I recently bought a 1995 Eliminator 250 Eagle. It has a double step hull with a delta pad in the rear. The boat has a 502 with a intercooled procharger, a bravo 1 drive with 1.50 gears and and a Imco 2" shorty lower with a 1" spacer. Full hydraulic steering with 2 rams. The prop it came with is a Bravo 1 28 that has been cupped by throttle-up. I bought the boat in the middle of winter with out test driving it. I recently got to take it out for a test drive a couple weekends ago and on the first attempt at some speed the boat started chinewalking violently at about 70-75 mph. My buddy who was riding with me idea was to power through-it. Wrong! I am lucky to be typing here today! Anyway, I called the previous owner and he advised me on how to trim the boat. It did get better but still came in at about 85. I swapped props with a buddy for the next weekend. I used his untouched bravo 1 30 pitch. I ran the boat up to 87 mph. (we had a gps with us this time) and the boat felt much better. I am still a little gun shy of the boat so I feathered off the throttle as soon as I felt the boat bobble. The boat pulled 5300 rpm with that prop and still felt as if it was accelerating hard. I would like to run the boat past 90 mph as it feels like it would but I don't want the thing to fall into a chine-walk at that speed. So I guess my question is what would be the best thing to do next? I would like to make the boat as stable as possible. Should I try removing the 1" spacer from the drive and try it again? The guy I bought the boat from said he had never ran it with the spacer removed. Supposedly the boat was built with a higher than normal X dimension in the first place. The boat also does not have trim tabs. I plan on adding them eventually? Anyway looking for help!
I have read your post. Tabs will help, among a few other things. Padded vee's can be tough above 80 mph. Under accelleration it is not too bad, but once they start to get really free above 80 and they fall off that pad, it can be frightening. I will sit down this evening and discuss it further after I get caught up around here.
Seat time and experience are going to be your best asset. As I said earlier though, most padded bottomed vees run pretty well up to 80 mph and then are pretty much a handful after that, no matter what you do(within reason). Getting to 90 mph safely is not going to come easy in my opinion. Its going to have to be a nice smooth day on the lake, a light load in the boat, the right prop, and some seat time on your part.
1. The even smooth water will help keep your boat stable, and keep that pad from coming in contact with a possible side roller or wake that would upset the boat.
2. The overall weight and weight distribution helps a ton in a vee for top speed, or any boat for that matter.
3. The right prop is going to be tricky. If you over prop the boat, it will be really violent, so make sure the prop you run can get you to the max rpm of the motor when the load is light. You will need to try a few. Such as a 30 lab finish by Mercury for example, maybe even a 26-27 P5X hydromotive, although it might bite too hard,,,,,,,,
4. The seat time is going to teach you what the boat wants. I cannot tell you how many people think a vee chine walks and I drive it and it does not at all. Now granted, maybe it does chine walk if you hold the wheel still and just sit behind the wheel and watch or overtrim it(big mistake). When the boat starts to free up, the torque of the motor and the prop can make the boat move, along with the water, and the shape of the bottom of the boat. Some boats cannot be driven fast no matter what you do. Yours can, with the right parts and some seat time. There are little touches to the steering wheel that will need to be made to keep the boat on the pad. When I say little,,,,,,,,,,,,,I mean little!
Note: For stability and all around driving, don't go any shorter with the drive. Having the drive deep will keep the lateral movement to a minimum. Sometimes the shape of the lower unit or a nosecone will make the boat do weird things at high speed. You might bolt on a standard XR lower and love the way the boat feels(I would bet money on that). It will probably lose 2-3 mph off your best speed, but if it's driveable, who cares
You could sink a bunch of money in your boat trying to make it fast and stable. Its already fast................
Try some or all of what is listed above. MAKE ONE CHANGE AT A TIME AND DOCUMENT THE RESULTS! This is the most important thing I have said here tonight.
I agree with Gary's assessment. That is a very fast speed for a boat with a 24' centerline, it is 25 to the back of the swim step. A good set of tabs will help for sure and you can set tham as needed for varying water conditions. If you put 380's on there, you are basically adding 3' to your hull for more stability in all types of water.
Thanks Gary. I talked to the previous owner and he said there is quite a bit of driver input involved in driving the boat at speed. He is a veteran outboard guy that the inputs are probably second nature to. I have a cell phone video of the boat at speed with him driving and the boat looks like it carries itself real well. I will forward it to your email because I cannot figure out how to post it here. I definetly feel as if the labbed 30p B1 I borrowed and ran last weekend was much more stable than the 28 B1 with the cupping that the boat came with. I would really like to try a p5x and I see there is a slightly used 26p here for sale on the boards I might try to buy and give a try. But all in all it sounds like I need to continue driving the boat cautiously as I have been and slowly work my way up to max speed in the boat. I will add tabs asap. I am thinking the Dana 24" units? I am at 4500' elevation here in Idaho so I am pretty impressed with the boat already, just want to play it safe!
Having a boat that has had some chinewalking issues, I'll throw in my .02. A lot of people suggest tabs to help chinewalking, which they will, but also scrub off speed at the same time so its a compromise. That being said, it is a good idea to have tabs anyway. Playing with props and drive heights is what will get the boat to settle down the best, but as you've stated, seat time will help as well. Just make sure when you start trying different props and/or lower units, creep up on speed and it wouldn't hurt to put on a Lifeline. Good luck and keep us updated.
I have a 98 25' Eagle (Blown 510) that runs close to triple digits...
I've had 3 25's each with different power,so guess I have a lot of stick time in these boats.
Sounds to me that your X-dimension might be a bit on the high side.I believe the 95's had a sky high X,which in addition to your shorty lower,might be a bit much...
My boats pretty much on rails up to upper 80's and then she starts to dance,I've learned a couple of tricks that help keep'er up on the pad,p.m me or call my cell 505-620-7622,Mychal... I might be able to help you out somewhat...
btw,I'm running a labbed 32',fastest speed to date was 98.7 on GPS,prior owner managed 102,there are several people in the Eliminator forum over at Offshore only w/25 Eagle's that run over 100...
I agree that it could be an x-dimension issue. I just think that it might be that the owner has a low x-dimension, not the boat. If he could see over the wind screen I would have been a lot more comfortable on the first hot pass.