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Tips for driving stepped bottom boats

Old 06-17-2002, 05:33 PM
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Default Tips for driving stepped bottom boats

In reading the post about the Outerlimits that spun and sunk it got me to thinking about a few things. The first is that there are some do's and don't of driving a step bottom boat, the second is that if anyone is not 100 percent comfortable behind the wheel of their boat, then they need to get seat time, like we all say.

I thought it maybe a good idea to hear from some of the experienced step bottom boat owners on some of those do's and don't.

I know that I had about a three hour session with Pat of AT two weeks ago about drive position in turns, not letting off the throttles etc.

Lets hear some other tips in handling a step bottom boat, maybe it will help some others.
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Old 06-17-2002, 11:22 PM
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115 views and no posts?

Well my first tip is that you do not let off the throttle when going into a turn, you change the planing surface of the boat and may catch your step.
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Old 06-17-2002, 11:29 PM
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C'mon.. Treadwell tinsen should pipe up for this one, no sarcasm intended (For once) but nothing beats first hand knowladge. All I know is to eas up on the Tabs in a turn with a step bottom and keep the drives in the water. Other than that its a quick sighn of the cross and hang on!
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Old 06-18-2002, 12:38 AM
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Default Not that experienced but...

What I've learned from first hand driving, is that the boat behaves much better trimmed out and running on the step. When the nose is biting the water, the ride is not very pleasant... I'm still accumulating "seat time", and I'm sure there's a LOT more to learn. I've had many discussions with more experienced powerboaters about do's and don'ts. For example: In my boat you don't "trim down" in turns, or slowing down to idle, as much as other boats, as mine tends to list to the left (prop torque). I drive an '01 Warlock 25 World Class, and have been in a few "harrowing" situations, but with the help of this board, and some very experienced boatfriends I'm learning what to, and what not to do. I'm looking forward to seeing what other's have to say in this post!
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Old 06-18-2002, 12:41 AM
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Although I am not a step bottom owner, SEAT TIME is highly recommended. Other than that, why do so many feel they must turn a boat so hard at such a high speed? Unless you are on a closed course of competition, or something puts you in immediate danger of a collision, I don't see the purpose.

Twin engine config., use the throttles to get you through it. If you're turning to port, backoff the port engine, and vice versa. Feathering the throttles makes for an easier turn.

These are Offshore boats. We cannot expect them to turn like a Formula One tunnel boat. It just won't happen... Just my .02 worth...

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Last edited by SHARKEY-IMAGES; 06-18-2002 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 06-18-2002, 12:53 AM
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You are correct about not getting off the throttles in a turn. I found out the exciting way. I was running in a three-foot chop on Lake Michigan. I was running at 70with the boat set at 5.5 trim and no tabs. I had a sea gull appear out of no where so I cut the throttles and turned the wheel hard. If you have ever been in a Mastercraft you know what happened, a perfect washout. The boat came around in slow motion 180 degrees and stopped. Scared the hell out of the bird and me. On my boat you need to have the trim at 3, which is neutral, to bang a hard corner. Never back off the throttles in a corner. I think I read a post that the 37 likes positive trim in a corner. My boat has a 1" step, which is quite different from the 37 set up. Does the 37 run the props in or out?

Another difference is the step boats want to ride level. You don't get the bow lift that a regular deep-v gets when trimmed way up.

Those who PM you negatively are just jealous! Your boat looks great and after a little fine-tuning will be perfect.

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Old 06-18-2002, 01:17 AM
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well I just got my first stepped hull this year its a early Harry Schoell DDC 25' hull very much like a AT It rides great seams to handle well , the trim is a bit touchy blows out at speed, but that may be cause I'm still trying to find that sweet spot.
Its the first boat that I don't think I need trim tabs on it
I do wish I had found it with a big block. the 350mag is pretty good on the gas. speed is a little slow 52 GPS with a full tank
3 adults full cooler , 8 gal freshwater tank
If myself no water 1/4 tank running light is 56 gps
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Old 06-18-2002, 08:18 AM
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I agree with Sharkey, I usually don't see the need for turning real sharp. I heard that you should NEVER trim down in a turn with a step bottom. I usually trim down a little and let the boat react before entering the turn.
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Old 06-18-2002, 08:56 AM
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I have had several V bottom boats that you could crank about as hard as you wanted in a turn without consequence. About the only worry was having the prop blow out and come off plane. I am still getting seat time in my PQ340 (60 hours), but I am amazed at how well the boat will crank a turn. She feels like a V slower speeds. I too do not see the need to crank a high speed turn. At least, not yet. Fortunately, I have gotten over the habit of trimming down into the turn.

Sharkey, thanks for the tip about feathering the throttles. I will try that this weekend!

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Old 06-18-2002, 09:14 AM
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I don't worry about it - I have a Thoroughbred ... ...Steve Stepp got it right without having to ventilate the bottom.
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