Location: Southern England Renato Levi Wrote three books on the subject of designing Powerboats.
Best book currently available on powerboat hydrodynamics is Hydrodynamics of High-Speed Marine Vehicles, by Odd M.
If you are working in Aluminum, go to ABS, Lloyd's, or ISO and get rules for construction of high-speed vessels.
Jet boats are tricky, most major water-jet manufacturers have lots of data on what works, talk to the supplier. A phenomenon known as porpoising can occur if you are not caqrefull of what you are doing on the bottom, particurly in the 6' infront of the transom. Make the delta pad on the bottom nice and long, no-one says that the boat needs a 'keel', where the bottom sheets meet to form the vee. Look at other jet boat manufacturers and what they do, we spend many hours making sure we get it right so we can sell a safe and well performing product.
As has been said the key is power to weight and planing area in both laden and light conditions. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Originally Posted by speedboats I'm sure if you were requesting knowledge then you'd be pointed in the right direction. Unfortunately, as on most forums, it is easy to hi-jack someones thread which then changes the focus and is of no help to the original author, some here try to maintain that focus. I don't want to open another thread, this is the one you commented on so this is the one you should be replying to but so far all I've heard is drivel! I say again I'm a novice with jet drives and I do not believe whatever you do with that jets will help. However, should you by some miracle gets it on the plane, that boat will not be very stable directionally and will slam like no tomorrow - will not want to take her out on the rough though. At least in displacement mode you can then run the engines economically by barely ticking over to get to the calculated hull speed of 7.34 knots for 30ft waterline.
I did weld some on that extended about 14 inches across part of the transom, with allowances for reverse controls. The anchor can stick out over the bow and mentioned appendages at the stern, but otherwise the boats are limited to 32 feet overall.
There are lots of similar jet boats in the fishery, some as wide as 17 feet, one as heavy as 45,000 pounds. All the Hamilton jet guys use 5 or 6 blade impellers, as opposed to my 4 blade, with a higher KW rating than Hamilton Jet recommend. With three thousand pounds of fish on board all jet boats are 6 to 8 knot boats, but will keep on packing up to 30,000 pounds of salmon. Props and shafts would probably increase speed, fuel economy, and directional stability, but I need to be able to run over nets and sit on the bottom. Though I don't use all my horsepower for speed since there is very little gain past displacement speed, as Wynand pointed out, it comes in handy when pulling on the net. Actually you are argueing with a professional boatbuilder (in fact two of them), a well proven pro in Hydrodynamics, a boatyardowner, and other quite respected members with hands on experience. We know each other for long and have proven each other right or wrong so many times, there is no need to doubt our experience.
You have shown nothing but opinions and a unpolite behaviour, and YOU are hijacking this thread because you are stubbornly unwilling to accept, that no expert here has the obligation to answer your questions.
Just throwing a (wrong) opinion in and assuming one gives you private lessons to correct them is bold. Feel free to spread your opinions on every thread you like (for that reason we have such platform), but mark them as opinions and tell the auditorium about your level of expertise on that topic, then you act fair and are welcome. Location: Fox Island I submit this as a question not a solution and don't want to dilute the emphasis on getting a Bay dude's problem solved.
There have been some pretty impressive NC driven quick turnaround sponson and bulbous bow jobs done on steel trawlers and crabbers. Could one slice the bottom free at the chines say the last half of the boat, scribe a new line on the transom and weld back together, tying back together with swim steps, net guards, sistered engine rails etc.? The idea being perhaps a little rocker aft might pry the bow up enough to get over the hump and up on step.
The proportions of your boat is very similar to a standard model that has been thoroughly tank tested, the series 62 model 4665. If you take a look at the thrust lines for the jet, you will find that for the J1 case, the line is shown dotted from about 22 knots and downwards.
The lower crossing between the green and red lines at about 8+ knots represents the working point (where available and required thrust balance) that you get with this setup!
On the other hand, with a propeller arrangement it would be easy to make use of full power. One thing that occurs to me as I look at these pictures is that there is a box built into the transom that houses the outboard part of the jets.
I would say there is a very strong case for a set of CP propellers here, any suggestions Richard?? And for the hull, we need more experienced input on tricks to reduce hump resistance from those of you working with short, fat beauties!! Location: Seattle You guys got a couple of posts by me while I was looking for pictures. Though I spend a total of two months on the boat a year, it actually only fishes about a month, though probably an average of 18 hours a day these last few years. In the future I plan on spending more time fishing this boat, and fuel economy will become an even bigger issue.
Originally Posted by Truls Would the hull form inhibit performance with props as well, or will the extra efficiency (150 HP) be enough to overcome the blunt bow issue? But if you would be fine with ONE engine and a Controllable Pitch Propeller instead of a gearbox, you might end up with a win win situation.
The boat has been an embarrasment for them for a long time around here and I think they were quite relieved when I changed the name and at least made it a successful fishing vessel.
We achieve our claim of providing you the "Ultimate Aluminum Jet Boat Experience" by first designing and building the absolutely best hull for performance, strength, safety and comfort in the industry. The full length longitudinal .160 x 10 box girders to eliminate hull twisting when running river rapids or on high speeds runs in choppy water and big waves.
The surfboard keel-plate bottom section for added safety if boulders are struck at high speed. Our computer-generated designs are downloaded electronically to our contracted robotic equipment that precision cuts and forms the aluminum into the components for hull manufacturing.
CNC laser plasma cutting machines flawlessly cut Rogue Jet boat hull parts to fit together perfectly as designed, every time, everyday. Thats also why we know that the Lifetime Guarantee on every Rogue Jet hull means you never have to worry about anything ever going wrong with the hull construction.
The original 36-foot Hinckley Picnic Boat was a Bruce King design that married Downeast styling with JetStick helm technology and Hamilton water-jet propulsion. Today, somewhere in the neighborhood of 450 to 500 Picnic Boats (and still counting) have been delivered, with the current model, the MkIII, having premiered in 2010. Owners tend to adore their Hinckley Picnic Boats, care for them and hold onto them for years. True Blue III is currently owned by the Barton & Gray Mariners Club, which has a fleet of eight Hinckleys available to club members who want to go out on the water with a skipper for a day in Florida or New England. Though hundreds of the original 36-footers were sold, maybe a half-dozen are typically available for brokerage at any given time, he says. Despite its extraordinary appearance, this absurd yacht, the award-winning Tofi, has plenty going for it. Built from plastic and fibreglass with wood and steel trim, the use of transparent floor-to-ceiling bulkheads on three sides means huge views and great internal light. Conceived by Austrian design house, Motion Code: Blue, as “the world’s first submersible yacht”, this six-deck craft uses a cylindrical, submarine-style hull but radically expands the conning tower in order to increase upper deck accommodation. When submerged, all upper level furniture recedes beneath the decking and the bottom of the pool lifts until flush with the walkway. Okay, let’s rein things in a bit with a boat that we could all realistically ‘aspire’ to own. The Lazzarini Jet Capsule is a remarkably sensible real-world concept, but it undoubtedly falls into the category of absurd yachts… for now.
With seating for eight and carrying capacity for up to 13, plus a cleverly conceived rooftop sunbathing area, an elevated diving platform, and internals that enable the inclusion of a small galley and a convertible double berth, it’s remarkably multi-faceted.
In parts of Scandinavia, people routinely aspire to ownership of a private island as a relatively commonplace and realistic goal.
Designed as a self-sustaining, 10,000-square-foot platform, Orsos Island uses a steel hull and aluminium topsides, which means that, like various high-class, trans-oceanic, expedition cruisers, it enjoys immense durability allied to a naturally low centre of gravity. Like almost every self-consciously avant garde design, this eight-man 49-footer uses electric propulsion for a claimed range of almost 1,200 nautical miles and a top end of 42 knots. It’s really not that difficult to design and build a powerboat that looks and behaves like the one next-door, but pushing the envelope is a different matter. Wally was apparently founded as a means of providing unsatisfied mariners with custom yachts that were genuinely special – and after a decade on the water, the company’s flagship 118 remains exactly that. The Innespace Seabreacher is designed to dive and fly with surface performance of up to 55mph and subsurface speeds of between 20 and 25mph. The fish-shaped Seabreacher is not a submarine or a surface vessel, but a craft designed to spend the bulk of its time moving rather dramatically between the two environments. S 45-knot personal watercraft comes with a 160hp engine, jet propulsion and twin-hull construction designed to take its three occupants on a subsurface jaunt to a depth of 30 metres. The Scubacraft might look like a superhero’s plaything but it’s about much more than just aesthetic appeal.
Capable of speeds of around 100mph on land and 25 knots on the water, the Gibbs Aquada was designed from a blank canvas introducing a whole raft of world firsts in the process and establishing patents for around 70 new technologies. Capable of speeds of around 100mph on land and 25 knots on the water, the Gibbs Aquada is probably the most iconic high-speed amphibious vehicle in the world.


Still a conceptual design, the the 92 SYD Discovery has its primary outdoor leisure areas at the bow and radically redistributes the internal space. Zuccon Superyacht Design (SYD) was established specifically as a research and development division of famous yacht designer, Zuccon International Project. The Campbell dynasty has generated some tremendous success stories both on land and sea – but for the powerboaters among us, it all began with Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird K3.
In 1952, the Americans had claimed the Blue Riband (the record for a Transatlantic crossing) in a time of three days and ten hours. Fabio Buzzi is a bit of a legend in race and record-breaking circles and so too are his boats. There are not many names that can evoke so emotive a response as Ferrari, so when Enzo Ferrari directed his considerable knowledge and technical expertise toward a project to break the World Water Speed Record, everyone sat up and paid attention. In October 1978, Ken Warby took his jet-powered ‘Spirit of Australia’ to a new World Record speed of 317.6 mph on the Tumut River near the Blowering Dam in Australia. All in all, five stunning machines which have made their own contribution to powerboating history. The parent company of Mangusta, Overmarine in Viareggio, Italy, has launched its Mark2 model of the popular Mangusta 105 Sport, with an entirely redesigned superstructure that holds an interior saloon forward of the helm area as well as an open saloon aft. The Mangusta 105 Sport can run at up to 35 knots, with a pair of 2,400-hp MTUs coupled to jet drives.
The Mangusta 105 Sport can run at up to 35 knots, on a pair of 2,400-hp MTUs coupled to jet drives.
This is the 32nd Mangusta 105; the first version was launched in 1995 (some are available for charter today), and the story behind the Mangusta brand is a neat one. I'm sure I'm not the first to reach this conclusion, but when the purchase price alone of specified jets (reverse engineered) came in at over $46K, (yikes!), there's something to be said for re-thinking the process.
Location: Eagle Creek, Oregon Request for Pics - jet conversion these are the only pics I have taken late last summer before she got painted and went into the barn right side up. I have a pp on my Fonda 166 GTO (v8 rover engine) Would it be posible for a contact number or Email address for the Guy in the Midlans. Location: england I need a cheap impellor Ive been quoted ?500 for a new PP Jet impeller or ?300 for a reconditioned impellor. Is this a silly idea to put this set up into a 20' glass cabin fishing boat that I imported? The merc sj175 does offer a reasonable amount of thrust, but the downside is that in their infinate wisdom, Mercury put the exhaust from the engine in the cavity between the hull and jet unit. I tend to think of those that do as 'old school', and perhaps we should scrap the shuttle and fly the appollo missions again. As in aerospace, the trailing edges create a vortex, much like the tips of a wing, only in water that usually means that air is bled off, if that air makes it to the intake the pump will cavitate causing loss of thrust.
If I may, I'd suggest opening another thread and colate your questions and thoughts, no doubt you'd be quickly pointed in the correct direction. Surely one of you can give a technical reply, it can't be that difficult with all that knowledge and experience! If so, will anything bolted to the rear be regarded as "hull length", or is it a non-counting appendix? Unless the hull get sorted out, make peace with the fact that you have a displacement hull with plenty of power but too little to get over the hump to plane. You mentioned that at WOT you only get to 8 knots - see my argument that with all that horse power available you only gained just over half a knot in speed with all that extra fuel wasted. Plotting the 4665 resistance with 30.000 lbs displacement (red line) together with the Hamilton predictions show that the computer predicition seriously underpredicts the hump resistance.
This marks that full load operation at 2600 rpm is restricted to 22 kn upwards; below that, performance is reduced due to cavitation!
You also find the non-cavitating point where the 2000 rpm thrust line is crossing the resistance curve at ~7 knots. A rough first estimate shows that even with non-optimum props a total thrust of ~9000 lbf would be available 16 knots, and a max speed about 23-24 knot. We then match this hull with the most reliable and best performing engines and jet pumps available today. We use compound angled box stringer girder construction for structural strength, and we fully form reverse chines which are welded to attach the bottom of the boat to its sides.
The result is a hull that can be built consistently within very tight manufacturing tolerances. This contract manufacturing resource uses a single sheet of marine grade aluminum to form each side or bottom of our Rogue Jet boats.
Based in Southwest Harbour, Maine, Hinckley was primarily known as a custom yacht builder until the launch of the Picnic Boat in 1994. She was not only stunning to look at but also easy to skipper, economical with a single Yanmar engine and safe to bring into the shallows—a quartet of features that made the her one of the best-selling models in America from 1994 through 2010.
The MkIII is wider and longer than the original Picnic Boat with twin Yanmar diesels instead of a single, but examples of the original version still ply the waters from Maine to Florida and beyond, turning heads with classic good looks that seem destined never to go out of style. First was the model now known as the classic, and then Hinckley introduced the extended pilothouse, or EP version, in 2001, Osgood says. Hinckley Picnic Boats are, after all, meant to be day boats, which means a lot less wear-and-tear than ocean cruisers and the possibility of a truly long life with the first owner. The lowest-price brokerage model now available is a 2002 Hinckley Picnic Boat asking $295,000, which shows how well the original Hinckley Picnic Boats hold their value. If so, see our round-up: 5 of the best party yachts or 6 of the best centre cockpit cruising yachts.
While the cathedral-style hull shape looks pretty well conceived for stability at rest, the astonishing internal fit-out, with its fluid corporeal shapes and curvaceous tendrils would feel challenging in a modern art gallery, let alone a boat. However, there is still a vast reserve of open space to play with and that is used for a bar, a 24-square-metre pool, a forward owner’s lounge, generous sunbathing areas, a helipad and a set of four huge convertible beach terraces.
Tucked safely inside, with eight VIP cabins, a full-beam owner’s suite, a cinema room, a library, a gym and a gaming room, passengers can then enjoy penetrating sub-surface views down to a depth of 240 metres, courtesy of powerfully lit windows in both the hull and tower.
Here, from the Lazzarini Design Studio in Rome, is the Jet Capsule – a 25-footer that can be specced for a great many purposes, from taxi to tender and from party platform to support boat.
Powered by a Yanmar 370hp engine hooked up to a Hamilton water jet, this 32-knot monohull uses smooth, lofty, ovoid topsides to generate big, standing headroom under cover – and yet on the water, these things are much more aerodynamically efficient than you might imagine. But if you can buy an island that has the capacity to move, then all the better – particularly when it’s as well arranged as this.
With a modest 37-metre hull length, this particular ‘yacht-island’ is not absurdly vast, but it still offers deck space and internal capacity equivalent to that of a 55-metre luxury yacht. Conceived by Timon Sager as a gentleman’s day cruiser, the Nimue 490 employs a long, tapered bow section, incorporating three points of flexibility that enable the entire structure to curve at your command. But quite how a fast, semi-displacement, wave-piercing monohull would feel at the helm during a 40-knot turn when its long, razor-like bow is actively flexing in the direction of travel I wouldn’t like to imagine. It’s not just about the extra imagination, ingenuity and technical ability required to produce something special; it’s also about the time, money and sheer bloodymindedness required to force a project through to completion.
Launched in 2002, it was designed to bring together the comforts of a megayacht with the ocean-munching abilities of a fast offshore commercial craft. It comes in three basic models, with power options from 155 to 300hp, surface performance of up to 55mph and subsurface speeds of between 20 and 25mph.
This 45-knot personal watercraft comes with a 160hp engine, jet propulsion and twin-hull construction designed to take its three occupants on a subsurface jaunt to a depth of 30 metres. Its purpose was solely the study and optimisation of superyacht design, so the work it produces can often be a useful barometer of where big budget yachts are attempting to go.
Sir Malcolm had already claimed his first Land Speed Record in 1924, but in 1937 (and again the following year) he topped 130 mph on Italy’s Lake Maggiore to claim the World Water Speed Record back from the Americans.
It had been untouchable for a very long time, so Sir Richard Branson decided to mount a campaign to trump it. In a fleet dripping with pedigree, the ‘Gran Argentina’ is a particularly impressive candidate for the powerboating Hall of Fame.
Funded and overseen by Italian Industrialist, Achille Castoldi, the Arno XI Hydroplane was fitted with a marinised version of the engine from Ferrari’s Type 375 Grand Prix car – and in 1953, this 12-cylinder, 4,500cc V12 unit (with twin superchargers and an output in excess of 600hp) powered the Arno XI to 150.2mph on Lake Iseo, setting a world record for an 800kg boat that remains intact today. The feat itself was impressive enough, but the story behind it makes it even more astonishing. For more amazing powerboats, see The 10 Sexiest Power Boats in the World and Five of the Greatest British Power Boats. Fast megayacht enthusiasts should be prepared to hear more about the Mangusta fleet maxi open yachts, as new models like this 105 hit the water.
The aft deck and its circular dinette and twin sunpads open to a saloon with inboard-facing settees to port and starboard, each with a pair of accompanying dinette tables. Powered with twin 2,400-hp MTUs and waterjet drives, the Mangusta 105 reaches a top speed of 35 knots and cruises at 25 knots.
Maurizio Balducci and his father Giuseppe Balducci, along with his uncle Joseph, started Overmarine in 1985 – that’s when Technomarine’s Cobra was the fastest boat on water. The hole in the transom is where the outdrive was and has now been retrofitted to accept a 751 Hamilton Jet and the hole for the pump has been cut in the bottom of the hull. As I remember, they are nigh impossible to get hold of (you may have to order directly if you can find the website) but they are well worth reading.
If you have a 'rocker' the boat will bounce around, or porpoise, if it has a hook it will bow steer badly, possibly causing the boat to spin in a turn.
Look at not only straight line performance, but also where any vorticied will end up in a tight turn (if you terminate your strakes ahead of the intake), if the unit cavitates during a turn and you loose thruse, a real nice jet spin often occurs, sometimes at an inconvient moment!!!
This explains why your engine is making 2800 rpm; the jet is cavitating heavily and the engine is overspeeding with fuel restricted by the centrifugal regulator. From this, the cavitation limit can be calculated for other rpm's and speeds, see the green line.
All of our boats have a one piece bottom that ensures structural integrity along the length and width of the bottom.
This translates into a hull that performs the way our engineers intended, directing the water flow with tapered radius keels, reversed chines, lifting strakes, and constant degree dead rises.
Our advanced manufacturing method in construction of our boats improves structural strength and handling performance making it un-necessary for extra seams or joints or brackets.


Plenty of other builders tried to copy her, and Hinckley even sued a few of them to protect its design, but none ultimately succeeded the way the Picnic Boat did. As of this writing, the newest brokerage model available in the United States is for sale with Osgood. It’s a yacht – or to be more accurate, a concept yacht – or to be completely accurate, an award-winning concept yacht called ‘Tofi’. However, internal styling (and private ‘beach’ area) aside, the highlight of this two-cabin motoryacht has to be the petite glass angling room, which is equipped with a hole in the floor so you can fish in sheltered serenity, whatever the weather. Of course, as a submarine tweaked to operate as a superyacht, it is utterly certain to handle like an ill-tempered mule when cruising in surface mode, but it’s no less exciting for that. Certainly, it might look like the dismembered head of a giant cyborg, but this little boat has authentic merit as a real-world watercraft. As for those self-sustainability claims, it is apparently powered by a “noiseless” wind energy system, alongside more than 160 square metres of solar panels and a heat recovery system, which enables on board climate control courtesy of nothing but seawater.
The idea is to combine soft, wave-cutting properties with an increased ability to manoeuvre rapidly at speed. And as for its ability in a following sea, well for now at least, that can only be guessed at.
And yet happily, in quiet corners of the world, tucked far away from the stark light of common sense, people continue to work night and day in bold attempts to turn the machines of their imaginations into reality. However, in all cases, the positive buoyancy of the hull means the only way it can dive is to generate speed and force itself downwards. Rather than marinise a car or bastardise a boat, they designed the Aquada from a blank canvas, introducing a whole raft of world firsts in the process and establishing patents for around 70 new technologies.
Its latest release, the ‘92 SYD Discovery’ is based around a six-deck, 92-metre, steel and aluminium motoryacht, which embraces what ZYC calls ‘an evolution of on board space organisation’. This involves a ground-up reassessment of how a superyacht is used – for instance, repositioning the primary outdoor leisure areas at the bow, thereby freeing up the aft part of the main deck for more active pursuits, and redistributing internal space to make ‘emptiness’ itself a key element of the design in the same way as it might be for a land-based architect.
Naturally, as technology moved on, the original K3 became all but obsolete and fell into disrepair. His original Virgin Challenger failed miserably, when in 1985, it sank just a few miles from Britain’s west coast, but Challenger II was a different matter. After its record run, it was adapted with aerodynamic tweaks and stabilising fins and raced with great success for more than a decade.
Ken had designed the boat at home and built it in his back garden with nothing but his own personal hand tools.
In the forward saloon, windows on three sides allow ample light and great views, and because it’s five steps down from the helm deck, this space cannot be seen from the stern, providing some privacy. The long, narrow hull will deliver a smooth ride on those high-speed, long-distance cruises. They decided to name their company after the animal that kills the cobra, Mangusta, which is Italian for mongoose. I am in the midst of a project to convert a 18' fiberglass hull, (formerly equipted with a OMC outdrive and 120hp 4cyl.
You can see from these pics that the deep vee is gone and the hull has been reworked from bow to stern to flatten it. You have a strange logic and a blind faith in someone else you probably don't even know, so, if I'm not an amateur or I don't think they're experts then I'd be right to question and query them, right? Even if full load cavitation-free operation could be achieved below 22 knots, the thrust margin would not allow stable operation.
Our hull seams are fully sealed and welded closed leaving no gaps or corrosion crevices which is crucial for salt water use. True Blue III is a decade old, built in 2005—and she’s a textbook example of what most Hinckley Picnic Boat buyers find on the brokerage market, having been professionally maintained throughout her lifespan and now with an asking price of $395,000. There’s also a retractable ladder to access the wide-open roof deck, where (in addition to benches, tables and a barbecue) you get a diving board perched out beyond the transom for easy re-boarding via the swim platform.
It’s also available as a ‘MiniJet Capsule’, a 30-knot 13-footer with seating for four, but either way, its simple, modular versatility makes it a truly compelling prospect.
With around a thousand square metres of living space over three decks, there is room for up to 80 people to call this place home – but with the optimum six double ensuite cabins, plus an office, a recreation room and crew quarters for four, it looks like a concept absolutely tailor-made for the high-end charter market.
Even so, hats off to Timon Sager for daring to approach an age-old problem from a fresh and distinctly vulnerable perspective.
With a superstructure built from triple-laminated glass panels laid around a carbon composite frame, the 118 may not accommodate many people but it is beautifully arranged. It therefore tends to operate at relatively shallow depths in order to keep the ‘snorkel’ above the water and maintain the engine’s air supply. While in surface mode, these tanks generate buoyancy but when deflated, the craft sinks in a controlled fashion and four body-mounted electric thrusters take over. In fairness, it was probably more a platform for technical innovations than a realistic option for the buying public and its extravagant price reflected that.
If this all sounds rather self-indulgent and esoteric, then take a look at the company’s website and you will see just how exciting the results of such an approach can be. In fact, Sir Malcolm’s son, Donald, would eventually flirt with the 300mph mark in Bluebird K7, a far more advanced successor to that original.
In 1986, just a year after his embarrassingly high-profile sinking, his new and improved 72-foot, ?1.5 million aluminium powerboat smashed the record by two hours. These steps help shift the centre of lift forward to stabilise the pitch at high speeds and compensate for the weight of the big diesel engines.
It was then sold on again and today, in mint condition and under the ownership of an unknown party, its rarity, not to mention its record-breaking heritage (and the fact that it enjoys the aesthetic loveliness of a 1950s Grand Prix race car) has seen it valued at an astonishing ?1.5 million. His progress was subject to good weather and extremely modest budgets and construction was a process of adding a piece of timber as finance and opportunity allowed. The amidships owner’s cabin features a full-size berth, a lounge to port and an office area to starboard. Look into their backgrounds, check their experience, listen to their reasoned arguements (both here and around the forum), you will get a feel for who knows what they are talking about and who likes to drivel on. As shown above, there is a possible saving, due to the higher efficiency, of about 150 hp at this speed.
A minimalist interior with carbon composite furniture helps keep the weight down to just 86 tonnes – and in combination with three DDC TF50 gas turbines and two auxiliary Cummins diesel engines, an output of almost 17,000hp enables this extraordinary boat to hit 60 knots.
As regards safety, the self-righting hull comes with a cockpit and engine bay that are made watertight with aircraft seals – and as the boat can always be opened from the inside with emergency pull pins, there is no need to worry about water ingress.
With one on each side, one at the front and one at the rear, the Lithium-ion battery bank can power the Scubacraft to speeds of up to five knots.
However, having smashed the amphibious record for the crossing of the English Channel at the hands of Richard Branson, its fame heralded the start of great things for Gibbs.
Of course, for the moment, this design doesn’t exist as a flesh and blood creation but the fact that this particular study is based on a real hull means that the 92 SYD Discovery might yet become much more than just a concept. But what makes the K3 so iconic is not just the fact that it was the first chapter in the epic Campbell powerboat story, but that after more than two decades of hard work from current owner, Karl Foulkes-Halbard, she is once again on the water. It was a magnificent feat from this Soni Levy designed, 52-tonne, 4,000hp monster of a boat – but despite the success, it was denied official recognition by the trustees of the trophy because they deemed that Sir Richard had broken two vital rules. The two-man crew sits in a capsule designed around the canopy of an F16 military aircraft, while four Biturbo Seatek diesel engines with an aggregate output of 3300 KW are responsible for propulsion. He bought cheap surplus jet engines from the Australian Air Force and apparently took up oil painting in a bid to fund the boat’s testing and development. This stateroom with its enjoining head separates the galley and two crew cabins (aft) and the two guest staterooms (forward to port and starboard) and a VIP stateroom in the bow. Based in Viareggio, the capital of the semi-custom built yachts, Overmarine Group manufacturers 10 models from 72 to 205 feet under the Mangusta brand name. For the powerboating purist, the delightfully unapologetic Wally represents pure, uncut, top-shelf Utopia. The only real issue is the fact that you need a support boat to help keep other craft at a safe distance while the Seabreacher is underway. However, unlike a submarine, there is no watertight area or sealed cockpit for the driver and passengers. Today, new amphibians like the Quadski PW suggest that the company has moved on from the design of expensive conceptual platforms to the manufacture of special products the man on the street could feasibly aspire to own. The entire craft, complete with wooden hull in the original blue livery, has been restored to the same glorious form that saw her put Britain back on top way back in 1937 – and while nobody is attempting to guess what it must have cost to complete the restoration, this pristine embodiment of the Campbell legacy is a very special boat and a credit to Foulkes-Halbard. Firstly, he had stopped to refuel and secondly, his vessel had no demonstrable commercial maritime purpose. Capable of speeds of up to 115 knots, not only was it three-times Superboat World Champion, but it also became a long-distance record breaker, when it completed the gruelling Miami-Nassau-Miami endurance event at an average speed in excess of 100 mph.
While selling his paintings at shopping centres, he finally got sponsorship from local retailer, Fosseys, and sought technical input to improve the boat’s performance.
I have added 2 10oz layers of fiberglass cloth to the keel and 2 layers of 6 oz fiberglass cloth to the hull.
Instead, it is fitted with an integrated on board air supply and regulators, so you can spend time in relative comfort underwater, much as you would if you were scuba diving. Somewhat deflated, Sir Richard turned his attention to Transatlantic ballooning instead and the boat fell into disrepair in a forgotten Spanish boatyard. Built from balsa wood and fiberglass and powered by a Westinghouse J34 jet engine, he finally smashed the 300mph barrier in 1978, succeeding where Bluebird K7 had failed. Will need to cobb in steering and throttle controls as well as fit out the interior of the hull, so far about 40hours and $200 invested. The transom will have gussets installed to support a swim platform where a Honda 7.5 HP will be mounted. With an options list that includes an underwater filming platform, imaging sonar and underwater comms, it’s a splendid toy for the wealthy dive fan. Happily, however, this magnificent 80s icon of endurance powerboating (which is reportedly fitted out in original Virgin Airways upholstery) is now restored and back in Britain where she belongs. Today, Spirit of Australia is on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney – and Ken remains the only person ever to have designed, built and driven his own boat to an unlimited water speed record.



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