Your Performance Marine Parts Experts Say-Trim the Fat to Get Free Speed
Stainless Marine your performance marine parts dynamos would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding how water pickups give you the extra speed you want.
Your performance marine parts professionals says to trim the fat: The horsepower-to-weight ratio of your boat plays a huge role in speed and efficiency. You can’t rebuild your hand-laid glass boat out of vacuum-bagged carbon fiber, but if you carry less gear and fewer stores aboard, your boat will be faster and more efficient.
You got your boat and, from the moment you pulled away from the dealership, it’s attained a certain speed. But if you’ve got a craving for more, you’re going to try to make it go faster, perform better and run more efficiently. OK, you just want to go faster.
Here are five ways to boost speed and performance. Blueprinting focuses on the hull and, in high-performance applications, the drives. The easiest upgrade might be changing the prop or having it fine-tuned. For the engine, you can have the electronic control module (ECM) reflashed or you can add a supercharger.
Bottom Line: A modest increase without touching the engines
If you are wary of making modifications to your engine, consider having your boat’s bottom “blueprinted.” Many enthusiasts believe blueprinting involves literally creating a blueprint.
“Any boat can benefit from it, but the faster you go, the more you accentuate it,” said Craig Wilson, president of Wilson Custom Marine in Stuart, Florida, the blueprinting leader of the go-fast world.
Mass-produced boats such as runabouts and cruisers in the 25- to 30-foot range can have myriad imperfections, including too much hook or rocker in the bottom or flaws in the strakes or chines. These could be the results of imperfections in the mold from which the boat was constructed or the result of a boat being stored in the off-season on too short a trailer. When a boat has a hook in the running surface, that means the aft section of the bottom angles down.
Your performance marine parts analysts agree that the only way to combat hook is with excessive drive trim, and then you’re losing performance because the propeller thrust is angled more up than horizontal. The best way to check your boat’s bottom for a hook is with a straight edge at the transom.
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Rocker is the opposite of hook. When a bottom has too much rocker, its aft sections round up and, in the extreme, would look like half a football when viewed from the side. The boat rides bow-high and you can’t use the positive trim you’d normally apply to lift the hull and reduce wetted bottom surface.
Wilson said that his company could take a 55 mph runabout and have it running close to 60 mph after blueprinting the bottom. Wilson Custom Marine also blueprints drives, including the Mercury Racing Sport Master lower unit for Bravo One drives and NXT, SSM and M8 drives.
Bottom Line: A big investment that will yield big gains
For the most substantial power gains, bolt a supercharger to your boat’s engine. You will void the warranty and reliability could be compromised, but you’ll be going a lot faster. Whipple Industries says a MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI can achieve up to a 50 percent horsepower gain, taking power output from 300 hp to more than 400.
The Whipple kit comes with a recalibrated ECM to control idle, fuel, spark and knock and all the components required to complete the installation. The supercharger will not increase height requirements in the engine compartment and needs only two inches extra of forward space.
Adding that much power to an engine/drive combination will require at least a propeller change and possibly a new gear ratio in your drive, so installing a supercharger represents a serious upgrade.
Another popular aftermarket supercharger is the Procharger, which is a little different from the Whipple in technology but promises similar power increases.
Bottom Line: A good move for overall performance with any outboard
It’s irrefutable that the less there is of a given appendage in the water, the less drag it will create. Hence the development of jack plates for outboard motors. A jack plate installs on the transom, and the outboard motor is mounted on the jack plate. Raise the plate and there’s less of the outboard motor’s lower unit in the water.
Manual jack plates don’t allow you to change the height while the boat is under way; electrohydraulic versions let you adjust engine height on the fly using up/down switches at the helm.
So keep in mind these 3 cost effective way to boost your speed. 1) Use water pickups and jack plates; 2) supercharging; and 3) blueprinting.
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