View Full Version : The "Miss Nickle-Eagle" Project

Master Oil Racing Team
06-04-2006, 01:24 PM
Ron Hill's and CapnZee's battery experiences reminded me of The Miss Nickle-Eagle Project. While doing a story on it for Powerboat I took a flash picture and a split second later there was no one within 20 yards of the boat. Team leader Darrell Goade explained,"You don't use a flash around battery people."

This was an attempt to establish a kilo and a drag record with an electric powered hydroplane. It occurred at Table Rock Lake in Missouri in October of 1978. The following article appeared in the January 1979 issue of Powerboat Magazine. It was an historic event and I was proud to have been asked to take part. Other pro racers involved were Bill and Eillen Van Steenwyk (Bill built the hydro) Ray Hardy manning one of the scanners and Harry Pasturczak manufacturer of some components and providing inspection. It was an APBA Special Events sanction if I remember correctly.

Master Oil Racing Team
06-04-2006, 07:45 PM
I have trouble sizing magazine articles properly so they can be read. Maybe Sam can help, or maybe I can cut it into pieces so that you can follow the story.

Master Oil Racing Team
06-06-2006, 10:54 AM
We had to get an early start. We went to the surveyed course via several boats, towing the hydro behind one. In the last photo, from the top L-R, Eileen Van Steenwyk, Harry Pasturczak, Bill Van Steenwyk, and in the foreground at the scanner, Ray Hardy.

Master Oil Racing Team
06-22-2006, 09:34 AM
The scanners had a magnet on either side that would help make connection to open or close the circuit depending on which way the run was. I don't remember who operated the main unit. Probably Bill Van Steenwyk. I think all the people associated with timing had to be APBA members and we were all instructed by Harry Pasturczak. Ray Hardy operated one of the scanners and I had the other. I had to guess the path of the run pretty closely because I was using a telephoto on my camera set up on a tripod. I had the motor drive set to single frame, and as the boat approached the field of view of the camera, I started clicking off frames as I scanned Miss Nickel-Eagle. Luckily I got one full frame on a kilo run.

Look at all the wire that had to be strung along the banks. That must be one of the reasons it was done when it was cold. Can you imagine crawling through all those woods when the ticks and chiggers were fully active?

Master Oil Racing Team
06-24-2006, 07:46 AM
Left to right, Bill Long and Darrel Goade, both department managers in the Electronics Division of Eagle-Picher. I think the prop they are holding was used both for the drag and kilo runs. Harry Pasturczak does some high tech tweaking on the prop. They had no idea where to start so they gathered up a wide variety of props. As their was quite a few amps buzzing around, the cockpit was insulated, the drivers wore rubber suits and gloves.

Master Oil Racing Team
12-22-2017, 08:37 PM
I never did finish this story. In fact, I was just learning how to size photos for this site,,,,or any site for that matter. Didn't know what I was doing. I didn't want this thread to die because maybe most people don't know how long ago some of this electric boat stuff got started. It was before the internet revolution, smart phones, and hybrid and electric cars. I still have a lot of photos, and more of the story to tell.

Ron Hill
12-22-2017, 11:13 PM

This is amazing. 84 volts, and a fork lift motor.

Master Oil Racing Team
12-23-2017, 09:25 AM
It is amazing, especially since it's probably pretty heavy.

12-23-2017, 10:44 AM
I remember seeing a captioned photo of the Nickel Eagle in Popular Science magazine, and thinking the boat looked a bit like something Rhoades might have built.

That's an early, but 2nd-generation Yamato alky motor lower unit, big but tough, probably 14:16.

(EDIT) Deleted the rest of the post as extraneous.