Columbia Outboard Racing Association

Outboard racing in Oregon and Southwest Washington

Legend of the Lost J Hydro

So what is the legend of the Lost J Hydro…?

In 2005-06, Denise Johnson started producing the Spectator Yearbook, which she would sell for donations.  The net proceeds of these donations initially went to the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum (HARM) J Hydro project.  Initially consisting of a cash donation, the Spectator fund also donated a Sorenson J hydro and Jackal runabout kit (the runabout kit has it’s own tale).  Sometime after delivery of the boat kit to the HARM facility, the story becomes “murky”. Archaeologists studying the mystery came across this image, purported to be the lost J hydro in the rafters at HARM.


But the investigators could never find corroborative evidence that this was indeed the lost boat. Locals insisted that the boat must have been built, but could not place where it went.  Just as one person would make a definitive statement, another would say “no, it wasn’t that one…”

This oral history went on for many seasons.  Then, in 2014, David Williams, HARM Director and practitioner of boat works magic arts went into the Motor Room at the museum.  He sat cross-legged on the floor; surrounding him were several racing programs of marginal value, a partially melted Casper model, an old ADI tank, and a cardboard cut-out of Bernie Little.  David began chanting, smoke appeared from somewhere…and a J Hydro was conjured.  Well, not a complete J hydro – but other magicians could fix that.

Wizard Charlie Marquard performed further significant magic, rendering an undecked boat.  This was passed onto Mike Johnson, a mere apprentice, who prepared the boat for decking by creating clouds of sawdust.  The rig was then passed to Ken McMurphy for the mystical McBoats decking treatment.  Hardware from Machined Components and Master Forger Lee Tietze was added.  Pieces of eight from Master Tietze delivered a stout OMC from a Wizard of the Eastern provinces, negotiated and delivered by world trader Doug Martin.

Now it was time to make a racing craft, so the boat moved on to CORA’s Oracle of J, Mike Zonich.  The boat was ready for debut at Eatonville in August 2015, where Princess Kierra Marquard took it for it’s first excursion.


Next, Squire Wyatt Dingman would race the boat for the first time…


Now it was time to return the boat to Wizard Charlie for his special magic – finishing the boat.  The paint job would by a custom design by Princess Kierra.


Now the boat is ready to race.  Go back to the CORA J Program page for more information.

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