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Who had the first (production) stepped hull?

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Old 09-15-2008, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by T2x View Post
We made some 21 Shadow vees with steps starting in 1980. Of course the Shadow Cat, from which the Chris Cat was made, also had steps starting in 1980.

However, for the record, Cougar Cats had steps a few years before that and OPC tunnel hulls had them going back to the early 70's. In addition Switzer Wings had steps, as did some other molded fibreglass and wooden in line 6 outboard cats and hydros going back to the mid 50's. Of course Stock Outboard, Inboard and Gold Cup "hydros" had them from the earliest part of the 20th Century ( A "Hydroplane" by definition is a stepped, 2, 3 or 4 point hull).

The bottom line is that steps in Offshore at any era after that division started (1959) were in no way "new" technology...and have been used more as a fictional marketing ploy rather than a real innovation regardless of who claimed "ownership". Reggie probably learned about them when Mercury and Billy Seebold put them on his Seebold tunnel hulls in 1973 or so, and I know the steps on our Shadows got a lot of attention on Long Island where the Hustlers were later built.

Steps were recognized as a speed advantage (for boats in the 40-60 mph range) to the point that the APBA had specifically made them illegal in the "stock", monohull classes of Outboard Performance Craft(OPC) racing from 1961 on....and many Offshore events were run in conjunction with OPC classes.... (Chicago-Milwaukee Race, Around Long Island Marathon, etc......)

The bottom line is there is little true significance in debating who the first guy(s) were to put steps on Offshore type hulls since they had been around for many decades prior to the first application in that genre.......and most of the designer/ builders knew all about them.

T2x
amen t2x you are right as usual . robbie
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:25 PM
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You're wrong. Harry wasn't born when the first stepped hulls hit the water.

T2x
Ok, Now lets get down to business.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:38 PM
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If you are looking for an early "Production" stepped Mono hull........

Here's one.....and not the only one.

circa 1961

T2x
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:15 PM
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I am always amazed at how this topic always morphs from "Who was the first to put steps on a hull?" to "Who was the first guy that I ever heard of (or had drinks with and have been duped into believing is an "icon").......who put steps on a hull?"

To a lot of our OSO members, it seems if it happened before you bought your first boat...or went to your first race...it didn't happen.



T2x
Thank you Sir. As always
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:15 PM
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If you are looking for an early "Production" stepped Mono hull........

Here's one.....and not the only one.

circa 1961

T2x
That's cool T2.. That's a lot like my Dad had in the mid -late 60's and I grew up on. Ours had no windshield, tho.
(WTF with me and winshield less boats?? )
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:15 PM
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Noah's early prototype
Now that's some serious offshore!
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:16 PM
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For sea planes?
Well, this thread sure took on a life of it's own. I figured that ole T2 would be jumping in here at some point. Nice archives of those old runabouts....memories.

To answer your question....no, not for seaplanes, the first patent issued was for a racing type hull that was basically a flat bottom with many steps built into it.

If the newbies would like some more info, check out a great book on marine design by Uffa Fox. A lot of racing stuff and a lot of offshore stuff is covered too.
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:22 PM
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Cat Killer has the BEST step set-up!! :-) The point is not to have steps, the point is to have a well balanced hull that runs fast in all kinds of conditions. Then steps are (in my point of view) neccesary. The one that spends most time and money with the best guys, wins.

I am amazed about how many boats that have "steps"... One Wellcraft I saw the other day had steps in the chines only, NOT the hull........
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:23 AM
  #39
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T2x - OK, i know you are not a fan of the modern stepped V hulls, and George Linder is, is this correct? Why do you not like them? and does this apply to Cats? And how old were you when the first time steps were used? (just kidding)
I love steps on cats and hydros...where they belong. I also think that steps could work on vee hulls by increasing hull efficiency at between 50 and 70 mph or so ( maybe faster on larger hulls)....WITH....proper skid technology (anti spinout mods)....... The issue I have with them is the B*llsh*t that the current manufacturers have put out regarding their speed increases and stability...... It's hogwash in most cases. IMHO.

George is no more a fan nor critic of them than I am.......It was my idea to try them on the 21 Shadow...The simple fact is that they didn't give us any real speed on a pad bottom....... and they created a deterioration in handling during turns.

T2x

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Old 09-16-2008, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Top Banana View Post
To answer your question....no, not for seaplanes, the first patent issued was for a racing type hull that was basically a flat bottom with many steps built into it.
We called them "shingles" back in the day when we were kids and racing small outboards out in the bay.........they were good for a few MPH on a flat bottom hull.

T2x
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