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Old 03-20-2004, 09:20 PM
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Default Steve Stepp Was Involved...

In O.P.C.(outboard performance craft) racing in the sixties & early seventies like a lot of us were. He raced in "F" class, step/pad bottom Critchfield's, Allisons, against step/pad bottom Hydrostream's, designed by Howard Pipkorn, etc...Howard was way ahead of his time in hydro & aerodynamics, as they applied to vee-bottoms. These fast little boats are where you learn the details of set-up & fine tuning. Nobody had ever brought this to the world of offshore hulls until Steve adapted these bottom designs to his first 30' Velocity hull. This offshore version was sort of a hard sell for the first ten years or so, in the eyes of the big money Aronow boat company followers. His biggest volume seller was his 22' in the eighties, which was a little "war-horse" in the offshore racing circuit in "A" & "B" Class, and helped Steve's reputation as a serious offshore competitor. And to think Steve did'nt want anything to do with building a small boat, initially. His father helped convince him he needed an entry level boat to sell & loaned Steve $10,000 to make it happen. Steve very quickly was able to repay his father, due to the "little" boats popularity. How do I know this? Steve's father & I had a conversation about it, many years ago. A bit of Velocity history. Ed
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:25 AM
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Originally posted by LPA2106
...those old airplane "steps" were for a softer landing not to get the plane up guys...cause that always comes up...

Sorry, but you're wrong. One of the first things you learn when you get your seaplane rating.
The steps are there to break the suction of the floats to the water on takeoff when the aircraft is loaded to near gross-weight conditions. They also allow the aircraft to be taxied at a higher rate of speed if a lake crossing is necessary (hence the phrase taxiing 'on the the step'). It was discovered very early on (the 1920's and 30's) that it required up to 30% more engine horsepower to get airborne near gross weight without the steps on the floats. This was not acceptable to most aircraft design criteria.
The steps have very little effect whatsoever on the softness of the landing- that is all up to the pilot and landing technique (or expertise).
The only steps used on boats that are near to what has been utilized by Edo, PK, Aqua, etc. on their floats for 75+ years are those used in the boat designs of Harry Schoell.
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:37 AM
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This thread gets a little confusing (it 's early in the morning also) Are we talking about Steve Stepp or stepped hulls? I spent some time in the Velocity pits at the Orange Beach Worlds. Nice bunch of people and what a party they threw!! Nice Bus too!! I took my first ride in a Velocity this summer, a 26 with 2 V-8 Innovation Johnson O/B's........VERY FAST!!! We were in the Chesapeake Bay so the water was choppy and the ride was solid. The driver had a lot to do with that!! (Bob Powell).

All in All, I am impressed with the boat and the Organization all together!!
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:49 AM
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jafo's right about steps used on float planes.
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:57 AM
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My 280 Velocity runs 82 mph with a 500hp motor.It can reach that speed in around 20 seconds.The new 29 fountains seem to take that long to get on plain.In my opinion the Velocity is the best balanced all around sport cruiser.
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:59 AM
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acording to both boats published weight there is less then 1000 pounds difference not 2000 we have a 29 here that is very fast but the x has been raised 3 inches also a standoff box run a new 6 blabe with about1200 hpower runs 110 plus we also have a few velocitys running at 100 or close with less the 1000 hp both fast boats to me the fountain fells small to the velocity so size is also a factor here i have a overhead pic of the two sitting side by side velocity is bigger boat my 2 cents
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:20 AM
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My 390 was laid up heave because it did have 950s and no5s. We spent a ton of time at the lake testing props with Mike from halls prop.The boat is a real ***** to get on plain. It likes 32 hydros for top end and 30s for acceleration. Both sets custom for the boat and power.Thats with my 565s. With the 500s. we ran 30s.
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Old 03-21-2004, 12:54 PM
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Why would a pad bottom boat be considered a conventional "V". Straight bottom Cigarettes are conventional "V" bottoms .... pads are speed tricks just like steps.

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Old 03-21-2004, 02:35 PM
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There is no point in trying to resist progess and technological advance. Stepped hulls are definitely an advance. I have seen Velocity's ads where they say how stepped hulls spin out, barrel roll and ultimately cause boat loss. This may be true of badly designed stepped hulls but it must be said that a badly designed pad bottom or a badly designed straight-V will be just as catastrophic. So if Velocity are comparing their pad bottoms to poorly-designed stepped hulls which were around at the beginning of that concept, it's not a fair comparison. The truth is: put a well-designed conventional or pad V against a just as well-designed stepped V, the stepped one is faster and will be just as safe.

The spin-outs and rolls of stepped hulls are most probably results of other factors. Like super-aggressive X-dimensions for instance. If you try to squeeze that last straight-line mph out by running a Bravo virtually like a surface drive, you will experience instability in turns. And because of their ventilated nature, stepped hulls are more prone to this instability if the X-dimension is too high. Pad or straight Vs are more forgiving in this case and this is why, in my opinion, they have a "safer" reputation.

However, this has nothing to do with the hull design itself. If a stepped hull is designed and rigged correctly, with some sense of compromise between speed and cornering in mind, it will be perfectly safe while running faster than pad or straight Vs.

So, while I do believe that Velocity are pointing towards a problem area which does exist, I do not think that they have pinpointed the source of those problems correctly. Just because something happens with a stepped-hull boat, it does not necessarily follow that steps are to blame. Usually it's either because steps are not designed right or because the rigging isn't right.

In spite of all this, I do however believe that different hull designs provide different handling "feels". And I think that this is the main reason why some people advocate pads while others cheer for steps. This is a fairly subjective argument however so I don't think Velocity is glorified as a company by slinging mud at all stepped hulls. Just saying: "look guys, we build excellent pad bottoms which are safe, plenty fast and have that unique feel that you like" is enough to attract customers and preserve their market niche.
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:52 PM
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Well said, Too Old. I agree 100%. I do believe a stepped hull will be a bit faster but speed is only one of many criteria. We've already said that every boat is a compromise. What I'm looking for is the compromise which works best for me. And it could be anything, stepped or pad, beak or no beak, mono or cat... One always benefits from keeping an open mind about things and hull designs are no different...
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