Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fleet - Videos of performance with Two Different Motors

As some of you already know, Fleet is a planing-hull derivative of my very successful Flint design. For some background you can look at this post and at this post.

Fleet awaiting more trial runs
Fleet was designed from the outset to perform well in the very speed/length ratio spectrum in which normal planing hulls are at their worst. By that I mean the so-called "semi-displacement" or "semi-planing" range - widely thought to be in the S/L ratio range of 1.5 to 2.5.

Speed/Length ratio is basically the speed of a boat (expressed in knots), divided by the square root of the waterline-length (expressed in feet) of the boat. So let us take Fleet as an example: -

  • LWL (length on the waterline) equals 14 feet
  • Assume S/L ratio of 2.5
  • Speed divided by 2.5 equals 3.74 (i.e. square root of 14 ft LWL)
  • Therefore, Speed in knots equals 2.5 times 3.74
  • Speed equals 9.35 knots (10.8 mph, or 17.3kph)
Now those speeds sound modest, but for a small boat like Fleet it represents a very satisfying speed indeed. More importantly, because this hull has been proportioned to operate within this S/L ratio, the boat trims well, instead of pointing her bow in the air like the standard planing hulls, which chew fuel at a high rate just to pull a large wake.

So far I've been able to carry out several test runs in Fleet using both a 9.8hp Tohatsu two-stroke and a 2hp Honda four-stroke. The 9.8hp Tohatsu is based on the powerhead from the 6hp and 8hp models, so is suitable for this light-weight boat. My next test will be using a 4hp motor, which I think is about the optimum size from an efficiency perspective. In my part of Australia, 4hp (2.9kW) is the largest motor allowed without boat registration.

Here are two Youtube clips - firstly using the 2hp Honda, with which I achieved a consistent 7.9 knots measured by GPS with my weight aboard, and 7.1 knots with my wife joining me (she only weighs 60kg/132lbs. The 9.8 Tohatsu gave 15.5 knots (17.8 mph or 28.6 kph) with two heavy men aboard plus gear.