How does weight distribution affect performance?

Weight distribution is extremely important to boat safety as well as performance. Weight can affect a boat’s running angle, attitude, performance and ride. For the best top speed with a moderate to fast planning boat, passenger loading in most cases should be evenly distributed. Each boater should seek out what weight locations best suit his or her needs. Always remember that weight distribution is not strictly confined to fore and aft locations, but also applies to lateral weight distribution.

How does altitude affect performance?

Altitude has a very noticeable effect on the wide open throttle (WOT) power of an engine. Since air gets thinner as altitude increases, the engine begins to starve for air (oxygen) and horsepower is lost. If the boat has been set up at a lower altitude and then moved to a much higher altitude, there will be a noticeable reduction in power.

How does climate affect performance?

Summer conditions of high temperature, low barometric pressure, and high humidity all combine to reduce engine power as much as 15%. This, in turn, is reflected in decreased boat speeds of (in some cases) 3 -5 miles per hour. Nothing will regain this speed for the boater except the coming of cool, dry weather.

Why is the stainless steel on my boat rusting?

Stainless steel is just as its name implies – it “stains” less than normal carbon steel. Only the highest quality stainless steel available is used on Spartan boats. Rust can occur under numerous circumstances, including polluted water and galvanic corrosion. The rust can be removed with rubbing compounds. A scotch-brite pad is OK, but do not use steel wool.

Why do most boats drive from the right side?

Nearly all recreational boat manufacturers place their operator’s position on the right-hand side and use right-hand rotation propellers to compensate for the boat roll resulting from propeller torque.

What affect does trim have on boat performance?

The trim angle of a boats drive has a distinct effect on the planing angle of the boat, which significantly alters top speed and handling. The engine should be trimmed in at the factory for best start-up acceleration and shortest time to plane. If trimmed “in” (under) too far, the bow drops and the boat runs too wet. In this condition, top speed drops, fuel economy decreases, and the boat may over-steer in one direction or the other (otherwise known as “bow-steering”).

If trimmed “out” too far, the may lose its hold on the water. In conventional extruded chine hull designs, the boat may start to “walk” from right to left to right, etc. (“chine walking”), and getting on plane may be difficult or labored. Porpoising may also occur.

Why do I need a tachometer?

A tachometer (“tach”) measures engine RPM’s. An engine is designed to run at certain RPM limits. Without a tachometer, the operator has little opportunity to know if the engine is at a dangerously high or low RPM level. Any deviation from the established RPM levels other than those associated with climatic conditions, elevation, or gross load changes, is an indication of a possible performance problem.

What is marine fouling?

Fouling is a kind of unwanted build-up (usually animal/vegetable derived) occurring on the boat’s bottom. Fouling creates additional drag, which reduces boat performance. In fresh water, fouling results from dirt, vegetable matter, algae or slime, chemicals, minerals and other pollutants. In salt water, barnacles, moss and other marine growth often produce a dramatic build-up of material rather quickly. So it’s important to keep the hull as clean as possible in all water conditions to maximize boat performance. Severe cases of bottom fouling can prevent planing by adding too much drag.

How can I protect my engine from corrosion?

The leading cause of corrosion damage is galvanic corrosion (the electrochemical interaction between different metals). It is most hazardous where drive units are immersed in salt water, brackish water and many inland waters with high conductivity caused by pollution.

The corrosion reaction occurs when electrons flow between dissimilar metals connected or grounded through water. In the process, one of the two metals is eaten away. The damaging corrosion can be eliminated by providing sacrificial metal-zinc which will preferentially corrode to protect the drive unit.

Sacrificial anodes are installed at the factory by the engine manufacturers that Spartan uses. Additional transom mount zinc anodes are available for optimum protection, if deemed necessary. The anode’s main purpose is for corrosion protection. By their very nature, they deteriorate very rapidly and must be constantly inspected and regularly replaced if you are an avid salt water boater.

How will salt water affect my boat?

The use of marine grade aluminum, zinc anodes, and freshwater cooling in combination with respected name brand components gives Spartan boats as much salt water protection the industry can offer.

What is a reverse chine?

Unlike typical extruded chine construction that most aluminum boat manufacturers utilize today (a displacement hull that simply pushes water out of the way), Spartan’s exclusive Reverse Chine Hull utilizes the energy available in the bow spray to create lift beneath the hull. This will cause the boat to achieve quicker planing speeds and have superior performance characteristics. What happens is that the hydrodynamic forces overcome the static buoyant forces sooner and the hull reacts by moving forward and up out of the water, reducing draft and creating less drag. The smooth flow of water generated by this design allows more water into the intake during both straight line speed and hard cornering maneuvers. This increases fuel economy. The reverse chine also will not allow the rear end slide (typical characteristic of extruded chine hull boats).

What type of aluminum is used?

All Spartan boats are constructed with 5086 H116 and 5052 H32 corrosive resistant marine grade alloy.

How much gas will my boat burn?

Although mile per hour numbers are usually how boats are judged, Spartan has taken the time and energy to convert the savings by using our Exclusive Reverse Chine Hull vs. the typical extruded chine aluminum hull into actual dollar savings at the gas pump.

What purpose are the planing strakes?

At planing speeds, strakes serve several purposes. Primarily, they provide additional lift, acting somewhat like an extra chine and helping to get more hull out of the water. This reduces drag and increases overall performance. Strakes also tend to break up the flow of water beneath the hull to eliminate some of the surface tension that develops between the water and the bottom and help the hull to track well through all speed ranges.

What type of top should I order?

If you want to maximize versatility, a folding top is the best bet. It provides good weather protection but is a little noisy on a windy day. In just a few seconds it can be folded up or taken off to enjoy the sunshine or provide more fishing room.

If you want maximum weather protection, a hard top with sliding windows is the way to go. Boats with hard tops (cabin style) are very popular in the Northwest where the weather can change from fair to mild to wet and windy in a few short moments.

A good compromise between the two is a fixed frame canvas top. It provides good weather protection yet does not add the weight or expense to your boat.

What size boat should I order?

You should always consider a boat slightly larger than what you think you need. 21′ is a very popular size because it is large enough to carry a good sized group (up to 8 people quite comfortably), yet is highly maneuverable and easy to trailer. Buying too small of a boat often results in an upgrade the following season.

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