Paul Spencer and his team of engineers and craftsmen at Spencer Yachts are on the edge of innovation once again. The new 50-foot sport-fisher currently under construction will offer a reduction in draft not seen since Buddy Davis and Donald Blount first designed hull tunnels several decades ago. The new Spencer will be powered by twin 1,000-horsepower Caterpillars and water-jet propulsion.
“In the past, these jet applications weren’t as efficient,” Spencer explains. “But now, the combination of the composites and the axial-flow jets will make her extremely economical to operate.”
With a draft of only 24 inches and a projected top speed of 52 knots, the new Spencer 50 will go places that few boats are able to reach — and in record time. Contracted by a current Spencer owner who is equally as excited about the prospects for the water-jet-powered 50, the boat is expected to make a splash in 2018.
“We are excited to see if she will raise fish. And with that, maneuverability is key,” says Spencer. “We have worked with joystick controls before, but the innovations in jets have made maneuvering very easy.”
While the hull has been completed, the boat’s owners have not yet finalized the interior layout. After she has been thoroughly tested for fishability, the first Spencer Yachts jet boat will call the Great Lakes her new home. Spencer was tight-lipped about the new project, but this is not unusual for the innovative boatbuilder, who has borrowed carbon fiber, resin infusion and now jet propulsion from the aeronautics industry.