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TINY TITAN - A THREE-POINT HYDRO
A quick history of Hydro's - Hydroplanes were designed and built for speed. Their lightweight hulls were designed to fly on a cushion of air and plane the hydro above the water with only the propeller, rudder, and the runners of their two sponsons making contact with the water. This is why they were called 3-point hydroplanes. There is also a skid fin that is placed on the port side sponson to "skid" the hydroplanes into the turns. The raceboats always competed on a circular shaped race course and always would go counterclockwise. Hydroplane designers learned the less resistance to water, the faster they would go.
The Tiny Titan is a Glen-L design and is a smaller replica of the raceboats of years gone by. This one is really designed for kids but dad may try his hand if he can lose a pound or two before the launch date.
I started building this boat in late August '05. Progress had been good but then I got off track a little after Hurricane Rita blew in. I was able to get started back to work in late November.
ACTION PICTURES AND VIDEO ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
The plans don't call for flotation but I want some so the next move is to close off the sponsons so they can be filled. I measured everything out and fabricated the parts necessary. This worked out nicely. Next I'll add the coaming and decking and it will begin to take some shape. More pictures to follow.
Here I closed-in the sponsons and sealed the joints. I coated all the new wood with epoxy and then filled the sponson cavities with flotation foam. I then cut and installed the decking.
Progress has been slow due to other activities taking up my time. Not that I'm complaining, family time is as much fun as boatbuilding time. But the kids want to run the hydro this summer and all the pollen and warm days tell me summer is quickly approaching. It's mid-March and the kids have put the pressure on me to be ready for the first trip to Lake Rayburn.
There's not that much left, and then again there is a lot left to do. This month I am trying to complete the bow end but this is slow due to a lot of thinking involved in how to set up the dash and steering system. I went back and forth on whether to use the conventional steering or drum and cable steering and conventional throttle versus the dead man throttle. I've decided is to use exposed drum and cable steering and the deadman throttle.
I hope to be to the point soon where all I have left is the glassing and painting (I have no clue on what the paint job will look like, but I better come up with something soon).
Next up is fiberglassing the bottom and top side. I used 3.25oz glass on the bottom and 2oz glass on the top.
Here we start the painting process. First I sanded the epoxy well and then put on 2 coats on Interlux Pre Kote sanding lightly between coats.
Next we apply Interlux Toplac paint (Mauritius Blue). The 1st coat is 50/50 Pre Kote and Toplac, then 2 more coats of just the Toplac. We used the "roll and tip" method and the finish turned out very nice.
Meanwhile, I had a local welder fabricate some turning fins and a transom plate. Most hydro's only have one turning fin on the left side because the racing courses always turn counter clockwise. I want to turn both directions so I installed a fin on both sides.
A brand new trailer would have been nice, but I was able to obtain for free (no I didn't steal it) an old trailer originally used for a flat bottom of some sort. This trailer was slightly damage when hit by a tree during the hurricane. The right back corner of the frame was bent a little. It was off by an inch with the same corner on the other side. I used a shim to even up my platform and all was level again.
After a long search I found the motor I wanted. This is a 1976 Evinrude 15 hp. This particular one is in excellent condition for its age. Now all that is left is a little more painting, then rig out the steering, throttle and instruments.
Attached the turning bar to the motor. Just need to get the cable steer hardware and rig it out.
Well, after a couple of months of dealing with problems connecting up the deadman, problems too numerous to mention, we think we got something that works. We have had her out a few times now and it has been a lot of fun playing with this boat. The kids really like to run it. We have achieved speeds of 30 mph +. You get your best speed on completely calm water. Also the lighter the kid the faster she goes.
Here are some action pictures and action video: