The Big Water Ride
“Soft and dry.” It's a marketing mantra invoked by many a boat builder, and an easy claim to make. But when it comes to fast-moving fishing boats, achieving both of these qualities in equal measure requires a solid understanding of the forces involved. A long, thin hull will knife easily through waves with minimal pounding, but any water that is displaced by this slicing acton may be blown onto the decks. Adding chines and outward flare to the hull above the waterline will deflect spray, but there's no escaping the laws of physics, and the process of dampening and redirecting water creates upward pressures on the hull that result in pounding when the boat rises and falls.
The trick is balancing the hull's tendencies to cut through or push aside the waves. For wave penetration, we create a true deep-V running surface with a fine forward entry that slices easily through waves and chop. Moving aft, the sharpness of the V decreases gradually, a design known as a variable deadrise. Unlike many builders, we maintain a full 22 degrees of deadrise at the transom, giving the entire running surface the ability to tame the waves, whether running into or with them. To handle the spray created when the hull meets a wave, we add sufficient bow flare above the waterline to redirect spray outward in a way that provides a dampening effect without generating high slamming loads. This design is known as a “Carolina Flare,” and it was perfected to handle the unforgiving head seas of the Outer Banks. There are several additional factors that contribute to a superior ride, including the size, shape and position of lifting strakes and chines. At Mirage, we favor moderate-sized hard chines with a slight reverse angle. This feature not only redirects spray in the midship sections of the hull, it also creates lift and adds a greater degree of stability when the boat is at rest or operating at slow speeds.