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Canopied Factory Boats Good or Bad ?

Old 01-27-2002, 12:30 PM
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I agree with Steve Miklos above, I run so much harder testing with helmet and life vest
than without, I think with a canopy we would run even harder along with the rest of the
fleet. Most of the accidents involving boats hitting each other seem to be canopy boats. I
also agree with Randy, I would like to be strapped in, most all of the ejection I've seen left
the boat right side up but on the otherhand I would like to know what Bob Cristie and
Gregg? think after their flip in Key West.

Eddie Simmons
"If Things Seem Under Control, You're Not Going Fast Enough"
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Old 01-27-2002, 01:52 PM
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Well said MrOffshore, in the issue of driver safety, I don't understand why they wouldn't allow canopies on the boats.
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Old 01-27-2002, 03:02 PM
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My computer crashed 3 times before that post went up. I had a lot to say and I am under the gun. My typing skills are not what they need to be to keep up with thought.
harder because you feel safer.
faster because of aero advantage.
over their heads because of restricter style racing. no power = brake later carry speed into corner try not to lift. It is just a different disiplin.
I don't think it is fair to run canopy vs open.
i also don't think that a boat built 2 years ago has a chance besides luck and skill to beat a new one.
I feel that Steve is right about the seat.
I just think there is alot that can and will be done when the everyone puts their heads together.
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Old 01-27-2002, 04:27 PM
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Nascar still trys to make the cars "look" like street cars. But "Factory" style racing isn't that. I would think when they are making the comparisons to NASCAR it would be in the Super Classes. In the February PowerBoat magazine Reggie states that he took a tighter line through the corner because he was trying to catch a competitor, knowing that it was probobly too tight and the results speak for themselves.
As for the Advantage, and some of the other canopied pleasure boats, I believe Advantage started offering their 40 in a non-canopied version because the canopied one didn't sell. There should be a lot of old "A" class boats roaming around for example haven't seen too many of them even at a poker run. I think the majority of the teams that step up and start racing the Factory classes look at it as an entry level race boat (yes, I think they are dedicated race boats) but they can still go to a poker run, or out with some friends to have some fun. Also I would think a boat without a canopy would have a better chance of resale since you could change power, and put in a few items and it's back as a pleasure boat. In my opinion this would be important since technology would make some of them dinosours.
APBA gives you the option of running a canopied boat just not in those two classes. I wouldn't think it would cost any more to run SVL, or a P class. That's the way it is with lots of other sanctioning bodies. Take drag racing, if you feel it's safer to run an 1800lb dragster, rather than a 2500lb door car or rodster there are only certain classes that you'd be allowed to run, so why should powerboat racing be different ?
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Old 01-27-2002, 05:27 PM
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Thumbs down

Nascar dosn't allow convertables do they??
are belt madnatory? hmmmmmm?
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Old 01-27-2002, 05:32 PM
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Mr. Offshore very well said and through. Rumrunner you use an example of the drag cars. Can you name me one class that the driver isn't required to be strapped in?
Even the local Saturday night tracks every car has a roll bar and other safety precautions.
How many serious injuries and deaths in F1 and F2, hom many in all the other classes? How many in the Factory classes could have been prevented?
You guys remember when Adib was thrown out of his boat with MA driving? Maybe it was or wasn't the boat, but would he have been thrown if strapped it?
We used all the same old arguments in hydros, OPC. A few months ago 2 flat bottom drivers were killed in open boats.
How many more deaths will it take?
Ever go out to dinner with a friend and his family. Race the next day and spend the next night at the hospital because his son died? Try burying a 20 year old and putting his first trophy in his casket. then tell me it isn't worth it.
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Old 01-27-2002, 05:55 PM
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"Speeds in the 90 mph range" in Factory class racing. Think about that. Not so long ago, the premier classes were running that fast. While the issue of canopy vs. non-canopy and what is "production" can be debated endlessly, how about putting some thought into a little less speed? It won't prevent accidents, and in a level-playing-field class like the Factory classes, the drivers will still push to the limits and crash, but everything will happen with less speed and energy. Slowing an object down by 10% reduces its kinetic energy by 19%. Sure, you can get hurt just as bad at 70 as you can at 80, but the odds are definitely more in your favor.

Bravo drives can't handle the power of HP500's anyway, and are actually contributing to the carnage. It's time to ditch HP500's for 496HO's in the Factory classes.
Retired! Boating full-time now.
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Old 01-27-2002, 06:03 PM
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For what it is worth. I have never raced a canopied boat, however, I have crashed (MAJOR STUF***E) in an open cockpit boat. many great points have been brought up here to argue both ways. To say the least the decision is a difficult one. Although no answer to this situation is an easy one, here is my opinion on the subject.

First, keep in mind that when ever you get into a race boat (or any motor vehicle for that matter) you are taking a calculated risk. That risk has many parts to it. First you MUST understand and be willing to ACCEPT those risks and their potential consequences EACH AND EVERY TIME you climb aboard. If you are NOT willing to assume those risks you have NO BUSINESS being in that boat to begin with. Agreed, the risks you take include but are not limited to the potential for error on your own part, error on the part of a fellow competitor, and the consistantly inconsistant body of water your racing on. Again, if you ARE NOT willing to assume these dangers DO NOT RACE!

Next, remember, when you race you are making a CONSCIOUS decision that no one else is making for you. If racing in a boat that is not equipped with a canopy is NOT ACCEPTABLE to you then DO NOT RACE IT! If you feel that racing in a canopy is better for you than race in a different class. There is no reason that people who are willing to assume these dangers need to change their boats for a select few. All the talk about racing harder etc. is all well and good but if you are not comfortable veing out there in an unrestrained boat than don't do it.

I think FACTORY racing is and has been the best thing for this sport in a great many years. These boats may be built on light side and have more attention payed to them for maximum speed, but remember, these ARE FACTORY boats. Anyone can buy them for their pleasure use. I am the FIRST person to scream sfaety first. I take all the necessary precautions in my personal boat. But nonetheless I am still taking a risk.

So I guess from my perspective the answer is this: Want to race a canopied boat don't race F1 or F2.

Great thread guys.

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Old 01-27-2002, 06:58 PM
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To all that have contributed to this thread thank-you. It provokes deep thought and is a forum for different opinions. This will always be an issue with varying opinions. Remember when motorcycle helmet regs became common place.

No true racer wants to see themselves or another racer get hurt. Why do you think that even in the heat of competition a true racer will stop on the scene of an accident or block oncoming traffic. The issue of canopy vs non will take many more years to stabilize, but I believe as racers become even more professional and competitive than today (yes it will happen)the movement towards canopied boats will ultimately prevail.

We need to recognize that our sport is still in relative infancy and growing maturity. The APBA recognizes that today the vast majority of racers "foot the bill" for the pure pleasure of competion. So there are many, many boats for recreational or resale or factory availability reasons that will prevail in the open class and consequently to have a sport we need to feature these boats. Early stock car racing was exactly that "stockcar" then growth and professionalism created what we know as Nascar today.

The other hindrance to a conopied takeover is that many racers have never had the opportunity to actually spend time in a canopied boat .... but that is changing! Once you do the effect, safety, etc becomes all to apparent. It's only ego's and a pocketbook that won't allow a race only boat configuration to guide their thinking.

There are other ways to create excitement in racing. The APBA with parity rules and the new classes are moving the sport forward, but also not chasing those that need time to change for whatever their own personal reasons to still stay active. The new classes are the way of the future!

Good Luck and safe racing to all in 2002!
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Old 01-27-2002, 08:53 PM
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