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2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

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  • 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

    My brothers and I just picked up a brand new 2014 Smoker Craft Phantom 202. It is 20' long, aprox 96" beam, all welded aluminum hull, weighs around 1640 pounds empty and has a new Yamaha F115 with a 13.?x19 prop.

    We took it out today for the first time. The engine only has about 1/2 hour on it so we didnt run it at full bore fro long, but Im concerned about the performance. It almost seems like it is plowing too much, but I wanted to check in with you folks before going back to the dealer.

    With about 800 pounds of people and 15 gals of fuel on board and no other gear, we were getting around 5500-5800 rpm at 33-35 mph max per GPS depending on trim settings and load distribution. We hit the max speed with people moved to the back of the boat and motor trimmed up, but moving people had the largest effect on speed.

    That works out to about 28% slip, which seems high to me for a welded hull alum boat that is brand new.

    The boat rides very nicely, but the bow seems to stay down much more than we are used to - even with a lot of weight in the back. Trimming the motor up didnt make much difference in speed and didnt lift the bow very much at all but did allow rpms to increase.

    Even doing a hard hole shot type of take off didnt raise the bow much at all. A lot less than we are used to.

    When we got home I happened to take a close look at the hull and saw that there is a very noticeable hook in the hull starting at the transom and running quite a ways forward - maybe 1/2 way. I didnt measure it yet - the boat is sitting in wet grass/mud in the back yard - but I would guess its at least 1/2" deep hook. The keel looks very straight and the chines look straight to the eye.

    Do I have a defective boat or are Smoker Craft made this way so they ride very level?

    Im assuming the hook is a major reason for the large slip.

    Any advice/help/comments appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

    A hook is fairly easy to check for. You can do it with a string attached tightly to the transom and stretched along the bottom of the hull

    Here is a picture I found on the net to show a hook Click image for larger version

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    Have you spoken to the dealer about the performance and handling?
    This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
    Please, shop iboats first!!

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    • #3
      Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

      Have not spoken to the dealer about the hook yet. The salesman was with us for the first part of the test drive. I asked him about the rpms, but he assured me they would increase as the motor broke in more. At the time, I wasnt aware of the slip issue and hadnt seen the hook. We also didnt notice the flat ride was a problem. We were too distracted by the thrill of having a new boat.

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      • #4
        Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

        Is this the boat:

        http://www.americananglerboats.com/showroom/phantom/202


        If so, I notice max HP is 175 and they're bargain basement package includes a 90HP. You're only 25HP over their bargain basement package with that 115. Just an observation, take it for what its worth...
        Last edited by briangcc; March 14th, 2014, 07:57 AM.
        2017 Chaparral 19 H2O Ski & Fish w./4.3L 180HP Merc Alpha
        2005 Four Winns 200Le x/5.0L Volvo SX-M (270HP - FI) - ordered new, traded in on Chaparral
        1999 Bayliner Capri 1800LS w/2000 Honda 115HP - ordered new, traded in on Four Winns
        1956 MFG 15' w/matching Evinrude Big Twin 30HP - presumed to be a sandbox somewhere


        Tow Vehicle:
        2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4x4
        2019 Ram 1500 Classic 4x4

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

          New boat sitting in grass/mud? What am I missing here? 20 foot hull reaching 35 with a 115? Again, what am I missing here? 28% slip? What is the lower unit gear ratio? Post a couple of photos of the hook.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

            Smoker craft boats do tend to plow, but I think what you are experiencing is a miss matched power plant set up. The outboard is not tuned to run efficiently to the boat. My Smokercraft was kind of weird that way too. It didn't have the bigger power plant you have, but it plowed too. No way would I accept this performance from a brand new rig. My guess is the outboard is too high or too low to match up well against the boat hull, dead rise and all that stuff, but the guys who set these rigs up should know exactly how to set that outboard up on your rig. I assume this outboard is bolted through your hull transom, let's hope they don't need to drill new bolt holes as they rise or lower the outboard. I would not find that acceptable, just like the plowing isn't acceptable.

            FYI, my Smokercraft was an 80's model about 18 footer with a smaller 40 hp Merc. Glorified utility boat with a small steering console mid way up the boat. Had tilt and trim and throttle controls. If I lowered the trim while on plane, my boat would nose dive, it was very scary when this would happen, but trimmed up, it ran somewhat effectively, but still plowed a bit.
            Last edited by greenbush future; March 14th, 2014, 10:28 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

              Thanks for the help guys!!

              Briangcc - Yes, the link is our boat. Im not sure what you're getting at with the comment about the motor only being 25 horse over the minimum. Do you think its too little motor for the boat?

              Frank - the boat is sitting on its trailer, parked in my back yard - which is mostly wet grass and mud. We live in Wa state and we have had record rain the last few weeks. Its pouring out there now. Im also not sure about your other comments. Are you suggesting the 35 mph speed and 28% slip are ok?

              Its still pouring out side, but I will see if I can get a decent pic of the hull and post it shortly.

              Lower unit ratio is 2.15/1 (28/13). Max speed was 33 to 35 measured with GPS at 5500 - 5800 rpm measured with the gauge that came with the boat. It cruised easily at 24-25 mph at about 4000 rpm.

              By the way, this boat is for fishing so we dont really care much about top speed. Im only concerned about the slip because of the possible impact on fuel efficiency. The flat ride Im not sure about. If the boat is plowing, Im worried about possible handling problems. We only had it on the water for maybe 20 minutes so far, so we dont really have any basis for being worried yet.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

                Thanks greenbush. Your comments reminded me of one more thing. The motor is bolted through the transom and the cavitation plate is a little above the V in the keel. Our short trip out was on a small lake that was dead flat when we were on the water. I did notice that the prop tended to break loose in sharper turns when trimmed up as far as it seemed to want to be trimmed.

                The hull has a 17 deg dead rise. Could it be the motor needs to be lowered?

                Originally posted by greenbush future View Post
                Smoker craft boats do tend to plow, but I think what you are experiencing is a miss matched power plant set up. The outboard is not tuned to run efficiently to the boat. My Smokercraft was kind of weird that way too. It didn't have the bigger power plant you have, but it plowed too. No way would I accept this performance from a brand new rig. My guess is the outboard is too high or too low to match up well against the boat hull, dead rise and all that stuff, but the guys who set these rigs up should know exactly how to set that outboard up on your rig. I assume this outboard is bolted through your hull transom, let's hope they don't need to drill new bolt holes as they rise or lower the outboard. I would not find that acceptable, just like the plowing isn't acceptable.

                FYI, my Smokercraft was an 80's model about 18 footer with a smaller 40 hp Merc. Glorified utility boat with a small steering console mid way up the boat. Had tilt and trim and throttle controls. If I lowered the trim while on plane, my boat would nose dive, it was very scary when this would happen, but trimmed up, it ran somewhat effectively, but still plowed a bit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

                  No pics, but I was able to get a 6' level on the strake. It shows about 1/4" of gap in the center. Possibly a little more on the port side than the starboard side. The hook is longer than 6', so it may be a bit more if I had a longer straight edge.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

                    Originally posted by Larry3215 View Post
                    Thanks greenbush. Your comments reminded me of one more thing. The motor is bolted through the transom and the cavitation plate is a little above the V in the keel. Our short trip out was on a small lake that was dead flat when we were on the water. I did notice that the prop tended to break loose in sharper turns when trimmed up as far as it seemed to want to be trimmed.

                    The hull has a 17 deg dead rise. Could it be the motor needs to be lowered?
                    I cant really speak to the fine tune adjustments or even if the problem you are seeing is because of the height of the outboard in back, but I don't think it's because you have a hook in the hull. As other stated, it's easy to check with a level. The dead-rise thought is just that a thought, that coupled with the way my Smokercraft ran led me to make the comment. On my boat, the front end was extremely blunt, so it plowed, instead of riding on top as other deep V boats do. That's where dead rise may have some affect on your boats performance.

                    I would snap a few pictures to let the pro's here comment. Because I'm just sharing what I experienced.
                    Last edited by greenbush future; March 14th, 2014, 12:47 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

                      What I was hinting at was this...

                      To keep costs down, manufacturers usually rig the least amount of horsepower on a boat that will plane it out with a load. Top end isn't considered in this package deal as consumers want the bottom line. To get the best performance out of a boat you need to up the HP considerably from their base offering. 25HP isn't that much of a leap from their rock bottom base and 115HP is still a far cry from the 175HP max.

                      On my Bayliner in my signature, which was only 17'6", with the 115HP Honda, I was averaging around 50MPH on open water with a full load of people. Your boat has considerably more drag, being much longer and wider than the Bayliner I'm mentioning, so its not too shocking that performance is lagging. As you're hitting your WOT for the motor, my guess is that if you want better launch times and higher speed, you're going to have to up the ante from a 115HP to something closer to the 175HP mark the manufacturer recommends as max. I'm betting with that size boat, you'd be happier with a 150HP strung off the back.

                      You see this a lot with I/O packages. To give you an example, my current boat was listed cheaply with a 4.3L V6. I opted for the 5.0L V8 270HP engine and can top out in the 50-55MPH range depending on load. No way would I be happy with a 4.3 in this boat. It's simply too heavy and beamy.



                      Just my opinion of course.

                      It does look like a nice setup though, something I'd be interested in as a 2nd boat in the 17-18' range...
                      2017 Chaparral 19 H2O Ski & Fish w./4.3L 180HP Merc Alpha
                      2005 Four Winns 200Le x/5.0L Volvo SX-M (270HP - FI) - ordered new, traded in on Chaparral
                      1999 Bayliner Capri 1800LS w/2000 Honda 115HP - ordered new, traded in on Four Winns
                      1956 MFG 15' w/matching Evinrude Big Twin 30HP - presumed to be a sandbox somewhere


                      Tow Vehicle:
                      2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4x4
                      2019 Ram 1500 Classic 4x4

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

                        Thanks for the feedback guys!

                        I went and looked at a bunch of other "Northwest style" aluminum boats around here and they all have about the same amount of hook that mine does. I checked other Smoker Craft, Alumaweld and Duckworth models at different dealers. So, the hook isnt the issue.

                        I called my dealer back and he had a Smoker Craft rep calling me within minutes - which is pretty good customer service.

                        The rep agrees we have a performance problem, but he thinks its mostly a prop and/or engine height issue. The dealer gave me a new 13.25x17 prop to test. He is also more than willing to lower or raise the motor as needed until we are happy with the performance.

                        We knew this motor was on the low end of the HP range. If we can get it to cruise with the bow a little higher and with a little less slip we will be happy.

                        I will report back after more tests.

                        Thanks!!!
                        Last edited by Larry3215; March 14th, 2014, 04:45 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

                          By the way - I must not have been clear. We did use a 6' level to check the hook and it shows about 1/4" gap in the center of the level. But again, that seems to be the way this style of boat is designed. Every boat we looked at has the same amount of hook more or less.

                          We dont really care about top speed or hole shot. We will never ski or tube with this boat. I am concerned about fuel economy, so the large slip % is a concern.

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                          • #14
                            Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

                            Had a chance to test the 13.25x17 prop today. Huge improvement over the 13x19!

                            Peak RPM's went down to 5500-5600 when trimmed up as hi as we could go. Speed was 36-37 on the GPS. That works out to roughly 12%-13% slip vrs the 27%-28% we had before.

                            The prop still wants to ventilate when turning even moderately sharp though.

                            The bow is riding a tad higher and the splash line is back a little more than before, but I think we are still plowing to some degree.

                            Im guessing that I still need to drop the pitch a bit more and maybe go up in diameter to help get the nose up more for less drag. Im also thinking I may need top drop the motor one hole.

                            I should ask those questions over in the prop forum, so I'll start a new thread over there.

                            Thanks again guys!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
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                              Re: 2014 Smoker Craft - lots of hook in the hull?

                              That's interesting; rpm going down when reducing pitch.

                              You've apparently found a way to defy the laws of proptology.

                              Are you sure that you had a 19 pitch prop before? It sounds like you went from a 15 to a 17. That would explain the 300-400 rpm reduction.

                              What you've got is more a weight and balance issue due to putting a smaller, lighter motor on a boat designed to carry a bigger, heavier(+110 lbs) motor.

                              A good SS prop will help to carry the bow due to more bite.

                              Your Yamaha 115 is rated 115 hp @ 5800 rpm; with a full throttle operating range of 5300-6300 rpm.
                              Last edited by jestor68; March 15th, 2014, 05:25 PM.
                              Have a nice day!

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