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Fun, Fast And Motored: Power Boats


There are some who find sail boats too complicated or too slow. They love to get out on the water but can not be bothered sails and rigging. For them, the perfect answer is a power boat.

A power boat is a motorized water vehicle. Although sails may be included, the owner relies on the power of a motor to bound over the waves and the thrust of an engine to carry him/her from the cottage to the other side of the lake.

Motorboats can be divided according to their hulls, engines or purpose. There are only three basic types of hulls: round, flat and V-bottomed. Round hulls, sometimes referred to as displacement hulls, are characterized by the least friction. They have the greatest amount of interior room and, because of the hull’s shape, are least prone to the pounding of the water. They are more expensive to produce but are very versatile. A designer can fine tune a round-hulled power boat to the desired specifications. These are the power boats used for long-distances, sometimes boats with real cabins, fully equipped to take on long sea voyages.

The flat or semi-displacement hulls are the cruisers of the power boat world. Some of the earliest versions of the power boat had this type of hull, the engines of flat bottomed sailing-rowing dories retrofitted with small but powerful engines. They are fishing boats, cruisers and, today, the most economical of the power boats. The hull construction tends to restrict them to sheltered waters since it gets a pounding by the waves, shaking its passengers, but adding a narrow beam increases speed. Choppy weather, however, will still give it a pounding. Flat-sharpie hulls have cabins, offering some comfort, especially if a deep forefoot is added to reduce the pounding of the waves against the hull.

The V, deadrise or planning hull provides the power boat with what is for some people, its reason for existence – speed. These are the hulls most frequently associated with power boats. They are most prone to pounding but a deep V-bow can minimize it. When offset by a shallower V at the transom these boats really “plane”. Deep V- hulls are an integral part of the “fast and fun” concept of power boating. These are the power boat seen zipping around the water. These are the racers. Sometimes tippsy at slow speeds, they gain stability the faster they go.

The hull can dictate the aerodynamics of a power boat, but it is the usage people should consider when buying one. Power boats come in all sizes. They have been catalogued into a great variety of types. There are the roundabouts or “good time” boats, the performance or “macho” boats, the center consoles or pure fishing boats, the cuddy cabins that provide shelter and some amenities and a host of others ranging in size and purpose from tiny jet boats to house boats. All are power boats, all are yours to own.


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