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Impressions of the Cabin Skiff!

I have about 26 hours running time and 420 miles on the Cabin Skiff at this point.  Of that time 7 1/2 hours and 175 miles were done on a single day taking a cruise up the Mississippi. The time at the helm is giving me a good feel of what I can and can't do. 

The first two times on the water revealed that I had a major problem and I have been working to over come it. The problem is that the CS was riding very bow high and even at full down trim I can't get it lowered to where it should be.  After talking with Glen at Glen-L he suggested that I run a straight edge along the bottom of the hull from the transom forward to see what I had.  I was sure it was straight but couldn't hurt to check.  I used a 4' straight edge.

Well I was wrong! Everything looked good until the last 12" then I found a nice smooth pitch up about 1/4 ".  This was consistent all the way across the transom.  How it got there I do not know - but it is there.  I talked to Glen and he said that it is most likely the root of the problem.  He also said it was a known problem that is sometimes encountered in boat construction. It seems to more easily occur in Stitch & Glue construction. In my case it was probably initiated by the 2 ft extension I added to the aft section.  I really thought  it was flat when I rolled it over but I could have missed it.  Any how it is not flat now!

So now I need a fix.  I stated that I could crawl under it and build it up to where it should be (no fun but I could do it).  Glen said this would work but he was betting since I have placed fuel tanks on the transom (I had not added fuel there at that point - using a 6 gal portable) I would probably need
additional lift any how.  He suggested trim tabs.

This is probably the best answer and I will investigate more.  But what I have done now  is to add a "planning plate" or "wing" to the lower unit. This solved the problem and allowed me a full range of trim.  This is an easy fix but I sure hate the looks of the things plus I question if this is as efficient or less efficient than fixing the bottom and trim tabs.  More work ahead......

Also, even trimmed correctly it rides with the bow higher than I expected and as result I raised the seat height about 2" which allows a better view over the bow.  I still have plenty of head room but I needed to make a small platform to sit on the sole in front of the seat as a foot rest. Without it my feet barely touch the floor.

How's it doing?  So far I am pleased. It is a little noisy in the cockpit but I expected that (more on this later).  The sound from the engine seems to be more or less trapped in the enclosure. It's not  bad just more than what I am use to with my open boats.  I am hoping the addition of carpet will help some.

I am just now getting the instruments where I think they are calibrated correctly and this is what I am finding  Top speed is 30 mph.  It will cruise comfortably between about 20 mph and 30 mph.  The Honda 50 seems to be VERY fuel efficient. At a 25 mph cruise it is burning about 2.6 gallon
per hour which equals about 9.6 miles per gallon (one person and 6 gallon of fuel on board).  My 19 ft Bayliner does about 5.5 mpg at the same speed.  I very pleased!

At cruise it handles nice when properly trimmed.  If you bump the trim up too far the bow starts to "wander".  Nothing serious at all but it just seems to float around side to side.  If you trim higher it will then start to bounce letting you know its too high.  I have cut several tight corners at speed and as long as I trim down it comes around just fine.  If you don't the prop may blow out but really no more than my other boats. 

The ride is about what I expected.  This is not a deep "v".  In mild chop you feel it.  At 25 mph the boat is riding with most of the deeper "V"ed bow out of the water and on the flatter area from the mid section back. Naturally slowing down on rough water helps a lot but if you are used to just pounding on through with a deep v it will be a change.