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Pro Vee Race Boat Plans
Page Ten
Rigging

You may want to do the finishing before the rigging. If so, proceed to the next page.

I prefer to get as much of the rigging done as possible before finishing, if only to avoid damaging the finish.

There are different ways to put together the systems for your boat. Mostly, I will describe here the rigging on my Pro Vee, which is based on the current state of my knowledge and experience.

See also the rigging notes for the Dillon Mini Vee, Dillon Mini Tunnel and Dillon Pro Tunnel for addition photos and sometimes a different perspective.



Steering

Your steering system starts with a shaft and a pair of bearings. An aluminum shaft would be good lightweight choice; a stainless steel shaft will be corrosion resistant. However, all I've ever used is a 3/4" mild steel rod from the hardware store.

I get flange-type bearings from Surplus Center. Each of these bearing has two set screws so they can be locked to the steering shaft.

As mentioned before, the exact placement of the wheel is a matter of what's comfortable to you. Get in the boat and hold the wheel in front of you at a comfortable height.

I make my own steering drums. This one is made from nine plywood circles cut with an adjustable circle cutter mounted on a drill press. The three large circles are about six inches in diameter; the six smaller one about five inches.

A large diameter drum like this makes for quick steering. My wheel rotates only a little more than a quarter turn in either direction.

Two pulley wheels are attached to the drum so that it can be locked to the steering shaft. Three-inch to four-inch pulleys work best. These ones are screwed to the drum, but it is better to bolt it through with a couple of 1/4" bolts. Notice I have replaced the set screws on the pulleys with bolts: easier to tighten them down to the shaft.

Coaming pulleys can be found at Glen L, Sorenson and Brown Tool and Machine. Also check eBay.

The Grant #334 steering wheel, 11.5" in diameter and lightly padded, seems perfect for this application. You can get them from eBay or Amazon for about $25.

The trim buttons are mounted on the right; the ignition switch is on the left.

On the dash is the kill switch with lanyard -- required for racing, and good idea in any case.

In the center of the dash is the trim indicator. More about trim below....

Quick release steering wheel hubs are used on capsule-equipped racing boats where the driver needs to remove the wheel to get in or out of the cockpit. This capability is probably not necessary on the Pro Vee, but I don't know of any other ready-made steering wheel hubs on the market, and these work very nicely.

The smaller part is fixed to the steering shaft. Drill a 1/4" hole through the part and the shaft and then insert a 1/4" roll pin.

The style at the bottom of the photo is probably best from the standpoint of quick removal to get out of a capsized boat.

Quick release hubs can often be found on eBay for about $20.

Another option is to use go kart steering parts, such as those available from GoKartParts.com. The full kit comes with a 5/8" shaft. The Grant wheel mentioned above will not quite fit the three-bolt pattern on the go kart steering wheel hub, but it can be filed or re-drilled to work. Or you can simply buy a go kart steering wheel.

These steering arms are made from 1/4" x 2" aluminum bar. They are bolted onto the back of the engine pan. A short brace extends from each arm to a powerhead bolt.

A bend in each arm brings the cable attachment point almost directly opposite the tilt tube on the motor's clamp bracket. This way, as the engine is trimmed up and down, cable tension stays constant.

Throttle

A foot-operated throttle is required for all OPC racing. Even if you are not going to race, I highly recommend it for your Pro Vee.

The "Hot Foot" (available from various marine outlets) is probably the best known brand, but there are others. There's the "Hot Shot" from Bob's Machineshop. My Mini Vee had one called "Lead Foot." Look for one intended for use with your brand of motor. All these throttles use standard control cables.

They can be bought with an optional "slide plate" (seen here) which gives you a few inches of fore-and-aft adjustment.

Foot throttles are frequently up for bid on eBay.

Shift

For OPC pure stock classes, you must be able to shift your motor from the seat, with one hand on the steering wheel. I made a simple shifter for my Pro Vee. You can also use a standard unit from your motor's manufacturer.

Trim

If your motor already has hydraulic trim, then you're in business.

I set up my trim with an older Mercury cylinder and a Mercruiser pump. The bracket which holds the cylinder to the motor is homebuilt. The bracket at the forward end of the cylinder is part of my jackplate.

You will find more information regarding trim HERE.

You can find plans to build a jackplate HERE.

Fuel Tank and Battery

I use a standard three-gallon fuel tank and a garden tractor battery. Note both are tightly secured with ratchet straps.

Expect to use 1.5 to 2 gallons of fuel per race.

A garden tractor battery will easily provide all the juice you need for a weekend of racing, including several engine starts and almost constant use of trim. These batteries weigh about 17 lbs. If you are really pressed on weight, a motorcycle battery can be used -- about 10 lbs., I believe.

Battery Switch

At a race in 2007, while working on my Dillon Mini Tunnel in the pits, one of the steel-jacketed trim hoses came in contact with the trim pump solenoids. With no quick way to cut the juice, I had to pull this HOT hose clear with my hand.

The hose was ruined, and the boat had to sit out the next race. But more important, there was the distinct possibility of fire, so I consider myself lucky.

With this incident in mind, I put a battery switch in all my boats. It is easily accessable in an emergency, and is handy for cutting off the juice when trailering, or working on the rig. This switch spends most of its time in the OFF position.

Propellers

Best performance will be realized if your engine is jacked up quite high, with the prop shaft perhaps only a couple of inches below the bottom of the boat. For a prop to run at the water's surface like this, you will most likely need "cupped" blades. Cupping is little more that a short curl along the trailing edges (and sometimes the leading edges) of the blades.

Cupping can be seen on the blade at right.

New props can often be ordered cupped. Or a propeller shop should be able to cup one for you. Consider having your prop guy thin down the blades a bit as well, if he does that sort of work.

Or if you're really adventurous, you can do it yourself. I have raced both Mini GT and GT Pro with home-brewed propellers. Aluminum is easiest to work with, but stainless steel isn't as difficult as you might think.

For 25hp OMC applications, an alumimun OMC or Michigan 10x15 propeller works very well

For GT Pro (35hp OMC), stainless 10x17 OMC props work quite well, although they have not been made for some time and may be hard to find.

Another excellent choice for your v-bottom is a chopper like the one in the photo. Mercury makes props like this, but this one came from Ron Hill in California USA. This propeller gives good bow lift and speed. I won at the OPC Nationals with this prop.

This chopper is slightly less than 10 inches diameter (a little more might be better -- 10.25" to 10.5"). Pitch is 18 inches.

See Ron Hill on ebay: stores.ebay.com/Ron-Hill-Propellers

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