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  #1  
Old 16 March 2007, 09:28 AM
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Police Drug-running boat

How about a 2,000 HP, Outboard Inflatable !!!!

Your typical trolling fishing boat.

Here's the latest drug runner from some European nuts.

This thing belts across the English channel 3 times per week and was just a blur on the radar of the British coast guard.

They were so blown away by the speed of the thing that they brought in a specialized chopper to catch it

What was on board...... 300 kg's. of pure cocaine!

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  #2  
Old 16 March 2007, 11:37 AM
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This thread may well have been started by the person who sent you the picture, since the first few suggestions are to post it here:

I checked snopes and googled, and I failed.

The email has the additional claim that they had to try to land the helicopter on it to make it stop.

Plenty of people explain why those motors wouldn't make it go really fast; they would be better for power. The boat does seem to be real and to have been intended for use by drug smugglers, though (I stole this link from the thread; no work involved myself!):

Boatbuilding firm supplied 'uncatchable' boats to smugglers, court hears

There are a couple of different pictures in the article. They were actually being tried in Ipswich, and this thing was built in Lowestoft, just up the coast...

Quote:
"This boat was tested in the sea off Lowestoft. The gentleman who took it out loaded it with six tonnes of shingle, it had five people on board and it was still able to travel at 50mph.

"This was such a powerful boat it could carry a lot of drugs, a lot of contraband and still go so fast it could outrun any maritime craft."
The engines are to let it carry a large load.

It looks pretty conspicuous though... it wasn't actually being used in the English Channel; it says they were intending to sell it to smugglers in Morocco, and they'd supplied similar boats and equipment in the past.

So, the picture is real, part of the story is true (in that it is designed for drug smuggling), but the specifics are false.

(edit) BBC story, but with no pictures.
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  #3  
Old 17 March 2007, 07:53 AM
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Why whould someone stick that much engines on such a light craft? It's stupid for so many reasons. Some of them:

* It's much easier to have one or two large engines.
* Once the hull planes, there is really not much use of adding lots of power anymore, as it will not make any significant difference.
* If used for drug running, something a little less conspicious would be nice. A fast standard hobby racer with a heavily souped up inboard motor would be my choice.
* You can outrun the police boats and choppers just fine. You can't outrun their radio. Sooner or later you'll have to go ashore, and they'll be waiting.
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  #4  
Old 19 March 2007, 07:12 PM
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D'oh!

And 50 mph is well within the speed range of some Coast Guard boats, not to mention military craft. And as Troberg says, ther's that dang radio thingy.
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  #5  
Old 19 March 2007, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Why whould someone stick that much engines on such a light craft? It's stupid for so many reasons.
That "stupid" design apparently worked well enough that plenty of people shelled out several hundred thousand dollars to buy it.

Quote:
If used for drug running, something a little less conspicious would be nice.
But of course, drug runners are too dumb to know what kind of craft would best suit their purposes.

- snopes
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  #6  
Old 19 March 2007, 07:55 PM
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Read This!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old goat View Post
And 50 mph is well within the speed range of some Coast Guard boats, not to mention military craft.
The news articles say the craft was capable of going 70 mph.

- snopes
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  #7  
Old 19 March 2007, 08:03 PM
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It may also be worth noting that this Coastguard chopper can, according to the link, travel at 165 knots which, google tells me, is 190 MPH. That means that it can travel nearly 4 times as fast as the boat in any case.
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  #8  
Old 19 March 2007, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
That "stupid" design apparently worked well enough that plenty of people shelled out several hundred thousand dollars to buy it.
Perhaps. Or they just had access to a bunch of engines. Some people have hobbies where they tend to accumulate stuff like that. I have 30-40 computers, I know people with approx 15 cars. Perhaps this guy was into boating and knew where to get a good deal? Perhaps he worked with the engines and got old/scrapped engines and fixed them up? Maybe he was sponsored?

I still think that, especially with modern radars, radios and aircraft, that the best thing a drug runner can do is to not attract attention. The old bootlegger days are gone.
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Old 19 March 2007, 09:01 PM
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Not sure of your point Troberg How is it attracting more attention than a similar sized RIB?


I think the idea is to have a small (radar) profile for running across the straits of gibraltar at night.

But very quickly.
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  #10  
Old 19 March 2007, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Perhaps this guy was into boating and knew where to get a good deal? Perhaps he worked with the engines and got old/scrapped engines and fixed them up? Maybe he was sponsored?
And perhaps you could read Richard's post which contains quite a comprehensive explanation of what the boat is, why it was designed, why it was built and where it was made? There's links there, too.
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  #11  
Old 19 March 2007, 11:00 PM
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I may be showing my Jeff Foxworthy-ness here, but when I looked at the picture, the first thing that popped in my head was: You might be a redneck if......(but I am not clever enough to finish it.)
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  #12  
Old 20 March 2007, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Not sure of your point Troberg How is it attracting more attention than a similar sized RIB?
Well, how do you sneak ashore with a boat that sounds like a Formula 1 race? Why have a boat that is easily identifiable, allowing it to be picked off when not used?

Quote:
And perhaps you could read Richard's post which contains quite a comprehensive explanation of what the boat is, why it was designed, why it was built and where it was made? There's links there, too.
I read it, but I found the explanations given there to be somewhat hard to believe.
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  #13  
Old 20 March 2007, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Well, how do you sneak ashore with a boat that sounds like a Formula 1 race? Why have a boat that is easily identifiable, allowing it to be picked off when not used?
How about cutting 6 of the 8 engines when coming close to the spot you want to do landfall? I don't think any boat does that with full speed ahead....
How about using a dark boat during the night?
How about putting the boat into a shed when not used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
I read it, but I found the explanations given there to be somewhat hard to believe.
Uhm.... yeah.
Sorry, but what exactly is hard to believe? That a court is looking into it, because the boats were build for smuggling off the coast of Africa and payed for with criminal earnings? That there are two articles claiming that the boats were able to do 70 mph?

I don't believe that you could mean the existance and the purpose of the boats are hard to believe.
Even if the explanation in the thread are hard to believe for you, you did read the links from "The Mail" and "BBC" that are also in Richard's post, right?

I am sorry again, but not believing something because you like your own theory better doesn't make the real story untrue or go away.

Gavida
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  #14  
Old 20 March 2007, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavida View Post
...because the boats were build for smuggling off the coast of Africa and payed for with criminal earnings?
I don't think this was the main intention for the design, but to sell them to people with far too much money and too small penises. Actually, just a day or two before this thread started a friend told me about a similar or, more probably, such boat owned by someone here in Stockholm. Apparently it takes him under fifteen minutes to travel a distance that takes about an hour for an ordinary ferry in the archipelago and the largest part of that time is to get out of harbour where there is a speed restriction.
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  #15  
Old 20 March 2007, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
I don't think this was the main intention for the design, but to sell them to people with far too much money and too small penises. Actually, just a day or two before this thread started a friend told me about a similar or, more probably, such boat owned by someone here in Stockholm. Apparently it takes him under fifteen minutes to travel a distance that takes about an hour for an ordinary ferry in the archipelago and the largest part of that time is to get out of harbour where there is a speed restriction.
Oh, ok. Could be I misread the articles. I understood them the way that they did build highspeed inflatables as a "front" and building the 8-engine boats for smugglers was the real deal behind the facade of a legitimate boat building business

Nontheless the boats exist, they (could) work as high speed undetectable smuggling boats and I still don't know what is so hard to believe about that


Gavida
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  #16  
Old 20 March 2007, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
I don't believe that you could mean the existance and the purpose of the boats are hard to believe.
Even if the explanation in the thread are hard to believe for you, you did read the links from "The Mail" and "BBC" that are also in Richard's post, right?

I am sorry again, but not believing something because you like your own theory better doesn't make the real story untrue or go away.
Yep, I read them, and I still claim that any smuggler smart enough to make enough money to buy that boat would be smart enough to not buy it for smuggling.

Quote:
I don't think this was the main intention for the design, but to sell them to people with far too much money and too small penises.
Exactly.

Quote:
Nontheless the boats exist, they (could) work as high speed undetectable smuggling boats and I still don't know what is so hard to believe about that
Smuggling is about secrecy, not speed. Except in Hollywood, of course.

I also highly doubt that they are undetectable. If nothing else, those engines will provide a radar signature big enough for detection, it will be heard halfway across the ocean and it will produce a wake the size of a tanker.

We have a coast guard here. It would be nice to hear his opinion on the subject. I can't remember his name now, though. Anyone?
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  #17  
Old 20 March 2007, 12:45 PM
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Either way, the boat is only evidence in the trial - it's not the subject of the charges itself. They're charged with "drug trafficking, tax evasion and money laundering", and it sounds as though there's plenty of evidence for that independent of the boat.

Quote:
George has already admitted possession of criminal property and money laundering and is awaiting sentencing. Davison is on bail in Spain where he faces drug smuggling charges.

...

Davison was charged with drug trafficking, tax evasion and money laundering.

Ellen George pleaded guilty to two money laundering offences.
"Possession of criminal property" could refer to the boat, perhaps - it's not a charge I've heard of before.

With the possible addition of the word "allegedly", because the trial is ongoing, I can't see what's wrong with the story. The people involved do (allegedly) have a clear connection with drug smugglers, have (allegedly) supplied them with similar boats, and were intending to supply them with this boat.

So your contention is that the smugglers were using other craft for their smuggling, and just wanted this one as a pleasure-boat, Troberg? I guess the defendants could try that argument, but they do appear to have known they were dealing with drug smugglers.
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  #18  
Old 20 March 2007, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
Yep, I read them, and I still claim that any smuggler smart enough to make enough money to buy that boat would be smart enough to not buy it for smuggling.
This is the second time you came up with this statement in this thread.
Right now you remind me of a kid stomping his feet and saying "it is so, because!"

I am sorry, but trying to talk to someone who only replies "Is not!" because he doesn't want it to be and sticking his fingers in his ears while chanting "I can't hear you!" when someone comes up with proof is something I don't fancy that much.
And I think I fed you enough.....

Gavida
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  #19  
Old 20 March 2007, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
This is the second time you came up with this statement in this thread.
Right now you remind me of a kid stomping his feet and saying "it is so, because!"

I am sorry, but trying to talk to someone who only replies "Is not!" because he doesn't want it to be and sticking his fingers in his ears while chanting "I can't hear you!" when someone comes up with proof is something I don't fancy that much.
And I think I fed you enough.....
Well, give me some sane argument to adress. It's not easy arguing against "but they said it in the news" either. No one is convicted yet (for this, someone has pleaded guilt to other crimes), so it's still just media speculation.

Let's start with an answer to this:

Why eight engines? Such a light craft will not be faster with eight engines than with two. If it's some enthusiast building it for the sheer exaggeration of it, I'd believe it. Heck, I'm the guy who is (slowly) planning to put a bunch of jet engines on a car. A smuggler, on the other hand, builds his boat for a specific purpose. Eight engines will be counterproductive to that purpose, while one or two would fit it nicely. A boat builder would know that. Especially since this is a planing hull, not a displacement hull, and when the hull planes, there is little water resistance and a adding engine power does little difference. Actually, adding engine power does not do much for a displacement hull either after a certain point, as their maximum speed is (given enough power and correct hull shape) a function of the length of the hull.
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  #20  
Old 20 March 2007, 02:21 PM
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The use of multiple (and individually removable) outboard motors is necessary because the craft is an inflatable. There may be a hard floor, but you probably can't mount an inboard engine. Not to mention that there is 2000HP installed - a 2000HP inboard (or even two 1000HP engines) would be very large and require a fairly serious cooling system. I would expect that the individual outboard motors are synchronized to maintain an equal load, not to mention that they would use counter-rotating propellers to keep the craft more stable.

The primary advantage of this type of craft - over another one which would be equally fast - is probably in its draft. I would be that it can traverse very shallow water, and even be taken right onto the beach without damage. Another advantage would be its ability to ride through rough water. The last advantage would be its acceleration. I'd guess that this boat goes from zero to top speed in a matter of seconds. A large coastal patrol boat would have barely moved by the time this one is at 70mph.

Any claim that the boat cannot be outrun by aircraft is silly - except if visibility or weather conditions ground the aircraft.
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