Classic Boat Show brings vintage vessels to Gig Harbor bay

The second Tides Tavern Classic Boat Show on May 17 will feature stars of the water like the 1968 hydroplane Miss Budweiser

Staff writerMay 7, 2014 

The 30-foot long 1968 Miss Budweiser will be on display in the parking lot of the Tides Tavern on May 17.


When Randy Mueller was growing up in Ballard, Seattle didn’t have a football, baseball or basketball team.

Instead, he looked forward to hydroplane races such as the Gold Cup and Seafair.

“Every kid around would follow the boats,” he said. “It was the big major sport that hit town every summer.”

Mueller organizes the Classic Boat Show at the Tides Tavern, which premiered last year with 12 boats. This year it runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 17 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 18.

Mueller is particularly excited about the thunderboats, also known as the hydroplanes. He’s been involved with small inboard hydroplanes since he was a child in the 1950s. He volunteers with the restoration crew at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent.

A famous thunderboat will be on display outside the Tides during the show: The 1968 Miss Budweiser. The 30-foot long boat has a 12-cylinder, 2,500 horsepower Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. She can clock up to 190 mph.

The hydroplane will be a fun feature of the parking lot, but the true queen of this year’s show is an 85-foot 1920s fantail motor yacht named Dearleap. Mueller said the boat evokes the era and setting of classic books like “The Great Gatsby.”

Mueller proposed the boat show to Peter Stanley, owner of the Tides Tavern. It’s been a good fit for the show and the restaurant. There’s food and activities for all ages.

The show was met with “quite a bit of enthusiasm,” Mueller said.

This year, a Hollywood star will be in attendance: The 54-foot 1939 Elco yacht Riptide was featured in a 1980s television show of the same name.

When the show went off the air, the boat fell into disrepair. It has since been restored and tours classic boat shows.

Other boats that will appear at the Tides are:

 • “Miracle,” 1928 31-foot Vic Frank.

 • “Turning Point,” 1928 44-foot Lake Union Dream Boat.

 • “Pied Piper,” 1939 40-foot Matthews.

 • “Endeavor,” 1963 42-foot Matthews.

 • “Jonta,” 1965 30-foot Grandy.

 • “Hammer T,” 1966 35-foot Owens.

 • 12-foot Glen-L Squirt, 2006 built to a 1955 design.

The show is free. The boats take up most of the dock space at the Tides, but some space will be reserved for regular boat traffic.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155 Twitter: @gateway_karen

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