What Is A Cigarette Boat? | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Cigarette boats are high-speed vessels known for their speed and streamlined design.
  • They often feature fiberglass hulls and powerful engines for maximum performance.
  • The future of cigar boats includes trends like asymmetric hulls and digital integration.

Take your boating experience to new heights! Explore the world of cigarette boats for an adrenaline-packed aquatic adventure.

A cigarette boat is a small, long, and narrow boat with a planing hull designed to accomplish high speeds on the water. These specialized boats are typically built for adrenaline junkies and those who seek the thrill of cutting through waves at breathtaking speed.

As a boating expert with years of dedicated research and a deep understanding of cigarette boats, I bring a wealth of insights to this topic. My passion for boating and commitment to delivering accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content ensure that you embark on a journey of discovery armed with the knowledge needed to appreciate the artistry and excitement behind cigarette boats. So, let’s navigate the exhilarating world of these iconic vessels.

Table of contents


Meaning of a Cigarette Boat

A cigarette boat is a relatively small, long, and narrow platform with a unique planing hull designed for attaining high speeds on the water.

They can reach over 50 knots, making them perfect for thrill-seekers and those who need speed. The Cigarette Racing Team, founded in the 1960s by Don Aronow, was the first to introduce this type of boat, and it soon gained popularity in the boating industry.

Cigarette Boat Origin

The history of Cigarette boats, also called go-fast boats or rum runners, dates back to ancient times. Originating from the Prohibition era, these sleek and powerful vessels were used to transport illegal shipments of alcohol from large ships located just off the mainland for transportation back into the country undetected.

The term "cigarette boat" later replaced the older term "rum runner." Many of these fast and powerful boats were built in an area known as "Thunderboat Row" in Miami, Florida.

Donald Aronow's company, the Cigarette Racing Team, was among the companies based there, and it played a crucial role in popularizing and defining the class of cigarette boats during the 1960s.

Aronow sold his boats to a wide range of customers, including private individuals, celebrities, and racing enthusiasts. His influence on the cigarette boat industry is still celebrated today, and his innovative designs set the standard for modern high-performance boats.

These high-end speedboats gained popularity in the United States during the 1970s, winning championships and setting speed records. Their superior construction and go-fast design can be attributed to their continued popularity, even today.

Construction of Cigarette Boats

As mentioned, a cigarette boat is a fast boat designed for speed and stability, with a sleek, aerodynamic hull to slice through the water with minimal resistance. The hull design typically incorporates materials like carbon fiber and Kevlar to reduce the boat's overall weight, allowing it to glide across calm waters and easily tackle higher waves.

In terms of construction, cigarette boats have a close range between 28 and 48 feet in length, with multiple engines providing the necessary power for their incredible speeds. Donald Aronow built the first boat with a sturdy hull to handle rough waters during offshore races, designed to keep the vessel safe and stable, even at high speeds.

The long-narrow platform and planing hulls minimize water resistance, allowing the boat to maintain control during quick turns and sudden speed changes.

Cigarette Boats and Smuggling

Over the years, cigarette boats have become the vehicle of choice for drug smugglers looking to outpace the Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies. Their high speeds allow them to quickly navigate choppy waters, making them difficult to intercept by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Drug smugglers use these boats to transport large quantities of illegal substances across bodies of water, often under cover of darkness, to avoid detection by authorities.

It's not only the smugglers who recognize the potential of these amazing boats in high-speed chases. Law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and customs agents, have also acquired cigarette boats in their efforts to combat smuggling operations.

By using these boats themselves, authorities can match the speed of the smugglers and apprehend them more effectively.

Cigarette Boats and Racing

The Cigarette Racing Team gained a reputation for producing world-class racing boats, participating in numerous competitions, and breaking speed records in championships. Their success in events such as the United States Championship and World Championships solidified their authority in boat racing and high-speed watercraft manufacturing.

Racing enthusiasts continue to admire cigarette boats for their incredible performance capabilities. Magnum Marine, another prominent cigarette boat manufacturer, has contributed to speed records and earned prestigious honors like the UIM Gold Medal.

Cigarette boats remain a symbol of cutting-edge speed and design, capturing the imagination of speed-seekers and competitive racers alike.

Over the years, cigarette boats have revolutionized boat racing, setting new standards for speed and engineering. Racing these boats requires skill, precision, and constant adaptation to changes in the water and weather.

While the origins of these vessels may be steeped in illicit activity, the progression of cigarette boat technology continues to push the limits of what we thought possible on the water.

Cigar Boat vs. Regular Boats

When comparing cigarette boats with regular speed boats, there are a few key factors that distinguish them:

  • Hull Design: Unlike standard planing hulls, cigarette boats feature v-hull designs with superior handling and speed capabilities. This boat design allows the boat to slice through choppy waters easily, providing a smoother ride than other boats.
  • Materials: Cigarette boats are built using advanced materials such as carbon fiber and Kevlar composites, contributing to their lightweight construction and increased durability. These materials are not commonly found in other recreational boats manufactured after the World War.
  • Price Range: Cigarette boats are considered the most expensive boats, with prices generally ranging from $22,216 to $943,468. While not as luxurious as yachts used by jet setters, their costs are comparable to those of the most expensive yachts of similar length.

Here's a table comparing cigarette boats with other popular types of recreational boats:

Type of Boat Hull Design Materials Used Price Range
Cigarette Boat V-hull Carbon fiber, Kevlar $22,216 - $943,468
Cabin Cruiser Planing hull Fiberglass, Aluminium $50,000 - $800,000
Pontoon Boat Flat deck Aluminum, Fiberglass, Vinyl $15,000 - $60,000

Future Trends in Cigarette Boats

In the world of high-performance boating, the future is promising and filled with exciting possibilities. Cigarette boats, renowned for their speed and sleek design, are not exempt from the winds of change and innovation.

Here, we'll explore some key trends and developments shaping the future of cigarette boats in a flowing narrative.

Asymmetric Hull Designs

One notable trend on the horizon is the experimentation with asymmetric hull designs. Traditionally, cigarette boats have featured symmetrical hulls for balance and stability.

However, designers are now exploring asymmetrical designs to further optimize speed and handling. By varying the shape and size of the hull on each side, they aim to improve performance in specific conditions, such as rough waters or tight turns.

Advanced Materials

The use of advanced materials like carbon fiber, titanium, and lightweight composites is expected to become more prevalent in cigarette boat construction. These materials enhance durability while reducing weight, contributing to increased speed and fuel efficiency.

Digital Integration

The integration of cutting-edge technology is another exciting trend. Cigarette boats are increasingly becoming smart vessels equipped with digital navigation systems, advanced control interfaces, and even autonomous capabilities.

These technologies keep the boat safe and stable, ensuring an unparalleled boating experience.