The thought of a supercharged mini jet boat might not be on the top of the list, but perhaps it should be. Jet boats are not a new commodity, but supercharged mini ones are. Sir William Hamilton created the first jet boat on record in 1954, and it even had a Ford engine.
What is a jet boat?
The jet boat was first created by Sir William Hamilton back in 1954. According to Hamilton Jet, Hamilton hoped to have a boat capable of taking him through the swift rivers of New Zealand. However, he attributed his waterjet invention to the teachings of Archimedes.
In 1943, Hamilton crafted hydraulic pumps, which would soon be a part of his boat. He later opened an engineering business in Christchurch, New Zealand. By 1947, he helped create and build a rope ski tow.
By the time 1951 rolled around, Hamilton was hard at work creating a boat that could navigate the shallow waters near his home. Three years later, he used a centrifugal pump driven with a bevel gear to power a 3.5-meter plywood boat. This first boat had a Ford 10 engine.
According to Wikipedia, the Ford 10 engine is also the Ford Sidevalve. Ford offered the engine in two sizes. The 933 cc engine with 8 HP and the 1,172 cc engine with 10 HP. People commonly used this engine in farm vehicles and commercial vehicles. The marine version was used for boats, much like this one.
How fast do mini jet boats go?
There are a variety of supercharged mini jet boat brands available in the U.S. these days. MotoJet offers a mini jet boat called the 115 Pioneer. This is one of the original designs offered in America. It is crafted from aluminum alloy.
The Pioneer is 11 feet, six inches, from bow to transom and is five feet across at the beam. The bottom is four feet. Fully assembled and dry, the boat weighs 800-1000 pounds. It has a fuel capacity of 34 gallons and has a top speed of between 40 and 60 miles per hour.
Brands like Jetstream Boats offer kits for those who might want to build one. The Headwater kit is offered with a basic hull, a basic hull with delta pad stringers, and a complete kit. This has the bulkhead, engine cover, brace, and stringers.
JP Racing out of Florida helped craft the boat seen in the above video. The jetski has a similar shape and size to the mini boats and can maneuver in shallow water.
What are these boats used for?
Leisurely activities on the water make the best environment for jet boats. One of the benefits of the mini boat is that it can navigate shallow water with ease. While some boats might require more depth and width to get through certain areas, mini boats can scoot through without issue.
According to Deep Creek Marina, such boats tend to work hard and run harder at a higher rpm. This might not be great for longevity, but it certainly is fun while it lasts. The boats can be hard to maneuver as a jet propels them.
These boats do not have a rudder which can make steering harder, especially if you are towing something or someone. The jet creates a wake that might be hard to tow others behind as well.
While these supercharged mini boats sound like a lot of fun, such an adventure might be best reserved for those comfortable on the water.