Recently I had something happen while driving my new cat (26' Daytona) and I am not sure what it was. Considering my brief experience in the seat of a cat, I thought I would post this in hopes someone could offer sage advice.
Last Monday I took a lunch run down to the south end of Lake Havasu. On board was my neighbors parents, a rather experience senior couple (boat experience). We had departed at noon to make the 25 mile run. At the beginning, the wind was blowing about 15 mph, and the lake was chopped up (maybe one foot chop, no real swell pattern). The boat ran nicely at 50 mph, and by the half way point I was up to 65 mph (3,800 rpm). Nothing special on the way down. All my 16 hours in this boat to this point had been in glass-like conditions.
On the way back, around 1:30, the conditions were about the same until the last couple of miles. That is where we come around the island, and head for home across the biggest part of the lake. You run east to west until the end of the island and then head north. As soon as I came around the corner of the island I could tell it was going to be rougher. Looking across the lake I saw nothing but white caps and a definite swell pattern had formed (estimated two foot).
Considering my passengers were experienced and the conversation at lunch lead me to believe they enjoyed the ride down, I decided to keep the speed at 65 and see how the boat handled the rougher water.
Well it was certainly rougher. About every fifth or sixth swell, we got air. Nothing huge, but still air borne. I had only gotten air in this boat one other time and that was when a professional from Eliminator has driving. We were testing top end speed with the 26" Bravo's when we went across the rollers from a big tourist boat. Launched us three times, but always very flat and kind of a whoosh-like landing (don't know how else to describe it).
This time, the nose was coming up slightly and the landings were hard. On the fourth flight, we got the most hang time. The nose came up more (about as much as getting on plane), the transom tripped on the next swell, and the nose slammed down sending up a huge spray. I'm pretty sure we didn't stuff, the bow didn't penetrate anything. But I certainly didn't enjoy it! I slowed to 30 mph for the last mile to the marina and we all had a good laugh. But it was a rather nervous laugh!
* Is that normal?
* Was I going to fast considering the conditions.
* Do you cat drivers normally slow for those conditions?
* Is it possible I wasn't going fast enough (not up on enough air).
* I had it trimmed up a little more than normal, is there a way to trim for these conditions?
* Was I stupid?
welcome to the world of performance boating
My firehawk did the same thing when I hit the bigger waves I had it almost vertical once and came down sideways(scarey) . It is better to slow down when it gets that bad. The small suff is ok when you are floating back to the water on the air. But when the nise gets up there yo uland harder. take care Allen
My guess is too much trim. You need to go out by yourself and play in rough water so you get to know your boat before you run 65 in 2 footers. You should be able to haul ass in 2 footers in that boat.
Check your C/G (Center Of Gravity) . If the bow rises when airborne (boat rotates without outside influence), the C/G is too far aft and weight will have to be moved forward. Conversely, if the bow drops (that doesn't sound like your problem) ....weight should be moved further aft.......Trim is only an issue after wrong c/g is eliminated as a culprit. Perfect c/g means boat re-enters the water at the precise angle of attack it left at, when going airborne.
Isn't this the 25' cat with twin I/O's???????? That's gonna be difficult to balance.
One final rule a lot of builders don't comprehend............... The fuel tanks should be centered on the proper c/g so it doesn't change as you add or burn fuel. These are the basics that will save your life in the extreme conditions.................. Just like always spinning your props out.
I can run my 26' cat at Havasu in 2' chop at wide open throttle. The only time I have really had to totally back out of it was in 5'-6' chop on the lake when the wind was blowing hard. There was not a pattern like swells in the ocean, it was just nasty with white caps and holes everywhere and I could not keep the boat on top of it. If the boat is trimmed right 2' chop should not be a problem.
I think Cord hit the nail on the head,too much trim,
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