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Miss Budweiser builder Ed Karelsen passes away

John Moore on 3rd January 2019

Ed Karelsen, who built championship winning Unlimited Hydroplane’s has passed away at the age of 86 reports The Seattle Times.

Karelsen’s Miss Bardahl and Miss Budweiser hulls dominated the Unlimited Hydroplane class, winning championships between 1967-71.

He also designed the world’s fastest outboard hydroplane, which still holds the world record of 176.556 mph.

Karelsen became fascinated with boat racing in Seattle, he studied engineering at Washington and then started to build race boats.

Hall of Fame driver Chip Hanauer said:

Ed Karelsen created boats that were simply the perfect tool for the job they were designed for: to win powerboat races.

Hanauer called Karelsen’s boats:


Boats my grandmother could safely win races in!

In his later years, Karelsen worked with the Seattle Outboard Association and the Hydroplane & Race Boat Museum, working with the Junior Hydro project.

Karelsen was well known around the hydroplane pits and Hanauer concluded:

He was perhaps the most pleasant man in racing.

He was much loved and respected.

The Hydroplane & Race Boat Museum said that Karlesen had requested that his life should be celebrated with a:

Big Party down at the Hydroplane Museum.

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