Forgive me for tugging the thread back off track, but...
I want to commend car crash for his knowledge in a particular area. I also want to point out that knowledge in one sector does not directly cross over into all other sectors.
I will not offer any argument regarding the effectiveness of a single step in freeing up the planing surface of an accelerating seaplane. Given the requirements of a set of seaplane floats, you have a given load range (airplane weight) given takeoff speed, and a given power source. With these three factors you can compute what you need to determine pontoon size (for supporting the resting weight in a stable fashion) and step configuration and placement (ie: the best location to break worst-case planing friction in order to allow the limited power to properly accelerate).
A seaplane pontoon design does not have to deal with directional stability (the aerodynamics ofthe plane handles that), wave jumping reentry behavior (the aero of plane handles that), tendency to porpoise (the a of the p handles that), predictable tracking in a corner (plane doesnt turn in the water), smooth and efficient ride at a variety of cruising speeds (the plane acts as a dragrace hull - from stop to liftoff every single time), high speed load-carrying (the wings do that), high speed pitch and roll damping (wings), and a HOST of other performance boat related issues that a seaplane, a drag boat, or a kilo boat never has to contend with.
Apples and Oranges.
Given the requirements of a performance pleasure boat and its wide range of operating envelopes, there are times when the boat benefits from additional design features in different locations on the hull. At the uper end of the design speed for a properly designed boat hull, the forward steps are generally out of the water, and hence, "not functionally there" making the hull a single step again. At lower speeds, the forward step can break hull friction further forward, this improving cruise efficiency. Other hull features can be optimized to assist in turning, in rough water handling, in launch and reentry behavior, and in low speed cruise situations.
It blows my mind to see somebody insist that one particular design principle is the BEST for a SLEW of different applications. There is knowledge and understanding in this position, but there is not application and comprehension.
An engineer's job is to observe, gather data, comprehend, assess problem areas, develop an improvement goal, research options, consider possible solutions, select the best option for the goal, and develop effective application of it.
Not choose a proven solution from ONE sector and take the position that it is the PROPER solution for other sectors.
I deal with "engineers" who think like this on a weekly basis.
Education is wonderful. Knowledge is wonderful. You can buy both of those with money and time.
Experience is priceless, and simply cannot be bought. It must be earned.
Thassall I got for this one.