In Australia we have plenty of classes to cater for nearly any
waterbourne craft. Ranging from the 6hp Outboards of the Junior
classes, all the way up to the supercharged big block V8s of the
Blown Alcohol Displacements & GP Hydroplanes, boat racing
in Australia has it covered.
These boats are probably the easiest to relate to for the public.
Displacements are, from a distance, the closest resemblence to
your average water ski boat. With the engine mounted "inboard",
usually at the rear of the boat.
Obviously these finely tuned racing boats are a little different
than your average ski boat. Construction materials range from
fibreglass & plywood through to the high-tech materials of
kevlar & carbon fibre, making these craft very light and very
strong in relation to your average ski boat.
The term "displacement" is derived from the the action
of the boat "displacing" (pushing the water out of the
way) the water as it moves through the water.
Displacement classes range from 3.4 litre skiffs all the way
up to the monstorous Blown Alcohol Displacements.
Hydroplanes could be described as the "open wheelers' of
boat racing. These boats are specifically are designed to go fast!
They do not particularly have any other purpose.
Hydroplanes are designed to ride on a cusion of air. The sponsons
on either side of the boat create an air trap under the main portion
of the boat. As the air is trapped under the boat, the resulting
pressure effectively lifts the boat out of the water, causing
teh boat to "plane" on top for the water. This style
of boats are very spectacular to watch as they dance over the
Hydroplane classes range from 1.6 litre restricted up to the
supercharged Grand Prix Hydroplanes. There is also the class of
Unlimited Hydroplane which include such powerplants as Rolls Royce
Merlin engines and in the past has included Jet Turbines.
Outboards can also be easily recognised by the everyday person,
as they are loosely based on outboard ski boats. Again, obviously
designs and contsruction materials are quite different to your
Outboards are generally seperated into "monos" and
"tunnels". Monos being the more common mono (meaning
one) or "vee" style of hull you can relate your ski
or fishing boat to. Tunnels are similar to hydroplanes as they
also rely on an air trap of tunnel to create the air pressure
needed to help these boats ride on top of the water. Tunnels differ
from hydroplanes in the fact that the air traps extend to the
full length of the hull
The Outboard classes range from 25hp up to Unlimited Outboards
and the world wide based class of the Formula 1 tunnel boats.
Often sold as the "Fastest Show on Water", these boats
are specifically built and tuned to run in a straight line very
fast. These boats do not have to turn any corners and can therefore
concentrate on getting all of the power to the water to get from
A to B in a direct straight line.
A drag boat race meeting is very simialr to a Drag Car meeting.
Two boats line up against each other, using a "christmas
tree" style starting lights to launch them down the course.
Boats range in design from small outboards to the awesome Top
Fuel Hydroplanes. Other classes are usually speed bracketed as
opposed to engine capacity. This can result in inboards running
against outboards, which can be very spectacular and can pit mate
against mate as the spectators cheer for their preferred style
Offshore boats are just that. These boats usually race out in
the open ocean on very large courses. In racing out in the ocean,
the conditions can be very different to the regular cicuit racing.
Due to the condiotions, these boats are ganerally larger than
most of the other boats you'll find racing in Australia.
Offshore classes include nearly the entire gamut of boat designs.
Inboard and Outboard tunnel designs, inboard and outboard mono
hulls. Ranging in size from Production Classes all the way up
to the ocean going monsters of supercharged triple engined tunnel
hulls. These boats can measure up to 15 metres in length.
Boat racing is generally a family sport, and when Mum or Dad
get to race in a V8 powered circuit race boat, the kids can also
join in and race in the junior class. The Junior class boats is
a great way for kids to be involved in boat racing. While creating
an excellent source of fun for the kids, it also puts them on
the right track for when they want to step up to the "big
boats" later in life.
Junior boats are small outboard powered boats. There are horsepower
restrictions for the respective age group classes.