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Author Topic: Set up and driving a bass boat  (Read 431 times)

Wizard

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Set up and driving a bass boat
« on: October 31, 2018, 04:49:40 PM »

I "borrowed" this from the BassCat forum. I was written by Rick Pierce and provides the basics in setup and driving a bass boat.

Questions on engine height, trim and set up.

Engine heights should be raised for hole shot and lowered as soon as the nose drops to improve performance. The engine heights are easily managed with the hydraulic Plate. Steering wheel torque running on the top end (full out) should be just tension to the right, not pulling hard right requiring you to hold or hang onto the wheel. The Gen1 Case is a good efficient case and allows you to manage the torque and gauge it easily. If your having to use your left forearm to hold or pull excessively, your too high on the plate. To stat run it way down, all the on the bottom, till you pick up the handling and seat time.

The height is easy, though over trimming is the task at hand more so as you will want to play too much with that side, and that is more tapping in VERY short bursts. You have to allow the hull to develop performance which is why the description of driving your Bass Cat with trim and not the throttle comes out in conversation. As the nose drops over, tap the trim up in fast bursts to ‘free’ the hull, quit when you just ‘free’ the hull allowing easier bow control with the steering. Now start tapping the trim, tap run a 1/4 mile, tap it again, another 1/4 mile or so, tap it again and keep that process.

Torque is slippage and you want this controlled and lowered to manage prop rotation, which is always pulling the engine right.

Continue taps on the trim slowly till you have no torque and wheel control, holding slightly left. The nose will point just a little bit left, crabbing slightly left when running hard and pushing the envelope. That is propeller rotation compensation in the set up. Since the prop rotates right, the holding it slightly left should be no challenge.

Adjustments to the steering wheel are very slight once you have learned and have the plate and trim adjusted properly for your weight loads. It will require such a slight input from your left hand, held at 10:00 to 10:30 on the wheel, that you barely move the wheel. Movement is extremely soft for straight line operation as long as you don’t over trim.

The fatty portion inside of the heeled your hand, behind the little finger and ring finger, is extremely sensitive and should feel the movement as the propeller slips slightly and the motor mounts compensate. That is when the slight pressure is felt. You will eventually learn to adjust the trim and pressure to keep that bow just slightly, 1” to 2”, left of center.

Its all about keeping the engine low, torque manageable and trim to a low enough level you can drive, with your skill set. Driving anything requires a different skill set than jumping in the same vehicle every day.

Last you mention this to be a Gilbert modified propeller, which is great if the prop was modified and blueprinted as spec’d to improve performance. If that was a propeller that had been sand barred, gravel tuned, rock hammered or stump improved, all bets are off as returning it to the original operation is very hard. You usually loose tension (hardness) in the metal, change the blades where Ronnie is shooting to get it right and more is going on than anyone can say.

There's a chance they had Gilbert improve the prop to improve performance with those Tallons which BCB does not suggest. They simply weigh too much on the hull rotation for hole shot and keep the bow higher.

Cutting a bent and chipped propeller very seldom returns one to like new operation. They can if the damage was slight, though over cutting and already thin metal (7 alloy on Fury) and loosing its blade shape under power. It’s metal and heat, thickness and more are making his job hard.

For now that's enough and good luck!

BCB

Wizard
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SteelHorseCowboy

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Re: Set up and driving a bass boat
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2018, 09:05:03 PM »

Very interesting read. I know very little about boats, basically just enough to follow the terminology, so this was very informative and filled in some gaps for me. Thanks for sharing this!

Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

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merc1997

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Re: Set up and driving a bass boat
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2018, 09:52:32 PM »

i got a hoot out of that one wizard.  there are many that simply slap a prop on and go fishing, and even for me anymore could get along with that.  BUT, if you want to really maximize your ride to get the best performance and handling, which equate to better fuel milage, it takes some time and tweaking.

i have yet to see two alike boats that ran the same with the same prop.  once you find the right prop for your ride, then it takes time to get the engine height right, but this is where a hydraulic jack plate is worth the money.  you can dial in the right height for every trip depending on the load.

boats are getting faster all the time, but in my humble opinion, boat drivers need to do much improvement in their driving skills.  one of the most common mistakes made when running 60 or over is to not drive far enough ahead of you.

the more time you take in getting your setup right, the easier and safer the boat will be driving at high speeds.

as rick stated, work your way up.  lots of seat time and practice will get you there.  high speeds on our heavy summer recreational traffic ozark lakes, really take high speed driving out of the equation.

bottom line about when you are getting the most out of your boat is that all translates into fuel economy.  example would be if you are getting 40 mph hour at 4000 rpm or you could be getting 50 mph hour plus at the same rpm, which setup is getting better fuel mileage??  and there is why it pays to take the time to get the most out of your rig.  you do not have to run it wide open all the time, but the less prop slipage, the better your fuel economy will be.

bo


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Wizard

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Re: Set up and driving a bass boat
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 02:24:20 PM »

Amen, brother. I used a hydraulic plate on my tournament boats because I ran some skinny waters  down south. I still run a custom, blueprinted, Mazco prop on my Puma and re balance the load when I change out gear. Though not as critical today as in older boats, a balanced boat makes a difference in ride and performance. I've seen a lot of anglers drive a boat on LOZ beyond their ability and experience, The lake isn't kind to idiots.

Wizard
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