Donald Blount has been driven all his life to do one job: design high-speed powerboats that can comfortably and efficiently run through rough water. Blount's fascination with hydrodynamics began when he was a Virginia Tech co-op student working at the David Taylor Model Basin, the Navy's premier hydrodynamic research facility.
It's often easier to safely go out an inlet than to come in. Your bow likely will be into the waves, you're looking ahead toward them, and you're choosing weather and conditions. When you go out an inlet, think ahead as to conditions that will exist when you re-enter, including weather, current direction, tide level, light, glare and direction of sun. Will it be in your eyes, making it difficult to see buoys ahead?
Jarle Andhoy, skipper of Berserk, the steel-hulled sailboat lost with three crewmembers aboard in a massive storm in Antarctica's desolate Ross Sea, could return home to Norway facing charges that he undertook the polar expedition without permits that would have required a review of safety procedures and contingency plans.
The thing about trouble on the water is how quickly it strikes. One minute you're drifting along, congratulating yourself for putting your pals into big striped bass in the dead of winter. Ten seconds later, you're waist-deep in 38-degree whitecaps, balancing on the bow rail of your capsized 21-footer in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, minutes from freezing to death.
In the 4-stroke outboard race, we've seen incremental horsepower increases of 25 and 50 as manufacturers push out new products. For instance, Yamaha's F350 in 2008 overtook 300-hp models from Suzuki and Mercury.
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