rarin' go

Go-fast boat

The dance or go-fast boat is a high performance boat of a characteristic design. Originally designed for his offshore racing team by Donald Aronow, the fast, powerful boats became notorious as the drug smuggling boat of choice in many parts of the world starting in the 1980s. These boats were used at first to smuggle cigarettes into Canada and therefore derived their nick name as the "cigarette boat". A company was formed later and trademarked the actual name cigarette.


Don Aronow became involved in powerboat endurance racing in the early 1960s. He founded Formula Marine, Donzi Marine, Magnum Marine, Cigarette Racing Team, Squadron XII and USA Racing. Aronow formed the Cigarette Racing Team in 1969 along with a young man called Nick Beauchamp. He had a World Championship win in an unusual 32' Cary race boat called "The Cigarette".


A typical go-fast is built of fiberglass, with a deep "V" offshore racing hull from usually 30 to 50 feet (10 to 15 m) long, narrow in beam, and equipped with two or more powerful engines, often with more than 1000 combined horsepower. The boats can typically travel at speeds over 80 knots (150 km/h) in calm waters, over 50 knots (90 km/h) in choppy waters, and maintain 25 knots (47 km/h) in the average five to seven foot (1.5 to 2 m) Caribbean seas. They are heavy enough to cut through higher waves, although at a slower pace.


In accordance with their pure racing heritage, the accommodations on these boats are minimal, and they are built to hold 5 or fewer passengers. While most do have some cabin under the foredeck, it is low and much smaller than a typical motor yacht of similar size. Apart from the racing market, most buyers of these boats purchase them for the mystique; the combination of the racing and smuggling connections, plus the immense power, high top speeds, and sleek shape make these boats popular.

Illegal use

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 also use helicopters. The helicopters are equipped with anti-materiel rifles which can be used to disable the motors of the go-fast boat. The 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 weapons and M240 GPMG.

See also

External links

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