Really Fast Boats

 Posted by at 1:21 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 082012

We had decided that yesterday would be a good day to just stay home and hang out, do a little reading, play on the computer, and be lazy. But apparently we were the only ones expecting a slow day.

I was comfortably ensconced in my Strongback chair reading my Amazon Kindle when I heard a helicopter approaching and it passed low over the campground. I love helicopters and spent a lot of time riding around in them when I was in the Army, so the second time it flew over a few minutes later, my curiosity was piqued.

Helicopter 2

About that time I heard the sound of a powerful engine throttling up, so I wandered down to the water’s edge to see what was going on. I was greeted by the sight of a helicopter hovering over a high performance powerboat.

Helicopter and boat

Under other circumstances, it might have been a Coast Guard chopper trying to interdict a speedboat carrying contraband. But this wasn’t a government aircraft and the boat wasn’t a smuggler. It was a camera crew filming one of the boats that are here in the area for the Key West World Championship powerboat races this week.

These sleek, low profile watercraft, known as “go fast” or “cigarette” boats, have a long history in this part of the world. During Prohibition they were used to smuggle illegal alcohol into the country from the Caribbean, and earned the name “rum runners.” Later this type of craft were used to smuggle untaxed cigarettes and the name cigarette boat stuck. These days they are popular with drug smugglers, due to their high speeds and low profile that makes them hard to spot on radar.

Racing boat 3

But the boats here this week have just one job; racing. Some of the world’s fastest boats and best drivers have come from all over to compete. The website for the event says they can hit speeds above 140 m.p.h. on the flat water around Key West.

Racing boat

All day long they were coming into the marina here at the RV resort to hang out with fans, take on fuel, and then head back out to make some waves.

Racing boats docked 2


And they do that very well, throwing up huge rooster tails as they speed across the water.

Rooster tail

Rooster tail 3

Power and speed don’t come cheap, though. The carbon fiber and epoxy constructed water rockets can easily cost over $600,000. This ain’t your daddy’s bass boat!

We walked down to the marina to check out some of the boats. My buddy Dennis Hill loves anything orange. I wonder if he’ll want to buy this one? If you do, Dennis, will you take me for a ride?

Orange boat

It was cool and a little breezy yesterday and today is supposed to be about the same so I’m not sure what we’ll do. Maybe a little exploring, or maybe we’ll just make it another lazy day. Miss Terry said if I’m a good boy, there may be a batch of hot, freshly baked peanut butter cookies in my future. Yummy!

Thought For The Day – I want my children to have all the things I never had in my life. Then I’m going to move in and play with them!

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Really Fast Boats”

  1. A bank I worked at sponsored one of those drivers years ago. . .so my interest in the boats was piqued. . .and I perk up whenever I see one. . .an interesting expensive proposition to say the least. . .

    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

  2. Wow what beautiful boats, I have only been to one high power boat race along the Colorado River many years ago, it was a fun event. I also like the orange boat.

  3. Speaking of Strongback chairs – on your recommendation, I got one last fall. Loved it. Used it on one short trip to the desert, then took it to Colorado this summer. The second week of our trip, it broke. A grommet on the back sheared off. I emailed the website, and after sending a photo of it, received a brand new chair within a week. He explained they’d changed manufacturers, too, and didn’t expect any problems with the new ones. Fabulous chair, fabulous service.

  4. Hey! Ran across your blog searching for some photos, turns out you snapped a picture of my boat “Wild Thing”. Has the flame job and “OUTERLIMITS” on the side. Was curious if you had any other high res shots, or maybe the originals. Let me know! Great photos!

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