T Nation

Snowmobile on Water


I was watching the BBC's "Top Gear" last night, and they were in Iceland. They were showing some of what the crazier guys do with their jeeps (it's basically tubes, an engine and four wheels with really deep treads) and they fire them at mountains to see how far they'll get. Most of the clips involved backwards somersaults as the jeeps flipped. Pretty impressive.

However, (and the reason I'd tuned in) is that they'd come up with a theory that they want to try out. If the treads on the tires are deep enough, they could act like paddles on a steamboat. And theoretically drive across water. The jeep was 600 hp with NO² augmenting it to 800 hp. Long story short: theory worked. They sped across half a kilometre of lake. They then raced it against a similarly modified snowmobile (across the lake again) and the snowmobile just creamed it.

Don't know if it's the smartest thing to ask on a T-Nation forum, given what the automatic reaction will be for a T-man, but anybody every seen this before or tried it?


With a snowmobile? Lots of people in Wisconsin do it every fall/winter. Several people die every year from it. Not even kidding.


Lots of people do it here in Newfoundland too but I don'tnow of anyone who has died doing it. There are a lot of deaths each year however involing snowmobiles and aclohol.


These weren't ordinary snowmobiles. The treads were deeper, and I'm assuming they had the nitrous systems installed. The presenter also pointed out that if the speed went a hair under maximum or if they wobbled at all, it would be enough to lose control and sink the machine.

But the footage does exist and it's really cool to watch.


I've seen lots of people do it with stock snowmobiles. I've also seen a guy do 3km's over water with a modified snowmobile. I've have gone over about 20 feet of water on my Artic Cat ZR 600 and its 100% stock. The water was only about 3 feet deep so there wasn't a whole lot of risk invovled other than geeting real cold but it was just behinde my house so I would not have been stuck out in the woods and freezing coldif I did get wet.


My brother-in-law raced his snowmobile on water a few years ago in upstate NY.

His snowmobile was stock.

He went straight across to the other side of the lake/pond.

Some guys went out and turned around on the water and came back.

If they go too slow they sink and they have to fish them out.


There was a show on OLN a few months back where they were showing guys "skimming" over the water on snowmoblies. They said they do very little modification to the machines, mainly it involves a longer track on the rear and some additional fairing to keep the water from spraying up into the engine. All the engines were stock. At the time the show was filmed they said the record they knew of for distance was almost 60 miles down a river. As long as you've got gas to go, it'll keep going, but once it stops, you sink.

Googled the idea also, but found very little except that Montana has outlawed the sport.