SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 2011 - The time has come that we have to make a hard decision about which boat we will field in the 2011 Superleague campaign in the Formula 3 class. We have worked non-stop since October rebuilding the Pittman/Yeeeha which we believe is a much lighter, shorter and thus, faster boat. But, for several reasons out of our control, we haven't been able to get our new motor back from the builder in order to get the boat on the water and do any type of testing to get a comfortable feel for the boat. So, it looks like we have made the call to run the Hemp/Pugh from last year at least for the first two races of 2011 and then look at where we are. You might think that it would be a simple fix to simply take the motor off the old boat and put it on the new one, but it really isn't that easy. The two boats are completely different in setup, the new one built to allow the motor to mount in an automatic rising plate which will allow us to move the motor's position up and down on the transom with a wrench, rather than having to loosen up the whole mounting and shim it up and down with shims. We could make the switch but I really hate spend a lot of time and effort switching it back over to the old way and putting a worn down motor on a brand new boat. I would rather wait for the new motor and know what I have rather than running a weaker motor and then switching over to a better one mid-stream. We know the old Hemp/Pugh is a solid boat and will perform decently until we can get the new one ready for the water. Not the way I wanted to start off 2011, but things happen and the motor situation is something we can't control. Our builder is waiting on machined parts from another party and there isn't anything either of us can do to hurry that process along.
But, in the F-2 class, we will be going to Elgin with fresh power on that boat. The Seebold composite F-2 is very near ready for the water and was test-run in the shop on Saturday after the powerhead was mounted to make sure all of the connections were proper and secure. We had one little electrical glitch, but that is what test firing is for. We found the problem and Jeramey and Eric corrected it real quick. We hope to take both the Seebold F-2 and the Hemp/Pugh F-3 to the Ohio River Monday evening to get the motors up to operating temperature and run them a little. No real testing at full speed because we won't have a rescue crew on hand, but we will be getting them ready for Wednesday night's demonstration for the APR Superleague and Huntington Classic race committee when Superleague's rescue boats will be on the water with us.
Just about 12 days until we leave for Elgin and there is still a world of stuff to do, but we will know after Wednesday where we stand on quality of equipment. After Wednesday's test we should have a feel for the motors, the boats and have our prop choices for Elgin. Working out the bugs sometimes takes a few weeks, but we still feel we will be entering 2011 in much better position than we did in 2010. All that will be left, hopefully, is a new paint job and decals for the F-2 which we haven't started on yet.
If you live close and want to get a sneak peak of some powerboat action in Huntington, stop by Schooner's Waterfront Grille in Huntington from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.