Here at TNT, we care that all of our customers have a good understanding of the different types of boats to make the best decision when purchasing the boat of their dreams. Our sales department team is more than trained to assist you with your boat and engine needs. You are one call away from discovering the world of speed! Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about fast boats!
Speed on the water is a rush like no other, and if by chance it captures your imagination you’ll likely spend the rest of your powerboating days chasing it. Not everyone who enters the boating world discovers his or her inner speed gene. But for those who do, it quickly becomes a passion—and likely a lifelong one.
Here’s the good news for would be go-fast powerboat owners: You’ll know immediately whether you love or hate the sensation of speed on the water—and all the challenges and responsibilities that come with it. As the water rushes by and the shoreline blurs, you’ll either be thrilled or terrified. There’s nothing in-between.
But assuming you end up on the “love” side of the equation, there are more than a few things that you, as a novice getting into go-fast boating, need to know. What follows is a quick, though by no means comprehensive, question-and-answer guide. It won’t provide everything you need to know, for the education of a powerboat owner, especially in the high-performance realm, never stops. But it will help you understand some of the basics.
Different Types of Go-Fast Boats
Go-fast boats essentially break into two hull categories:
- V-bottom (mono hull)
- Catamaran (twin smaller “sponson” hulls with a “tunnel” between them)
Picture “one of those Cigarette boats” and you have a classic V-bottom. Though most are powered by inboard stern-drive engines, a few are offered with outboard-engine power. Their lengths range from 20 to more than 50 feet. Most often, they have single or dual engines. They range from bare bones, meaning a steering wheel, a throttle and two gauges (speedometer and tachometer), to plush with multiple GPS units, front and rear video cameras, FLIR systems, monster stereos, plus cabins and more.
Sticking with the Cigarette mental image, a traditional V-bottom sportboat has a closed deck and a cockpit behind it. Today’s fastest V-bottom sportboats top out at more than 150 MPH.
More popular these days, however, are V-bottom-based “center consoles” with open-cockpit layouts with bolster seats and lounges from bow to stern and tiny-to-generous cabins inside the consoles. Most high-performance center-consoles are powered by two to four outboards. Top speeds range from 60 to 85 MPH.
Today’s most popular go-fast catamarans range from 28 to 52 feet. Powered by twin inboard engines up to 1,750-HP, they can reach 180 MPH and beyond. Once again, it goes without saying—but still needs to be said—that boats in this rather extreme category take years of experience to learn to handle safely.
A sport catamaran, meaning outboard-engine-powered cats from 28 to 38 feet long, are the hottest things in the go-fast boat segment these days. Equipped with twin outboard racing-style engines, the fastest top out at 130 MPH. Thanks to the outstanding reliability built into today’s outboards and overall ease of use as compared to their larger, higher-maintenance stern-drive counterparts, sport cat popularity has exploded in the last five years.