earl smith 17
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earl smith 17

  1. #1
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    Default earl smith 17

    Ok guys I traded for an old earl smith TT 17 that is in pretty decent shape for its age. It was sitting in a building for years out of the weather so stringers are fine but the boat is very light,350lbs with the pump. I want to make a lake boat out of it and it was suggested to me to pull the deck off and relam both halves to add some strength and weight. The top is so thin you can read the writing on the outside from underneath . I have done glass work for years so Im not scared of doing it but was wondering how the front is glassed back together.. I dont think there is any way i could ever fit all the way in the front to do it from the inside.. Someone point me in the right direction plz.. thanks.

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    Senior Member River Dad's Avatar
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    I hate it when guys get on and preach about how you shouldn't do a project and it's not the right application and yada yada yada, but this might be a situation that warrants it. I'm not sure if you are familiar with this boat or it's history but this a very specific purpose built boat for the race track. When they are set up right with big power they are quick as hell but they also get you pitched out of the boat and hurt in a hurry as well....

    Just my $.02, but with the amount of work you are talking about investing in splitting the cap and adding glass then retabbing it, you might be better off looking for something that is a better lake/river platform to begin with. In the end, you would probably be dollars ahead and have a boat more designed for your use... Just something to think about

    That being said, if you do decide to go on with the build, there are a ton of guys on here that have alot of experience getting the intake and hardware really close to keep you as safe as you can be (me not being one of them..lol)

    Again, not trying to a dick at all, and get a few other opinions.. Just don't want to see somebody get head deep in a project and then end up with a boat that can get you (or worse, your passengers) in a situation where somebody could get hurt... RD

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    Quote Originally Posted by River Dad View Post
    I hate it when guys get on and preach about how you shouldn't do a project and it's not the right application and yada yada yada, but this might be a situation that warrants it. I'm not sure if you are familiar with this boat or it's history but this a very specific purpose built boat for the race track. When they are set up right with big power they are quick as hell but they also get you pitched out of the boat and hurt in a hurry as well....

    Just my $.02, but with the amount of work you are talking about investing in splitting the cap and adding glass then retabbing it, you might be better off looking for something that is a better lake/river platform to begin with. In the end, you would probably be dollars ahead and have a boat more designed for your use... Just something to think about

    That being said, if you do decide to go on with the build, there are a ton of guys on here that have alot of experience getting the intake and hardware really close to keep you as safe as you can be (me not being one of them..lol)

    Again, not trying to a dick at all, and get a few other opinions.. Just don't want to see somebody get head deep in a project and then end up with a boat that can get you (or worse, your passengers) in a situation where somebody could get hurt... RD
    The boat is pretty much ready to put a motor in and run as it its I just wanted to beef up the hull and take some of the flex out of it to make it a little more stable on the slow down. There is a local guy that had one as a lake boat a few years ago and did pretty good with it but I understand your concern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by project View Post
    The boat is pretty much ready to put a motor in and run as it its I just wanted to beef up the hull and take some of the flex out of it to make it a little more stable on the slow down. There is a local guy that had one as a lake boat a few years ago and did pretty good with it but I understand your concern.
    my .002cents
    before you start on this build check around or ask around more before you jump..
    I was sorta in your shoes and I new what I wanted and got all the info one could..
    Trust what R-D is saying ..please he is not just talking he now,S what he is talking about..or even talk to other hot boat builderS they will tell you the same..
    If you don,t have much seat time in a jet or even a tunnel like that they could be very evil..
    I listened to alot of do,s and don,t on them and had my first gut felling to get what I have now..
    even tho my winger is a ol warbird she will do what I expect of it..
    SO at this point do a lot of thinking before you jump on a rocket that could and would get you very wet.....and a lot of $$$$$$
    ps HELL I,M STILL ASKING QUESTIONS RIGHT R-D..

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    Senior Member wildstreak's Avatar
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    Default 3x

    A Texas Tunnel isnt my choice for a lake boat or a race boat. Sell it and keep looking. I wouldnt start with a hull that you know has a
    history of chunking drivers out. You can go fast and be much safer in other hulls.

    BE SAFE
    Keith

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    ive been looking around at different bottom mods for this little pickle and see where some are taking the point out of the front of the sponsons to give it something a little flatter to land on and not dig in and hook. Ever heard of this working or just a desperate attempt to keep straight? Im not sure what Im gonna do with little boat yet but would like to see it floating again and Im a pretty decent swimmer..lol

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    TX 17 is not as bad as the v nosed cousin. You could add balsacore to the sides, floor, and deck...... lots of work. Considerable pod work, would be needed to make the boat more desirable for lake use.
    Upper Midwest Power Boat Association
    DRAG BOAT RACING UMPBA #926


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    Senior Member Lildave's Avatar
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    If you want to use it as a lake boat, go ahead. I own a 16ft Mantra Tunnel (same boat as the v nosed Texas Tunnel) and minus having to be careful getting in and out so you don't crack it, it has not been a bad lake boat.

    I will tell you, from guys here telling me, and personal experience... The setup (shoe, loader, ride plate etc) is either really right, or really wrong. There's not an in between. Put a loader under there that hangs down below keel any at all, and you ARE getting wet, unless you have a hell of a grip, good reactions, and you're lucky. Mostly that last part.

    On the plus side (and many here will say luck, water conditions, or call bs) the way my boat is set up now, you can run it until it won't run any faster, and just crack off the throttle, and it sets down nice and straight.

    I dumped a lot of money into my little boat, and ended up putting it up for sale because my girlfriend is nervous becuase it is so thin. I've since bought a 20' heavy laid up pickle fork, and absolutely love it. She loves to drive the new boat, and that makes it worth it to me. I'm more about having a few beers with buddys and not so much about drag racing... It's fun too, but not the main idea of it for me.

    I wouldn't worry about thickening it up. Mine doesn't flex or "wave" at you at all going across the water.

    Make sure the setup is perfect.
    Get a ratchet, or pop off.
    Keep a close eye on the water, and run it when it's glass.
    Be prepared to eventually get tossed when an engine lets go at 6500 or so on the big end.


    I'm definitely not a guru about these boats at all, this is just first hand experience, and a lot of listening to the guru's.

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    Im gonna sleep on it for a while. I might experiment with the shape of the bottom and see If I can reduce the amount of unpredictability. I dont have much in the boat and I love a good project and who knows, I might be able to help it out and in turn pave the way for others that want to do something similar, or I might ruin a perfectly good drag boat who knows...I was told today that the boat has gone a best of 7.51 setup as it is right now so I know its quick in a straight line..lol..

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    i love my tx tunnel

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    JDG911 would be a good source of info on a good set up for these things.......

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    What would you think about reshaping the front half of the sponsons to more like the Cheyenne? That should ease the digging in on the slow down some ... just a thought.

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    Senior Member JDG911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Dad View Post
    JDG911 would be a good source of info on a good set up for these things.......
    I by no means know everything about these boats still find stuff out from time to time on mine. I like my texas, i have had it shut down on me with a buddy in the boat and it set down and went straight. I know its not if your getting pitched IT'S WHEN. I have taken mine completely apart including pulling the intake and put it back together. If i can be of any help just let me know, if i dont know the answer i will tell u that i dont and maybe who u could ask. These boats are a breed of there own thats for sure. good luck.

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    Thanks, i appreciate it.. It would definitely be alot easier to just go get a more forgiving boat but that would take all the fun out of it. Im more into the challenge of it all than anything and you never know, I might get lucky with some bottom mods and fix some of the issues.. either way, i appreciate all the input and suggestions..

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