Monday, November 10, 2014

Getting the water out of your boat.

A neighbor and friend of mine has a 1991 Master Craft Outboard.  He called me the other day and said his boat has a bad crack in it and could I take a look at it.  So I did expecting to find a crack in the transom area as typically these boats crack in the back after a while when a more powerful and heavier outboard motor has replaced the original engine.  This was not the case though as this boat is cracked in the hull area but on the inside of the boat. There are other smaller cracks all over that don't show up in the pictures. The boat must have been stored with water under the floor which froze and the fiberglass cracked. When the owner picked up the uncovered boat from the dealer where it was for winterizing there was enough water in the boat that the battery compartment had water in it.  YIKES!

Obviously this isn't good.  The big problem is that water has soaked into the floatation foam under the floor.  During the summer water weeps out of the cracks. Every time the boat freezes in cold storage the more cracking is likely to occur. I suggested the owner weigh the boat and try to determine how much water the boat may have absorbed.

The fix can be very expensive.  It requires taking out the floors and removing the fiberglass surface (liner) and then scraping out all the water soaked foam. Install new foam, new fiberglass and then reinstall the floors. If  the cracks are just fixed chances are the cracking and others will happen every winter the boat is cold stored.

So make sure you get all the water out of your boat before you store it.  I do this by parking the boat and trailer on a steep incline at my boat landing and pulling the plug.  I patiently watch water slowly trickle out of the engine and wait if any water comes out of the hull drain plug until it has stopped.

While on my boat lift the drain plug is removed from the boat and the bow of the boat is higher than the drain plug on my lift.  Keep in mind that the bilge pump will not usually remove all the water from a boat. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Used Hydrodyne for sale

My friend has an original 20' (19' 4" actual) Hydrodyne Open Bow for sale. Daughter is the only skier so with her graduating from college and likely to get a job out of the area he won't need a water ski boat anymore.

Boat should clean up nice. Interior is rough but useable. Has a cover which is OK but not great.

1997 Mercury 225 EFI.  He tells me it ran good this summer.

Boat isn't centered on the trailer so it looks odd. I have some used trailers available that I would consider making a deal on if you don't like the included trailer.

Looking for $7000 or a serious cash offer.

Call: 715-854-7501 and leave a message

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Dyna-Ski Model?

I have been thinking about adding a new model to the Dyna-Ski line up. The model would be based on the old 18' model called the Blitz Boat. The old Hydrodyne boat company was way ahead of the rest of the world with some of their product offerings.  Sadly most of the molds were buried, destroyed or something and no longer seem to exist. The old Blitz Boat is about the same size as the 17.6 Open Bow and fit nicely on one of my lifts I have for 17.6 Dyna-Ski Boats.  I'm partial to the Port-A-Lift brand and I have four that I purchased used over the years of searching CraigList.

I somehow got a nice scan of an original brochure for the boat which was a member of the Hydrodyne Flat Top Family.  I honestly don't remember where I got the information from. I also have a 24' Hydrodyne Outboard Flat Top that is waiting for a future use and not for sale.  Sorry!

The old Blitz Boat is rated for 100 hp and I had an older good running Evinrude 85 hp available so I replaced the 85 hp Chrysler that came with my purchase found on the internet. I actually sold the old Chrysler engine. We put on new Evinrude controls and rigging using a 6 gallon gas can with the engine which requires oil to be mixed with the gasoline. Unfortunately the motor has no power trim or tilt yet. Transom is OK but not great and the boat seems pretty solid given its age. It is not a light boat by any means.

The boat had the side rails like the ones pictured on the brochure which I removed and saved because I did not like them on this boat for my intended use.  I have the ski pylon for the boat but removed it for my testing so far.  It appears easy to remove and install. The boat has a nice small wake very similar to the Dyna-Ski 17.6 Open Bow. The first Blitz Boat I saw several years ago did not have the railings on it. The boat was used as a pickup boat at the Division II Show Ski Nationals by the Silver Lake Ski Team.

It won't be cheap to build a new mold and I would most likely use the same hull mold that is used for the 17.6 Open Bow to keep the development cost down.  This would make the wake very similar to the excellent small ski wake that the popular 17.6 Open Bow has.

So what do you think?  Would you buy one?  
How much should it sell for water ready with a 90 hp motor and a decent trailer?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wrap Around Rear Seat

All great things often take time.  Sometimes to much time perhaps?  We first offered wrap around rear seating in the 17.6 Closed Bows.  I was not perfectly happy with the rear seating so I never mentioned the option unless asked.  We finally made time to build fiberglass bases for the wrap around seats and did it right.  The fruits of our efforts are now available on all models of Dyna-Ski Boats.  One thing I noticed about white boats is they look much better in person than in pictures. This Dyna-Ski Boat looks awesome.

20' Open Bow Dyna-Ski with a single color white interior.

The rear seat as it looks from the passenger bench.

Passenger Bench Seat

Behind the drivers bucket seat

Behind the passenger seat

In the 20' Open Bow with the Sun Deck there is so much storage space you will forget where you put things just like my garage!

The Open Bow seating is the same on all models.

 This Dyna-Ski 20' Open Bow is powered by an Evinrude 225 HO.
Motor easily pushes the boat at 54 mph with a 4 blade 17" pitch water ski prop.
Optional extra swim platform is on the left side.

Hydraulic tilt steering, GPS Speedometer, trim, fuel, water pressure & voltage all monitored.

This Dyna-Ski is headed for a salt water user so it rides on a special Phoenix Trailer.

Full length bunks, bow stops, keel roller, swing tongue, vertical side guides, the works!

Time to purchase your last boat perhaps?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Boat Lifts information and insights

I own seven boat lifts. I like the aluminum cantilever style as I live on a shallow lake. Cantilever lifts go lower than vertical lifts generally, they are easier to repair and usually less expensive to purchase new or used.  Four of them are Port-a-Lift by Port-a-Dock.  I bought them all used finding most on CraigsList.   Two have bunks and two have the standard boat support system.  The longer bunks support the boat better and also seem to be easier to keep the boat level on the lift.  One has a canopy.  Two have 2000 lbs capacity (for 17.6's) and two have 2600 lbs capacity (20' models with one engine). The most notable difference of the two different capacity lifts are the winches. The Hydrodyne on the left is my friend's 1989 and my 1987 is on the canopy lift. We float all the lifts into place during the spring and winch them out in the fall after loosing them from the sandy bottom with a big mechanical jack.  The same jacks I use to level the docks. It is about 36" to 40" at the end of my dock.  We sit or hop off the dock and ski away with standard length water ski ropes.

The width of the bunks should be about the same as the boat trailer bunks.  If possible I like the bow of the boat a little higher than the stern so the water drains out easier. The bilge pump won't empty the bilge completely on most boats.  I take the plug out when the boat is on the lift after we are done skiing.
2600 lbs lift with full length bunks.

Often times the winch is bigger on the higher capacity lifts while the aluminum frame and bracing looks to be the same size.  

Below is the winch on a 2000 lbs capacity lift.

Below is the 2600 lbs lift winch.

I have added treated lumber deck boards to my lifts.  They run the full length of the lift. It is a cheap sort of safety step. I would not suggest putting a great deal of weight on the area as it isn't designed as a load bearing surface according to the manufacturers. The single board makes it hard to fall between the dock and the boat.

Boat covers are not water proof but they keep most of the water out of the boat though which is why my boat has a cover and canopy.    WARNING:  A canopy can turn into a sail so when the boat is not on the lift a good wind may move the lift along ways.  I install my canopy on the lift after the boat is in the lake for the ski season. I remove it when the boat is taken out in the late fall.  Installation tip: It is easier to stand on the boat raised up on the lift and install the cover than any other way I have tried.  I use plastic wire ties to secure the canopy to the frame.  I tend to lose the re-useable ones.

If you are looking at used lifts there often is a capacity sticker or model number on them.

This is a 2600 lbs lift with the standard boat support system.

The covers for the aluminum lift poles are 3" PVC pipe with covers.  I use them on my dock poles also. I notch the bottoms on some of them so they can hang down further than the dock would allow.  My docks are all roll in docks.  They all have 3 sets of wheels.  One set of wheels is on the shore end and they all have hinged 8' ramps. One dock is home made, one dock is an expensive store bought one and the 3rd is a used dock that was a great deal from a dealer that he took in trade.  My shore line has a gentle slope to the water so I can wheel the docks all straight in and out making weight not much of a concern. Docks are all hinged in the middle so less stress is placed on the bolted together sections of dock. The bigger dock with the slips the wing docks unbolt and wheel in to shore. I'll do an article on docks if enough people ask. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Adaptive Speed Control and Inboard or Outboard boat motor?

I was reading a magazine called Boating Industry. In an article called "Launch" about new engines a portion of it focused on Mercury's new purpose-built marine engine a 4.5L V-6 250 horsepower sterndrive. The article also included the Evinrude G2 and new Suzuki outboard motors.

The two parts I found very interesting was the statement made by David Foulkes vice president of product development at Mercury.  He says about automobile engines in boats "it has made it difficult to fit an auto engine to the needs of boaters. The way auto engines are designed bear virtually no relation to the way a marine engine is operated". A thought I have shared for many years.

So it seems that outboard engines were the only engines designed for use in boats up until Mercury's new purpose-built marine engine the 4.5L V-6 250 horsepower sterndrive.   

The second and more interesting perhaps statement was that the motor has what they call "Adaptive Speed Control (ASC) which automatically maintains the set RPM point regardless of load or condition changes, such as tight turns, tow sports and lower speeds on plane. This is a big step in the right direction for water skiing.  Now if only Evinrude would apply it to their line of engines and Mercury would expand it to include their OptiMax engines as it is only an option on the Verado line.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fine Tuning a water ski boat

I have logged a lot of hours in outboard powered Hydrodyne and Dyna-Ski Boats since the mid 1970's. Most of the time pulling water skiers doing all sorts of things including kites and parasails. Pulling a lot of skiers or a flying skier/person requires thinking ahead.

I take for granted that people know that they can fine tune a boat.  Most any boat can be fine tuned to some degree. To what extent you want to go is only limited by time and dollars you are willing to spend.

One of the easiest ways to fine tune a boat is using weight.  I like using vinyl coated weights that are used for weight lifting.  The weights can be purchased fairly cheap and some folks have them lying around the house already.  Lots of ski clubs use 50 - 70 lbs sand bags and I have seen lead shot used and even V-8 engine cylinder heads.  If you use weights just make sure they cannot shift easily.  Placing them on the floor under seats is a good place to put them.  Ski teams put them under the closed bow boats around and in front of the gas tank to help balance the boats multiple engines. Ski teams also use people in the boat often times while pulling bigger acts to help keep the high side of the boat down when making turns.  The longer new style Dyna-Ski boats don't seem to need this as much as the older shorter Hydrodyne style boats. The nice thing about using people is the additional weight is not always in the boat and it can be moved around somewhat.

In an open bow Dyna-Ski I like to add some weight to the nose of the boat under the front bow seat. In a closed bow it can be placed in the front of the boat also. It is harder to do in the closed bow as someone has the crawl under the bow.  I suggest you start with 50 - 70 lbs and adjust as you like.  I run about 100 lbs in the nose of my single motored boats.  Ski team's will use upwards of 850 lbs in some boats. Keep in mind that three 250 HO motors weigh 1600 lbs plus batteries & oil tanks to pull lots of skiers so weight is needed. I know more than one ski team driver that uses weight to balance the boat from side to side as he outweighs his passenger and likes the feel of a balanced boat.  It is not an exact science and subject to the taste of the primary driver in most cases.  Dyna-Ski boats has also put permanent weight under the floor of the boat below the gas tank when building a boat for customers that ask.

The easiest and cheapest thing to do is remove the pin that limits the travel of the motor down assuming the motor will not hit the hull of the boat.  The motor won't hit the hull on Dyna-Ski Boats.  Removing the pin allows the motor to be trimmed down more which helps keep the bow of the boat down. Top picture below is with the pin in and the lower is with the pin out and transom wedges.  More on transom wedges later.

The two methods of tuning above cost little to nothing.  The next steps require money.  Dyna-Ski boats are designed to accelerate with the bow down and run level with very little motor trimming required. At higher speeds trimming the motor up a little reduces bow steer and makes the boat easier to drive. When you slow down and turn to pick up a skier with a Dyna-Ski Boat the bow comes up a little which helps keep everyone dry in the boat.

Having the best prop on any boat for the engine and use makes a huge difference. I am assuming the outboard motor height is correct on the transom. Correct motor height is an article for another day perhaps? I like four blade props for Dyna-Ski Boats.  The best one for the V-6 on a 17.6 is a 15" pitch four blade.  The lower the pitch the more power that is available.  The higher pitch props give more speed but less acceleration.  A bow lifter prop on a water ski boat will make the boat hard to hold steady at slower speeds towing skiers.  Most of the twin and triple motored boats we build for ski teams have 4 blade 15 pitch props.  There are some older 3 blade props that work pretty well but most are not readily available new.  The four blade 17 pitch is also a very good prop on a 200 or bigger engine on a 20' Open Bow.  The 17 pitch gives a little more speed than a 15 pitch.  It comes down to driver preference in many cases on a 20' Open Bow with a single motor.

Next up on fine tuning is what we call transom wedges or shims.  We now install them on every 17.6 Open Bow as them seem to have more affect on a 17.6 Open Bow and not much affect on a 20' Open Bow.  There are several reasons we feel for this difference with weight and length being the main ones. In the picture below you can clearly see where the wedges go.  They are not very expensive but it does require longer motor bolts (usually) and would best be done by an experienced outboard mechanic.

An item that is often overlooked is shift and throttle cables.  Older mechanical cables tend to wear and the friction or resistance to movement increase. This makes it harder to make small speed changes with mechanical controls.  The mechanical controls also wear and get sloppy but not nearly as fast as the cables do. Of course with electronic controls there is no cable friction or wear allowing fine speed control adjustment very easily. There are buttons on the dash (pictured below) to start the engine, put the boat in gear and bump the throttle up and down 1%.  Sadly cruise control or "Perfect Pass" speed control is not offered yet. Electronic controls are pricey. They are available on some makes and models of engines.

You now have several ways to fine tune your outboard water ski boat. If you or I come up with some more ideas I will add them to this article or write another one.