In case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up too… One sunny morning on a Lake in Kuala Lumpur!
I’ve just had the biggest adrenaline rush ever, this thing is AWESOME! Climb in squeeze into cockpit, strap into the bucket seat, click the steering wheel in, close the canopy, get pushed out, hit the starter and seconds later you can be rocketing forward with an ease that belie description. Seriously these tunnel hulls are really something!
The tunnel hull gets its name from the fact that air gets compressed between the two hulls and the outer shell of the cockpit sole. As the boat picks up speed, air will be forced into the ‘tunnel’ and allow the boat to ride a cushion of air. Attitude is everything – especially in this! Attitude is controlled by trimming the engine and therefore, ultimate speed!
I was extremely lucky in that, Robert Fernandez of Fernandez Racing, gave me some expert pointers on handling the tunnel hull. A brief from his son Kane on the engine op’s, engine trim and how to bring it back in and it was onto the lake.
What’s it like?
There’s a nice big 2-stroke Fernandez Racing engine good for about 240hp at the end of the 400 kg platform – err a rocket ship is a apt description! I remember David Severre telling me I should try offshore RIBs as “I’d enjoy that”. I probably would but the F3000 really did it for me! It’s a sexy looking boat that has a LOT of shove but it’s also nice to drive. Bet the trim right and she’ll sit happily on the air entrapment, it’s a really uncanny feeling!
The cat hull is also great in the turn. Back off a bit, drop the nose down and let the rails bite the water. Good pilots pull between 2 -3 g’s in a turn. While I was nowhere near that, you can feel it bite into the corners. After 1/2 an hour of circuits with left handers, the whole right side of my bod’ certainly knows its been working!
At the end of the session, I’d seen 6,000 rpm from the screamer and that’s about 11o kmh, only! Well Kane pulled about 140 kmh in the same boat minutes before me but they’ll do 160 kmh when in full noise mode!
So it’s got nothing to do with sailing but its got everything to do with catamarans and speed! If anyone wants to watch, let me know… Ok so, I’m addicted!
Fernandez Racing will be putting on demo’ in Port Dickson (Admiral Marina) on the 18th April. Take a nice drive and have a look at how fast cat technology can really go!
“Go Fast or Go Home” – my words for years, true! Very true.