I know this is a little off topic for this forum, but I can't get good answers/opinions on the Club Sea Ray forum, so I come back home where I know opinions abound.
1978 SeaRay SRV 200 Sunrunner (Cuddy Cabin). 19'11" long, 8' wide. 5.0 Mercruiser with pre-alpha drive. The hull has a prominent keel all the way back to the stern, tall sides, essentially I consider it a little big boat, or a big little boat.
I bought this boat as a project, and boy has it been one. I've fixed and replaced a whole host of hacks and worn out stuff. Had the engine out replacing motor mounts, and a lot of stuff discovered during that process. When I had the drive off, I removed and tossed the old stingray style hydrofoil that was on it.
Last year, before all this was done, with the foil still on the drive, the boat handled pretty good, planed pretty quickly, and it kept the bow down as one would expect, but I had a hard time trimming to get the bow up very much at all. Definitely couldn't get the bow up where I wanted it, or thought I did anyway.
The prop is a cleaver design, trailing edge is straight from the pointed tip back to the hub. The only numbers I can find on it are "15-M". It is a 15" diameter prop, so I don't know if the number on the prop indicates that, or 15 pitch? With the 305 throttled up to about 4,300 rpm (likely about the max rpm for the stock valve train), the boat would run around 40mph.
Now, with the foil removed, it takes for ever to plane, bow rises dramatically, and I can't get it to settle down. Trimming up any at all results in porpoising. Not how I want this boat to handle.
So I'm faced with a few options here.
1) Put the foil back on and call it a day.
2) Install trim tabs.
3) Install a set of smart tabs.
1) I understand the foil puts a good amount of additional drag on the drive, which might not be the best solution. I also go back to not being able to get the bow up when on plane.
2) I'm not excited about the price of full on trim tabs, although I know they'll be the best option. Also not excited about having even more moving parts on the boat to eventually fail, because don't they all, eventually?
3) The smart tabs seem to address my issue and my budget, better, but I'm just not sure if I'm reading a bunch of marketing hype, or if they'll give me the results I seek. I know some tuning will be necessary with smart tabs, and I do have more time than budget should this be the case.
So there's my dilemma, and my known options. What say the TFF guru's?
I know the easy answer for everyone will be, spend the money for trim tabs. What I'd like to see is some pro's and con's to the other options along with that statement. I've never ran a boat with trim tabs, and although I've read quite a bit on the subject while researching, I'm just not sure the expense justifies the results I'm seeking.
I do plan on playing around with some props as well. From the little bit I can glean on the prop I have it's not the best style for my application. But having been an OB guy for, well, for ever, I have no clue where to even start on a rig like this. Any insight here?
The desired use for the boat is to be a typical run about, some water sports, maybe even some fishing on days when the lake is too rough for my 18' mod-v Xpress. Once I get things all shaken out, a trip to the coast to fish some close rigs in good weather is not out of the question. In other words, just an all around use boat that handles good.