Skip to main content

Flotsam & Jetsam: A head-turner with a turn of speed

Flying Target is 35 feet of classic powerboat. Built by legendary naval architect John Hacker in 1944, the double-cockpit runabout is powered by a 1,300-hp Allison aircraft engine, marinized with closed cooling and coupled to a custom transfer case and two Chrysler transmissions. The twin-prop setup gives her a top end of 55 to 60 mph.

Image placeholder title

Meticulously cared for and updated by her current owner, Flying Target has all of her original hardware, and her cedar hull and mahogany deck have never seen salt water. The forward cockpit accommodates seven people, and there’s space for three in the aft cockpit. Two engine hatches between the twin cockpits open and close with the push of a button at the helm. Abaft the second cockpit are two small hatches that conceal stowage. Flying Target is listed with Atlantic Yacht & Ship for $395,000.

6,000 …

Gallons of B20 fuel — a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel — that the 200-foot tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry took on for a voyage from New England to Cuba.

Alligator in the Keys

Image placeholder title

In November 1822, the U.S. Navy schooner Alligator, stationed in the West Indies, engaged a group of pirates who had captured eight American ships. Alligator’s crew reclaimed all but one of the vessels. On the voyage home, Alligator ran aground on a reef off Islamorada in an area that’s now within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The crew set fire to the ship to keep pirates from claiming the wreck. Alligator Reef and Alligator Reef Light, which was built in 1873, were named after the ship.

“The submerged past offers insights into how we as a species interacted with the water to travel and spread across the globe, to harvest food from it and to use it to defend ourselves, to trade and how at times we have worshipped it as a manifestation of divine power. We need to protect that legacy, and we need to learn from it and to share what it has to teach us with the rest of the world.”

— James Delgado, maritime archaeologist and director of NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program. Delgado was part of a team that in December 2016 documented the condition of two Japanese mini-submarines, one of which was sunk just before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, using a remotely operated vehicle.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue.