Picture yourself traveling at 60 MPH, not sitting in your 3,000 lb. Chevy, but crouching mere inches above the water, braced in a 125 lb. wooden boat, the wind whistling by your your helmet. Your left hand squeezes the throttle; your right hand is glued to the steering wheel. As the boat skims over the surface, your slightest movement affects your ride over the ever-changing contour of the water. Now picture yourself surrounded by 11 other boats, just inches apart. Rough water jolts you and the other boats' spray drenches you; you wait anxiously for your shot to pass your closest opponent, pushing your mind, will and body to the limit.
Stock Outboard runabouts and hydroplanes are built with lightweight marine plywood and mahogany, carbon fiber or fiberglass. The classes range from the smaller A Class to the bigger, more powerful D Class boats. Each class mandates specific engines that are legal, and there are requirements for propellers, boat design etc. Read the rules and technical manual to get the full picture. Hydroplanes have a three-point design-only the two front sponsons and the propeller touch the water. Air is trapped underneath, causing the boat to lift and ride on this cushion of air, skimming across the surface of the water. There are virtually no restrictions on design or dimensions. Runabouts slice through the water rather than skim over the surface. Runabouts tend to be a bit slower than hydroplanes and can be more challenging to handle. Turning is an art, and it can be work just to keep the boat level-similar to driving a motocross dirt bike. Runabouts have certain length, width and weight restrictions.