006 bytes)Hydro Legends

"Hydro Legends is published annually by the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum for the benefit of our members, supporters, and for the enjoyment of race fans everywhere. Hydro Legends also helps fulfill one of our primary missions, which is to educate the public about the colorful history of boat racing.

"The programs and services of the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum are open to all individuals regardless of race, gender, age or physical abilities."

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is located at:
5917 South 196th Street
Kent, Washington

(206) 764-9453

[Note: Hydro Legends ceased publication with the 2000 issue. Back issues are still available through the Museum. --LF]

Hydro Racing: A Look Back
Hydro Who's Who by Lloyd Collins

©1984 by Lloyd E. Collins; approximately 42 pp.; text with black & white drawings.

The publication upon which Jim Sharkey's similarly titled book is based; the latter is updated and considerably expanded.

Thumbnail of Hydro's Who's Who (5805 bytes)Hydro's Who's Who 1946-2000 (with updates for 2001) by Jim Sharkey

This labour of love by Jim Sharkey is one of the better statistical collections I've yet seen, covering nearly all the races since 1946, tracking the two hundred or so hulls through their various names, numbers and drivers. If a boat appeared at a race it likely will be listed here. I got my copy through the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Seattle. To those of us with a statistical bent it's worth many times that. Watch for a future edition with even broader coverage.

Available from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum for $30.

Also available directly from Jim:

Jim Sharkey
6522 E. Camino Vista #3
Anaheim, Calif. 92807

Hydroplane Racing in Seattle by David D. Williams

Arcadia Publishing ©, ISBN 0-7385-3118-9; orders: 1-888-313-2665, 127 pp. $19.95

Available from the Hydroplane and RaceBoat Museum.

Into the Water Barrier by Donald Campbell

(Odhams 1955)

Lake Champions: In Pursuit of Tahoe's Racing Title, 1914-1958 by Carol Van Etten

126 pp., black & white and colour photographs. Published by Sierra Maritime Publications, ©2002, (916) 583-5091

Leap Into Legend: Donald Campbell and the Complete Story of the World Speed Records by Steve Holter.

© Steven A. Holter, 2002; ISBN 1-85058-804-X, 179 pp.

£10.95; $25 USD at the Hydroplane and RaceBoat Museum., .

Like Father Like Son
Madison Hydroplane Heritage by Fred Farley and Ron Harsin

List $34.95 (pbk.); 330 pp.; b&w and colour photos.

ISBN 1-892216-48-5

"Fred Farley, the Official APBA Hydro-Prop Unlimited Historian, and Ron Harsin, life long resident of Madison, Indiana, have written this excellent description of the history of Hydroplane Racing and the Gold Cup which had its start in 1904. . . . These pages are laced with over three hundred black & white photographs, more than eighty of which have never been published. There are also twelve pages of color photographs . . . A section on the making of the movie Madison is included as it is a large part of the Gold Cup history."



Motorboating Facts & Feats  & Origins & Development of Motorcraft

(A Guinness Superlatives Book) by Kevin Desmond

Motormen & Yachting, V.I The Waterfront Heritage of the Automobile Industry by Michael M. Dixon

©2005, $49.95, Mervue Publications (,

234 pages, over 190 illustrations, ISBN: 0-97108-332-0

"Motormen & Yachting traces the role of steam, other vapor, electric and internal combustion marine engines in pioneering owner operated, mechanically powered transportation vehicles.  Biographies of six important motormen from the marine engine era and two chapters about the technological contributions of early powerboat racing help recall the importance of the marine engine industry in creating the public acceptance of the “exploding” engines and the emergence of an automobile industry.  An illustrated appendix documents over 150 early Michigan marine engine manufacturers with brief company biographies."

My Speed King: Life With Donald Campbell by Tonia Bern-Campbell
Nautical Quarterly

(published quarterly by
Nautical Quarterly Co.
373 Park Avenue South
New York, New York

Colour and black&white photos; app. 120 pp.

Ceased publication May 1990

The Oregon Wolf by Donald W. Peterson
Packards at Speed by Robert J. Neal

The book covers the complete history of Packard-engined speed vehicles, on land, at sea and in the air. From the 1906 Gold Cup, to the Harmsworths from 1920 to 1933, water speed record attempts 1920 to '33, and right on up through Gale VII and Fred Leland's recent effort, an absolute must for the boat-racing historian. There are 500 Limited Editions available at $95 plus $5 packing and shipping. Standard Edition is $65, plus $5 handling. Wash. State residents must add 8.6% sales tax. Orders to: Aero-Marine History Publishing Co., PO Box 5582, Kent WA 98064.

desmond2_thumb.jpg (13719 bytes)Power boat: The Quest for Speed Over Water [a.k.a. Power Boat Speed] by Kevin Desmond

(New York : Orion Books, 1988)

"tells the story of the quest for speed over the water from Parson's Turbinia to Richard Branson's Atlantic Challenger. It covers every aspect of the sport from the tiny hydroplanes and circuit boats to the big offshore racers and the unlimited speed-record contenders."

Parts of this book are considerably expanded from The World Water Speed Record, also by Kevin Desmond (1976).

Original list price $35, now out of print but often available through such online resources as for $40 to $75 US.

256 pp., many black & white photos, ISBN 0-517-56821-7.

Powerboat Racing on the ChesapeakePowerboat Racing on the Chesapeake by William W. Mowbray

(Centreville, MD : Tidewater Publishers, 1995)

"Professional powerboat racing been a sport on the Chesapeake since 1911, but this is the first book to record the development and history of racing activity in the region. The focus is on the limited, inboard racing classes of the American Power Boat Association (APBA) because those craft have been the racing segment most avidly followed in the Chesapeake area." Some coverage is given to Gold Cup Class boats that raced there in the 1940's and 1950's.

Available from paperback, $16.95

Pre-War Wood: Speedboats on Lake Tahoe 1910-1941 by Carol Van Etten.


Carol Van Etten
Box 1155
Tahoe city, California 95730

Queen of Whale Cay: The Eccentric Story of "Joe" Carstairs, The Fastest Woman on Water by Kate Summerscale
Race Against the Odds: The Tragic Success Story of Miss England II by Kevin Desmond

©Kevin Desmond, 116 pp., ISBN 1-85058-806-6, £9.95; $25 at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum.

Published by

Sigma Leisure - an imprint of Sigma Press
5 Alton Road
Wilmslow, Cheshire

"A remarkable addition to power-boating history – the first time that an entire book has been devoted to a single power boat, rather than its driver. Miss England II crashed, involved the death of her driver, was salvaged, rebuilt, crashed again … and finally destroyed by the Luftwaffe."

Racers Apart by David Tremayne

ISBN 0-947981-58-6- David Tremayne "Has some good sections on Donald Campbell, Ron Musson, Bill Muncey, Dean Chenoweth, Lee Taylor."


Racing Outboards, 1907-1989: A History of the Great Horsepower Race by Donald W. Peterson

©2006, 130 pp.

burd_thumb.jpg (8434 bytes)Racing Unlimited by Bob Burd, 1994

This compendium of racing history and statistics covers from the early part of this century and spans several hundred pages. Self published by Bob Burd (Burd Publishing House, Maple Valley, WA), it is available for $75US (postpaid) from:

Bob Burd
22053 S.E. 269th St.
Maple Valley, WA 98038

App. 500 pp.; material from a wide variety of sources. Images are usually 2nd or 3rd generation photocopies or hand-drawn illustrations.

The Record Breakers : Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell : Land and Water Speed Kings of the 20th Century / Leo Villa and Tony Gray

Published by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited (London/New York/Sydney/Toronto, 1969).

©Leo Villa, 1969

roostertails_99_thumb.jpg (10729 bytes)Roostertails '99: Four Decades of Hydro Racing [also called "The Big Hydro Book", "Forty Years of Thunder" and "Forty Years of Legends" at various times during its production]

©1999; published by David D. Williams, Williams Publishing, Seattle; ISBN 0-9671592-0-2 (hardcover), 0-9671592-1-0 (paperback).

"A high quality, coffee table style book, it documents the history of Unlimited Hydroplane racing from its birth in 1958 to the present day. Color and black and white photography. 106 pages, 64 in full colour, 40 years of history. Available for $19.95 (softbound). Washington state residents add 8.6% tax. Please add $ 4.00 shipping and handling per book. Books can be ordered from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum."

[Note: Not listed in their current online catalog. Contact the Museum for status.]

Roostertails Unlimited by Andy Muntz, 1973

Special thanks to Andy for allowing me to use this material

He has some copies of this book left. Contact him at

Run to Glory: Chasing the World's Water Speed Record 1967-1989 by Donald W. Peterson


94 pp.

Slo-Mo-Shun, The Sayres Legacy by Donald W. Peterson
Speed and Spray: the Art of Bob Carver

Featuring many photos of one of the best hydro racing photographers ever, Bob Carver. Text by Rusty Rae.

Available for $20 from the

Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum
5917 South 196th Street
Kent, Washington

(206) 764-9453

Published by David D. Williams, Williams Publishing, Seattle; ISBN 0-9671592-2-9; ©2000.

Speedboat by D.W. Fostle

© 1988 D.W. Fostle. Published jointly by United States Historical Society and Mystic Seaport Museum Stores. (Mystic, CT : Mystic Seaport Museum Stores, c1988).

ISBN 0-939510-07-3; 218 pp.

This wonderful book is full of high quality pictures and text tracing the history of boats that go fast. The photos are beautiful; the text is fascinating. If you can find a copy, buy it.

Speed Boat Kings. by J. Lee Barrett

(Detroit: Arnold-Powers Inc. 1939)

Speed King: The Donald Campbell Story
Thumbnail of This is Hydroplaning (Lowney) (6780 bytes)This is Hydroplaning by Paul Lowney

©1959 Paul B. Lowney

Edited and published by Paul B. Lowney, 1959.

Photo Credits: Bob Carver, Forde Photographers, Josef Scalea, Ross Hall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, John Vallentyne, Seattle Times, Vic Candiotty, Larry Dion, Wide World Photos, A.P. Wirephoto, International News Photos, United Press International Photo, Detroit News, Buffalo Courier-Express, Courier-Journal and Louisville Times, KING-TV, Las Vegas News Bureau, Joann Bower, Bill Espe for Associated Grocers Inc., Chris Minerich, Jim Vincent, Roger Dudley, Socony Mobil Co., Tommy Hill, Stratton Photo, Madison Regatta Inc., Towne Studio

[NOTE: Long out of print this book occasionally turns up at hydro swap meets or on eBay. It often sells for $100 or more. A word of caution, however. Impressive though the images are (many were taken by the master himself, Bob Carver), the text leaves a lot to be desired. It is rife with factual errors and you should take any history or statistics with a grain of salt. Be that as it may, I wouldn't part with my copy for any amount of money. --LF]

Thumbnail of Thunderboating with Bil Muncey by Tony Hogg (7189 bytes)Thunderboating with Bill Muncey by Tony Hogg

© 1978 by Tony Hogg Publications

Tony Hogg Publications
177-F Riverside Avenue
Newport Beach, California 92663

I purchased my copy through the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum in Seattle. I am not sure they are still available.

Turbine Racing in Seattle by David D. Williams
Vintage Hydroplane Heritage by Fred Farley and Ron Harsin
With Campbell at Coniston by Arthur Knowles
The World Water Speed Record by Leo Villa and Kevin Desmond

© Leo Villa and Kevin Desmond.

London : B.T. Batsford Ltd, 1976

Written by Leo Villa who was with Malcolm and Donald Campbell through their quests for the speed record and Kevin Desmond, one of best technical journalists around, this book follows the paths many took to be the fastest on water. Very interesting reading with photos not seen elsewhere.

Some books I have not yet seen but would like to have:

Anderfaas, Eric Nels. Hydroplane performance, stability and control . Degree granted in Mechanical Engineering. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of California, Davis, 1995.


Crampton, Emeline J. History of the St. Clair River. (St. Clair, Mich.: St. Clair Publishing Company, 1921.)

Davis, S.C.H. The John Cobb Story. (Foulis 1952)

Dawson, Christopher. A Quest for Speed at Sea. (Hutchinson 1972)

Day, James Wenthworth. Kaye Don—the Man. (Hutchinson 1934)

Dockey, Philip S. The Liberty Engine, 1918-1942. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1968.)

Dyke, A.L. Dyke's Aircraft Engine Instructor. (Chicago: Goodheart-Willcox Publishing Company, 1928.)

Edge, S.F. My Motoring Reminiscences. (E. P. Publishing Ltd 1972)

Farmer, Weston. From My Old Boat Shop. (Camden, Maine: International Marine Publishing Co., 1979.)

Fox, Uffa. Sail and Power. (Peter Davies 1936)

Gardner, William. The Development of the Sail Yacht, Steam Yacht and Motor Yacht in American Waters. International Engineering Congress: San Francisco, 1915.

Grahame-White, M. At the Wheel - Ashore and Afloat. (Foulis 1934)

Harrison, M. Lord of London. (W. H. Allen 1966)

History of American Yachts and Yachtsmen, (New York: Spirit of the Times Publishing Company, 1901.)

Homan, James E. Self-Propelled Vehicles. (New York: Theo. Audel & Co., 1908.)

Jenks, William L. St. Clair County Michigan, Its History and its People. (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1912.)

Kimes, Beverly Rae, ed. Packard, A History of the Motor Car and the Company. (Princeton: Automobile Quarterly Publications. 1978.)

Knightley and Simpson. The Secret Lives of Lawrence of Arabia. (Thomas Nelson & Sons 1969)

Lord, Lindsay. Naval Architecture of Planing Hulls. (Cambridge, MD.: Cornell Maritime Press, Inc. 1963.)

The Motorboat and Yachting Manual (Temple Press, 1954 & 1960) "the 1954 edition has a good section on Crusader with other info on Slo-mo-shun IV, Bluebird K3 and 4 and a X Class hydroplane "Massimo" 1948 has Bluebird K4 in its jet configuration. The 1960 edition has Bluebird K7."

Page, Victor W. Modern Aviation Engines. (New York: Henley Publishing Company, 1929.)

Pitrone, Jean M. & Elwart, Joan P. The Dodges. (South Bend, Ind.: Icarus Press, 1981.)

Posthumus, Cyril. Sir Henry Seagrave. (Batsford 1961)

Skene, Norman L. Elements of Yacht Design. (New York: Yachting Publications, 1927.)

Stephens, W.P. American Yachting. (New York: MacMillan & Company, 1904.)

Stephens, W.P. Traditions and Memories of American Yachting. (New York: Hearst Magazines, 1942.)

Streeter, Robert S. Internal Combustion Engines. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1915.)

Taylor, C. Fayette. Aircraft Propulsion, A Review of the Evolution of Aircraft Piston Engines. 90

Vincent, Jesse G. Chronological Development of the Packard Marine Engine. MS., (Detroit: Packard Motor Car Company, [1946].)

Vincent, Jesse G. History of the Liberty Engine. MS., (Detroit: Packard Motor Car Company, [1920].)

Young, Douglas. Donald Campbell (James, 1968)


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