'88 Vegas XT Setup

Hi Randy, thanks for the advice you offer on this awesome site!   In Sept. 2002 I purchased a 1988 Vegas XT from Steve (picture of boat in members photos). This boat is completely stock, and mint condition. Problem is, serious chine-walking. Iíve had this boat to 78m.p.h. on gps, but not a smart thing to do. Iíve talked to Dan on the chine-walking school website for suggestions. His recommendations were these;               #1 Jack plate with 5.5" setback. #2  Torque tab #3 Bobs nosecone #4 Bobs solid motor mounts, upper and lower. #5 Prop. Mazco re4 overhub- 28 pitch, or Spinelli dr 28 pitch.   My current set-up is a 1988 Merc. 200 black max, all stock. 25 pitch laser 2 three blade prop.  Motor bolted to transom, & height is about 4 inches below pad, (too low?!!)  Motor spins about 6000 rpm (hard to tell as boat is squirrelly as hell). Also, dual cable steering, with a very small amount of play, which will be corrected.  Could you offer a second opinion? I want to perfect this boat and fly next summer!

Thanks, Keith



Don't feel bad about the chine walk. You have to learn to drive the boat with the balance coming from your corrections in the wheel. I'll agree that solid mounts would help but all that other stuff will do NOTHING to help you. Save your cash until you learn to drive the boat in its current setup. The 25 laser is ok and a good three blade will always perform good on that hull. I don't buy the wives tail that 4 blades cure chine walk. They usually go slower, so yes, they don't chine walk as much because they are slower and the boat is slightly wetter. If the 4 blade goes faster it's probably because the 3 blade it replaced was a poor prop. Mazco's RE 3 is a good prop for that boat and in my time I've never had an RE 4 faster than an RE 3. You don't need this till you get a handle on the boat. Nosecone on the case won't help the chine walk. It may make the boat faster with some setup changes but the faster you go and the less boat in the water the more chine walk you'll have to contend with. 

Here's what I'd do. Keep your current set up and prop. Solid mounts will help a lot, as your corrections will be less with them. Your engine height is fine as your speed verifies. Now trim the boat for a good run and drive it right up to where the walk starts. Bring it up to speed slowly so you don't go past the chine walk entry speed. When the boat starts to oscillate, throttle back ever so slightly 'till you can control the walk. It will take SMALL corrections in the wheel to keep the boat level. As you get a pattern figured out you will be able to increase the speed and work your way up. This is the ONLY way to eliminate chine walk. Adding parts before you get the driving down is kind of a waste. Try this and I think you'll see what I mean. I tell people, remember when you took the training wheels off your bike and you always tipped over. Then one day you could ride it. Your boat is the same. You will get frustrated, but when you get the timing of the corrections down you will not even think about it, just like the bike. 

When this is all done you'll be able to drive other people's boats that chine walk as they all are similar. Then if you add all the parts you mention you will enjoy the benefits of the added MPH as you can drive to the boats potential. Hope this didn't sound preachy as that was not my intent. I tried to put a lot of information in a short reply. It's very condensed and sounds a little cold when I read it back. My intent was to explain how to get the walk figured out and put some misconceptions to rest that a lot of people have. Hope this did that. 




Please submit whatever questions you have to IHRTechTalk@yahoo.com.  All questions and answers selected will be displayed on this page as they come in.  Note: though all boaters are welcome, priority may be given to I.H.R. members.  Randy can not be held responsible for any advice given.  Though his information and expertise is second to none, he has no control over what you do with your boat.  It is up to you to boat safely and act responsibly, and his advice is only to be used as a guidance for your high performance boat/motor of which you are the one responsible for the risks involved.

Mark C.


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