Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by levi. levi Wonders, “how fast can boats go” Thanks for WONDERing with us, levi!
Have you ever gone for a ride on a boat? When you think of boating, what comes to mind? Do you think of a leisurely paddle in a kayak or canoe? Maybe a luxury vacation on a cruise ship or on a river houseboat? Perhaps a skiing adventure behind a speedboat?
Many boats are known for moving at a leisurely pace. For example, barges aren't known for speed, but they slowly and consistently move large loads of goods from one place to another along the nation's waterways.
Other boats, though, were definitely made for speed. When you think of going fast, you might naturally think of a race car or an airplane, but boats can move, too!
How fast can a boat go? You might be surprised! Currently, the world record for fastest speed by a boat is 317 miles per hour (510 km/h). That's right! Over 300 miles per hour…
That record was set in 1978 by Australian Ken Warby in his speedboat called Spirit of Australia. And that speed was an average speed for a closed course. Warby's maximum speed during his record-setting run was over 350 miles per hour (563 km/h)!
With all of the advances in technology the world has seen over the past 30 years, one might WONDER why the record has stood for so long. Part of the reason is that breaking the record is one of the world's most dangerous pursuits.
Only two official attempts have been made to break the record since 1978. Both attempts ended in boats crashing when they became unstable at speeds approaching 300 miles per hour (483 km/h). Tragically, the drivers of both boats died during these attempts.
The record is still coveted by speedboat racers, though. There are several boats being built and tested today that could one day challenge the record. Unlike gasoline-powered engines that propel most boats you're familiar with, these futuristic speedboats boast jet engines and space-age composite bodies that make incredible speeds a reality.