Thursday, April 5, 2012

Notes from the Mad Science Lab: Fastest Motorboat

I tried out my new motorboat today. It was a wonder.

I've spent months working on this - Mad Science requires a certain amount of perseverance, as you all well know. And this particular design was a work of art.

The hull was composed of an alloy that... well, let's just say that the United States Military would bankrupt the country if it meant they could get their hands on something like this. You can get the structural strength of an inch-thick piece of tempered steel for the weight of a piece of paper. And that's using it straight, with no additional bracing behind it. If that wasn't enough, I rigged it to produce an electrostatic field that actively pushes the water away, decreasing friction enormously.

The engine... well, actually, the less said about the engine, the better. That sort of knowledge wasn't safe for the general public. I mean, if Tesla had been working with my alloys, he could have gotten his designs to work. And the power source was the water itself - for all practical purposes, unlimited! Stored power was still a problem; I need to work on creating better batteries. But as long as the boat was moving, it would have power.

I don't know how fast it went. After all that time and effort spent to make the boat pass over the water as efficiently as possible, I didn't think to install any sort of speedometer. I can tell you that once I opened the throttle, it passed a powerboat like it was standing still, and raised a wake that... well, I might accidentally have capsized the dock. Which was quite a ways away at that point, I might add.

The boat rapidly acquired a sort of skipping motion - not quite hovering, but definitely not plowing through the water, either. And the faster - and longer - I went, the harder those impacts became. Traditional seat designs are simply insufficient for a boat like this, I learned - even with the addition seat belts and webbing that I'd added.

It wasn't the impacts on the water that ended the experiment, though. No, the boat was more than strong enough to handle those - and if human bodies aren't, well, they'll just have to be improved to match. No, what ended the experiment was an island, which appeared - rather unexpectedly - right in front of me. Naturally, I tried to turn aside... which point I was forcibly reminded of the downside to running a boat which was designed to minimize contact with the water. It has nothing to grip when it's trying to turn.

Fortunately, my kinetic-absorption undergarments worked perfectly. I survived the crash with nothing more than light bruises and a slightly stiff neck. Unfortunately, my newly-built speedboat immolated itself against the side of the island. I'll have to rebuild it essentially from scratch, which will take most of the summer if not longer.

...And I was so hoping to work on my tan. Not to mention watching my son water ski at a substantial fraction of the speed of sound. Oh, well. Maybe next year.


  1. The key, of course, is the keel.

  2. Yes, the electromagnetic rudder clearly needs an emergency keep to complement it.

  3. :-D I missed the mad scientist in his absence. Moar Pleez.


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