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My Gas Turbine Powered Race Boat is now complete


Turbine Engines


Bright, Fast, and Every System Rebuilt: It's Time to Enjoy My Turbine Boat

Turboshaft


My boat handles well and has gobs of power. What a blast to drive!!

I'm happy to report: this Offshore Racing Cat actually does what is was designed to do.

I really enjoy making high speed runs through Deception Pass and Cornet Bay adjacent to the north end of Whidbey Island in northern Puget Sound, Washington State. The track of my initial testing is plotted on the right.

Initial test runs in Deception Pass

We're still playing with the trim and getting used to how the boat reacts in various conditions. After over 3 1/2 years of work on the boat itself (and a year to construct my boathouse) it's finally done.

During the 'off season', I inspected for abnormalities and worked through all my preventive maintenance tasks.

Launching my turbine powered Cat

Now that the weather has improved, we're out running with my new 5-blade Hering offshore surface piercing prop.

Hering propellers

Here's a quick tour of my turbine powered boat

Testing my Gas Turbine boat

Equipped for towing, my Expedition handles this load very well (left).

Testing my Gas Turbine Cat

My navigator tried to get a good shot of the rooster tail while running (right). Unfortunately it's the same color as the water and doesn't show up very well (go figure).

Testing my Turbine powered Cobra Cat

Pre-launch checks underway alongside beautiful Cornet Bay.

Cobra Terminator at Cornet Bay

The Deception Pass bridge is the backdrop for our runs through the San Juans.

Running through the San Juan Islands

Another relaxing afternoon speeding through the San Juan Islands of north Puget Sound.

I can't stop thinking about my next boat ride.

Gas Turbine boat

The finish is Awl Grip II 'Sun Yellow' 2-part polyurethane sealed with Akzo Nobel aircraft clearcoat.

Gas Turbine Cat

The intake scoops bring in lots of undisturbed air. They're positioned on the forward deck to help reduce engine noise.

Turbine powered Cobra Cat

I like it bright, so they can see me coming. The brighter, the better.

I fabricated a custom bracket to hold the bow secure during transport.

Cobra Terminator Cat

Nonskid and grab handles allow safe egress.

Fiberglass intake scoop

8,000 Lb. straps secure the hull to the trailer during transport.

Cold Air intake system

The forward scoops bring in air for the gas turbine and for cooling the engine compartment.

Gas_Turbine_Cat

Air horns are tucked away inside the scoops.

Cobra 3000 Terminator Cat

To ensure an adequate air supply to the gas turbine, the scoops were sliced down the sides, expanded 3", and carefully glassed in using epoxy resin and kevlar cloth.

South Florida Trailers

My triple axle trailer (built by South Florida Trailers) features a strong, light aluminum frame and nylon rollers for smooth loading of my gas turbine powered Cobra Terminator Cat. A center walkway allows easy access to the front bow eye during recovery.

South Florida Trailers

Sanger race boat

I bought my vinyl registration numbers online from Sign Specialist.

Vinyl Boat Registration Numbers

They were easy to apply, fully comply with the state 'block letter' requirement, and I really like the look.


Sanger race boat

We have T-58 & Rolls Royce Gnome gas turbines available to power your project.
We also have starters, manuals, instruments, and gearboxes for T-58 and Gnome gas turbine engines.


Sanger race boat

A General Electric 1350 hp T58-GE-8F Gas Turbine Now Powers this Cobra Terminator

     

General Electric

My T-58 gas turbine engine was overhauled by the Marines at Cherry Point then declared surplus when the Navy phased out their SH-2F Seasprite Helicopters.

Now it's perfectly happy handling an easy load of pushing my offshore race boat around the islands in north Puget Sound for pleasure cruising.

T-58 Gas Turbine Engine

The intake screen prevents Foreign Object Damage (FOD) from being ingested by the helicopter engine.

Gas Turbine Cat

The Gas turbine is completely covered by a fully insulated, Kevlar reinforced foam-core composite engine cover.

Turbine powered Cobra Cat

The T58-GE-8F gas turbine engine features movable stator blades.

T-58 Gas Turbine Engine

The first stage compressor blades are visible down the intake.

Fiberglass intake scoop

It's hard to believe this 300 LB turbo-shaft engine puts out over 1,350 shp.

composite engine hatch

The turbine engine compartment is fully lined with Second Skin acoustic insulation products (a layer of Damplifier Pro, then OverKill, topped with Motor Mat) to contain the exhaust heat and reduce the helicopter engine noise.

Fiberglass engine cover

Sanger race boat

Electric Thrusters Allow Silent Maneuvering

Minn Kota electric thrusters

The thruster mounting brackets use the existing K-Plane mounting pins.

Minn Kota trolling motors

An 8-way joystick allows accurate control of each thruster.

Electric trolling motors

I run an Arneson ASD-8 Surface Drive on my Cobra Terminator offshore Cat.

Arneson Industries


The Arneson ASD8 is the only drive rated to safely handle the power of my Gas Turbine engine.

Electrically controlled by the driver.

T-58 Gas Turbine Engine

(left) thrusters shown stowed
and all the way down (right).

Fiberglass intake scoop

These thrusters work real slick.

I've been getting help with my rigging from Peter Casini (the builder and designer himself).
Initial testing showed a net gain of 2+ mph with the K-Planes removed, so now they sit in the drawer.

Hering propellers


My New Hering Surface Piercing Propeller

I had Hering Propellers machine me a new 16.5 x 24, 5-blade CNC cleaver prop to fit the 26-spline Mercury shaft on my Arneson ASD-8 Surface Drive.

T-58 Gas Turbine Engine

Cut with 16 rake, it is designed to provide plenty of bow lift.

Fiberglass intake scoop

When you're running a 'tunnel hull', bow lift is essential for attaining high speeds.


I
shopped all over for my prop and finally chose Hering for several reasons:

     

Visit Hering Propellers

Lots of the 'other guys' make very specific prop size/pitch recommendations, but nobody will stand behind that with any sort of a return/exchange policy. Oh sure, if it's not quite right they're glad to sell you another.

Herings' Right Pitch Management program allows a one time exchange within two weeks of delivery if it's not quite right (visit the Hering web site for all the details).

Plus, Hering stands behind its quality and workmanship with a one-year limited warranty.

I've discussed props with several offshore race teams and have yet to hear of anyone throwing a blade from a Hering prop.
I realize that's likely happened, but folks have specifically warned me to shy away from several 'other brands' because of that.
I always hear good things about Hering props
.


Sanger race boat

Turbine Boat Equipment Layout

Bomar Deck Hatch

All hardware is designed for heavy running.

Offshore Powerboat Compass

An old warbird indicator displays trim data (right).

Warbird Trim Indicator

The alternator & power steering pump are shaft driven by serpentine belt.

Power Steering Fluid Reservoir

All tanks and brackets are powder coated. Power steering fluid (left) and Arneson Surface Drive gear lube (right).

Surface Drive Lube Oil Tank

Trim pumps are nestled above the alternator.

Electric Fuel Pumps & Fuel Filters

Fuel strainers and fuel pumps are completely independent for each tank (left).

Reduction Gearbox Lube oil Tank & Cooler

I fabricated a custom manifold for my main fuel solenoid, fuel flow and fuel pressure transmitters (right).

Fuel Solenoid Valve

I designed a Fuel Transfer system so I can balance the tanks.
By using foot pedal switches (so both hands stay on the wheel) I can pump fuel from the left tank to the right or from right to left while underway.

Summit Racing

I used Aeroquip stainless braided hoses and Summit Racing hose ends for plumbing my fluid systems.

Aircraft grade stainless braided hoses are used throughout.

Arneson Surface Drive Steering Cylinder

Gearbox lube tank & cooler (above).

Power Hinges

Power hinges open the engine cover (left).

Hot section heat wrap

The hot section is wrapped with high-temperature 'heat wrap' then covered with sheet metal to keep temperatures down inside the engine compartment (left).

Arneson Surface Drive Shaft Coupling

The 'burp tank' (right) collects residual fuel from the gas turbine engine to keep the bilge spotless. A float switch tells a pump when to empty it back into the fuel tank.

Fuel Burp Tank Pump

A custom fabricated drive shaft (above center) transmits power from the T58 turbine gearbox to the Arneson Surface Drive.


Sanger race boat

Cockpit Arrangement

The folks at Finishline Coatings treated my exhaust collar (center below) with Cermachrome high temperature ceramic coating so it would stand up to the harsh salt water spray and 1400F exhaust gasses.

P-1 Offshore Cat

The gas turbine is longer than the V-8 it replaced.

Production Class Offshore Cat

The custom fabricated, composite turboshaft engine cover sits between the rear seats.

Offshore Race Boat Cockpit

Cooling air exits around the exhaust.

T-58 Gas Turbine Engine

All passengers sit forward of the gas turbine 'plane of rotation'.

Composite Engine Cover

Comfortable seating for four.

Kevlar Composite Foam Board

Analog aircraft instruments provide clear readings.

Kevlar Fiberglass Engine Cover

Garmin GPS keeps us on course.

Kevlar Epoxy Resin Fabrication

I selected engine instruments from UMA Instruments to match the Mil-Spec percent RPM and EGT indicators I already had.

Leather Corbeau TRS racing seats keep the crew comfortable.

Gas Turbine Helicopter Engine

A shaft brake gives a 'neutral' while starting the gas turbine (right).

Shaft Brake

The throttle & horn switch are on the floor so I can keep both hands on the wheel.

I hope you enjoy my web site and the story of my Turbine Powered Boat Project.
It's been a long journey: a year to build the boathouse and another 3+ years to finish the turbine boat project.

You can contact me with your questions or comments.


turbine powered boat

Please take a look at my "items wanted" list.

My Dream   T58-GE-3   4 Sale   T58-GE-8F   Projects   Gathering   Composite   SDG   Boathouse   History   Gnome   Cobra 30   ASD8   Wanted   Trailer


gas turbine engine


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