SPEED AND PERFORMANCE
In keeping with this month’s speed theme, our Q&A deals with all things in performance boating, be it outboard, sterndrive or inboard. Let’s get moving and test your knowledge of speed.
1. What is the least expensive (and likely best enhancement) performance modification you can make to your boat? A. A new, better propeller B. Engine modifications C. A jack plate D. Blueprinting the hull 2. Can today’s fourstroke and directinjection two-stroke outboards be modified for more horsepower and performance? A. Not legally; EPA regulations prohibit changing anything on these engines because it will affect emissions. B. Yes, as long as you clear it with your state’s environmental board. C. No. The engine’s electronic control unit (ECU) prohibits this. D. None of the above 3. Will a nose cone addition to the gear case help gain speed? A. Yes, it’s a wise investment for those looking to go faster. B. Not always; in many cases, the added drag of the cone can actually cause a loss of speed. C. Only in twin-engine applications. D. None of the above 4. Outboarders: Solid engine mounts can help improve rough-water handling. Do they cause any issues with engine vibration and premature wear? A. No, they improve handling with no detrimental effects. B. Vibration does increase slightly, noticed mostly at idle speeds with the engine trimmed all the way in to the trim stops. C. Offshore racers have long known to check the steering yoke, exhaust housing and swivel bracket for cracking and breaking. D. None of the above E. B and C
5. Do trim tabs add speed to an already fast boat? A. No, they add drag and actually slow the boat down. B. Yes, they allow the boat to be trimmed higher so it rides on the tabs, reducing wetted surface. C. Yes, in that they can give the driver better control at speed and in rough water, so the net result is oftentimes a speed increase due to the improved handling. D. None of the above E. B and C 6. Your boat is already running at or near its design speed with your current setup. Will changing to a cleaver-style propeller increase your boat’s speed? A. Maybe. Testing is the only way to find out for sure. B. If the boat needs stern lift (is riding bow-high at speed), a cleaver will help increase speed. C. Probably not. A cleaver is designed to lift the stern of the boat at speed, so it will cause the bow to plow with more wetted surface. D. None of the above E. All of the above