A go-fast boat is a small, fast boat designed with a long narrow platform and a planing hull to enable it to reach high speeds. Akin to race cars in several aspects, it’s insanely fast and intended to outrun the competition. During the era of prohibition in the United States, these boats joined the ranks of “rum-runners” transferring illegal liquor from larger vessels waiting outside U.S. territorial waters to the mainland. The high speed of such craft enabled them to avoid interception by the U.S. Coast Guard. More recently, these boats have been used by drug smugglers to transfer drugs across the Caribbean to the United States.
These boats are difficult to detect by radar except on flat calm seas or at close range. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Drug Enforcement Administration found them to be stealthy, fast, seaworthy, and very difficult to intercept using conventional craft. Because of this, the U.S. Coast Guard have developed their own high-speed craft and use helicopters equipped with anti-materiel rifles to disable engines of fleeing boats.
This video shows several of these interdictions at high sea, including the first drug interdiction for Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, the first commissioned National Security Cutter. Infrared video shows the fleeing vessels, suspected smugglers throwing bales overboard, Coast Guard interceptor boats closing in and the handcuffing of suspects. Very high speed affairs indeed.