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  • Friction Reduction Coatings

    Winter repair time again and I'm curious if anyone has had good results from using a friction reduction coating on the bottom of your hydroplane? I'm considering using a product like this on the bottom of the sponsons/skid fin/planing surface but I'm not sure if the work load + costs would outweigh the benefits?. Does anyone know of any products like this that can be applied relatively simply over cured epoxy that has shown good results??

  • #2
    Start out with making sure that the bottom is flat.... at least the last 3 feet. Then the friction reducing coating sure will not hurt.

    What type of coating are you thinking about? What is the cost?
    sigpic

    Dean F. Hobart

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    • #3
      I agree with Dean flat bottom fore and aft and left and right for about last 3 ft and I sand the rear bottom and sponson bottoms. When I raced I found gloss finish was not as fast around the race course as sanded. It's how fast around the race course that matters if you get a good start ;-) I used flat black spray and hit it with 400 grit wet fore and aft only.

      Today this spray works very well for that, great product. Also their gloss is a great paint I use it on the black Merc powerheads and lowers and other. To prep just sand the epoxy and wipe clean and remove all residue, I use lacquer thinner for that:

      https://www.lowes.com/pd/Rust-Oleum-...cOxA&gclsrc=ds

      I would forgo the friction coatings. Spend the $$ on props.
      "Keep Move'n" life is catching up!
      No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

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      • #4
        Anyone know anything about this product?? Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          If you put slippery stuff on the bottom of a hydro it will succeed in making the boat more likely to fall off the cart than improve performance on the water. If you watch a modern day boat run you will see that it flies much more than slide across the surface. I would agree with an earlier post here that suggested putting the money into a good propeller or two.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pops67g View Post
            If you put slippery stuff on the bottom of a hydro it will succeed in making the boat more likely to fall off the cart than improve performance on the water. If you watch a modern day boat run you will see that it flies much more than slide across the surface. I would agree with an earlier post here that suggested putting the money into a good propeller or two.
            agree..............sailboats that have 90 percent of there bottom in the water benefit from coatings. what we race only 10 percent of our bottom is in the water. if it makes you feel better go for it, however time would be better spent in other area's of performance.....))



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            • #7
              Sliding off the cart is definitely a real problem. Years ago I used wax and graphite powder.... not only was it messy but the boat would slide off the saw horses.... this was before carts.
              sigpic

              Dean F. Hobart

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              • Harold8
                Harold8 commented
                Editing a comment
                Don’t some builders put graphite mixed with their west system for boat bottoms?

            • #8

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              Here are some pictures of what I'm thinking of doing to the bottom of my hydroplane.

              I have noticed teams using some type of *black paint* on the back of the sponsons and on the rear planning surface. That is what got me wondering if this actually helps tops speeds or if it's just "Snake oil" as some have suggested.

              I race 300ssh, so the suggestions of spending my time & money on motors/props does not really apply here, with sealed motors and our props issued to us by the APBA, boat design and efficiency play a bigger role in higher tops speeds.

              I have noticed some fellow races out here in region 10 "dipping" or "coating" there turn fins in a very similar *black paint* as to what is seen on the bottom of the bigger budget hydroplane teams, But I'm yet to find out what this mysterious *black paint* is actually called... and better yet... does it actually work?

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              • #9
                This is what I've used. I directionally sand, forward and aft with a coarse grit sand paper, after the area is completely flat. Then spray this dry graphite on. Seems to help with acceleration coming out of the corners.

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                • #10
                  I will testify to propriders acceleration out of the corners!



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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by proprider View Post
                    This is what I've used. I directionally sand, forward and aft with a coarse grit sand paper, after the area is completely flat. Then spray this dry graphite on. Seems to help with acceleration coming out of the corners.
                    How long does that coating last before redoing? Any breaking loose in the straights compared to without?
                    "Keep Move'n" life is catching up!
                    No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

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                    • #12
                      I usually reapply after 2 seasons. No issues with breaking loose on the straightaway

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                      • #13
                        To prevent slippage on carts try a couple beads of silicone on the pads. That may provide some grabbing power. I tried a product several years ago on my ASH. It was hydrophylic (sp) that is it absorbed water. Slicker than snot so much that I could not hold on to the boat easily to lift it up. So I gave it up.

                        Bob Smiley 68R

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                        • #14
                          So after much consideration and research, I'm leaning away from a friction reducing paint.

                          I'm now thinking of doing a final coat of west systems epoxy, mixed with 423 graphite powder, then hitting that with 400 grit wet sanding.



                          Any thoughts, idea's, or advice on doing this??

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                          • #15
                            Epoxy with graphite, stink stone it, leave it as is. You do not want to create surface tension, too smooth is bad.
                            sigpic

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