A go-fast boat is a small, fast boat
designed with a long narrow platform and a planing
hull to enable it to reach high speeds.
During the era of Prohibition in the United States
, these boats joined the ranks of "rum-runners
" transferring illegal liquor from larger vessels waiting outside US territorial waters
to the mainland. The high speed of such craft enabled them to avoid interception by the Coast Guard
. The present conception of such boats, dating from the 1960s, owes much of their design to boats designed for offshore powerboat racing
, particularly by designer and builder Donald Aronow
. During this period, these boats were used by drug smugglers to transfer drugs across the Caribbean
to the United States.
A typical go-fast is laid-up
using a combination of fibreglass
and carbon fibre
, using a deep "V
" style offshore racing hull ranging from long, narrow in beam, and equipped with two or more powerful engines, often totalling more than . The boats can typically travel at speeds over in calm waters, over in choppy waters
, and maintain in the average Caribbean
seas. They are heavy enough to cut through higher waves, although slower.
Reflecting their racing heritage, accommodations on these five-passengers-or-fewer boats are minimal. A small low cabin under the foredeck is typical, much smaller than a typical motor yacht of similar size. In addition to racing, most buyers buy these boats for their mystique, immense power, high top speeds, and sleek shape.
A helicopter from the US Coast Guard's Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron
pursues a go-fast boat during training
These boats are difficult to detect by radar
except on flat calm seas or at close range. The United States Coast Guard and the DEA found them to be stealthy
, fast, seaworthy, and very difficult to intercept using conventional craft. Because of this, Coast Guards have developed their own high-speed craft and use helicopter
s equipped with anti-materiel rifle
s used to disable engines of fleeing boats. The US Coast Guard go-fast boat is a rigid-hulled inflatable boat
(RHIB) equipped with radar and powerful engines. The RHIB is armed with several types of non-lethal weapon
s and an M240 GPMG
*''Night Train'' seizure
, one of the largest drug seizures in history.
External linksCongressional testimony on technologies for detecting go-fast boats
*''Don Aronow: The King of Thunderboat Row''. (1994), by Michael Aronow. Write Stuff Enterprises. , .
*’’Secrets of Tunnel Boat Design’’, JDRussell,P.Eng.