UPDATE April 19th 2018: This speed boost is largely nerfed in 18W16A – read more here:
Following yesterday’s release of snapshot 18W15A a new mechanic was quickly spotted; Boats on the new Blue Ice block travel at tremendous speeds. After some general speculation and experiments on Reddit I turned to the always reliable
ilmango who had already created this formal test of the new mechanic:
To sum up ilmango’s testing – Boats on the new Blue Ice seem to travel at close to an astonishing 160 blocks per second. This means that ten seconds spent flying down a Blue Ice track in the nether would propel a user some 12,000+ blocks in the overworld. Crazy times. These speeds also seem to cause severe game issues too, surely at least in part to the fact that most computers are unable to load chunks (even pre-generated) that fast.
This speed is four times faster than the speed that can be achieved with Boats on Packed Ice which travel at a saner 40 blocks per second. There’s no word yet if this is intentional behavior or an accidental bug. As ever with snapshots, don’t get your hopes up, these things are often in flux and subject to change.
I’ll echo what ilmango said in his video though, perhaps something like 80 blocks per second (double regular Ice boats) would be a nice addition to the game. Blue Ice is extremely expensive, requiring either 9 Packed Ice to craft or discovering in Icebergs or Frozen Oceans. It’s very scarcity will make Blue Ice tracks (if a thing at all) an expensive addition to any player world.