Tunnel-Hull Boat Won’t Roll (Nov, 1949)
Tunnel-Hull Boat Won’t Roll
GAR Wood, the silver-haired king of speedboat racing, has designed the most stable boat in the world.
The no-roll Venturi is 188 feet long and 40 feet wide, and has twin hulls which slice through the waves instead of climbing over them as do conventional craft. Propellers are 4-1/2 feet in diameter and extend below the hull, increasing draft at the stern to about 8 feet when underway. At 26 knots the air rushing through the tunnel buoys up the ship so that she draws only 6 inches of water at the bow. This air cushion also acts as a shock-absorber for all up-and-down movements of the boat. Wood says, “We have sailed in seas so rough that 60 of our 188 feet have been out of water between wave crests, and have made full-rudder turns at top speed with waves 10 feet high and we didn’t heel over more than one or 2 degrees.”
The present model was originally designed as an AAF target vessel resembling a baby flat-top. It has four pancake Diesels totaling 4,800 horsepower, is flat-bottom with a gross weight of 120 tons. Engine rooms are located % of the way aft in each hull. Hulls are planked in %-inch 9-ply mahogany. Forty watertight bulkheads make it unsinkable.