Machines4u quiz time!
Question: What’s cooler than a jetboat?
Answer: If you responded with ‘helicopter’ you’d be correct. If you answered ‘helicopter-propelled jetboat’ well sir/madam, you deserve a handshake.
As if jetboats weren’t awesome (and dangerous) enough, some keen (and bonkers) boat racers are taking things to the next level. And turns out, it’s been trending for years among the racing community. Adding helicopter engines to watercraft is the new black, didn’t you know?
One such bonkers bloke is kiwi, Shaun Kelly, who has installed a chopper engine into his racing boat, dubbing it the ‘fighter jet’. Reaching speeds of up to 240kph, this beast is fast enough to rip the hair plugs right out of your scalp. Shaun is a keen racer, regularly appearing on the leader boards in New Zealand Jet Boat River Racing Association races. Coming second in the 2016 Jet Boat Marathon, Shaun was testing out his new beast on the water, and keen to start winning races when he spoke with TVNZ earlier this year.
The World Jet Boat Championships are coming up in October, and it is there that Shaun hopes to find himself atop the leader board once again.
Shaun isn’t the only boat racer who’s had this ingenious idea. In fact, way back in 2011 there were another bunch of crazy kiwis Frankensteining their way to jetboat glory. Built by Dean Landon for Mark Cromie, this particular boat is capable of speeds up to around 217kph. Dean also built the boat Mark Comie raced in the world championships in 2016, and the team are no stranger to leader boards either, it seems.
If those two mean machines weren’t enough to whet your appetite, this next one will surely do the trick. Slick, quick and built for thrills, this H1 Unlimited 3000hp monster hydroplane will leave you in need of an underwear change. The H1 website gives us a taste of the insanity behind these boats.
“A modern Unlimited Hydroplane is the world’s fastest racing boat, capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph. It represents the product of over 100 years of evolution in race boat design and incorporates the most powerful engines, most advanced construction techniques and the best safety systems available in boat racing today.”
Well, we’re sold. The next time we’ve got a spare few hundred thousand bucks, we know where we’ll be headed.