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Canopied Factory Boats Good or Bad ?

Old 01-27-2002, 09:15 PM
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I like the bottom template idea and am a huge fan of canopied factory boats. I mean keep the engines sealed and the bottoms the same. After all as I passed by the local Chevy dealer today I didn't see anything that resembled Jeff Gordon's car?
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Old 01-27-2002, 10:07 PM
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Lets face it.Until the racer refuses to climb in one,the manufacture can sell one like it,the sanction body sees its fleet depleeting because of it. Things will not change, Safety as a priority should not be placed before profit....but it is!
Factory 1 ,2 racers are the best of the best,
they are the experts at reading water conitions,setting up,and executing turns at speed in an open enviornment knowing every turn is the best they can do and stay in the thing.
So is taking the racers choice a viable consideration?At least letting them choose what type is safer to there team and best for their factory support effort?Is there a safe coexistance?SBI has proven yes!
If they ,on an equal basis are proven faster,as in power,weight,length,then the natural evolution of racer thinking kicks in!
If I want to keep up I need one of those!

They are racers ,they'll step up!

[ 01-27-2002: Message edited by: Clackster ]
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Old 01-28-2002, 08:18 AM
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C_Spray is exactly right about the drives being a weak point that ultimately can and will cause an accident. Reducing to the 496HO surely is a good idea that I think the sanctioning bodies should consider.

However, I stand behind behind my original post about ASSUMING THE RISKS! Although I think MrOffshore has the best of intentions it appears that anything short of a full canopied boat is unnaccetable to you.

Racing is dangerous and safety precautions NEED to be taken. However, like I said earlier, if racing in a canopy is important go Super Vee Light or Super Vee. Leave the options available to others. I for one if running at high speed require all passengers in my skater to wear life jacket (lifeline) and in a poker run, radar run, or fun run where there are other participants pushing it hard to wear helmets as well.

Again, ANY form of racing is a CALCULATED risk that needs to be accepted. I think this is a great thread that will hopefully open many eyes, i.e. Mercury and the Sanctioning Bodies and the Bravo Failure situation and maybe stepping down to a 496HO which again is a great idea.
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Old 01-28-2002, 01:16 PM
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According to the rules, A Factory race boat must use the same mold as those used to produce their recreation counterparts. Most factory race boats are better rigged, built lighter and use stronger materials, but they are the same boat hull and deck as the ones on the showroom floors.
Now, add canopies and it no longer the same boat as those in the dealerships. It was stated that Winston Cup cars are nothing like the family ride, but even NASCAR requires these cars to have the same lines as the original showroom floor model.
Yes, Open cockpits may be more dangerous, but as a Factory 1 racer, I understand and accept that risk. If canopies are allowed in Factory class, most of the manufacturers currently involved in factory class racing will simply get out of racing, or build boats for P class.
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Old 01-28-2002, 02:52 PM
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Okay, I have a stupid question, and I kinda think I have an answer, and maybe this was answered earlier, but do canopies give an added advantage? Speed and aero wise? And if so, then it is different and maybe should be broken out in its own class, and is another class really what you need...just a question...

[ 01-28-2002: Message edited by: Boat Girl ]
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Old 01-28-2002, 03:04 PM
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The aerodynamic effects are debateable. The point has been argued pro and con with no definitive answers as of yet. Some will argue it does make a boat faster others say no. I for one do not know but would imagine that the possible effects of aerodynamic efficiency will be closely or fully negated by increased weight thereby noticing little to no increase in speed. As far as another class? NO WAY! The sport DEFINITELY does NOT need another class. There are too many classes to begin with.
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Old 01-28-2002, 03:17 PM
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Nascar cars only look like regular cars. We all know that under the fiberglass body panels the similarities end and a fully specialized race car with full roll cage is exposed.

Since expense is the issue, the question is
"how much am I willing to spend in the name of safety?"

I suppose the bigger issue is, how do we get to the point were sponsors pay a few million a year so that real advancements can be made in the name of of safety.

Reducing the professional racing classed down to no more than 4 and then having the other boats run in more divisional events may be a start in the right direction.

But no more classes!!!!!!!
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Old 01-28-2002, 03:18 PM
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Thanks, I know there are a lot of classes...another one...oh jeez was my thought, but a boat like an outerlimits without a canopy, isnt it heavier that say a canopied fountain??? I dont know??? I think the hull design is definetly more critical to speed than the aero of a canopy, but I could be wrong...Anyone??
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Old 01-28-2002, 04:05 PM
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As you can tell I am a staunch supporter of safety. You can't debate safety with me as to accepting risk. If a driver goes out to race and consciously thinks about the risk accepting it or not that is a driver I can beat on the race course. As drivers we don't think about the risks, not really. Because it isn't going to happen to us.
With the different manufacturers and all the quality aftermarket manufacturers out there a "drop in" safety cell, canopy deal could be developed. This could be a one design that could be made to fit any boat. Run the hull design and deck design use templates to ensure compliance but allow canopies and safety "cells"
When we watch a race boat, race car or even motorcycle we accept the fact that these machines are not exactly like the models we buy on the show room floor. So when we watch an offshore race we would accept that these are essentially stock boats with safety changes only. I think anyone would recognize and understand that.
If the purpose is to run your boat in a race on Saturday and hit the bar or go cruising in it on Sunday, maybe you will need to change your thinking. But if you are really serious about winning your boat would never hit the bar circuit on Sunday.
Does Reggie Fountain think having canopied boats will hurt his sales?
Let raceboats be raceboats.
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Old 01-28-2002, 04:12 PM
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Having raced an open cockpit boat for almost three years and now running an enclosed one, I for one feel much safer. My guess is that a rollover or spinout, and you leave the boat, that the chances that you get hurt or worse is about 50%. Enclosed the chances are under 5%. As far as speed differences look at the Yachts International boat and Team Virgin, their speeds are almost identical. Reggie spends mucho money on bottom design, drive heights, ect. and that computes to more speed. Going into a turn requires clearing of both sides whether open or closed, so is not the case in the accident between Rio and Planetman. If the Rio had looked before making their turn the accident may have been avoided. The thought of running over your head in a canopy boat is not the case because if you want to run up front we all run over our heads. So the choice is up to you. Run SBI with canopies or APBA without.
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