You've got to be kidding, I thought. The guy in the passenger bolster told me to trim the drives all the way down and crank the wheel hardover. We were running 50 mph in the PowerQuest 38 Poker Run Edition, a stepped-hull go-fast for offshore use. Executing such a maneuver might well execute us both instead.
But as I became more familiar with the 38 Poker Run, I reconsidered. After all, trimming the drives all the way down on a boat such as this and cranking it hard through a turn is essentially an evasive maneuver - something the boat should be designed to handle. And it is. The 38 Poker Run tracked through the corner like a guided missile. I cranked the helm hardover in the opposite direction and got the same result.
Leaving the boat trimmed along more conventional lines was more fun, however. The 38 Poker Run smoothly worked its way through slalom and circle turns at speeds up to 60 mph, inspiring confidence with each maneuver. Full hydraulic Latham steering added to the positive feelings. In "The Edge of Flight" (July), I told you to never lower the trim all the way when turning a stepped-hull boat. But PowerQuest knows that old habits die hard and so it designed a boat that would accommodate your instinctive driving style.
Another similarity the 38 Poker Run shares with conventional V-bottom boats is that it begs for positive trim. Anyone with some driving experience will feel comfortable running at wide open throttle with the drives trimmed at about four or five (out of eight) on the indicator. Trimming the drives to seven made the boat feel lighter, but still under control, as it sought its top speed.
Even in the ocean, the 38 Poker Run ran best with the drives trimmed out to seven and the tabs trimmed even with the boat's bottom at about three. We flew across three-foot waves with confidence.
The 38 Poker Run's two steps curve only slightly aft from the chine to the keel. They measure about 1" tall at the chine and get a little deeper at the keel. This lets in enough air to break adhesion with the surface but not so much that the boat feels as if it's running loose at top speed. Inner strakes end at the first step, and the outer strakes run about 2' forward of the transom. The shorter outside strakes let the boat rock back a little more on the stern, helping carry the bow out of the water. Full-length strakes would lift the tail and force down the bow. As you can see from our run-angle readings, this boat rides flat enough.