See our Boatbuilding Supplies section on this site for details on the Racing Steering Kit and Racing Throttle Kit. With Spring in the air, the timing is right to review the basics of high performance boat operation to ensure you and your passengers have a safe and enjoyable Summer on the water. Our operation guide is packed with general performance boating information including a list of descriptive terms relating to propellers, hull types and overall boat performance.  Let’s first review the various performance boat hull configurations.
I like to refer to catamarans (or cats as they are often called) as tunnel boats on steroids.
In Hi-Performance Boat Operation – Part 2, I will review the important things to consider when preparing your new Mercury Racing outboard or sterndrive powered boat for the upcoming season. Originally Posted by tunnels One thing to remember is this is a very high performance boat so being stiff and this is important !! If you use epoxy (not Polyester resin) with the fibreglass, for both sides of the plywood - total encapsulation - you get superior rigidity with a big increase in strength, and no plywood rotting problems. Location: Spain It appears that what for some is the perfect solution for others is nonsense. Originally Posted by TANSL It appears that what for some is the perfect solution for others is nonsense. If you use Epoxy resin, which IS waterproof - and totally encapsulate the plywood ( inside and out) , no water can get to the plywood, and it will stay intact. Location: Coastal Georgia I guess at 90 mph you would want to be sure that more lift is what you want.
Originally Posted by rwatson If you apply fibreglass to the outside - the plywood is not waterproofed from inside.
The bilge of these boats is simply treated (after the proper cleaning, sanding and drying) with several layers of primer (like UCP by International) followed by layers of the grey resin-based varnish for bilges (like Danboline). I suspect that many problems related to the total (inside+outside) encapsulation of the wooden hulls arise from the non-respect of one fundamental rule in the wooden boat construction - the use of properly dried wood. The same is valid for the works of restoration of existing wooden hulls, where it is necessary to dry the hull to the proper moisture content (10-12%) prior to varnishing (or encapsulating it, if really necessary - but I wouldn't do it in this case). Location: Spain Thanks daiquiri and michael, I am now able to understand things and I think I can reiterate what I said previously, a job well done, encapsulated or not, does not have to give any problem. Your comments explain, at least so it seems to me, why two of our best experts in this forum could have such different opinions. Originally Posted by TANSL I think I can reiterate what I said previously, a job well done, encapsulated or not, does not have to give any problem. Some woods bond better than then some others with the epoxy, and that can be one of important reasons why you will hear differing opinions (even between experienced boatbuilders) about hull encapsulation. Cheers daiquiri View Public Profile View daiquiri's Gallery Find all posts by daiquiri Page 1 of 2 1 2 > « Has this been tried?
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Location: crosbyton, TX I saw it the other day on the Totally Texas Boating Forum.
It's nice to see someone come up with a design of thier own that is so clearly a new design, and seems to perform well. Location: USA Rounded Tunnel I've always heard that the best tunnel design on these fiberglass boats is a round half-pipe design, to reduce turbulence created by the corners found in rectangular tunnels.

I've run a tunnel boat with ice runners that would turn on a dime at any speed, but the ice runners were a real hassle if you ever ran aground - can't slide the boat sideways. I've also often wondered what would happen if you put a vertical plate down the center of the tunnel, virtually splitting it in half longitudinally. I'll just say that for reference that my little hovercraft (flat bottom) on an inland lake turned out not to be the best fishing platform.
Based on what I have learned in other threads, perhaps a retracable keel or retractable dagger board may help out shallow draft watercraft in rough seas which are at anchor.
Location: Texas I've often caught myself sketching a hull that could augment, but I keep coming back to a design that can handle a degree of abuse with the minimal amount of up-keep. For the most part, this prototype has quite alot of time and effort invested into it, and is the predecessor and platform for some ideas I will be trying. Originally Posted by Baywolf For the most part, this prototype has quite alot of time and effort invested into it And it shows, it's quite a striking design with lots of curb appeal. Tunnel Boats, vee hulls, tunnel hull design, tunnel boat plans, racing boat plans, vee pad boats, tunnel hulls, boat racing plans, race boat plans, bass boats, F1. Similar to steps, the pad reduces the wetted surface area the hull runs on, increasing top speed with minimal affect on the ride quality. The sharp, 90-degree transfer where the tunnel sides meet the bottom of the sponsons helps the boat settle in the water as it enters a turn. Should I use thicker plywood without stringers on the padded surfaces of this design or, should I use stringers and thinner plywood?
I can understand a flexible hull being ideal to a point but, the bottom of this boat (padded running surfaces) needs to retain a very straight and smooth surface over the life of the boat. The inner layer of fibreglass will also contribute greatly to the strength of the structure. Search for the words 'encapsulate' and 'epoxy' in this forum, and you will be inundated by the amount of information about it, especially if you use PAR as the writer.
Sure, these boats are precious and are hence hauled out and stored in a dry place after every use - a kind of treatment many small boats don't enjoy. The wood (either solid or ply) used for boat building shall have the moisture content of around 10-12% in order to assure the proper mechanical resistance, flexibility and resistance to rotting. If this simple rule is respected, and the bilge is properly ventilated and kept dry, the wood doesn't need fiberglass cloth inside, unless there are structural reasons for doing it, like Michael has noted. People don't like that part associated to the ownership of a boat, that is one of main reasons why plastics has been so successful in replacing it for general boating. Teak and white oak are two examples of commonly used woods which are more difficult to bond with epoxy than the others.
We encourage new and current owners to review the book and then get some in-boat driving lessons from your local high performance dealer. The softness of the ride depends on the angle of the “V”, called deadrise, radius of the keel line and the use of strakes.  If  your boating is mostly in larger bodies of water such as the Great Lakes or open seas, you may want to consider a boat with this hull type. Mercury Racing offers a full-array of outboard and sterndrive propulsion options for the vee-bottom boater.
I do not want to bottom to become wavy over time which may be more likely with thinner plywood over stringers. But the fact that so many Riva boats have more than 40-50 years of service and are still in a shiny condition shows that with a proper care of the hull the encapsulation with fiberglass is unnecessary.

And, of course, some layers used to seal the wood need not add appreciable resistance to the hull.
The answer to the problem of wooden boat maintenance was the invention of various methods of encapsulation of wood with resins, (with or without reinforcing it with the glass). So few unsuccessful (because not properly done) encapsulations of structures made of these species can create a bad reputation to the whole method, even where it would be perfectly indicated.
Built from our plans, the topsides were modified somewhat, but the hull shape is true to the plans. Those who do not have a qualified driving instructor in their area may want to consider Tres Martin’s Performance Boat School. The most recent change in this design over the past decade has been the incorporation of strategically placed notches or steps in the hull. Air entering the tunnel generates lift as speed increases.The wetted surfaces and hull drag are reduced, for enhanced speed and ride quality.
First off the bottom is designed using Liberator 21 specs or very close with no major changes as of yet.
I would think the thicker the core material the more ridged the panel but stringers and thinner wood may create nearly the same strength. This boat should be capable of 100mph (with correct setup) yet, I will be pleased if I reach low 90s with the power I plan to use. If the inside is well ventilated, that will help keep the unprotected plywood drier, but it will not last. It might be a correct approach on some constructions and for some construction methods, but it is certainly not a holy grail of woodworking. However, and once again this was a flat bottom top heavy design not really intended for this use and a bit out of it's element. To be realistic, the boat that I am basing my design on is a 105mph boat with a 300xs and my design should be lighter with the nice smooth top deck which would be more aerodynamic. In theory my boat could be faster due to greater lift ablity with the top deck design on top of the lighter weight hull.
In general, they produce a smoother and faster ride over a vee-bottom in calm to mild chop.
Any one care to share their thoughts on what glass to use and what kind of scheduled to go with?
I will have Aeromarine Researches software here soon to start my analysis of my design so maybe I will be pleased with the calculated results. Just vent bilges really well to prevent premature failure of wood If you only layup the outside of the plywood, you lose a lot of strength and rigidity, and leave the plywood sitting in water - and it will rot.
While the Tunnel Boat derives much of its high performance from air lift, it depends at the same time on its planing interaction with the water to maintain a stable. Our OptiMax 300XS is popular choice for those who choose outboard power for entry into the cat experience.
Prather 32 inch racing tunnel hull boat 7.5cc outboard # 1058 hydro fiberglass While the Tunnel Boat derives much of its high performance from air lift, it depends at the same time on its planing interaction with the water to maintain a stable and.

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