John Tomlinson (right) plans to “rebalance” Kenny Mungle’s Skater 368 and test it again tomorrow.
While today’s heavy rain in the Miami area would have forced Gone Again team owner Kenny Mungle to cancel testing his Skater 368 catamaran with John Tomlinson of TNT Custom Marine, the principals agreed—after morning and afternoon sea trials yesterday—to refocus their effort on the 36-footer’s center gravity. The problem at hand is the cat’s tendency to porpoise at speeds up to 150 mph, a significant issue for any high-performance catamaran, much less one that Mungle and his fellow Gone Again teammate Lee Lockwood plan to use in top-speed shootout events this year.
According to Tomlinson, much of boat’s engine, transmission and drive weight is fairly far aft, and that could be contributing to its porpoising tendency.
“We’re going to rebalance the boat,” said Tomlinson. “We will add a bunch weight to the front of the boat. I just have to figure out how much and exactly where to put it.”
Tomlinson, who will work with sandbags to create ballast rather than anything more “permanent” so he can make changes to their positioning if needed, said he plans to test the cat again tomorrow. (Mungle and Lockwood are returning to Texas.) A number of other changes have been discussed, but they won’t be implemented—if they need to be implemented at all—until the boat is properly balanced.
“You have to do one thing at a time,” said Tomlinson. “That’s the only way to know—do one thing at a time.”