The "Dillon Mini Vee" GT Pro / Mini GT Racing V-bottom
This 11' 11" long v-bottom boat was designed for racing in the APBA Sportsman classes called Mini GT and GT Pro. In fact, the Mini Vee is the ONLY homebuilt boat approved for racing in Mini GT. Both Mini GT and GT Pro are raced in Minnesota and surrounding states, in races organized by the Twin City Powerboat Association.
Length: 11' 11" (3.63m)
Beam: 60" (1.52m)
Bare Hull Weight: ~180 lbs. (82kg)
Max. Power: 35 hp / 120 lbs.
With a 35 hp Johnson or Evinrude motor, equipped with an off-the-shelf OMC propeller (somewhat modified), the Mini Vee has attained speeds near 47 mph. With a proper racing propeller, I expect speeds to top 50 mph.
Initial tests with my Mini Vee indicated a severe turning problem, which I subsequently solved. This problem, its cause, and a couple of ways to avoid it are discussed in the Construction Notes on Page Five-A.
The bottom line is you will have a boat that turns best when driven aggressively. For a long time, I was backing off going into my turns, trying to avoid the wild motion that I originally experienced. But the aggressive approach turned out to be the solution, wide-open-throttle all the way (with just a little negative trim, if so equipped).
The Mini Vee offers two setback options; two coaming height options; and a choice of 18-inch wide or 20-inch wide cockpit. All options are included in the plans package.
Not a great start, but by the time we're around the first bouys, I'm in second place. I'd go on to win this race in Kankakee, IL in 2011. Use "Fullscreen" option for best view.
Having a tough go against the tunnel boats in this June, 2012 race. The Mini Vee is fast, but cannot quite match the tunnels in the turns.
The Dillon Mini Vee boat was designed with the 31.8 cubic inch Johnson or Evinrude in mind. This two-stroke, two-cylinder motor was manufactured in 20, 25, 30 and 35 horsepower versions from 1976 through 2005. It is the 35 horsepower model that is approved for racing in GT Pro, while the 25 horsepower version is used for Mini GT.
For the non-racer, I do not recommend using an engine that exceeds a weight of 130 lbs. The two cylinder, 35 hp OMC that we use for GT Pro racing is of course an excellent choice. The 25hp (or 30hp) Tohatsu that is used for racing in Europe and Australia should also work very well.
Since the Mini Vee does not change shape from bulkhead #3 to the transom (roughly the aft half of the boat), it should be possible for a builder with a bit of experience to stretch the boat a little longer, certainly a foot longer, and maybe more. This would require some re-drawing of the coaming, and some thought as to where the seat should be placed.
About the Plans: I am not a naval architect, or an engineer, or even a draftsman. I am a forester by education, a furniture-maker by profession, and a boat-builder, sailor and racer by inclination. I have built a number of boats over the last 40 years or so: from the 8-foot hydroplane I built when I was 14-years-old, to the 10-foot and 21-foot sailboats I built in the 1990s, and several more boats since then, including a bunch of tunnel and v-bottom raceboats.
I have drawn these plans on my computer. As such, they are not, and do not resemble, an architect's blueprints.
I also do not have the capability to print out full size drawings. However, it is not difficult for the builder to expand these drawings full-size, right on the plywood. There are no difficult curves to draw. All you need is the patience to do an accurate job. And that patience will serve you well thoughout the building process.
The plans package, available via direct download or by postal mail, includes twelve measured drawings; a scantling list; and some notes on wood and other materials and hardware needed to complete your boat. Also, you will have access to my web-based construction notes (see link below), including more than 60 photos which will guide you through the entire building process. And, I will be just an email away if you have questions.
The plans package costs $50 US. You can pay online through Paypal (you do not need a Paypal account), or you may send a check or money order.