Doc Miller chimes in with his thoughts on building a new boat

Illustration for article titled Doc Miller chimes in with his thoughts on building a new boat

Building a new boat is always a tricky situation. Our new D (Tohatsu) boat was built by Jason Derksen, seen here 85% finished. As racers we strive to improve. Sam Hemp in his many boats would continue to improve boat and bottom design. Well, where do you start when trying to improve a boat in a class that has made some changes in the last few years. The D class has seen a heavier motor become the engine of choice. This has caused some to widen the bottom. Darnelle on the West Coast and Reed on the East coast have built great boats that have won National championships. So that is were we started, with their measurements. A boat that rides well on the water is a balanced boat. So, you can not over look the size and weight of the driver to achieve stability. We are building boat that is also an airplane, allowing the driver to control the attitude of the boat yet allowing the boat to be as free from the friction of the water. The amount of lift needs to fit the drivers weight and the angle of motor. In some designs, more lift is used to counter the tuck of the unit. This allows you to raise the unit and still satisfy the height rules. NBRA has no restriction. We selected 2"3/4" lift as our driver weights 180lb. Speed often determines the length of the boat, as pro boats are much longer. We selected 11'2" as we will approach speeds of 80-84mph. This is larger than some, but here in the mid-west we have full fields and wind. We selected 39" width of bottom to give more stability in the turns. We find the Tohatsu is slow to reduce rpm and we have to back off of the throttle sooner than we would like. Only one way to see if a boat works, build it and then keep testing. Doc Miller

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