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Construction of the Dillon EZ Tunnel

The entire shape is simplified in every way possible. Almost all angles are 90 degrees, so only a minimum of beveling required.

The tunnel plank (the top of the tunnel) is the foundation for the entire boat. It extends all the way out to the hull sides and defines the overall shape of the boat.

This is the expanded tunnel plank. Large areas of the plank can be cut away where it extends into the sponsons. Up to ten pounds of weight savings can be realized.

Parts such as the tunnel sides are created by locating points on a sheet of plywood, bending a thin batten through them and cutting them out with a jigsaw.

No long stringers need to be bent onto the boat. By comparison, almost forty stringers, most extending the full length of the hull, are needed to build my Pro Tunnel. Some of these long stringers need to be beveled to angles that constantly change along the length of the boat.

Small, partial bulkheads are added to form the sponsons.

The tunnel side, with some of its 3/4"x3/4" cleats already attached, lies nearby awaiting installation along the inboard edges of the bulkheads.

The tunnel sides are attached, and so are the hull sides.

The hull sides are oriented vertically and extend the full length and depth of the hull.

The sponson pads and spray rails pretty much complete the bottom.

Turned over, you can already see where the hull sides define the curved shape of the deck. Transverse beams, installed earlier in the build and corresponding to the placement of the bulkheads, can also be seen.

Plywood girders, which are located directly above the sponson sides, lend further support to the deck as well as overall strength to the hull.

Additional bulkheads stretch inboard to the cockpit coaming.

Bulkheads and girders are all in place, and the coamings and motorboard have been added.

Deck, front cowling and finish complete the hull.

Using exterior plywood and pine lumber, I have less than $300 invested at this point.

Fully rigged and ready for racing (or just fun on the lake).

Early testing delivered speeds of 47.5 mph with a bone stock 35hp Johnson turning a slightly modified OMC propeller.

First races in Forest Lake, MN, September 2011.

Results? Finished third on Saturday (out of eight boats), and second on Sunday; won two heats out of four.

Ready for the 2012 racing season.

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