The Efficient Test Session - Part 1 of 3

"Technical Notes 5/10/2006"

Many years ago one of the purchasers of "The Engine Analysis Program" also bought my "Prop Duplicator" and really liked the Prop Tech Notes which I included in each Duplicator. He suggested that we do the same for T.E.A.P.

Great suggestion!!

That was the start of the Technical Notes which have been written for many years. I have not posted a Technical Paper in quite a while. Since I am planning on doing some testing in preparation for a couple races, I would like to share some of the things that I try to accomplish during these test sessions.- I GUARANTEE that you will find something which will help you.

Part 1:

This is an outline of the things that I do BEFORE an upcoming test session. Most times I test with someone who shares my organized testing philosophy and sometimes I take a beginner to show this testing method and get him off to a good start. Since I moved to Florida, I miss my testing partner, Stu Barr. He was much more meticulous that I and his test methods were similar to mine. His meticulous nature was good for me.

A side note here:
If you want to get the most out of your test session, try to have as few other people testing as possible. If you can go during the week, that is ideal. Think about the very best boaters you know. How many times have you seen them at a crowded test session - almost never !

PRE-TESTING PREPARATION: OK, I plan to test ONE BOAT during an upcoming all day session at the pond. What things do I need to prepare for this test? I almost NEVER take more than 1 boat to test. I concentrate on that one boat, for that one day. I am NOT going to the lake to just run my boats around the pond. I am going to TEST several things which I believe will improve my boat, or to prove a single change is better/worse. Many times I go to work ONLY on props. I frequently will run as many as 10 different props which I have prepared beforehand. I might be going to test only pipes. I might be going to test different attack angles on the sponsons. I might be going to test different turn fin configurations or different fins. I might be going to test rough water handling if the day is windy. Many times you have water which is rough. That kind of day is only good for testing your rough water characteristics and might be totally useless for other testing. Rough water testing is VERY IMPORTANT and I suggest that you fit that into your program. I might be going to the pond to test driving skill in various situations. I might be testing to get better at passing outside someone who is driving on the course. I might be testing to try new milling strategies. The testing strategies are endless and it seems that there is never enough time to get it all done. In fact, I am positive that it is not possible to get it all done.

I will be getting into the on pond testing in the next article.

  • Are there items which must be ordered to fix/complete/improve the boat?
  • I try to look over the boat and find anything which is not perfect in terms of mechanical integrity or potential fail points for the boat.
  • If the boat is a hydro, I put it on the setup plate and check ALL angles and setup information. I keep a record of all setup specifications in a small spreadsheet which you can download
  • I select all props which I will be testing, making sure that they are all balanced and sharpened. I check to be sure that there are no bent areas or imperfections (surface finish is MUCH LESS important than sharpness). Most times after I complete this check of the props, I spray a light coat of red Dykem Layout Dye on the prop. This will allow me to check the wear patterns on the props after considerable testing.
  • OK, we are a couple days from the test session: I make sure that all batteries (receiver, glow plug, starter, radar gun) are topped off and in good condition.
  • I gather up old glow plugs which I use for most of the testing. I also take new plugs to make a final end of the session prep with the new plug and the best combinations that I have found for the day. Those old plugs that you slightly wrinkled during races make great test plugs.
  • I look over all of the silicone tubing and if there is ANY question, I replace it. I also look over cowl latches (I use rubber "O" rings so I check them for condition). I check pipe couplings. Also check set screws on your driveline and be sure to use Loctite on them.
  • I go over all bolts, screws, nuts and linkages to make sure that everything is tight.
  • A day or two before the test I mix up a fresh gallon of fuel for the test. Usually, 1 gallon of fuel will be enough for a single boat for the day. Have run more than that, but not usually. If you mix your own fuel, be sure to ALWAYS use fresh Alky. Alky absorbs water VERY fast and will not run well if it has water in it.
  • Most of the items above appear on my master checklist which I use to prep before all races. I also usually use the master checklist before an important test session.
  • I like to allow at least 1 night before the test session to mull over everything and make sure that I have everything that I need for an efficient test.
  • There are other minor prep items that I get together which are so minor that I won't list them. Just think of any item that you may need. Take MUCH more to the pond than you will possibly need. You might.....
This completes part 1 of The Efficient Test Session Outline.

Until Next Time........ Back to Home Page

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