• Custom Talon 21 Is Powered by an Allison Helicopter Engine

    Outrageous Turbine-Powered Talon 21 Tunnel

    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?

    Click here to view the auction listing

    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.

    Looks new.
    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.

    Comments 13 Comments
    1. whipper's Avatar
      whipper -
      Oh my good Lord i cant imagine how fast that boat could go!! WOW
    1. Da Bull's Avatar
      Da Bull -
      At 95G`s it may sit forever but it is kinda neat. First thought was no nosecone but after reading on i saw where the hp is only 350 so prolly wont need one. However, power can be raised on certain turbines and maybe this is one of them. If so!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. milkdud's Avatar
      milkdud -
      Very cool boat. Im guessing the hydro transmission in line will take away a bit of the 317 hp. If its 10% your down to around 285 hp. Thats gonna be close to what a 5.7 piston engine puts out.
    1. Krazymaan's Avatar
      Krazymaan -
      95k and you have to bring your own seats and batteries.
    1. 3rd Gen's Avatar
      3rd Gen -
      Lot of engineering in that one....Awesome project ! !
    1. 1BadAction's Avatar
      1BadAction -
      Neat, but no matter how fast it is, no way it's going to outrun all that ugly.
    1. Euroski's Avatar
      Euroski -
      From the videos it didn't look that fast.
    1. Da Bull's Avatar
      Da Bull -
      What video`s?
    1. Scream And Fly's Avatar
      Scream And Fly -
      The boat is apparently in Florida, and I want to try to connect with its owner to shoot photos and a video.

      Definitely a cool experiment and the Talon as a base for it seems appropriate. I love the color gold, but not on this boat. I feel that the gold and red colors have a classic race look, but this boat just doesn't have that 'classic race' image.

      As for top speed, somehow I would not expect this Talon to be as fast as it might imply. And that choice of the Bravo outdrive is curious. The X-dimension on the boat also appears to be not performance-oriented, but I also get the feeling that this boat was more a matter of image and fun, rather than brutal performance.

      I would also be curious about the boat's center-point of balance. It does not appear that it would be stern-heavy, which is good.

      I need to get a video of this!

    1. Da Bull's Avatar
      Da Bull -
      If power were to be increased a simple lower unit change to an Imco that is two or three inches shorter than a stock Bravo would fix the X dimension problem and it comes with a nose cone made onto it like a sporty.

      I like the color choice because it`s defferent just like the power is. My guess is that 350hp with the right set up would put it over 100.

      Greg i hope you get to do the story.

    1. bertsboat's Avatar
      bertsboat -
      It's been for sale on eBay for almost a year. Each time they list it the price increases. I think it started out at 65K which is still high. If you read between the lines you will see that it's a WIP and that it does not work (yet). Cool none the less. The bay is a great place to see cool and unusual that's for sure.....
    1. 150aintenuff's Avatar
      150aintenuff -
      wasnt it the 317 hp alison they put on the 280 leg at merc... if it was id assume if it was set up right it may get to 100.. but im guessing its gunna be a hoppy bitch stuck in the zone nobody likes unless there is SERIOUS hull X changes ...
    1. mako54's Avatar
      mako54 -
      May only have 317 horsepower but the torque is what counts. That motor has to spin a rotor that has a lot of weight and the weight of the chopper. That boat done properly will haul the mail like no tomorrow. I'm more of a pratt pt6 fan myself.
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