High Speed Hydro Action!

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Humans love speed and we seem obsessed with pushing the envelope in the quest for going at greater and greater speeds. Whether it’s on land, in the air or on the water – once a record a been set, the hunt is on for who can break it. Here we shall take a look at the world’s fastest boats ever made.

The fastest Warship is the HMCS Bras D’Or 400. This is a Canadian Hydrofoil and during experimental sea trials back in 1969, it reached speeds of 72 mph. The power was provided by a gas turbine of 25,500 horsepower, General Electric gearboxes at 21,500 rpm and a pair of three-bladed supercavitating propellers. When you think of Warships, you tend to think of a colossal, lumbering machine but this was a pretty speedy alternative.

The fastest Top Fuel Hydroplane has a very apt name in the ‘Problem Child’. Although it races on the water, it is just like a Top Fuel dragster. The boat has hit speeds of 262 mph which is a heck of a pace and just like a dragster, it’s powered by an 8000 hp Hemi V8 engine. Surely it must also be a pretty hardcore battery.  The body work is also impressive and the metal used can be shaped using Bending Machines and other specialist equipment.

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The quickest speedboat in the world title belongs to the ‘Spirit of Australia’. A chap called Ken Warby designed and built the boat in his own garage and in 1978 hit speeds of 318 mph! Official speed records require a boat to run a full kilometer twice, one in each direction within one hour. Ken Warby was doing 345 mph at the end of kilometer one. An average speed from both runs is used to calculate the overall speed which for him was 317.8 mph. After 38 years, nobody has yet beaten this record.

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The fastest submarine is the Soviet K-222, reaching a top speed of 51.4 mph. Now that might not seem very fast but it is a submarine after all! The K-222 features a titanium hull, twin 177-megawatt reactors and two 80,000 hp steam turbines. It was incredibly expensive to build and was nicknamed the ‘Golden Fish’.

The speediest yacht in the world has the interesting name of ‘The World is Not Enough’. Do you think the owner might be a James Bond fan? The yacht can travel at speeds of 80 mph, propelled by two Paxman diesel engines and two gas turbines. These produce a quite impressive 20,600 horsepower.

The fastest sailboat is called the Vestas Sailrocket 2 and holds the record of the fastest sailboat for hitting speeds of 75 mph. This might not seem that fast when compared to other vessels but considering a sailboat doesn’t even have an engine then that’s a pretty impressive speed.

The title for the world’s fastest hydroplane goes to the Bluebird K7 and this particular model was the first to set and reset the water speed record no less than seven times between 1955 and 1964. It’s fastest ever run was 276 mph and the pilot, Donald Campbell, was the only person to hold both land and water speed records at the same time.

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