Depending on what kind of boat you have and how heavy it is, the speed you can expect at various horsepower varies dramatically.
A boat that weighs 1000 pounds can go twice as fast on the same hp as a boat that weighs 5000 lb. Here’s what you need to know about exactly how fast a given boat may go depending on its hp, type, and weight.
How Fast Does A 50 Hp Boat Go?
Depending on the type of boat and its weight, 50 hp can power you along at between 15 and 47 miles per hour.
50 hp may not seem like much, but if you are in a low-weight racing boat, you may be surprised by how far it can get you.
On the other hand, if you are in a heavier cruiser, you may find 50 hp to result in frustratingly low speeds.
If your boat doesn’t weigh much, this may be plenty of hp for average cruising speeds.
How Fast Does A 70 Hp Boat Go?
70 hp is a good average hp for the typical low-weight cruising boat. In a cruiser weighing 1000 lbs, you can achieve as much as 40 miles an hour with 70 hp.
On the other hand, if your boat weighs 5000 lb, you will only average about 18 miles an hour.
If you have a racing boat on the lower end of the weight spectrum around 1,000 pounds, you can expect 56 miles per hour from 70 hp.
In general, depending on the type of boat and its weight, expect between 18 and 56 miles per hour for 70 hp.
How Fast Can A 100 Hp Boat Go?
100 is a good amount of hp, able to keep the average boat at cruising speed and achieve very significant speeds from boats designed to be lightweight and fast.
You can expect speeds of between 21 and 66 miles per hour, depending on the boat.
Even a heavier cruiser of around 5,000 pounds can expect to cruise at about 21 miles per hour with 100 hp behind it.
On the other hand, if you are in a racing boat weighing only around one thousand pounds, you can expect to propel forward at 66 miles per hour.
How Fast Can A 150 Hp Boat Go?
If you want good bang for your buck without paying exorbitant fees for your engine, 150 hp may be right for you.
The average cruiser that weighs around 5,000 pounds can cruise along at a snappy 26 miles per hour with this kind of hp.
On the other hand, a lightweight racing boat can really fly with 150 hp behind it, reaching speeds as high as 81 miles per hour. Expect speeds between 26 and 81 miles per hour with this kind of hp.
How Fast Does A 300 Hp Boat Go?
300 hp is as high as the average boat is likely to want to go. These engines aren’t cheap, and they tend to guzzle gas. However, they can really make you fly.
Even a midsize cruiser of around 3,000 lb can expect to reach impressive speeds of around 47 miles an hour.
If you are in a lightweight racing boat of around 1,000 pounds, you may be able to exceed a stunning 150 miles per hour.
However, these kinds of speeds certainly aren’t safe or appropriate for everyone or every boat, even in boats designed for racing.
As a rule, expect speeds between 36 miles per hour and 115 miles per hour with this kind of engine.
What Determines A Boat’s Speed Per Hp?
If you want to make some distance at a good speed on the water, you want a boat with significant horsepower.
However, how much power you need depends entirely on the type of boat you have and how much it weighs.
How much your boat weighs dramatically affects how much hp it needs. In general, you’ll see a decrease of between 10 and 20 miles per hour for every thousand pounds of additional weight for your boat.
Keep in mind that it’s not just the listed manufacturer’s weight that you should be considering.
The people you load into the boat, the gear that you bring on board, etc, all affect how much your boat weighs. Every boat has a maximum capacity of weight, so you must be very careful not to overload your boat.
On the other hand, a boat that has too much hp for the amount of weight can be overpowered by the engine and flip over when you accelerate.
Choosing hp depending on your boat’s weight is a careful balance between the safety of making sure you don’t use too much hp for the boat and efficiency in ensuring you have enough hp for how much the boat weighs.
Type of Boat
Not surprisingly, a boat designed for speed makes more use of available horsepower than cruisers.
Racing boats, hydroplanes, and light high-speed cruisers will go considerably quicker with the same hp as an average cruiser or passenger boat.
A wide variety of factors go into why some boats will go faster with the same hp and weight than others. These factors include the build of the boat, where the weight is distributed, the type of engine, and much more.
You can expect trade-offs between speed and other factors. For instance, racing boats generally do not have near as many creature comforts for the passengers on board as cruisers.
There may be very little cockpit or cabin area. These boats also may draw considerably more than cruisers, since placing weight at a low center of gravity enables them to achieve greater speeds without flipping over.
Most of the time, the average boater will likely choose the comforts of a cruiser over the speed of a racer.
Light high-speed cruisers are a great compromise that give you plenty of creature comforts while also offering good speed.
Choose HP Safely
It can be very tempting to choose the most hp you can afford and really enjoy flying out on the water. However, if your boat isn’t designed for this kind of power, it can be very dangerous.
A boat that isn’t designed to take the shock of hitting the waves at high speeds can even break up on the water when it goes too fast.
It is very common for boats that have too much hp to flip over when they accelerate or when they are on a plane.
Make sure you follow your manufacturer’s guidelines with choosing hp for your boat.
Choose The Right HP For Your Boat
The right hp for your boat will give you enough speed to have a blast out on the water while also keeping you and your passengers safe.
It will also give you a good compromise between cost efficiency for the initial purchase of the engine and the fuel to run it and the speeds that you can achieve.
Keep in mind that higher hp engines weigh more, so simply running a high hp engine at a lower pace isn’t necessarily a good compromise.