Boats with a Difference: The High Speed Crafts

There are many different types of boats that can be used for civilian purposes. The high speed craft (HSC) is one such example. High speed crafts use air pressure to keep them moving at a fast pace on the water and have engines and turbine-propellers to move them. The high speed craft was a very popular boat from the time it was launched and still maintains its popularity.
Over the years there have been many variations in the high speed craft. These variations can be elaborated as follows:


A high speed craft designed in the form of a hovercraft was the earliest boat introduced. A hovercraft uses air pressure to propel itself in the water. It is reliable and is the most preferred means of transportation used especially as rescue vehicles in case of natural calamities, especially in water. The craft was named such because the boat tends to hover above the surface without actually touching it, due to the air pressure released.



The system of hydrofoil in a high speed craft was simultaneously used along with the hovercraft system. The hydrofoil system incorporates the use of wings or lifts to raise the boat from the surface of the water and move forward. The wings or the hydrofoil attached make sure that the speed of the boat is maintained. The system of hydrofoil is also used in aircrafts that land on water or use a water-surface for take-off.


A high speed craft in the format of a catamaran came into existence from the 90s. The catamarans offered a high speed craft not just speed but also stability, balance and the ability to withstand gales and strong winds. It has to be noted that the catamaran employed a dual hull that gave it the above mentioned features and thereby superiority over the previous two variations of the high speed boats.


As the name suggests, this type of high speed craft has a single or a mono hull rather than the two in the catamaran type. Monhulls became popular alongside the catamarans in the same time period adding a lot of variety to the existing types of the high speed crafts. The most important reason why monohulls were used was because of the feasibility aspect of the ballast (weight added to support the boat from blockages coming from sideways). The better ability of ballast ensured that the high speed craft was provided an overall stability.

Representation Image

The system of designing and the safety aspect of the high speed craft have to comply with the standards and regulations set by the International Maritime Organisation along with the Maritime Safety Committee. These set of rules and regulations were decided upon in the year 1994 and then later re-modified in the year 2000.These rules still provide the basis for each and every high speed vessel that is operating now. It has to be noted that in certain places, such high speed vessels in addition to being used as passenger and civilian boats are also used to haul cargo.

All the high speed boat systems that are available make it feasible for safe cargo transfer too. Some of the examples of high speed boats are the PacifiCat series, the Hawaii Superferry system and the Lake Express – which is plied only on the Lake Michigan. A high speed craft is something that deserves to be greatly admired. The smallness of the vessel does not impact the servicing ability of the boat. Keeping in mind all these aspects, it needs to be noted that the high speed craft is something that will be present not only in the present but also in the future, quite strongly.

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