Miss Detroit III

Replica of a 1918 single step, Gar Wood hydroplane

Owner/builder - Mike Michaud

My love for race boats started in 1986 with a Jersey Speed Skiff ride, at Jeff Magnuson's lake house on Lake Winnipesaukee. Knowing that I was hooked, Jeff sold me the skiff the next year. I had a lot of fun with that boat, and two years later sold it, to build the red and white sided Packard Chris Craft race boat. Soon I found out the pride in building your own boat was as good as driving them, and wanted to build another. But what would I build next?


Then I received a gift from Jeff, the book "Classic Speed Boats", and I started looking. While thumbing through the book, I stumbled upon a picture of Miss Detroit III on page 32. Intrigued by the photo of Gar Wood and Jay Smith in the boat, I then read the chapter to find out that it won the Gold Cup in 1918 and 1919 under the sponsorship the the Detroit Yacht Club (DYC). Miss Detroit III was designed and built by Gar Wood and the Chris Craft Boat and Engine Company.  It was considered to be a state of the art hydroplane at that time period.

That was it, I knew that Miss Detroit III would be my next project. Call it love at first sight, but the wheels were set in motion, and construction began during the winter of 2000. The project was finally completed in the summer of 2005, and Miss Detroit III debuted at the NH Vintage Race Boat Regatta.


I want to thank Jeff Magnuson for getting me started and involved with the construction of vintage race boats - for people to see, touch, and ride in.

Will see you on the water !!!

Mike Michaud

Acton Maine



The story of Miss Detroit III

The history of stepped hydroplanes

Miss Detroit III - a single step hydroplane designed by Gar Wood & Chris Smith in 1917.




The fuel tanks get installed.




The V-drive gets installed.




The unique bow rudder installation.




The V-12 Motor - vary rare & unique - what is it ???




Template for the V-12 motor - yup - it's gonna fit.




The stunt driver - Donnie (Orlin Johnson) McLean.




Photo update - 3/10/2002











Mike Michaud and Bill John




Some photo updates taken on 12/11/2004

The hull planking is progressing nicely, and the motor has been placed into position.





Photo updates taken on 4/24/2005

The hull planking has been completed, the motor installation has been completed, and the steering for the bow rudder is done.



Photo updates taken on 5/26/2005

The deck is done, and also the inside combing areas, looks good - I'm happy with the results.




This was a fun project crew !!!


Finally - launching and the maiden voyage on 7/23/2005




Click here for MPEG movie

Click here for Mike's next project - Murlen !!!

With the original Curtiss motor recently installed, Miss Detroit III

 is now part of the Dr Ken Muscatel Collection, here is the link.

Miss Detroit III

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