The Boeing Island Jetfoil

by John Arnold and John MacFarlane 2017

Boeing Island Jetfoil

Boeing Island Jetfoil up on her foils (Photo from the Alec Provan collection. )

Built in 1980 at Renton WA USA by Boeing Marine Systems as the Montevideo Jet. She was renamed successively as Aries; then Spirit of Friendship; then Jet 7; then Seven Island Ai. 90’ x 18’ x 5’ She was powered by two gas turbine engines and a Rocketdyne waterjet pump. In 1980 she was owned by Alimar S/A/, Argentina. In 1981 she was owned by Boeing Marine Systems, Seattle WA. In 1985 she was owned by Island Jetfoil Co., Victoria BC. In 1987 she was owned by ? In 2000 she was owned by the Tokai Kisen Co.

Island Jetfoil

The Island Jetfoil Aries passing Cape Mudge BC. (Photo from the John Arnold collection. )

John Arnold caught most of the pictures as she approached Campbell River. He recalls that she was on a goodwill visit to Alaska and stopped (probbably for fuel).

Island Jetfoil

The Island Jetfoil Aries passing Cape Mudge BC. (Photo from the John Arnold collection. )

In North America, the Boeing Jetfoil saw regularly scheduled service between Seattle, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia during the summer tourist season of 1980. Leased from Boeing, a single Jetfoil, the Flying Princess, was operated by the non–profit Flying Princess Transportation Corp., with the close co–operation and assistance of the B.C. Steamship Company. Regularly scheduled service ran from Seattle to Victoria to Vancouver from April to September, 1985, by Island Jetfoil. Boeing reclaimed the Island Jetfoil boat and sold it for service in Japan. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_929)

There are 35 Jetfoils running in the world and 20 of them were manufactured by The Boeing Company in Seattle, USA. The ship was named "Jetfoil" by The Boeing Company who developed this high–tech hydrofoil. When Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation.(KSC) acquired the manufacturing license of the Jetfoil from The Boeing Company, KSC assumed this trademark.

Island Jetfoil

The Island Jetfoil Aries passing Cape Mudge BC. (Photo from the John Arnold collection. )

The Boeing Jetfoil (Boeing Model 929) was designed for passenger comfort at high speeds. It gave passengers a smooth and fast ride, and its three narrow struts created a fraction of the wake that a ship of its size would normally make. It was also as quiet as a conventional auto ferry. With a stopping distance of 500 feet (152 meters) and a turning radius of just 645 feet (196 meters), it was easy to maneuver the 90–foot-long (27-meter-long) ship through congested waterways. (Source – http://www.boeing.com/history/products/jetfoil-hydrofoil.page;)

The standard configuration of the Jetfoil accommodated 250 passengers. but design flexibility allowed variations for up to 350 seats. The Jetfoils were powered by a pair of Allison gas-turbine engines that each drove a Rocketdyne waterjet pump, which propelled the 115-ton (104.32-tonne) vessel at speeds in excess of 45 knots (51.8 mph/83.3 kph). Boeing built 24 of the Jetfoils, all at the Boeing Renton, Wash., plant, for service in Hong Kong, Japan, the English Channel, the Canary Islands, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. (Source – http://www.boeing.com/history/products/jetfoil-hydrofoil.page;)

Island Jetfoil

The Island Jetfoil Aries passing Cape Mudge BC. (Photo from the John Arnold collection. )

The first PHM (Boeing Model 928) was the USS Pegasus (PHM-1) launched in November 1974. It was the first Boeing built craft, and first hydrofoil, to be a listed as a United States Ship (USS). In 1975, the Pegasus made the 1,225 mile (1971 kilometer) trip from Seattle to San Diego in a record-breaking 34 hours, which included one stop for refueling. It was commissioned on July 9, 1977. Five more Pegasus class ships – Hercules, Taurus, Aquila, Aries and Gemini – were built at the Boeing plant in Renton, WA, between 1981 and 1982. (Source – http://www.boeing.com/history/products/jetfoil-hydrofoil.page;)

Island Jetfoil

The Island Jetfoil Aries passing Cape Mudge BC. (Photo from the John Arnold collection. )

Robert Lawson (British Columbia Nautical History Facebook Group 13/03/2017) states that "We travelled to Seattle on the Boeing jetfoil in the early 1980's. It cruised out of the inner harbour hull down and then lifted as it accelerated past Ogden Point. The ships sound system regaled us with Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries while this was happening. It was a great ride , sad it wasn't economical."

Island Jetfoil

The Island Jetfoil Aries passing Cape Mudge BC. (Photo from the John Arnold collection. )

Conan Hillsden (British Columbia Nautical History Facebook Group 13/03/2017) states that "In the early 80's one did a round trip to Vancouver. I don't know when it left Victoria in the morning, but it returned about 4:30. It had it's own floats on the west side of Canada Place and at Odgen Point. I took the return trip once, it was very civilized with spacious seating and beverage/food service to your seat. I can't remember if it got to Victoria at 6:30 or 7:30, but the float planes were 35 minutes, less $, and arrived downtown Victoria. Funny, an emergency evacuation card for this ship just dropped our of some documents yesterday.."

Schedule Brochure

Schedule Brochure (Photo from Unknown Source. )

The schedule brochure promoted high speed marine travel.



To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. and John Arnold (2017) The Boeing Island Jetfoil. Nauticapedia.ca 2017. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/TITLE.php

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