Hydroplane Boat Speed: How Fast Do Hydroplane Boats Go?

how fast do hydroplane boats go

As we all know there are many different types of boats, but when it comes to speed, surely a speed boat lives up to its name, that is until you learn how fast do hydroplane boats go.

Hydroplane boats are a special type of boat designed only for one thing, speed. They have a unique hull design that allows them to float over a cushion of air, instead of slicing through waves of water.

How Fast Do Hydroplane Boats Go?

So how fast do hydroplane boats go? Really fast, and this isn’t an exaggeration.

These boats travel at near bullet-like velocities and hydroplane boat speed only increases with every technological advancement despite being terrifyingly fast even in the past.

Popular Hydroplane Boats

Here are some examples of popular hydroplane boats and their respective top speeds.

Miss Budweiser

If Miss Budweiser's top speed of 78mph seems slow to you, this was way back in 1963 where most boats can’t even hope to reach a fraction of that speed.

Slo-Mo-Shun IV

Equipped with a 1950’s 1500hp engine, reaching a top speed of 160mph at the time is absolutely phenomenal.

Unlimited Hydroplane

This is the modern version of the hydroplane boat and its class is used for racing and can easily reach speeds above 200mph.

Problem Child

This is an 8000hp monster that is capable of reaching 262mph in 3.5s with its nitro drag boat design.

Bluebird K7

If you’ve ever wondered why don’t we just strap on one of the fastest engines known to man on a hydroplane boat, then wonder no more because 276mph is an easily achievable feat for a jet engine.

Spirit of Australia

With a bit more optimization on design and tuning, the Spirit of Australia can reach speeds of 317.6mph with its jet engine.

Factors That Affect Hydroplane Boat Speed

Now as amazing as these boats are, there are significant engineering hurdles that need to be tackled as many factors can affect hydroplane boat speed.

Hull Design

All hydroplane boats use a similar type of hull wherein they force air between the hull and the water in order to reduce hydrodynamic resistance making the only point of contact at the stern where the engine and most of the weight is concentrated.

A certain balance needs to be achieved such that there is enough air to reduce contact thus making the boat faster, but not too much air which might turn the boat into a plane.


Hydroplane engines are usually large enough to generate massive torque for maximum acceleration. They use propellers but for the absolute fastest speed achievable, a jet engine is second to none.

Water Smoothness

Depending on how smooth or how rough the water is, it could severely hamper the speed of a hydroplane boat because rough waters can turn into a kind of mini ramp for the boat to launch off of, so for safety reasons, the weather conditions should be taken into account.


In a nutshell, hydroplane boats can achieve insane speeds due to their unique design and ridiculous amounts of power strapped onto them. As for how fast do hydroplane boats go, the sky is literally the limit because until any more advances to hydroplane technology are made, speed will need to be limited lest it turns into a boat-sized bullet.

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