Last May, a customer brought his Statement 42, Saddle Up, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing HP 700 SCi engines with NXT drives, to Wilson Custom Marine. The boat was spinning 16.8″ x 38″ Hering six-blade propellers through 1.5:1 ratios with the drives installed 3 ¾” above the propshaft centerline. With two people and ¼ tank of fuel, the boat struggled to plane, taking 25 seconds to complete the process. Wilson had to rev the engines to 5,000 rpm, let the propellers cavitate and then catch up. Once the boat was on plane, acceleration was sluggish and the boat needed negative trim tab applied to settle the ride. Top speed was 102.1 mph.
Four days later with the drives blueprinted, a spacer added to position the drives 1 ¾” above the bottom and 60 gallons of fuel aboard, the boat planed at 3,000 rpm with the drives and tabs trimmed in. Acceleration improved significantly, according to Wilson, with minimal cavitation. The twitchiness at top speed went away and top speed improved to 104.5 mph.
With the drives dialed in, Wilson and his crew turned to the propellers, refining them to tight clearances while maintaining the dimensions. Back on the water, acceleration improved yet again with the boat planing at only 2,700 rpm. Wilson explained that the boat was carrying the bow better at a slightly positive attitude and it picked up more speed, running 105.8 mph.
After some final fine-tuning, Wilson had two people and 100 gallons of fuel on the boat. The Statement 42 hit 107.2 mph and ran through sweeping turns without dropping below 100 mph. “The boat is now completely user friendly,” said Wilson.