All Aboard: Diesel-Powered Long Tail Boat Racer

Thailand is a nation with different financial resources than the United States. Diesel drag racing is a little different over there as large diesel pickups are not normally utilized. As such, the country has found inventive ways to engage in side-by-side racing, notably through Long Tail Boat racing. In contrast to the high-powered and financially backed drag races in the U.S., the Thai racing scene is characterized by its resourcefulness and creativity, offering a unique and entertaining spectacle.

boat racing

After looking into the manufacturing of these engines and boats in Bangkok, the shop spaces aren’t what you might expect, considering the quality that is the result. They really do some wild work!

Long Tail Boats get their name from the extended prop shaft and propeller that protrude from the back of the boat. The rider can adjust the trim by altering the angle of the tail and prop, using their weight to guide the boat. Given the lightweight nature of these boats, constant weight shifting is required to counteract the torque generated by the propeller, which tends to pull the boat to the right when at high speeds.

Participating in Long Tail Boat racing involves risks, especially considering the exposed prop shaft and propeller. Accidentally stepping into shallow water behind one of these racing boats could result in severe injuries, given the potential dangers of the rotating propeller.

Long-tail boats, also known as "rua hang yao" in Thai, are a common sight in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand where waterways are prevalent.

In Thailand, Long Tail Boat racing has gained popularity in certain regions, attracting numerous owners and teams that travel across the country to compete. Despite minimal prize money, which often merely covers travel expenses, the racers are driven by the prestige that comes with victory. What sets this sport apart is the lack of safety measures. You will not find helmets, life vests, or wet suits.

Racers wear basic clothing, and even with boats reaching speeds of over 100 mph, there’s a daring absence of safety gear. The inherent risks associated with high-speed crashes on water, where the impact is as unyielding as concrete, add an extra layer of danger. The thrill-seeking racers accept these risks, creating a unique and captivating element in the world of boat racing in Thailand.

boat racing

Long tail riverboats, as you can see here, come in all shapes and sizes. We’ve read that some of these riverboats can be up to 28 feet long and as short as 6 feet. With a handcrafted, lightweight wooden chassis, it wouldn’t and doesn’t take much horsepower to really make this thing fly.

Boat Racing: Welcome To America!

Parker Mitchell, the adventurous mind behind the popular YouTube channel “Teeth & Turbos,” has taken his love for unique boats to the next level with a journey all the way to Thailand. The mission? To acquire a twin-turbocharged diesel-powered long-tail riverboat, an experience he couldn’t resist sharing with his growing online community.

For Parker, a seasoned boater, the allure of these distinctive boats had always been present through social media glimpses. Curiosity turned into a pursuit, and soon he found himself on a transcontinental quest to explore the capabilities of these remarkable watercraft. But why settle for just a taste when he could bring one back to the United States?

Navigating the intricacies of boat acquisition in a foreign land proved to be a challenge, but Parker, leveraging the power of social media, connected with the right individuals who spoke English. His vision took shape, and a new boat found its place on the build list. After enduring months of anticipation, Parker’s journey led him to Bangkok, where the “Gator Tail” project would become a reality.

Long-tail boats are known for their agility and speed. The direct-drive system allows for quick acceleration and deceleration, making them suitable for navigating both narrow canals and more open water areas.

The chosen moniker, “Gator Tail,” hints at the Floridian’s plan to match the boat’s aesthetics with the engine’s green-themed power. At the heart of this diesel-powered beast is a 4JJ1 Isuzu diesel engine, promising between 400 and 500 horsepower. With this powerhouse, Parker envisions unleashing a wave of serious shenanigans once the boat makes its way back to the States.

In the latest episode of the Teeth & Turbos series, viewers are treated to the disassembly and preparation of the Gator Tail for its transoceanic journey. The meticulous process serves as a teaser for the adventures that lie ahead as the boat makes its way to familiar waters, promising thrilling content for boating enthusiasts and curious onlookers alike.

As Teeth & Turbos embarks on this exciting venture, followers can anticipate an insider’s look into the world of long-tail diesel boats, twin-turbocharged power, and the Florida-inspired Gator Tail project. Stay tuned for more high-octane content, as Parker Mitchell takes the helm and steers his audience through the exhilarating journey of bringing the Gator Tail to life on American waters.

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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