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The "Dillon Pro Tunnel"
GT Pro Racing Tunnelboat
Also Available: Cockpit Plans
Can be adapted to the Pro Tunnel
I built the original Dillon Pro Tunnel in the winter of 2009 and sold the bare hull to another member of our Twin City Powerboat racing club. Jeff finished and rigged the boat and quickly became a dominant member of our 35hp GT Pro class with six wins in eleven races and second place in the 2009 Highpoints Championship.
In 2010 Jeff only raced twice, taking a win and a second. Plus, the Pro Tunnel had two more wins with other drivers.
For 2011 a second Pro Tunnel has joined the class (see Tony's build HERE), and Jeff is back for a full racing schedule. Tony did well in his first season of tunnelboat racing, and Jeff is the 2011 Highpoints Champion.
Length: 11' 1" (3.38m)
Beam: 78" (1.98m)
Bare Hull Weight: ~220 lbs. (100kg)
Max. Power: 40 hp / 130 lbs.
My goal in designing the Pro Tunnel was a hull that generates maximum aerodynamic lift in a boat meeting the GT Pro weight requirement of at least 650 lbs. (boat, motor and driver), and with an expected top speed of 45-50 mph. The result is a deep, low-camber aifoil body on a 41" wide tunnel of moderate depth. This is a wide boat with a tunnel that gulps air and rides it to nearly lift off the water. (See photo at right, just below the video).
The Dillon Pro Tunnel boat was designed for the 31.8 cubic inch Johnson or Evinrude outboard motor. 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 we use in GT Pro. More about GT Pro HERE.
Although a little smaller than typical, the Pro tunnel might also make a good Sport C racer. Sport C uses the two-cylinder, 40hp Nissan/Tohatsu, a potent little engine (really, a lot more motor than the 35hp OMC) that pushes top boats in the class to nearly 60 mph. A reinforced cockpit or capsule (neither is included with the plans) would have to be added to satisfy class rules. See the Dillon Sport C if you are really interested in this class. More about Sport C HERE.
Of course, the Pro Tunnel would also make a fun and exciting boat for the non-racing high performance enthusiast. A wide variety of motors would be suitable, including the 25hp Tohatsu which is used very successfully for racing in Europe and Australia. Whatever your non-racing purposes, I do not recommend using an engine that exceeds a weight of 130 lbs.
The Pro Tunnel is not a particularly difficult boat to build and should be well within the capabilities of anyone with a little boatbuilding experience, and even the well-motivated first-time builder.
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 35 years or so: from the 8-foot hydroplane I built when I was fourteen, to a 21-foot sailboat built in the 1990s, and a bunch of tunnel and v-bottom raceboats since 2005.
I have drawn these plans on my computer. As such, they are not, and do not resemble, an architect's blueprints. I do not have the capability to print out full size drawings. However, scale drawings with all necessary measurements are provided so the builder can expand these drawings full-size, onto paper or right on the plywood.
The plans package, available via direct download or by postal mail, includes sixteen measured drawings; a scantling list; and some notes on wood, hardware and other materials needed to complete your boat and set it up for racing or just for fun. Also, I provide extensive online construction notes, including more than 100 photos, which will guide you through the entire building process (see link below right). And, I will be just an email away if you have questions.
The plans package costs $55 US via email; or $65 printed on 8.5" x 14" sheets and sent via postal mail. You can pay online through Paypal (you do not need a Paypal account), or you may send a check or money order.