Length matters

Longer boats are faster. We tend to take that for granted, because it tends to be true. Put two boats of similar type in a race, and the longer one is almost certain to beat the shorter one to the finish line. The difference that length makes is quite remarkable, but we rarely get to look at it on its own- and that is the subject of today's post.

Starwind 860: Range and efficiency

Among the key questions that must be answered in any powerboat's design phase are: How much power does it need, and how far can it go between gas docks?

The Starwind 860 trimaran that I'm currently working on started life as a series of computer simulations to answer these two questions. In today's post, I'll take you through some of these calculations and the logic that led to the final choices.

Engine access: Sterndrives, part 2 (Doing It Right)

A while ago, I showcased a few sterndrive installations of varying quality, and pointed out some of the engine access problems that result when these units are shoehorned into too-tight spaces. Here's an example of one that's done relatively well. The boat is a 19-foot Doral runabout, built in Midland, Ontario in 2007.

Doral 190

Engine access: Sterndrives

Crawling around an engine bay, trying to reach some deeply buried component with three flex fittings on a socket wrench, is nobody's idea of a good time.

Thankfully, at least a handful of production boat builders have recognized this, and offer reasonably good access to the critical bits of the sterndrive system's prime mover.  Still, it seems there will always be a few that insist you hire a double-jointed 8-year-old with the mechanical skills of a Formula One pit crew just to change a spark plug.


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