These boats are an excitement to watch. Two types of hulls are currently being utilized, watercraft and outrigger style. Engines are limited to 500 cubic inches. Top Fuel Hydro may utilize only nitro-methane (65% minimum) and alcohol (pure methanol). Top Fuel Hydros thunder down the liquid track at speeds in excess of 250 mph and elapsed time of 3.396 seconds, all this in 875 feet. A conventional and out rigger type of boat hull designed with a tunnel between the front sponsons for these purpose of trapping air and lifting the bottom of the hull to ride all or in part above the surface of the surface of the water. A W- drive propels these crafts down the track with twin props that rotate counter to each other at 20,000 rpm’s.
In this class, you’ll find both the outrigger type, and conventional hydroplane hulls. These engines are limited to 565 cubic inches utilizing Methanol for fuel, and make around 4000 horsepower. They typically use a screw type supercharger making over 60 pounds of boost. These machines are able to cover 1000 feet in 4.3 seconds at over 200 MPH. They may run single or dual propellers.
Top Alcohol Flats are the funny cars of drag boat racing, and after watching a few runs, you’ll understand why. The driver must operate a tricky pedal arrangement to control the nose of the boat to keep it from flipping over on the starting line, and constantly manipulate it as the boat goes down the track. The engines are limited to 565 inches, and make close to 3500 horsepower. These boats can run Elapsed times in the 5.20 range at speeds nearing 170 mph.
These are the quickest, and fastest of the “index” classes, running close to 170 mph. These boats may be any hull type, and any engine configuration, but are run in an ET bracket format. The Pro Outlaw index is 5.30 seconds. Pro Outlaw and Pro Mod are two of the most competitive classes because unlike the rest of the ET brackets, these are capsule boats, and the drivers can’t look over and see where their competition is.
Otherwise known as, “Pro Mod”, these boats are part of the “index” classes, running close to 170 mph. These boats may be any hull type, and any engine configuration, but are run in an ET bracket format. The Pro Mod index is 5.60 seconds. Pro Mod and Pro Outlaw are two of the most competitive classes because unlike the rest of the ET brackets, these are capsule boats, and the drivers can’t look over and see where their competition is.
6.00 seconds index designated the Quick Eliminator class. Engines may be any cubic inch displacement; whether naturally aspirated, supercharged or fuel injected including electronic fuel injection systems. Fuel can be gasoline, alcohol (pure methanol or ethanol), nitro-methane, E-85, or nitrous oxide.
Pro Eliminator is another exciting, competitive class. Engines may be any cubic inch displacement; whether naturally aspirated, supercharged or fuel injected including electronic fuel injection systems. Fuel can be gasoline, alcohol (pure methanol or ethanol), nitro-methane, E-85, or nitrous oxide. These racers must stay within 6.50 seconds index to compete, and you don’t want to be left sleeping at the light or you will find yourself back on your trailer and watching the rest of the day.
7.00 seconds index is what Top Eliminator is all about. Engines dynamics and fuel specs, are same as Pro Eliminator. Blowers for the sportsman classes may utilize superchargers or turbochargers with blown engines; however, proper blower restraints must be used as required based upon fuel utilized. TE is the first class that the racer is required to have a drivers license. What this means is Top Eliminator to Top Fuel Hydro each have a specific license in which the racer must meet and pass the required criteria for class desired in order to compete.
Sportsman class continues with Modified Eliminator and bring us to 8.00 second index. This will be the last class to compete in prior to going into the license classes. Any hull design in acceptable with the exception that no blown engines will be permitted in any sportsman class jet boat with a v-bottom.
The index of 9.00 is the slowest index in the Sportsman classes which is Stock Eliminator. This race boat has the same class structure in engine, blowers, fuel, and hulls as Pro Eliminator, Top Eliminator, and Modified Eliminator. Slowest maybe misleading as this class goes down the track at speeds of 95 plus mph. Come on out and give it a try.
There is also an entry level class for boats running less than 10 seconds in 1000′ that allows the driver to declare their own dial-in, and anything quicker than that number becomes a breakout. This makes for some very exciting racing, as the boat with the slower dial-in receives a head start over the quicker boat in the other lane.
If You are 18 years old, or have completed a PWC safety course in your home state, you can race your PWC in this dial-in class. Some of these machines run over 70 MPH.
Personal Watercraft 2 is designed as a entry level class for the teenage racer with approved water safety class and parental consent. Personal Watercraft 2 racers learn to gauge the start clock, mph and elapsed time as different aspects of winning the heat.