ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Operate a High Performance Powerboat

Updated on February 26, 2015

There is a difference between operating a high performance powerboat and one of lesser muscle. The basics, of course, are the same. There is a bow, a stern, an engine and a helm. Forward throttle moves you forward, reverse backwards.When docking there is little difference between a high performance powerboat and a regular boat.

Power boats with high tech souped up engines are also known as speed boats, for an obvious reason: they can go very fast. They also use an enormous amount of fuel. You operate speed boats in close quarters just like other power boats, but once on the open water the difference can be as dramatic as the distinctions between power boats and sail boats.

Getting Up on Plane

High Performance power boats all have planning hulls that enable the craft to skim or plane along the surface of the water. This is a characteristic of many non high performance powerboats as well. A displacement hull powerboat,on the other hand, has a lot of hull below the waterline. Displacement means that the vessel displaces the water. If you put two similarly sized powerboats in two neighboring tanks, the water level of the tank with the displacement hull boat will be much higher than the tank with the planning hull boat, even if the boat is not planning but just sitting there.

The phrase "getting up on plane" is used by power boaters to describe the act of going from a slow throttle to a speed that lifts the boat up onto plane. Most planning hull boaters do not like the sensation of being off-plane because of the feeling of sluggishness. People susceptible to seasickness often feel it coming on when a planning hull boat is moving slowly.

The excitement starts when the boat starts to plane. Because the hull is not pushing water out of the way but rather is skimming along the top of it, the feeling can be truly exhilarating. To get the boat up on plane it is best to get there quickly by pushing the throttle far forward with a steady motion. Once the boat is on plane bring the throttle back—unless of course you objective is to speed.

Sea Conditions

Because of the enormous power and speed capability of high performance power boats it is critical to assess the sea conditions before throttling forward to high speed. A boat approaching 100 mph can become easily airborne if it hits a wave. What happens to the people on the boat when it comes back down to the water can be a serious danger.

Debris on the Water

When a speeding vessel hits an object just below the surface of the water a tragedy can occur. Fortunately, because of the shape of planning hulls, striking an object seldom means a disaster because the boat will skim over the object just as it does the water. However, the engine, propeller and rudder can be in for trouble.

The Cigarette Boat—The Epitome of High Performance Powerboats

The Cigarette Boat is a maritime marvel. On a warm evening you can hear it's engines even if you're a mile inland. If the Chevrolet Camaro is the essence of muscle cars, the Cigarette Boat is the big enchilada of boats. Look at the video below and feel the power.

The Cigarette Boat - High Performance in Action

A high performance power boat can be a joy. Like anything powerful on the water, common sense and good old fashioned seamanship can make it a pleasure.

Russ Moran, the writer of this article, is the author of Boating Basics: The Boattalk Book of Boating Tips from which this article was excerpted.

Copyright © 2014 by Russell F. Moran - All Rights Reserved


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • rfmoran profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 

      8 years ago from Long Island, New York

      It is fun, and scary at times.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Gosh, this Hub really makes me want to ride in a high performance powerboat- ESPECIALLY the Cigarette Boat. It sounds ridiculously fun and freeing. Great advice and tips, rfmoran.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)