We all know that occasionally some pretty spectacular items show up on Ebay, and this turbine-powered Talon 21 has to be one of the more unique and incredible boats that I have seen to show up there.
I have always felt that Talon boats were one of the most beautiful and unique tunnel boat designs. There is no mistaking a Talon's aggressive, almost spaceship-like futuristic hard angles that give them such a compelling look. I suppose if I were going to drop a helicopter engine into a boat, a Talon would be the best choice, kind of like how Dr. Emmett Brown converted a DeLorean into a time machine in the movie, Back To The Future. If you're going to do it, do it in style.
According to the auction listing, this 1987 Talon 21 was custom-made at the factory for turbine power, and the boat has 20 hours of use on it since it was built almost thirty years ago. Appropriately-named Afterburner, the boat features an Allison helicopter engine geared into a MerCruiser Bravo stern drive unit.
There is an ominous warning in the auction that the "buyer will need knowledge of aircraft turbines and hydraulics to safely complete and operate this boat." Sure sounds like fun, doesn't it?
It can be yours for a Buy-It-Now price of $95,000. I would sure like to photograph this Talon someday. Maybe it will show up at a future event?
Description from Auction
This hull was custom made at the Talon factory in 1987. It was purpose built for the turbine motor.
The hull sat inside my shop for several years before the turbine was installed.
This was an experimental project. The goal was to make a turbine driven boat drive-able at all speeds. (especially low speeds)
Boat has been used for about 20 hours since new.
Boat and the turbine engine have been in storage and not been run since 1999 and may need work to get running.
Because this boat has been stored in a climate controlled building and never left outside the paint and aluminum parts are in excellent condition there is no rust or corrosion anywhere on the boat.
This was an experimental project boat. It will need more work to reach its full speed potential
Buyer will need knowledge of aircraft turbines and hydraulics to safely complete and operate this boat
There are no seats.
N1 tachometer does not work
It will need new batteries
The turbine is an Allison 250 C18 from a bell helicopter with 317 shaft hp. It has a turbine driven N2 output shaft that powers a custom modified SCS gearbox.
The gearbox powers a Sundstrand Hydrostatic variable displacement pump, which supplies hydraulic fluid to a hydraulic motor which powers the outdrive. This hydrostatic transmission system allows the boat to be driven like a normal boat with forward, neutral and reverse operation at slow speeds for easy maneuverability.
Starts like a jet engine and runs like a powerboat.
It has an electronic PI Controller for automatically controlling the N2 turbine rpm
There is NO braking or stopping of the N2 turbine to slow or stop the boat, the N2 rpm remains at its normal constant operating speed.
Has a Mercury Bravo Outdrive with IMCO external hydraulic power steering
Trim work and motor mounts are gold anodized aluminum
Has 2 aluminum powder coated fuel tanks
There are 3 stainless steel davit eyelets
The hull and deck are constructed of 1708 biaxial fiberglass cloth, Ashland AME 4000 resin and divinycell foam core.
The transom was modified in the Talon mold to accept an outdrive instead of the original outboard motor.
The bulkheads and stringers are customized in different locations.
The deck has a custom air intake vent molded in NOT added on later.
The windshield is made of fiberglass.
Hull bottom is brown gelcoat. The deck is painted with PPG Deltron Gold Firemist. Inside the hull is red gelcoat.
The engine hatches are foam core molded fiberglass with aluminum anodized louver vent tops supported with hydraulic shock actuators
The boat sits on a 2-axle quickload aluminum trailer.
The trailer was used for launching in salt water and some of the steel parts on the trailer are rusty.