Improve Your Boats PerformanceNicola Middleton-Groom
Are you having issues with your inflatable boat’s performance? Boating enthusiasts know that achieving peak performance on the water is the key to having an enjoyable and efficient experience. Common issues can crop up when tuning your boat and engine set up so it is useful to know how best to solve these. These problems often relate to getting your boat on the plane efficiently, handling, speed and acceleration.
Take a read through this blog to find some helpful tips and tricks. We will be addressing the most common boating performance issues and exploring solutions that can mitigate these.
What are the most common boating performance issues?
Porpoising is where a boat’s bow will bounce repetitively on the water’s surface similar to a porpoise leaping through the water, hence the name. This usually occurs when travelling at higher speeds. Porpoising can lead to instability, reduced control and decreased fuel efficiency. It’s not the comfiest way to travel through the water either.
- Bow rise
Another common performance issue is bow rise. This occurs when the bow of the boat rises excessively during acceleration. This can obstruct your visibility, compromising your passengers safety. As well as make it impossible to get the bow down and your boat onto the plane.
Imbalance can arise from uneven weight distribution or overloading on your boat. This can affect the stability and overall performance of your vessel. It can also have a big impact on the handling if one side is overloaded, which could compromise your safety.
- Long time to plane
Getting a V hulled boat onto the plane is essential. A boat that is taking a long time to plane will reduce performance and fuel efficiency. This is often linked to other performance issues, as the boat cannot reach the needed speed and angle to lift the hull out of the water.
What can you do about boating performance issues?
Adjusting the distribution of weight is one of the most straightforward ways to easily impact how your boat performs and handles. If a boat is too overloaded in a particular position it can have different effects on your boating.For example, if you had too much weight at the stern of the boat you may experience bow rise, and find it difficult to get on the plane, see where you’re heading and handle. If you had too much weight on the bow the boat may be more likely to nose dive into waves.
In general you want to have most of your weight around the middle of the boat. This can be done by sitting towards your bow, or positioning passengers and gear to achieve this. If travelling solo a great way to accomplish this with an outboard is with a tiller arm extender. This will extend the length of your tiller arm, allowing you to sit further forward on your boat, and they can increase your comfort. Shop the Boatworld tiller arm extender.
Adjusting your engine trim
The next easy way to impact your vessel’s performance is by adjusting your engine/outboard trim, whether that is by a trim pin or with electronic trim control.
If your boat’s engine is not trimmed correctly you may find that you experience performance issues. For example, if your engine is angled too high you may encounter bow rise and cavitation/ventilation. On the contrary, if it is angled too low your boat may take a long time to plane, or even be unable to.
The easiest way to resolve this, is to start with your outboard in the lowest trimmed position (with the outboard straight on with the boat). You then need to trim the engine incrementally to face further down until you find the sweet spot for your boat, the conditions and your weight distribution.
The Hydroplanes from Nauticus can be a great option for tuning certain boat/engine setups. These performance trim tabs fit to the stern of your boat, utilising dynamic hinge technology to react to water pressure and your boat speed in order to produce a smoother ride and better handling.
Designed for small boats between 2.4 and 4.8m in length with an outboard between 10 and 40hp (great for smaller power boats and inflatables). The Hydroplanes can eliminate common problems such as porpoising by keeping the boat more balanced and efficient. As well as improve overall stability, faster time to plane, and increase speed. Shop the Nauticus Hydroplanes.
Nauticus Trim Tabs
Another product from Nauticus is their renowned Trim Tabs, these are a great option to improve certain set ups performance. Nauticus Trim Tabs are adjustable hydraulic plates which are mounted on the boat’s transom. These can be controlled to create lift on either side of the boat, adjusting its trim angle. Designed for RIBs, day cruisers, bow riders and sports boats between 12’ & 22’ and 40 & 240hp.
The performance difference with the Nauticus Trim Tabs can be very dramatic. They are designed to improve stability, by fine tuning your trim angle you can minimise porpoising and enhance manoeuvrability. By optimising the boats running angle, you can reduce drag from bow rise, increase top speed and fuel economy and lower your time to plane. Even with varying loads and sea conditions. Shop the Smart Trim Tabs: 40, 60 & 80lbs.
Outboard Hydrofoils are aerodynamic surfaces mounted above your propeller’s cavitation plate. The aim of a hydrofoil is to reduce drag and increase lift, which can on certain set ups enhance your boats performance.
With hydrofoils fitted to your outboard you can expect to reduce cavitation by preventing air from being drawn into the propellers blades, therefore increasing efficiency. Also, by counteracting the upward force on the bow, hydrofoils can reduce bow rise which can help you get on to the plane quicker and give you a smoother ride. From this reduction of drag you can expect to achieve better fuel efficiency at higher speeds. One thing to note is that whilst hydrofoils can increase your time to plane they can bring your top end speed down a bit. Shop Outboard Hydrofoil Fins.
To achieve optimal performance for your boat and engine on the water, it is important to troubleshoot and address any common boating performance issues you may be having. There are many simple things you can do to maximise your performance, as well as accessories to invest in which offer practical solutions to enhance control, stability, fuel efficiency and overall performance.
We hope this has helped you with your boating experience. If you have any questions about any of the issues or products mentioned in this blog, be sure to get in touch here: