Maiden Voyage

This is where we'll put photos for the launch and maiden voyage. We haven't decided yet where the first launching will be. Launching at our cabin on Diefenbaker would be ideal, but there are other considerations. First of all, there are a lot of people that helped in one way or another and they deserve a ride early in the game. Second, it might simply be prudent to lauch a bit closer to home in the event that the boat needs to be hauled out for the correction of mistakes that are discovered only by running it around on water.

Days 66-68 ( Jul 16, 2006): It floats!!


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.

on the ramp


It floats!!!

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.

under way


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.

Heading back to the park


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.

Devy is riding in the cabin


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.

Heading out for a break-in run


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.

Our first passengers


If you look close, you can see both Mom and Betty inside the cabin as I pull out of the marina.

taking off with our first passengers.


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 speed.


 Cruisin'  ( Oct 1, 2006): It's no Toyota, but it still goes zoom-zoom!


Well, after much waiting (and no shortage of customer complaints!), we finally got weather that made it possible for Devy to spend enough time outside to take a few shots with the new boat under way. We were waiting for cool, sunny, and calm, a combination that is all too rare in these parts. These are the best shots.

The first one shows the spray from the stern. That means I still have a bit of work to do on getting the trim just right. I've already done a fair amount of work to sort out things out and have made some very definite improvements, but still have a few other things to take care of. The basics are pretty simple: certain very normal weight distributions but the boat far enough out of trim that porpoising is difficult to control. That indicates that there are probably some gains in both speed and fuel efficiency to be had, even apart from the porpoising problem.

Heading Out


As you can see from this next shot, I've not got it going fast enough that I almost outran the camera! Seriously, though, there is a 6 mile run out to Bearclaw that I've done often enough to know that it was taking 18 minutes. With some wedges between the motor and the transom, there is now more bow-down available. In addition to eliminating the porpoising, it cut the run by 2 full minutes.

Too fast!


I haven't tracked fuel consumption all that closely, but the improved trim seems to have improved fuel economy as well as helped with speed and handling. According to the folks on the GlenL forum, the little bit of hook that I've got on the hull near the transom is likely the next thing to take care of. That requires pulling the boat far enough off the trailer for me to do the necessary filling and grinding. Yuck! Oh, well, if I had done it right the first time, I wouldn't have to do it again. And if I do it right the second time, we should be able to knock off another minute or so on the run to Bearclaw.

Heading in


Other reading I've done has convinced me that it will also help to actually raise the whole motor by as much an inch. The anti-ventilation plate (cavitation plate) on the motor is supposed to be somewhere between even with the hull and one inch below the hull. When I was cutting the transom, I elected to go to the one inch deep in order to reduce ventilation problems in sharp corners. Based on the performance estimates I've got, I'm thinking that I should raise the motor up. The reality is that sharp corners simply won't happen often enough for us to give up whatever gains in speed and efficiency can be had by lifting the motor. All the charts say that we should be getting 30-35 mph out of a boat with this type of hull, at this length and weight. That would be at the maximum rpm of  5600. Using the rather unlikely assumption that 3/4 max rpm = 3/4 max speed, then we've already hit the low end of that range. I'll need to get at least a speedometer to get the real story, and a fuel flow meter would really let me get trim bang-on.

Drive by


Naturally, if we just putted around all the time, then we wouldn't need to worry about the complexities of trimming a planing hull. Of course, we wouldn't need a 40 hp motor either, or even a planing hull design!

Taking it easy