Well the good news is... a couple of years ago on this very forum the predominant opinion was that stepped hulls were just as safe as non-stepped. So the forces of reason are making some progress.Originally Posted by Spitfire1
As to the speed......... Call me crazy but what was the HP and laminating schedules technology in use before the stepped hull craze?
To compare an epoxy, vacuum bagged, Hering propped, 1300 hp Sterling, stepped Outer Limits...... to a non stepped, hand laid( heavy), 700 HP, old style propped, #5 drive equipped Apache or Cigarette seems to be the vogue.
But in any tests we conducted...... equal power, weight, technology, we could not detect any speed increases. Granted this was done in the 80's, but Linder and I attempted to be as precise as possible. As a matter of fact without proper venting the steps were actually slower than the standard hulls. Suddenly, manufacturers are claiming 10-15% increases....... But , were the props the same?....The weight?..... The HP? I must dismiss any manufacturers "numbers" after they have invested 6 figures in mold modifications...and equal amounts in advance publicity. Bit I do clearly recall Powerboat testing a 33 Formula SC (a hull that I am familiar with)....and showing approximately 60 mph with the stepped version...... The non stepped version we ran a few years before with equal power and identical Bravo 2's....ran approximately...... 60 mph.... and turned like it was on rails.
Also please note that both Sutphen and Velocity set Factory kilo records long after the stepped Fountains, OL's and Formulas arrived on the scene..... Since then the records have gone up but they are no longer challenged by Sutphen (who basically left the sport) and Velocity has backed down considerably. Certainly, ever more sophisticated hull construction, props, and the newer HP/Vortec engines have also played a part in increased speeds as well.
I hear these stepped claims....but I still ain't buying. If you want max speed in a monohull...get it rocked back and up on a pad. If you want to go 160+ put big after planes on it, trim against the tabs. and be sure your life insurance is paid up.