Boat Racing involves using boats to race on water, and can include powerboat racing, steamboat racing, manually powered boats or even remote-controlled boats. While "boat racing" can refer to any type of boat race from manually-powered boats to remote-controlled boats, it typically refers to powerboat racing. Powerboat racing encompasses a variety of racing categories, including inboard, offshore, drag, performance and unlimited, which features the boats commonly seen in cigarette racing. Each of these racing types have unique characteristics from boat type to average speed. They also have varying minimum age requirements for participants.
Inboard racing is the largest category of the American Power Boat Association (APBA). It features many classifications of hydroplane- and runabout-style boats. The power and size of these racing boats ranges drastically, meaning top speeds will range from 80 miles per hour to 170 miles per hour. The offshore racing category features powered catamarans and v-hull boats capable of speeds of up to 180 miles per hour.
Three categories — stock, modified and professional racing — make up the outboard powerboat racing class. Racers of an outboard boat lie down face first, travel at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and are just inches above the water. Drag boat racing is similar in concept to the like-named automobile race. Drag boats can hit 200 miles per hour, and races are in a straight line on either a quarter-mile or eight-mile track. Outboard Performance Craft, commonly called OPC, boats are referred to as tunnel boats. Typically 12-feet long, they hit top speeds of 140 miles an hour using powerful V-8 engines, and have great turning radiuses. The races typically aired on cable networks are classified as unlimited, but commonly known as cigarette racing. Boats are powered by turbine rockets, skip on the water and hit speeds greater than 220 miles per hour.