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The Hull Truth: SeaVee Z
SeaVee's stepped-hull boats provide sure handling in a variety of sea conditions. For a complete performance report of the 390-Z, look for our test during 2014.
Case Study: Nitro's Pad Hulls
"When the (pad hull) boat climbs up on its pad to plane," says Tracker Marine product specialist Steve Mason, "you can feel the acceleration. It's almost like the boat has lost 500 pounds."
A pad is a flattened section of hull, on the keel near the transom. The rest of the hull, the chines and strakes, lift the boat onto the pad, which then rides literally above the chop.
A pad is flatter than the rest of the running surface, by the way, but not often actually flat. "If it's too flat and you bust a wave," says Mason, "you're going to transmit that energy into the boat and into you." The boatbuilder doesn't want the former. You don't want the latter.
Case Study: Chaparral's Extended V-Plane
There are two ways to describe Chaparral's approach: lengthen the hull to wrap around the outdrive of its I/O boats, or draw the center portion of the transom forward within the hull. Either way, you're getting full use of your boat's length. This has less to do with faster top speeds and more to do with the ability to jump onto plane quicker and stay on plane at slower speeds.
|Chaparral's Extended V-Plane|
You actually put the stern-drive into a pocket. That creates a longer running surface surrounding the outdrive and helping the boat maintain a flatter attitude. It's like a permanent trim tab. The concept also places the drive and prop farther forward of the swim platform, which has safety advantages.
We've found that in this case, and in the others above it, the fancy name gets real results.
Euro is in. Look at most fiberglass boats in this guide and you'll see soft, sculpted lines in the profiles. This trend has taken shape because of advances in how boats can be cured and pulled from molds in the factories. Used to be anything fiberglass was pretty square out of necessity.
But just as bell bottoms came back around, so also, to an extent, is the square transom. Now considered retro, the flat back has found a new groove thanks to Bayliner's Explorer series. The design is as practical as a denim jacket because it puts more space in the boat than a rounded transom with a swim platform. That's probably why it's most popular in cold-water regions like Maine, the Great Lakes and Seattle, where comfort not only trumps fashion but sometimes becomes fashionable.