By Ron Porter
Sunday, July 16, 2006
The bottle (full!) was kindly provided by Mom (Anne) and Aunt Betty, our first passengers (photos further down).
The ramp doesn't look as steep as I remembered it.
Well, we expected a wooden boat to float, but it's still heart-warming to see it in the water.
We're underway. A new motor is a pain because of the break-in period. Here, we can't go over a trolling speed. Of course, that also gives me a chance to familiarize myself with the boat and its handling.
Things worked out quite well. As you can see, we made it pretty far from the park. We didn't just jump into this--by this time we've already got about an hour on the motor and are up to wake-producing speeds.
Here's a shot of Devy bouncing around in the cabin. She loves it, although there are some harsh words about the ride. Or is that words about the harsh ride. Funny, I thought it was pretty smooth considering that we were running in some pretty rough water.
We've got the maiden voyage out of the way, so now I'm taking it out to do some more engine break-in. By the time I finished this run, it was safe to run up to 4,000 rpm. As it happens, that's also enough to put it on plane. It comes up on plane very nicely, with little of the plowing that I'm used to seeing in other boats. Of course, I'm in it by myself, so real loads have yet to be tested.
Once it was past the break-in period, I took time to put it through its paces. It handles reasonably rough water quite well--2-footers are no problem at all, even with the motor off. I'm not sure a guy wants to hit these things at planing speeds very often, but there's certainly no need to run at trolling speeds, either. I have to say that I was quite pleased with all aspects of the handling and the ride at all speeds. 4200 rpm is the maximum cruising speed (at least by my calculations--3/4 max rpm). 4000 rpm seems to be in the 18-20 mph range and feels very comfortable on everything from flat water up to waves 1 foot or so. I'll have to borrow someone's GPS to get an accurate speed reading. Sensibly, I haven't run full throttle over enough of a distance to get a speed estimate, but I'm sure it's at least 25 mph. I'm very happy with the performance of the 40 hp with just Devy and I on board. I suspect that pulling a skier will be challenging, but likely possible. I like the idea of a few more horses for heavier payloads and skiing, but they would go to waste 99% of the time.
After a couple of days of break-in, Mom and Betty came over to take a ride. They also brought some wine to christen her with, although she remains nameless for now.
If you look close, you can see both Mom and Betty inside the cabin as I pull out of the marina.
Everybody made it back safe and sound. We still have to find the right conditions and vantage point to get a shot of something other than trolling speeds.