Sunday, July 28, 2013

Barefoot Booms on Dyna-Ski Boats

V-Drive Barefoot Boom on a 17.6 Open Bow

I have been getting more inquiries about using a boom on Dyna-Ski Boats as the supply of nice used outboard barefoot boats is drying up.  Dyna-Ski Boats does offer a front mounted pylon on two models of Dyna-Ski Boats.  The 17.6 Open Bow and the 20' Open Bow Barefooter.  The front mounted pylon allows the use of a straight barefoot boom.  The front mounted pylon is not a popular option as Dyna-Ski buyers seem to prefer the open cockpit which the rear mounted pylon provides.  Using a V-Drive Barefoot Boom from Barefoot International seems to be the best solution for a Dyna-Ski Boat.  Dyna-Ski Boats is a Barefoot International dealer.  The pylon on the Dyna-Ski 20' Open is normally mounted in front of the sun deck so the pylon on this model is about 30" further forward than standard location on the 20' Open Bow Barefooter and 20' Closed Bow models. As you can see in the photo above the spray from the 17.6 Open Bow Dyna-Ski does not hit the skier even on a human tow extension.  I would not suggest that you try this on your lake. These guys are skiers in a show ski club and lots of time and practice went into this demostration.

If you want to quickly teach people to ski using the barefoot boom is an easy way to accomplish this.

Dyna-Ski 20' Open Bow with a V-Drive Boom and height adjuster on the pylon.

You can see below how the cables attach in the front of the boat. The open bow means you can do it easily.

The picture below should give you an idea of where the skier is along side the Dyna-Ski Boat.

With an optional pylon mounted height adjuster the boom can be set at the right height for any skiers.

If you have any suggestions for articles or pictures to contribute please send them to

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dyna-Ski Drivers Feedback

I get some feedback from customers from time to time although most of the time I don't hear anything which I guess is good perhaps?  I decided to share some of the feedback I have gotten.

The first feedback is from the new owner of a Dyna-Ski 20' Closed Bow with twin 225 Evinrude engines with standard controls and power assist hydraulic steering.  He also has an older single motored 18' Hydrodyne that he painstaking restored several years ago.

First day: 

Having a great ski day.  I suck at driving this thing though.
Second day: 
Much better second day.  I knew I wanted ICON by the end of the first hour.
Power steering is awesome.  All three of my kids did some pulling.  No sweat.
I cannot believe how quiet the engines are.  At 30 mph all you hear is wind.
3rd day:
Forgot to mention.....

We suffered through a day of constant horn honking, thumbs ups, and gawkers all the way south to Illinois yesterday. At every stop we got questions.  People think it is a Hydrodyne.  Can you believe that?  Sucks having a boat with no name.    Everyone trying to guess what it is....

We felt like celebs pulling this boat down the highway. . Which we will be doing regularly....

By the way he is trying to get me to send him free replacement decals for the ones the ski team took off. What do you think should I send him some? 

One week later: 

I LOVE the Boat.  It is incredible.  It actually is EASIER to drive than the 18 despite being bigger.  Better than I could ever have imagined.

With the power steering I can whip it around with one finger.  I can also turn it on a dime with no cavitation of the outside prop... which I found shocking.  I quickly would forget that there are two engines back there.

Other than not murdering my skiers with power it was an easy transition from the single 18.  By the end of the second day I was using differential power in the turns and at the dock.  This is an EASY boat to control around the dock.

Ergonomics is likely overlooked by some but I really appreciate it.  Visibility is fantastic. Seating area is so comfortable and you just feel like you are driving a much smaller boat than you are.

No fatigue after pulling all day.  Can't say that about the 18.

I'm thrilled with the boat.  Thrilled.

Latest update:  

Six hours of skiing.  4 blade ss props made a world of difference.  Boat is still in one piece.
Seems the used 20' Dyna-Ski Closed Bow Boat had a couple beat up aluminum props on it when he got it and a pair of new unused props. Not sure why anyone would be driving a 450+ hp hot rod connected to the water with beat up and cheap aluminum props.  Like buying cheap tires for the Corvette!
Feedback from another customer.  This boat has triple 225 Evinrude E-tec engines with I-Con controls, power assist hydraulic steering and a counter rotation unit. These are portions of several emails I got from the buyer:
It is a great boat and if you ever have someone wanting to test a multiengine Dyna-Ski send them our way.  We had several of the Miller boats and there is just no comparison.  Everything from driver ergonomics to how the boat handles chop is so much nicer in the new boat.  Sells itself.  You did your homework on this one.
The power steering is amazing.  Drives with about the same effort as an inboard.
It does make a difference when driving in tight spaces like ours. 
We did look at the Yamaha controls but our main driver, and I thought that digital was the way to go and the two motor controls vs three was worth investing in.  Slaving the center engine is a clever way of addressing 3 motors.
With regard to independently being able to control three motors that is probably a personal choice rather than a necessity.  Not having owned one we will adapt and I have no doubt in the end it will be better than with 3 separate controls.

E-Tecs are much easier on gas than the Optimax's we used to run.  Less gas with a 225 than with a 150 opti.

I think every model year most manufacturers are striving to improve fuel economy so the newer motors are better than the older motors no matter which brand you prefer.

I'm always looking for feedback to share.

Dyna-Ski Pete 

Dyna-Ski 20' Closed Bow powerd by a single Evinrude 250 HO motor with I-Con Engine Monitoring & Control

Dyna-Ski 20' Closed Bow boats usually are powered by two or three outboard engines.  Ski teams mainly purchase the 20' Closed Bow models for towing skiers in their shows.  In the past couple of years we have set up a couple 20' Closed Bows with only one engine for ski teams.  The Crivitz Ski Cats ordered a new 20' Closed Bow with a single Evinrude 250 HO and I-Con (digital) controls to replace one of their old inboards.  This new Ski Cats boat has a three color hull (red,white & red) to match their older new style Dyna-Ski twin. 

I got the chance to drive this rare Dyna-Ski boat for a couple hours the other day.  I expected it to be pretty good but frankly I was surprised by how powerful (4 blade 15 pitch prop) and smooth the combination is. When the throttle is punched from a standing start the rear facing rider has a hard time staying in their seat! The boats bow stays down and there were no sand bags under the bow.  The amount of power available requires a fine touch for pulling single skiers smoothly off the dock.  The I-Con control makes this easy.

The Dyna-Ski required no motor trimming (up) for speeds from 0 to 40+ mph. There was little if any bow steer at 40 mph on the GPS Speedometer.  A slight trim up at 40 mph did result in a slightly higher speed though.  Not having to trim at all will make it easy for an experienced inboard driver to move to an outboard powered Dyna-Ski I suspect.

The Dyna-Ski has a very nice wake for a barefoot pyramid with the motor trimmed all the way down or slightly trimmed up.  The 40+ gallon gas tank was left in the standard front mounted position as the ski team wanted the flexibility to turn this boat into a triple in the future.  In the other single motored Dyna-Ski 20' Closed Bows we put a smaller gas tank in the rear with no tank under the bow.  The gas tank was full when I was driving the boat around.

The Evinrude I-Con controls are so smooth. It is easy to set and hold any speed from zero to wide open with the digital system. The single binnacle control has adjustments for tension of the speed control portion and also for tension going into/out of gear. Very sweet indeed!  Top speed observed was around 48 MPH on the GPS with the 15 pitch prop.  All the I-Con system needs is GPS speed based cruise control or a "Perfect Pass" type of speed control software to make the digital control system perfect although with 250+ horsepower and a four blade 15 pitch prop the speed is rock steady for most skiers already.

The Crivitz Ski Cats wanted to be able to change this boat into a triple some day so setting it up as a single means no transom holes will need to be filled if the boat is indeed made into a triple as the center engine is already in the proper mounting position.  The rope guard is mounted in the standard position used for a twin or triple.  The difference between the twin and triple is the shape of the rope guards themselves not the mounting location.

We also changed the older Dyna-Ski twin over from twin Mercury 200 hp OptiMax motors to twin Evinrude 250 HO motors.  The 'Cats went with the Evinrude standard twin binnacle cable shift and throttle system on the older boat. The repowered boat has four blade 17 pitch props.

The Dyna-Ski 20' Closed Bow has an optional windshield and full interior. A rear mounted swim platform or two could be added although getting in the back of the boat with the large rope guard would not be easy perhaps?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Information Inquiries & Reply Troubles?

Dyna-Ski Boats gets a fair number of inquiries year round.  Most of our inquiries come via email although we are getting more phone calls lately it seems.  I like to keep things simple so the website and blog are structured accordingly.    We don't have a form to fill out or feel the need to ask any background questions.  Dyna-Ski won't share your address.  It is good if you provide a little information and a general location though.

The Dyna-Ski office phone (715-854-7501) will be answered by voice mail 95% of the time. If you want a phone call please include your phone number with the voice message you leave. If you want a phone call please include your phone number on your email inquiry.  I'm getting better at remembering to check the phone system it seems.

I have been on the internet for a very long time although I did not help invent it like a former vice president claims to!   Over the years I have experienced that email is not 100%.  So when you make an inquiry please never assume that we got the inquiry unless you get a reply.  I always reply to inquiries and usually fairly quickly like within a day or less.  I reply no matter what the request isI usually follow up on the inquiries a day or two after I send our the initial reply and/or pricing information requested. 

The address is monitored by my webmaster who is also a good friend of mine.  All the inquiries are forwarded to my home address.

I normally send out all replies from my home address and not the address.  Currently the replies have a lot of text so they could end up in your spam folder.  I'm not sure how to avoid spam filters or other security features on computers & tablets.

I have model specific emails for each of the models available from Dyna-Ski boats although I am rethinking this method for several reasons.

Dyna-Ski does not put prices on the web since we seldom build the same boat twice.  Customers get a custom built to order boat from Dyna-Ski so cookie cutter pricing does not work at all for a custom boat manufacturer.  Prices and costs change a lot in the boat manufacturing business so even having a 30 day price window is getting tougher.

So if you asked for more information from Dyna-Ski and did not get a reply please check your spam folder first.  If you don't find something with "Dyna-Ski" in the title then please send us another email.  We have encountered all kinds of interesting problems with email system and the internet over the years.  With more people using the system the chance of failure of a "free" system is more likely.  If all else fails and it has in the past you can call us and leave a message.  I will call you back again if I get the message.  Technology is great however it is not perfect and fool proof!  The other day my internet service provider was down in 16 states . . . . . OUCH!

Stories from Dyna-Ski shoppers.

I get some interesting emails and phone calls asking about Dyna-Ski Boats.  Often times the people that inquire provide some background information.  I have decided I should share some of the more interesting ones from time to time.  I will edit them so the person sending them won't be easy to identify.

The motto of Dyna-Ski is "Buy your last boat first!"  It seems that few if any owners of Dyna-Ski Boats sell their boats so you will seldom see a used Dyna-Ski or even the much older Hydrodyne outboards "for sale" so this must be working.

I also get some inquiries for used Dyna-Ski Boats or "left overs".  Since all Dyna-Ski Boats are built to order there are seldom any boats in stock or left over from a previous model year.  I do try to keep one of each model or demo boats as we call them available for people that want to try one. I don't like to sell demo boats during the boating season unless we have time to build a replacement right away so don't be surprised when I won't sell you a Dyna-Ski Demo.


I've owned a used Bayliner inboard/outboard with the stern drive and have promised myself I'll never buy another inboard/outboard since I had to replace nearly every component on that boat.  I ended up selling it while it was running well as I knew (from experience) that soon something else would break requiring another expensive repair.  I used that boat for skiing, wakeboarding, cruising and tubing.

Now that I've been boat less for a few years, I'm ready to buy another and have been searching for an open bow wakeboard boat with an outboard when I came across the Dyna-ski ad.  I've read some of the literature and noticed for wakeboarding you need to add weight to the aft end to increase the wake.  I'd like to understand more as I primarily want to use the boat for wakeboarding.  I can't seem to find used Dyna-ski boats  . . . . . . .

Sunday, April 14, 2013

If you want to try it before you buy it?

I am a pretty firm believer in trying something before you buy something usually.  I did buy my first and last Hydrodyne boat without trying it.  Reputation and experience with their products which my friends owned and I skied behind is how I made my decision.  There was no internet!   I actually had my younger brother stop and order my boat since I was very busy with work and play.  It turned out well and I still have the boat although almost every mechanical thing has been updated and/or replaced over the years.  No fiberglass work has been done though. So I have the original 1987 hull, carpet and windshield.  Trailer, most of the rigging and the engine has been replaced. The engines several times. But that is another posting so back to the real subject.

When it comes to used products and products without a warranty it is buyer beware. 

I would not buy a used boat or motor without a test ride, drive and ski.  I'd also pay an independent mechanic to check an expensive used product before I bought it.  Boat motors on a pallet could be a nothing more than a boat anchor.  Boats that you have not tried could perform lousy or have a rough ride and big wake.  It "ran well last time I used it" is not a guarantee of anything but trouble most likely.  Just like "I don't have time to finish the project" or "the repairs should be cheap and easy".  Yeah right then have them done and call me back!

Since we pretty much sell Dyna-Ski boats directly you either need to know some one that has one or go some where and try one out.  Unless you roll the dice and just "go for it".  Seems like many people have rolled the dice somewhat, went for it and we have not failed anyone yet.  The owners of the boats in Russia and the Cayman Islands did not come here to try before they bought.  With the internet you can find a wealth of information about products and what customers think about the products.  However remember that it is nearly impossible to please all the people all the time.  I think we have done a pretty good job.

If you want to try a Dyna-Ski I'm making this offer. 

Come to Wisconsin and try one this summer.  I'll pay up to $500 towards your reasonable expenses if you buy a Dyna-Ski within one year of trying a Dyna-Ski with me or my Dyna-Ski friends when you take delivery of the new Dyna-Ski boat.  There are a couple other places we may be able to make something work but it will take even more planning and the summer is short.  For specific details and to set something up please call or better yet email and ask.  I'm a busy person just like you and everyone else but we will do our best to make something fit your schedule.  Don't wait to long as this offer may be withdrawn at any time.

Call: 715-854-7501 and expect to leave a message.

So what are you waiting for?

How long does it take to build a boat?

This is a question I often get from people shopping for a Dyna-Ski Boat.  The answer is simple sort of.  It takes a week or two to actually build the boat.   

However there are many factors that influence how long it actually takes to get a finished water ready Dyna-Ski boat. 

Almost all of them are out of the hands of the boat building crew and me. So if we have everything on hand we can knock out a boat in a week or two.

All Dyna-Ski Boats are custom built to order. The only exception being the demo boats I have. We build them when things are slow and equip them like many Dyna-Ski boats are sold. Once in a while we will try something new but not real often.

Now for some of the factors that effect the boat building process.
First of all there is the customer.  The longer it takes the buyer to decide what they want often delays the start of the their boat.  If they are not sure of the color very little if anything can be done.   We don't believe in building boats and letting them sit outside waiting for a buyer like many companies do.  Many dealers and not just boat dealers do this with everything they sell.  Thousands of vehicles, boats, ATV's snowmobiles, lawn mowers, etc. sit outside for long periods of time waiting for a buyer's garage. I am old enough to remember when mom and dad went to the new car dealers to order a car and then they waited hoping that the new car was delivered as ordered.  No one bought a new car off the dealer lot!

A Dyna-Ski boat can be delayed by the down payment being sent slowly.  We build all our boats based on when the money is received.  When we get the down payment your place in line is established.  The only ways your place in line slips is if you give us a certain day you want the boat or if a supplier fails to come thru with something needed to build your boat. The suppliers are the biggest issue by a wide margin.

Many fiberglass materials have a shelf life.  If the product gets old it should be thrown out. Using out of date materials is not a good idea.  I'd be willing to bet that some manufacturers use outdated materials.  We do not.  Not to long ago fiberglass products that were ordered on Monday, got delivered on Thursday or Friday and the bill would come around the end of the month with 30 days to pay.  Not any more!  Now we have to order the product we need, pay for it and then wait.  Sometimes as long as three months.  It does get real ugly.  There are plant shut downs, vacations, holidays and all sorts of things that come into play.  I should also mention that fiberglass product prices go up and down (usually just up) all the time kind of like gasoline.  This makes it hard to know exactly how much the boat hull and deck are going to cost only 30 days from when a customer asks for a price. Many other prices also continue to slowly go up.  Every time we reorder the prices are higher and waits are longer.  It has taken almost a year to get windshields since they were ordered.  YIKES!

There are as many as 500 parts in a water ready boat. 

We have a limited amount of space and money for inventory.  Space is the biggest problem.  It is an uphill battle to keep as many things as possible on hand to build boats.  I feel we are pretty good at anticipating what we need and ordering with plenty of time to have everything on hand when your boat is scheduled to be built.  Sadly it does not always work out that way. 

The suppliers of the bigger items needed like the trailers and steering just to name two obvious items can be eight weeks out as we come into the time when customers typically want to start taking delivery of their new Dyna-Ski. The normal lead time is three weeks for them both.  We keep some things on hand but the more big items in stock the more it costs to build a boat.  I don't like to keep new trailers or boats outside period.  The motor manufacturers have been pretty good but from time to time even shortages have occurred from them.  We get as many of the motor specific rigging parts and pieces from the motor manufacturers as we can.  I like Evinrude, Mercury and Yamaha specific rigging used with each specific brand of engine.  So if you have a problem with any part of the power train chain in years to come your local dealer can service the problem easily.  If we mixed and matched rigging parts and pieces the local dealer could blame the problem on the generic stuff that some manufacturers use to save a little money.   For instance if an Evinrude tachometer fails the local Evinrude dealer can easily replace it.  Not so if we used a generic tachometer.  If in 10 years you want a newer and more technically advanced outboard engine you can just trade the old engine in at the local dealer and have him install the new engine.  This may not be possible with generic rigging of a boat and motor.  It is really that easy as long as you stay with the same brand normally.  Try this with an inboard water ski boat.

There are many little things that are used to build a water ready Dyna-Ski Boat that you don't give much thought to until one cannot finish a boat because of the back ordered item so the water ready boat can be delivered or picked up by a new customer.  A customer that is anxious to get their new Dyna-Ski boat on the water.  A new fishing boat is in the shop waiting on some grab handles that have been on back order since before Christmas!  The boat shop builds Recon fishing boats and a line of skiffs as well as Dyna-Ski Boats.  So if you wanted a Dyna-Ski "Ski & Fish" we could likely build you one during the slow part of the year.   The boat shop also does repairs, rebuilding and replacement interiors for all types of boats.  This work helps to pay the bills and keep the costs of new boats down as well.  We also learn from fixing other builders boats and have learned from fixing old Hydrodyne boats. 

Boat building is the #1 thing we do so everything else fills in the dead time, keeps the crew working and getting paid.

The internet means lots of people can now find, check out and shop Dyna-Ski Boats.  Many more people are checking out Dyna-Ski Boats.  More people are buying Dyna-Ski boats. With more sales comes longer waits.

My best advice is to order any boat well before you want to use it. 

The interest rates that banks are paying and charging are pretty low so the cost of money is low.  Your money in a saving account of any type isn't making much.  Waiting even a few days can result in a long delay getting your new custom built for you Dyna-Ski Boat.  Some things can be decided after you order your Dyna-Ski Boat, some cannot.  It would be awful to be watching every one else on the lake because you waited a few extra days to order or send the money.  I'd hate to have to start guessing how people want Dyna-Ski Boats built and build boats to sit outside.   A boat is a luxury and they do cost a lot of money.  I think that you would hate to have to settle for an in stock packaged boat of any kind to save time.  Taking your time to decide exactly what you want is a good idea.  Keep in mind that paying more money won't speed up the process.  We have had people ask, even ski teams!

We don't normally sell our demo Dyna-Ski boats until fall so when people want to try a Dyna-Ski Boat in the summer they can.  Selling a demo Dyna-Ski in the spring or summer can be dicey as we are often building boats for customer orders so we cannot build a replacement demo.  Some people like to try a boat before they buy a boat.  If we sell a demo and get some late orders I don't have a Dyna-Ski Boat that people can try or time to build a replacement.

We do our best and try as hard as we can but some things and many suppliers cannot be rushed.

Now that you have read this information maybe you now know how long it takes to build a Dyna-Ski Boat?  What I really hope is that you understand that the answer changes daily it seems.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ethanol Fuel bad for your boat and other off road engines?

Since gasoline with ethanol added came onto the scene I have tried to avoid using it.  I check my vehicles miles per gallon (MPG) every time I fuel up.  I noticed about a 10% drop off in my 1999 Chevy Pickup and 2000 Suburban MPG when I could no longer easily avoid gas with up to 10% ethanol at the pump.  Both vehicles had the 5.3 liter V-8 engine, automatic transmissions and 3.42 gears.  Pickup is a two wheel drive and the sub is four wheel drive. When I'm towing the loss in MPG is even greater with the ethanol added fuels.  The heavier the load the worse the MPG.  Much worse than with no ethanol added gasoline.

A few years ago I replaced the 1999 pickup with a 2004.  The 2004 has the 5.3 liter V-8 engine, automatic transmissions and 3.73 limited slip gears.  The 3.73 geared pickup seems to be much better for towing than the 3.42 geared pickup was with no running empty MPG penalty vs the 1999 pickup.  Actually now that I think about it the 2004 is much better than the 1999 pickup was overall on fuel and comfort wise.

I read articles in various places including Consumers Reports, some online magazines and other sources about the effects of ethanol in gasoline.  What I read is not good.  My marine mechanic friends tell me a lot money is made by marinas and small engine service places because of gasoline with ethanol in it.  Ethanol attracts moisture concentrating its corrosive effects. Ethanol also tends to settle out of gasoline which is even worse. It is very hard on the older fuel systems.  It tends to be worse on engines with carburetors.  Not to mention all the engines that are just ruined.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bans gasoline with 15% ethanol from lawn mowers and other power equipment.  Seems the 15% mixture causes the engines to run hotter and causes engine failures.  According to the EPA even the 10% ethanol can help destroy engines.  So the higher the ethanol content the harder it is on the engines.

Ethanol attracts moisture which really means water.  The effects of mixing water and gasoline was bad in the past and still is.  Moisture in the gas line is what helps to cause gas line freeze in the winter.  Remember that old problem?  It is the reason we added products called "heat" to our vehicles in the winter when it was real cold outside.

So now that I've told you how bad that ethanol is in gasoline you are wondering what you can do to help prevent problems in your boat and other engines perhaps?  So I will tell you what I do and a few other related things.  I wish I could use the non ethanol gasoline in my vehicles but that is not practical and cost effective so far.

I avoid ethanol gasoline for all my small engines, boats, snowmobiles, my 400 cubic inch V-8 hot rod and 1970 plow truck.  I have spent time searching out sources for non ethanol fuel.  It is posted right on the gas pumps and has to be according to the law.  Around here some gas stations sell premium without ethanol in it.  It is more expensive but I feel it is worth it.  All gasoline without ethanol is going to cost you more money it seems.  You will save money though when you don't spend time or money fixing things later.  I have also found that Fleet Farm sells non ethanol mid grade and premium at their gas stations.  There are a couple gas stations that sell regular no lead without ethanol but they are few and far between.  I have noticed some gas stations near race tracks sell better grades of gasoline.  One of my friends uses aviation fuel.  He works at an airport.  Some retailers even sell non ethanol fuel by the quart which is really pricey.  The companies selling gasoline to the farmers for bulk delivery offer gasoline without ethanol to their customers.  So in many cases, the farmers are not even using the stuff they make money on indirectly themselves.  Seems it messes up the older engines found on farms!  I have considered a bulk gasoline tank but there does not seem to be any savings for purchasing in bulk.  There is also the hassle of where to legally put a bulk gasoline tank because of zoning not to mention insurance concerns and a bulk gasoline tank being a theft target, shelf life, etc.

I add a product called Sta-Bil to all my portable gas tanks when I fill them following the directions on the label.  I add extra directly to the fuel tank when it may be a longer term storage situation.  So towards the end of the various seasons I add extra to the particular fuel tank when I put fuel in it which is in addition to the regular amount I add every time I fill the portable gasoline tank.  There are several different products including a marine version, ethanol version, etc.  I read the labels on these products before I buy and use them.  I have tried several brands but I use the plain red Sta-Bil and it seems to work fine.  It is sold in gallons and quarts. I buy it in gallons and I reuse the plastic quart dispenser that they sell it in as it makes measuring and adding it at the pump or gas tank fairly easy.  A small funnel makes it easy to pour from the gallon into the quart dispenser.  I add the stabilizer product to the portable tank before I fill it with fuel usually.

Marine Formula which is higher priced but requires less per gallon

Gallon of the improved formula that is red in color
Improved means ethanol compatible it seems
One gallon is good for 320 gallons of gasoline it says

Quart container that Sta-Bil is also sold in that makes a great dispenser
The tube on the left has markings for the amount in the tube.
You can transfer the fluid by squeezing the bottle 
to get the amount you need in the dispensing tube
Hint: Take off both caps to start  
It actually works quite well just think which way to pour the contents of the tube 
before you dump it into the gas can so the bottom contents don't spill 
or run down your hand

Gasoline with ethanol in it has a shelf life.  It seems like 45 days is the number I hear most often.  I make it a point to off season store most of the toys with around 1/2 tank of gas in them.  Then I fill the gas tank when I'm going to use the motor again.  This seems to help to minimize the effects of storage on the gasoline.  It seems that products like Sta-Bil and others help to lengthen the shelf life of gasoline.  Some things like small lawn mowers, weed eaters and chain saws it may be worth while to run the gas tank empty before you put them away for the off season or an extended period of time.  Decide this for yourself.

Some outboard engines like the Evinrude E-Tec now come with an in line fuel filter.  I'm not sure when they started this practice.  For awhile we were putting a large in line fuel filter on Dyna-Ski boats.  I added one to my old 1987 Hydrodyne many years ago.  It has been trouble free and there have been several engines on that boat.  These products are still in the various marine catalogs if you want to add one to something you own like an older boat and motor perhaps.

There is nothing worse than having trouble with a recreational product when you are going to have some fun and relax.  This would be a bad way to start a vacation.  Then when you have spent a bunch of time and/or money and the problem turns out to be gasoline related you may want to change your ways.  I learned this early and so far I have avoided major problems, knock on wood.  I do my best to point my friends and Dyna-Ski owners in the right direction from the start.  The gasoline I put in all the water ready Dyna-Ski Boats is the mid grade non ethanol gasoline from Fleet Farm as I drive by one going between the home office and the boat shop. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

The right prop for your boat

The right prop on your boat is very important.  Different boats, motor sizes and uses should be reflected in the prop on your boat.  Dealers sometimes sell you what they have on the shelf and not what is best for your package and specific use.  On Dyna-Ski Boats we are not interested in top speed as much as we are about steady speed holding and hole shot for getting skiers out of the water. Fishing boat owners and go fast boat owners want top speed.  Pontoon owners want a prop that provides the power to move their loads and is economical too.

Different brands of engines and even different sizes of engines within a manufacturers line of products often use different prop hubs and different prop sizes.  So not all of the many props available can be used on all the engines.  When you buy a new or used prop make sure it fits your motor brand, size and year as there are differences.  Some dealers will have demo props that you can try.

There are many factors that go into prop selection including specific use, engine size (horsepower, number of cylinders and displacement) as well as gear ratio.

A word of caution.  Props are metal and have sharp edges.  They are heavy also. I almost cut a finger off changing a prop while testing props one day and I have changed thousands of props.  The engine was not running either.  SO BE VERY CAREFUL!  Wearing heavy gloves is a good idea also.

Props can also be rebuilt (fixed) and some prop repair shops can change the pitch of the prop slightly.  Prop shops are not all the same and some are better than others. Generally speaking you get what you pay for so cheaper is often times not as good as new or perhaps as good as another prop shop produces.  Ask to see a couple props they have fixed and decide for yourself before you spend your money.  A prop can only be fixed a couple times.

There are also places that can modify or fine tune a prop for a specific application. It is not cheap and not an exact science. Many things can be done to fine tune a prop including changing the pitch slightly, making the blades smaller, adding holes to create some slip, plugging holes to reduce slip, balancing the prop, etc.  Generally speaking this is not something for a do it your selfer.

There is usually a part number somewhere on the prop.  Many times it is in the center of the mounting hub but sometimes it is on the side of the prop. The first number is the diameter in inches and the second is the pitch in inches.  The pitch is how far forward in theory that the prop will move the boat forward for one turn of the prop.

The first one below has the part number 389925 and size 15" X 16".
This prop has a fixed hub and can only be used on a specific brand of engine.
It is hanging on a wood dowel on my wooden prop rack.

The second one has the size 14 1/2" X 15".  
It is a removable center hub so it can be used on different engines with the proper mounting hub.

On Dyna-Ski 17.6 Models with a 150 Evinrude E-Tec we have found the four blade 14 1/2" by 15" stainless steel prop to be the best for the application currently readily available.  Dyna-Ski 20' Open Bow Models with a 200 HO or larger engine we tend to put a four blade 14 1/2" by 17" stainless steel prop on them unless the user wants additional pulling power then we suggest the four blade 14 1/2" by 15" stainless steel prop.  With the four blade 14 1/2" by 15" stainless steel prop the engine will hit the motor rev limiter more easily with light loads.  This does not occur as easily with the four blade 14 1/2" by 17" stainless steel prop on the 200 HO to 300 motors.

I wish that the motor companies had a better selection of stock "water ski" props for some of their engine models. What I mean by this is a selection of props that increases the pitch one inch at a time. We used to suggest 3 bladed props but these props have been changed over the years so now we suggest mainly four bladed props. A good "water ski" prop needs some slip to help acceleration or boost torque somewhat.

 I found several interesting videos on You Tube which will give you more information.  I'm sure there are many more than these couple.  A boat manufacturer and motor manufacturer should be able to guide you in the right direction for your specific application.  Enjoy the videos.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Boat Wheelies

Dyna-Ski Water Ski Boats are designed to keep the bow of the boat down while taking off and pulling water skiers.  However drivers of our twin and triple motored boats discovered a long time ago that the twin and triple motored boats could be stood up or do a wheelie on the water and even driven along with the nose of the boat high in the air.  

Dyna-Ski boats does not suggest anyone try this and it can result in damage to the engine or engines.  Damage that is not normally covered by any warranties.

There is a lot of video on the web.  Just search "boat wheelies" and enjoy it.

Below are a couple still pictures you may find interesting or not. 
The boats have to be tough to stand up to this "special" use.
I just got this new picture from a friend.
Min-Aqua Bats setting the bar pretty high.

The most famous is the red Dyna-Ski of the Min-Aqua Bats
This was their first Dyna-Ski and had twin 150 Evinrude E-Tec motors. 
They are the kings of standing the Dyna-Ski up no doubt.

Min-Aqua Bats second and current 20' Dyna-Ski still with twin 150 Evinrude E-Tec Motors.

The Must Skis have a twin Evinrude 250 HO's powered Dyna-Ski 
and a driver that likes to give a little show once in awhile.

This is a triple Dyna-Ski powered with four stroke150 Mercury Verado Engines.

Again please don't try this at home . . . . . . .

Monday, March 11, 2013

20' Show Ski Triple for the Waterboard Warriors

It has been suggested to me to put more information on this blog about the Dyna-Ski boats we build for show ski teams even though many folks interested in Dyna-Ski Boats are not likely to purchase one of these specialty water ski boats.  We do learn things from the folks buying and using these powerful tow boats.  Similar construction techniques and materials are used in all the Dyna-Ski Boats we build. The 20' Models are all built from the same hull mold.

The show ski tow boats are intended to safely pull lots of water skiers all at the same time. Show ski clubs have many acts in their shows so the boats are called on to pull everything from one skier to pyramids with many skiers.  There are show ski clubs all over the world although the vast majority of them are in the US and Midwest area. If you have never seen a ski show you owe it to yourself to take one in if you can.  The most well known is the Tommy Bartlett professional ski show in Wisconsin Dells on Lake Delton.  The water ski show clubs are much bigger shows often times with many more skiers than the Bartlett show though.

The Waterboard Warriors triple motored Dyna-Ski 20' Closed Bow we just finished up is a very slick powerful tow boat.  It has three 250 HO Evinrude E-Tec Engines. The Dyna-Ski boat has Evinrude I-Con engine monitoring and control system which uses a single data cable instead of six mechanical cables and associated wiring to control all three engines. The I-Con System is pricey but provides awesome control of the motors. We almost always put a GPS Speedometer on Dyna-Ski boats and this system has it also. There are only 2 controls for the three motors making the boat very easy to drive.

Teleflex Hydaulic steering is used on most models of Dyna-Ski Boats.  This tow boat has an optional power assist unit to make the three motors as easy to steer as your vehicle even with over 800 horsepower and massive torque.  The electric pump is located out of sight in the back of the motor well with a switch on the dash to turn it off and on. The pylon mounting brackets have two positions to fine tune the height of the pylon.

There are two steering cylinders and two tie bars used in this steering system.  A twin motored Dyna-Ski boat normally has one cylinder and one tie bar.  Recreational single motored Dyna-Ski Boats usually have one cylinder. This system uses a pair off Tees and short hoses connecting to the cylinders on the outside engines. The tie bars have to be shortened for this application as the motors are very close together.

The Evinrude motor on the left side has a counter rotation lower unit to help even out the push of the motors and reduce steering effort.  Even with the power assist steering this helps balance the pull and ride of the Dyna-Ski Boat. Notice that the props blades look different as the counter rotation motor needs this to make it work properly.

 The two towing eyes located between the motors are used for pulling bigger acts as the lower pulling points help keep the nose of the boat down and the boat pulls more skiers.

Ski clubs have various methods of hooking ropes to these two towing eyes.

During construction the Ski Team decided they wanted tilt steering so the non-tilt 2.4 helm was changed to a tilt unit. Luckily this was decided before fluid was installed in the system.

There are switches to the right of the steering wheel for turning the system on, starting the individual motors, enabling the engines, tilting individual motors, turning on/off the steering unit, two bilge pumps, lights, etc.

The area under the motor well is pretty full with three batteries and three oil tanks. 

The gas tank is located in the front of the Dyna-Ski Boat under the deck of the bow. There are 420 lbs of sand bags in front of and next to the 43 gallon gas tank. The sand bags help to balance the boat on the water and help provide tongue weight for trailering.  Three pickups and three fuel lines are used for fuel.

The show ski boats have recessed cleats just like all the recreational Dyna-Ski models do. The rope guards are mounted on the outside of the boats to help prevent any of the many ropes from catching.

 The Dyna-Ski show ski tow boats have removable bow and stern lights.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Trend?

We've started experiencing an interesting twist in the boat selling market.  Dyna-Ski buyers are keeping their old motors and putting them on new Dyna-Ski Boats.  Ski Teams started doing this several years ago and now it seems to have caught on with recreational skiers as well.  It can greatly reduce the expense of getting a new boat since the engine is already owned and most likely paid for.  Some buyers even keep their older trailers.

In most cases the old boat is tired or needs some major repairs but the motor is still strong.  Many of the buyers have replaced their older motor in the recent past and some have rebuilt their older motors. The end desire is the same as they want to keep the motor and get a new Dyna-Ski Boat. 

Sometimes customers have the motor swap done by their local dealer and sometimes we do the swapping.   One time the new boat gets all new controls and gauges with the older engine and then again sometimes they keep all the original rigging.  Each boat is different it seems.  We always suggest new throttle and shift cables.

Most the new Dyna-Ski Boat owners want new hydraulic steering as many older boats did not have it.  So the new Dyna-Ski is easier to drive and safer with nothing to wear out or need replacing with the steering system.

Another benefit is if down the road their motor needs replacement they have a newer boat to put it on.  So once again the expense is spread out over many years. Most of the time only minimal updating of the controls and rigging should be needed unless you change the brand of outboard motor of course.

I have never heard of an inboard boat owner keeping the motor and getting a new boat but I could be wrong perhaps?

I got this off the Evinrude Website and thought it was interesting.

Your Outboard Motor & most others HAVE TO BE amazingly tough engines.

A car driving down the road at 60mph, puts fairly little stress on its engine. But in order to MATCH the kind of STRESS that a marine engine undergoes while travelling the same speed ...

 I wonder how the hours on an inboard water ski boat motor compare to the hours or miles of use in a car or truck?  I'd guess the hours are harder since the motor RPM's is higher skiing than going down the road.

Friday, March 1, 2013

World Record Pyramid behind a Dyna-Ski

I realize that most of the readers of this blog will never pull more than a few water skiers at the same time behind their Dyna-Ski.  Never the less I have to tell you that Dyna-Ski is proud of all the people that came together to set a new world record awhile ago.  There are 54 skiers and numerous people behind the scenes that it took to make this happen. No doubt someone will try and reset the record in the next year or two as show skiers like challenges of this type.

What this means to Dyna-Ski Owners is you should find comfort knowing that the same care, materials and boat building techniques are used to assemble each and every Dyna-Ski Boat that we build for customers.

Way to go show skiers!

54 Person Pyramid Team

Stock Dyna-Ski 20' Closed  Bow with three 300 hp Evinrude E-Tech Engines
 One of two triple motored Dyna-Ski Boats used by the Badgerland Water Ski Team

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cruise Control on an Outboard Finally

Update: Down Under's Greg Hind tells me he now has Perfect Pass Systems working on Evinrude E-Tech 150's as well as the large V- 6 Evinrude and Mercury Motors. I can put you in touch with him is you like.

Many potential boat buyers have asked about a "Perfect Pass" system on an outboard water ski boat.  I'm happy to report that it now seems to exist for one brand of motor but in only one line so far.  Mercury has a "cruise control" system.  This information below is direct from Mercury. 

If you use our Mercury SmartCraft MercMonitor with SmartTow, you will have an option for cruise control. This option is only compatible with a DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) engine. Our Mercury Verado line is the only engine that is Digital Throttle and Shift and compatible with the SmartTow feature.

Mercury offers the super charged four stroke Verado in a 150 hp version which matches up well with the horsepower capacity of Dyna-Ski 17.6 Open Bows as well as several larger Horsepower versions that would be great for our 20' models.  While I'm not a big fan of four strokes for water ski boats I must admit this may help change my mind some and it will influence buyers all over the world.  

With the ever increasing cost of gasoline I'm feeling more and more water skiers will be moving from a heavy V-8 powered inboard water ski boat to the much lighter and more fuel efficient outboard powered recreational water ski boat. Cruise control may speed the change over.

We did build a triple Verado powered Dyna-Ski several years ago.  I saw it in use at Tomahawk Division II Show Ski Nationals two years ago and it seems to be doing well.  The team using it won the tournament.

I'd love to try one on a single motored Dyna-Ski so I wonder if Mercury will lend me one for testing?   Hint, hint, hint . . . . . .

I have one long time 17.6 Dyna-Ski Owner (2007) that is repowering with the new Mercury 150 four stroke I mentioned in another blog posting.  I'm looking forward to a review of the combination from him once summer hits his skiing area. His previous motor was a Mercury 150 two stroke and the boat is pictured at the bottom of this post with that motor and a couple unique uses.

Here are some old pictures of the triple Verado Boat.  
The only show ski version that I know exists.

It has power assist Hydraulic Steering and Smart Tow which is Mercury's Digital Control and Engine Monitoring System.  It is pretty slick and very easy to drive.

The digital control systems make for a pretty clean and simple installation.

There are still a few flat wing kite flyers. This one uses a 17.6 Open Bow as a tow boat.

Please don't try this at home without proper training.

Please don't try this at home or anywhere else for that matter!

I wonder what pictures he will share with us in the future with the new 4 stroke 150 Mercury? 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Mercury 150 Four Stroke

While I'm not a big fan of four stroke engines on water ski boats I have to admit that the new Mercury 150 four stroke merits some attention for use on Dyna-Ski 17.6 Open Bows.  It is not super charged like the much heavier Verado and there are lots of four stroke fans so this may be the motor for them on their next Dyna-Ski 17.6 Open Bow.

In the past four stroke engines on Dyna-Ski 17.6 Open Bows tended to be a little slower out of the hole and a few miles per hour slower than the same size two stroke engine from seat of the pants testing.  Given the specifications of this new engine it could very well reduce the difference.

The In-Line 4 has 183 cubic inches of displacement and a 1.92 to 1 gear ratio.  It weighs in at 455 lbs so it isn't a lot heavier than a 2 stroke 150.  As you know I like outboard motors with more cubic inches and torque for water ski boats.  This engine has the cubic inches and should have good torque.   Deciding what prop to use on this motor will be the challenge with its excellent gear ratio for water skiing.

You can read all about the new 150 four stroke at the Mercury website:

New Evinrude Engine

Evinrude is no longer producing the 4 cylinder two stroke 115 HO and 130.  This motor was a favorite of the owners of Dyna-Ski Boats on horsepower restricted Lake Dyna-Ski as I call it.  There is a story about the lake on this blog.
The 135 HO is a 2.6L V-6 two stroke E-Tec tuned to 148 HP.  It runs on the same block as the 150, but has been re-mapped down to the 135 HO.  The motor comes in Blue or White in the 20", and White only for the 25". The 20" model will have the high-speed lighting gearcase [same as the 150 HO] and the 25" will have the SLE case, available in standard and counter rotation. Dyna-Ski Boats are made with a 20" transom.  Being a V-6 means the motor can be used with Evinrude Digital Control system I-Con.  I-Con is an awesome control and engine monitoring system.  It is super smooth and allows throttle increases and decreases of 50 RPMs easily.  Try this with a cable controlled throttle system. It is not an inexpensive system though.  The retail cost of this new motor will be around $850 less than a 150.

Water ski boats like outboard motors that have more cubic inches and torque.  The more torque the better.  Horsepower gives boats their top end speed. With a 17.6 Open Bow Dyna-Ski running into the low 50's (GPS Speedometer) with a water ski prop I'm guessing that the 135 HO will be a little slower but still faster than any inboard currently being made.  I'd expect a slight improvement in fuel economy but the 150 is pretty stingy on fuel and oil already so the improvement may be hard to determine.

After trading emails today with some folks at Evinrude they tell me the low end torque is the same for the 135 HO and 150.  Top end should be 2 - 3 mph slower.  Fuel economy slightly better.

I'm going to get a 135 HO to run on a 17.6 Dyna-Ski or two this summer.  After I get some time using the motor I'll give you an update from seat of the pants testing.

The video on You Tube is interesting.