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Leaders in the boating industry talk about stepped-hull boats.

A model of the first raceboat with a stepped hull - a 1910 John Thornycroft - can be found in Michael Peters' office at Michael Peters Yacht Design.

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“The idea that the hull is operating on a gigantic bubble and is supported by compressed air can only be described as complete baloney. The whole idea of a stepped hull having ‘air bearings’ or ‘air lubrication’ is unsupported.”

— Rob Kaidy, vice president of engineering and chief naval architect, SeaVee Boats

“A few brands just have notches and chines — what I call chicken steps. The companies are trying to show something for marketing but are afraid to go into a full step bottom design.”

 — John Cosker, owner, Mystic Powerboats

“It’s different than driving a conventional boat. In rough water, you need to give it more throttle and get up on top of the water. That is where a stepped hull likes to run — on top of rough water — and the ride only gets better from there.”

 — Ken Clinton, president, Intrepid Powerboats

“Steps are an absolute math principle — reduce wetted surface and increase speed and efficiency and reduce wave impact. It’s simple math and not subjective. What is the black art is the many potential forms and configurations that steps can take.”

 — Steve French, owner, Applied Concepts Unleashed

See related article:

- The Stepped Hull Equation

April 2014 issue