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Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

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  • #16

    Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

    Gents,
    I have modified the steering column angle and the configuration of my Hemp 25SSH so that I can race in a sit-down position. I'll be testing/racing at Franklin and the rest of the 2012 racing season. What I found may surprise you....center of gravity is LOWER than kneel down in the same boat. All of my thighs, buttocks, and much of my torso are all below the cockpit railing. The boat is very aggressive in the turns. I've been testing in the river and it is much more narrow than most 3/4 and 1mile courses that I usually race on. I just drive to the buoy crack the throttle, set the fin, re-apply full throttle and hang on. NO tendency to get pitched high-side because 80per cent of ME is so low in the boat. I like it and we'll see how she races at Franklin. Mike Raceboat61-S

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    • #17

      Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

      Mike is the person I was writing about who has modified his kneeldown but decided not to blow his cover. Now that he has, it'll be interesting to hear how it goes. Jack

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      • #18

        Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

        Several years ago before Dan Kirts retired from driving, he drove 500 hydro in a sitting down position, although best I remember it was NOT a capsule type boat. I seem to remember he had some type of injury that was no longer conducive to lying down, as he drove that way (lying down) for a number of years, although I could very well be mistaken about the injury part.

        Anyway, he drove that way for a short time, don't think it was more than a season or so, and had barrel rolled in a corner, I think at DePue, although again I could be mistaken about the location. I never saw him in a sit down, non-capsule boat again.
        Yes, That was Dan Kirts at DePue. I was looking right at him when he rolled it.
        (actually, it was more than several years ago)
        Last edited by jeff55v; 05-05-2012, 08:53 PM.


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        • #19

          Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

          Mike:

          Good luck with your testing and experimentation with the "sit down" modification you have made with your boat.

          My intent was not in any way to ridicule your efforts to make yourself more comfortable in your boat (if you took my comment that way) but as someone who has been hurt myself (I have had a hip replacement since 76 as a result of a testing accident and managed quite nicely continuing with a kneeler) I hate to see anyone hurt themselves because of changes in a boat that have not been thought out carefully.

          Might I suggest that even though your testing that has been done so far has turned out well, rough water in competition and adrenalin sometimes makes things happen that you have not anticipated, or experienced in actual racing conditions. I hope this modification works well for you as you can still have a productive racing career with an artificial joint.

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          • #20

            Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

            Yes, That was Dan Kirts at DePue. I was looking right at him when he rolled it.
            (actually, it was more than several years ago)

            Jeff:

            "Several years" is somewhat irrelevant when you reach a certain age, and unfortunately I have!! At least I am still able to have that function, albeit a little off, time wise.

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            • #21

              Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

              Great topic I'm interested in laydowns & have a sit down [classic kneeler]. Some thoughts on the seated:
              Hal Kelly B Airborn w/ a 31.8 OMC !st I dont't know how you older guys did it.. kneel in such a wide cockpit. tried it & was scared [meow] I knew I'd be putting a big motor on & would be running in ruff stuff so I built the boat to handle it & made it a sitter for comfort. Of course being a bottom fin boat it won't corner like a modern runabout or go as fast but as a fun boat is pretty good. The foot positions made a big difference in the stability of the but of the nut behind the wheel. I'm still experimenting with where to put foot pressure in a turn. In this I doubt kneeling would be an improvement.

              Here's another story, my pals Hal Kelly Wetback. He rigged it to sit in for knee trouble & has learned to handle it well. Ive driven it several times & was not comfortable reaching way up for the wheel. There's little room for legs & in it I'd rather kneel. To compensate for upper body weight in either you can freely lean. The footrests in the Airborn have edges on the outsides
              to lock in. Whats good about that is between having your hands on the wheel & throttle, feet locked you can easily slide or lift your but [bumps] to keep on top of the situation. Both boats will go just over 50, You'll race much faster so be real careful & hope it works out.
              Team Tower

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              • #22

                Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

                Gents,
                I have modified the steering column angle and the configuration of my Hemp 25SSH so that I can race in a sit-down position.

                Mike, would you be willing to share any pics of your design? I am sure there are others like myself who would be interested in seeing it.
                "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress". -- John Adams

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                • #23

                  Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

                  Dennis et al.,
                  I'd be glad to share but my boat is in Ohio.....I'm still in Florida. However, what I did was put in a "temporary" second dashboard about 3 inches aft of the original. It is angled up more (but NOT like driving a bus). I put a 4" extension on the steering column to bring the wheel a bit higher and to give my feet clearance to get in/out. Throttle is in the same place but I put it on the outside of the cockpit to reduce any chance of snagging on it if I exit the boat in an uncontrolled situation. Seems to work so far. Mike

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                  • #24

                    Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

                    Laydown

                    Dave, you mention wind tunnel tests. I would think that would be very expensive and probably not too many builders/designers have access to something like that. Would it be asking too much (donít want to reveal any trade secrets) to know who, what, where, when on the wind tunnel testing?
                    Dennis,

                    I will share with you at the races, no problem. It is way to much to type.

                    I can say, my laydown was just as fast through the corners as my kneeler. And from that learning curve, I think I have a decent kneeler now. It can corner with the laydowns. (not Euro). Euro's are a whole other game changer.

                    I know a lot of design gurus will not argree with me, but I still think one can make a kneeler as good as any laydown if you get all aspects of the design right. Trust me, I have several boats that I don't race that were mistakes on the drawing board. But how else can you learn ? Not a lot of good design folks will share real theory.
                    Dave Mason
                    Just A Boat Racer

                    Comment


                    • #25

                      Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

                      Dennis,

                      I will share with you at the races, no problem. It is way to much to type...


                      Trust me, I have several boats that I don't race that were mistakes on the drawing board. But how else can you learn ? Not a lot of good design folks will share real theory.
                      Thanks Dave. I look forward to meeting up with you at a race this year. And who knows, maybe by the end of the year Gardner will have another Mason boat on the water.
                      "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress". -- John Adams

                      Comment


                      • #26

                        Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

                        Dennis et al.,
                        I'd be glad to share but my boat is in Ohio.....I'm still in Florida...

                        No problem Mike and good luck with the design. Be sure to keep us posted on your progress.
                        "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress". -- John Adams

                        Comment


                        • #27

                          Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

                          In laydowns there seems to be 2 types, some full lay down looking thru lexan or on a ramp, head above cowling. As far as view is being on a ramp, head up that much less than kneeling?
                          Team Tower

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                          • #28

                            Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

                            Yup...

                            Even with a ramp and your head above the sides of the boat, you can't turn much side to side. This is why the PRO overlap rule is eyeball to eyball....

                            Michael

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                            • #29

                              Re: Hydro Design- Kneeler vs Laydown

                              Even with a ramp and your head above the sides of the boat, you can't turn much side to side. This is why the PRO overlap rule is eyeball to eyball....

                              Michael
                              Thanks
                              Team Tower

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