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Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

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  • Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

    I have a 1979 Mercury 402 40hp with the manual tilt/trim and I am wondering if I should invest in a hydrofoil or not. I'm really curious as to how much it will help my boat get on plane. What do ya'll think?

  • #2
    Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

    what kinda of boat is it? Some people will say go for it others will tell ya not to, but my brother has a 40hp on an 18ft jon boat and it help him. on the same note i bought a 115 for my starcraft ss and it had a whale tale on it took it off couldn't tell a difference

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    • #3
      Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

      It is a 16ft lowe line v bottom jon.

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      • #4
        Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

        I would set the pin heights on the the motor. and test. before I would buy a hydrofoil.

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        • #5
          Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

          They do help, I spoke to 2 gents last weekend with 2 different setups, both added hydrofoils and swore by them, they get out of the hole faster and helped gas mileage.
          sigpicSignature- If you have fuel and spark- Have you checked compression?

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          • #6
            Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

            only way I do a hydrofoil anymore is to go get a sheet of aluminum and cut/form it myself. those "hard plastic" ones are junk. they bend and deform at speed. if the boat is left out in the sun they will deform as well such as curling up.

            if you have a a sawzall, some drill bits, some cardboard and a bench vice you can make your own out of aluminum sheet.

            make a cardboard template and then transfer it over to the sheet. cut out the center portion and the mounting holes. then mark the turn down on the rear of it and bend the rear turn down on your bench vice.

            install, enjoy.

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            • #7
              Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

              what thickness of aluminum would you recommend?

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              • #8
                Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

                A wale tail is to add stern lift by applying force at the cavitation plate. If you have an underpowered boat that needs the boost to get on plane, or stay there, the wale tail might do the trick.

                When I see them on high horsepower engines on a fishing or small runabout boat I just have to laugh. Anything they can do can and should be addressed with setup, and anything they do is at a cost of fuel and performance.

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                • #9
                  Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

                  The next step would be fully adjustible trim tabs for about $800.00. Just don't get the springloaded ones they can't compensate for all conditions. There are many versions of the hydofoil stabilizers. I would recomend the bolt on type.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

                    I took mine off of my 17' open bow I/O and forgot it ever was there. If there was a difference it was not significant. If anything I feel like my boat does better through chop this year. I'm sure that the stabilizer has far less to do with that than my personal perception.
                    Most people are going to do whatever they want. What I find entertaining is how people justify what they do!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

                      They don't cost much if you look around and both my boats planed out about 5miles an hour faster. Great for turns and all around performance was enhanced. Seemed to use less gas as well. Like the aluminum idea and will try that next winter. Just don't see why all engines aren't built with them from the factory.. Both boats had same engine as set up originally.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

                        I made my own whale tail out of 1/8" aluminum sheet approximately 12" square and cut the leading edges at a 45 degree angle.My fishing boat is an aluminum 14' semi-v with a 25hp Merc.All my weight is in the stern and it has performed better than I could have asked for.Gets on plane in seconds and tiller steers without effort.I made mine flat with no bends.As stated above,use cardboard to trace the pattern and jig saw it out.I used two 1/4-20x3/4" stainless round head bolts with lock washers on each side for mounting.It works great for my setup,but may not for yours.
                        Last edited by windy5849; June 28th, 2011, 05:41 PM. Reason: Add Info

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                        • #13
                          Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

                          I'll look into it. If anything, i'll probably just make my own after I determine if it is really handling that poorly. thanks for the info

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                          • #14
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                            Re: Is a Hydrofoil Stabilizer aka Whale tail worth it?

                            Yeah,........your last response is your best here. If you experience a problem getting on plane at full throttle, and by this I mean that it seems your motor has to work awfully hard to get on plane, then a Hydro may, and probably would, help. I have a bass boat that has one (Merc 150 XR2-1987) and a 17' Sea Ray that doesn't (3.0L). Bass boat needs it, Sea Ray doesn't.

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