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Chuck Mistele, bottom left, and above with Terry Fiest, couldn’t be more pleased with the speed, stability, level planning attitude and perfect balance of his Miss America IX that is riding on its bow rudder and two props. Only at high speed does the bow rudder, step, and prop shaft show.
In 41 years of ownership, Chuck Mistele had never seen Miss America IX become a three point hydro. He normally runs the boat by the sound of the engines, which works out to around 80 mph.
But on Saturday, March 26th of this year, he got across Lake Dora a bit quicker than normal. This time, Chuck was wearing custom-made ear plugs and didn’t really know how fast he was going. “The sound is what I’ve gone by all these years,” recounts Chuck, “and I was too busy watching the water. But I tell ya, we were flying.”
Chuck and riding mechanic, Terry Fiest, were going well above 80, but to his ears, they were not because half of the sound was blocked out. “I never did look at the tachometers, but after looking at the photos with the skin on our faces pulled back, that’s faster than I care to go.”
It was the ear plugs, “I’m not accustomed to the sound with those ear plugs. We were going a lot faster than we should have been going, but there was a whole lot left because I didn’t have the throttles all the way forward.”
Without the original Packard engines, Miss America IX is several thousand pounds lighter with the four bolt GM big blocks and with that weight savings, performs wonderfully. The bow rudder breaks up the water surface that flows under the step, enabling the hull to ride on bubbles or air spray. Nothing touches the water. The perfect attitude that they designed the boat to race at.
Chuck reports that the boat is very stable at those speeds while riding on three pints, the bow rudder and the props. “I’m not scared of speed, but that’s faster than I’ll ever go again,” reports Chuck of #9’s 81-year-old bottom. “When you break the bottom suction where the stern lifts up, technically the rpm’s don’t change much but it’s like hitting the after burner on a jet because you’ve just cut the wetted surface in half, it just takes off. You can feel it in the boat, it sets you right back in the seat. It plays with your senses with the fine white spray coming out the side and you’re looking past the engines across the very long deck and you’re perfectly level with the horizon and the boat is accelerating with a racket.”
A lot of people thing Miss America IX is in a museum, but Chuck and is wife, Diane, trailer it around to shows within a day’s driving distance. Look for #9 to appear net at the ACBS Annual Meeting at the Abbey Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, September 21-25.
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