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Who has stuffed a boat?

Old 11-13-2001, 02:08 AM
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Post Who has stuffed a boat?

I'm looking for information that may be valuable to anyone who has never done it and may in the future. Type of boat (i.e., Vee/cat, length,), water conditions and speed, describe the experience, tips to minimize danger to driver and passengers. Please be thorough and help others learn from your experience. Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2001, 09:07 AM
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Don’t know if stuffing counts on a river. Not the same as an ocean wave. I have stuffed my Force 235 three times on a barge wake. Some of the barges have rollers that can be about 4to 5 feet and if you catch them just right you are stuck. Three to four is not that large but they are nearly vertical and the last ones are 3 to 4 apart where previous waves were 10 to 12. First one or two get started and then wham! Nose goes through it like a wood splitter. Wave goes clean over the bow and windshield, if you look up all you can see is water over the cockpit about a foot thick. I have seen a boat sunk by these. Most tows leave a similar wake that extends rearward, some will throw more to side depending upon load, speed, draft, currents etc. The large wake is created by combining of bow wake and a 60” prop turned by 14,000 hp. Typical scenario would be about 40 to 45 mph. Bounce through a couple and then see the monster wall. It is too late to slow down much because then you will slam it midsection as you are skipping off the previous waves. Chop the throttle and trim down, back into the gas as the bow enters the wave.

When this happens the boats attitude is somewhat level. Hang on and don’t back out of the throttle or else that wall will land right on top of you. Firm grip on the helm and throttle, warn passengers to duck and hang on. If you power through the wall the water will go over top and you will emerge on the other side. Once clear of the water overhead pick a direction and turn away slightly while slowing to avoid a rinse and repeat. I have considered adding a brace to the center section of the windshield as that is what deflects the water over and not into the cockpit. Not exactly the situation you are asking about but if you ever catch yourself slamming a huge cruiser wake or such shutting down while in the middle of it can be bad if the bow has already entered it and washing over. Powering on raises the bow somewhat and keeps forward motion. You are looking to accelerate through it (from a reduced speed) and not let it stop you.

Tim T.

[ 11-13-2001: Message edited by: cpqtim ]
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Old 11-13-2001, 09:24 AM
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November 1996, Key West, Pro-Stock Class. We were chasing down KAMIKAZE, a 32 Skater from Puerto Rico, it was Wednesday and the first day of the Worlds. We were battling for the lead on the final lap. Heading out of Mallory Square out toward turn one, we had the inside and Kamikaze had the outside. We turn in to the "WALL" (anyone who has ever raced Key West knows what I am talking about), as we head down the back striaght away which is always the roughest part of that race we launched, tripped and stuffed. We took the deck completely off and ruined the structural integrity of the boat. I was driving. It was a 30 foot Shadow Cat that actually had no trimming capabilities but it was VERY FAST for it's age and ran really well in the rough. We were light years ahead of the third place boat, and ironically Kamikaze was DISQUALIFIED for illegal engines! Hmmmmm. Makes you wonder if we would have slowed down how would things have been changed? Anyway, I have never stuffed a vee nor my 24 Skater and quite frankly I hope I never stuff again! If you run a cat one of the primary things to remember in avoiding a stuff is that you do not want to back off the throttles too early when coming off a wave. This will cause the bow to drop quickly and from there all bets are off. Trim angle is extremely important in any boat, cat or vee. However, there is no rule of thumb as to how far you can trim. Each boat is unique in its set up, design, weight distribution, whether or not you have a ballast tank, trim planes, prop selection, x-dimension etc. All of these factors will have an effect on how the boat will react coming off a wave and hence the likelihood of stuffing. The best advice I can give is to get some seat time at slow speeds and see how your particular boat handles, flies and lands. There is no standard from which you can fine tune, you really need to run your boat and if you are unsure ask someone with more experience to go out with you. After some time you will get to "feel" how the boat is running and whether you need more or less trim, more or less tab etc. I hope this helps. Good luck!


[ 11-13-2001: Message edited by: Shane ]
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Old 11-13-2001, 09:34 AM
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In a Vee racing "SHOCKWAVE" 80+MPH in a Maryland race. Duck as the water rushes the bow, hold on tight because the boat can make a sharp turn left or right which ever side has less water pressure, when props re-enter go to wide open throttle to raise the bow. In the Maryland race we took an unexpected hard left but recovered just in time with turning hard to starboard and just missed from hitting Art Lilly's boat.
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Old 11-13-2001, 11:18 AM
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Tripped my 25 AT right out in front of Jenkinsons, Pt Pleasant NJ. Was running it with a lunatic friend getting big air. We were with out doubt pushing it. running boat in the 70's in 3-5 foot swells with a 30+ foot span. We were launching off the first wave using the second to land leaving just enough room to charge the third, and repeat. We caught a set of BIG waves and could clear the top. The back of the boat tripped on our intended landing and came to a very abrupt hault when we nosed the next. Didnt actually submerge the nose but the water being thown from the bow was hairy. If the bow was 12" shorter we would have been in trouble.
Not something I would ever want to do again but getting a rythum going like that is a major major rush (run was clean from Barnaget Inlet all the way through Bay Head). So with a little luck and a bunch-o-skills I hope next time isnt more serious. I would also never subject anyone to this type of ride that didnt fully understand the risk.
Be careful, Beware and Be Fast.
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Old 11-13-2001, 11:42 AM
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I stuffed my 22 Velocity coming in the Manasquan Inlet after the July Offshore Race...the water was real big, especially at the mouth of the Inlet, so there was a mad rush to get in when the race was over...I kinda 'surfed' on the top of one, and it dropped us right into the next!...I knew we were about to eat-it, yelled hold on to my crew and nailed it..

Shot right out the other side into the middle of the inlet!! injuries..laughed our asses-off!!

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Old 11-13-2001, 01:45 PM
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I came real close towards the end of the season.

I was running (racing) a 38 Cig and a 31 Scarab in following 2-3 footers (with an occasional hole) I had just passed the Cig and was reeling the Scarab in , I was around 77-78mph. Now I have 300 hours of seat time in this boat, and I always run the boat with at least 3/4 full tank of gas. The boat has a low "x" so I need to trim it to the moon to get the top speed. Well at this time the boat had a 1/4 tank and I had it trimmed about 3/4 of the way . Well not having the added weight of gas must really change the cg of the boat because just as i was passing the Scarab I hit a hole , I had seen it coming and yelled to my passenger as I was bringing the trim in.
Well we were going too fast and next thing I know the bow is straight up in the air. I actually had time to say to myself " I screwed up and this is going to hurt " then I felt the transom trip and watched the bow plow into the water. It was a mini-stuff for lack of a better term , the water came over the bow but not over the windshield. We were doing about 60 when it was done, I can't believe how much speed was scrubbed off. Well no one got hurt, (my passenger was stuck under the bolster so i had to help him up) and I learned how quickly things can get out of control.
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Old 11-13-2001, 06:50 PM
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Was with Bodyshot1 when he did it Unfortunatley i had my head turned and he didnt yell loud enough!
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Old 11-13-2001, 08:35 PM
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ah, c'mon Vin..we needed to cool off anyway!!
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Old 11-13-2001, 08:37 PM
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Been there done that call for onboard camera footage
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