In preparation for the upcoming 2015 Super Boat International offshore racing season, crew chief Gary Stray and the rest his team at Miss GEICO Offshore Racing are attacking several big projects—such as engine testing today—as well as smaller ones in their Riviera Beach, Fla., headquarters. Among the smaller pending tasks at hand, according to Miss GEICO driver Marc Granet, will be installing new precision digital rudder angle and drive trim gauges from Livorsi Marine, one of the team’s sponsors.
Always looking to improve its competitive advantage, the Miss GEICO Offshore Racing team is adding a couple of crucial new gauges to the cockpit. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image
Granet said that while installing a couple of new instruments might not appear to be a “super big deal,” the benefits they’ll deliver to him and Miss GEICO throttleman Scott Begovich are significant.
“Scotty has three-speed drive trim,” Granet said. “These gauges will enable him to make very fine movements depending on the conditions and the racecourse. Maybe he doesn’t want to drop the drives an inch—maybe he wants to drop them a quarter-of-an-inch. At 160, 170, 180 mph that makes a huge difference. In a rough-water race, he might have to make very fast and sudden trim adjustments. In a very fast race, those adjustments might have to be much more subtle. These gauges will help—a lot.”
Granet explained that digital Livorsi instruments with LED indicators can be set for precise trim and rudder angle settings “on the fly,” meaning during a race once he and Begovich find their respective sweet spots. “If I find out during a race four degrees of rudder is the sweet spot, I can set the gauge for that position,” he said.
“The LED indicators eliminate cable slack,” said Mike Livorsi, the founder of Livorsi Marine in Grayslake, Ill. “In a cat, rudder angle and trim are very important. You can see a quarter-inch of rudder or drive movement on the indicators because the cable slack has been removed. The sweets spots for rudder angle and drive trim can be set in advance, and adjusted from there, and are indicated by a green light on the LED indicator.”
While the arrival of Miss GEICO’s second 44-foot Victory catamaran (read the story) is a few months away, that boat will be completely outfitted with Livorsi Marine’s precision digital instruments, according to Granet.
“We are going to supply LED indicators and what we call Livorsi ‘Vantage View’ instruments to the Miss GEICO team,” Livorsi said. “These are CAN-BUS gauges for either SmartCraft or NMEA 2000 (systems)—all of the information comes directly from the engines ECUs via two wires to the gauges. The displays are analog-style and LCD, and you can have a couple of stations so the driver and throttleman are getting exactly the same information simultaneously.
“One of things we have used for years are highly visible fluorescent orange gauge pointers,” he added. “Off a white or platinum background, the pointer just jumps out so the driver or throttleman can check it at a glance.”
Granet said Livorsi, and its sister company Custom Marine Inc. (CMI) are great sponsors. “They are very involved with the boat,” Granet added. “They get it—they are serious about what they’re doing. They don’t just throw parts out there.”