Cigar Boat vs. Cigarette Boat

What is a cigarette boat? A cigarette boat is otherwise known as a go-fast boat, and for good reason: their planing hulls are designed to go faster than traditional speedboats, reaching speeds of over 50 knots. Cigarette boats are impressively large boats, and their lengths range from 28 feet to 48 feet. Due to this, cigarette boats are some of the most expensive boats in the industry. 

So, why is it named a cigarette boat, you might ask? In the early 1960s, Donald Aronow built his first boat with this hull design and christened it “The Cigarette.” He thought the long, sleek look of the boat resembled a cigarette, and this distinction went on to replace the older term, “rum runner.” 

What Is The Difference Between A Cigar Boat And A Cigarette Boat? 

If you have ever heard of cigarette boats, you have undoubtedly heard of a cigar boat. What exactly is a cigar boat? Simply put, there isn't any difference! Cigar boat is only a nickname for the more formal term: cigarette boat. 

A Brief History Of Cigarette Boats 

Cigarette boats have a tiny crew and can move at extreme speeds. Because it is thin and appears very sharp, it is easy to be overwhelmed by a cigarette boat’s sleek and elegant appearance. Its minimalist design is known as the go-fast design, and it aims to lift the bar to new heights for speedboat performance. 

Donald Aronow thought of this boat design in the 1960s. He won numerous championship boat races using the first cigarette boat he made. As word got out, people like George H. W. Bush, the Shah of Iran, Lyndon B. Johnson, Malcolm Forbes, the founder and publisher of Forbes Magazine, and others requested him to build their own fast boats. Its contemporary achievements in boat design and performance have made it an icon in the industry.

Cigarette Boat Prices

In comparison to similar-sized conventional boats, these boats are significantly more costly. They aren't as luxurious as yachts, but their costs are comparable to those of the most expensive yachts of similar length. Cigarette boats generally range in price from $22,216 to $943,468 for the smallest to the largest units. 

Cigarette Boat Uses

The amenities aboard these five passenger-or-fewer boats are sparse, reflecting their racing background. A modest low cabin beneath the foredeck is usually much smaller than a similar-sized motor yacht. Most acquire these boats for their mystique, enormous power, high top speeds, and elegant design. With their multiple high horsepower engines, they are popular with jet setters searching for hot thrills, even popularized by smugglers attempting to avoid capture. 

One use of these boats has been somewhat notorious; drug traffickers used these cigarette boats to carry their goods, making it difficult for the US Coast Guard and the other agencies of the US judicial system to catch them. These boats were difficult to apprehend for the DEA and the US Coast Guard because they were swift, difficult to intercept, stealthy, and seaworthy. Only on calm, level waters and at close range can these vessels be identified by radar. To level the playing field, the US Navy considered constructing similar boats to catch these criminals. They commissioned Don Aronow to design speedboats capable of outrunning drug lords' cigarette boats. The US Coast Guard dubbed its speedboats as go-fast boats to distinguish them from those used by drug traffickers. They are five-passenger vessels with low staterooms beneath the foredeck. They are also a lot smaller than a typical boat but are quicker, more powerful, and have a sleeker appearance. 

How Are Cigarette Boats Constructed?

A typical cigarette boat features an offshore racing hull with a deep “V” shape and range in length from 20 to 50 feet. The hulls of all cigarette boats are long and narrow, constructed out of a composite of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass. 

These boats can be powered by two or more engines. The total output of these engines exceeds 1,000 horsepower (750 kilowatts). The most powerful cigarette boats feature motors that reach over 2,800 horsepower, while the most docile ones only have 470 horsepower.

Cigarette Boat Performance 

These boats may easily reach speeds of more than 80 knots in calm waters (about 92 mph). They can still achieve 25 knots on rough waters and can also cut through larger waves, something no regular boat can often achieve at slower speeds.