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Ocracoke 256 #3

Guest Chris Beebe

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Personally I would not add 300 pounds of deadweight to the bow of the boat. Consider if you then add more gear and people over and above this and run it in open water offshore. If the desire is to deal with running angle, I would tweak the engine mounting angle, but do so after you raise the engine and run it. I am also of the belief that if you cannot get it the way you want it, then go back to the single setup. I bet you may not loose a lot of speed either, especially your normal open water cruising speed.  just my .02 worth I know that's probably a lot of work and not a popular direction. But the overall boat is a beauty. So sit back and enjoy the boat in its ideal and optimum designed arena.

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Beautiful design beautifully built.  Now, to what is not so great.  She floats down by the stern and way off the design lines.  Adding non-functional weight to such a boat is an admission that something is not right somewhere.  Like cutting off your toe to get rid of a painful hangnail.  Some serious thought needs to be applied about the best course to take in getting to a proper solution.  Its clear that there is too much weight (probably about 1000#) cantilevered off the transom and the scant amount of buoyancy afforded by the bracket is inadequate to set it right.


Sorry if this is not a popular assessment, but it is what an old curmudgeon sees.  As Oyster said, eliminating one engine is the equivalent of an extra 8.5+ cu. ft. of buoyancy in the current stern with two engines.  I'd bet the performance will still be just fine.

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All these are interesting ideas and opinions, if there are 1000 lbs of weight too much in the bracket then either we will have to put a 50 hp engine on the boat or the design is wrong.

The boat is designed for either a single 300 hp ( Suzuki DF300 AP weighs 640 lbs) or (2) 150 hp engines ( Suzuki DF150 AP weights 531 lbs each X 2 = 1062 lbs, and by the way the DF175 AP's which is what we used are the exact same weight as the 150's ) even the Yamaha's are almost the exact same weight, so if the boat is not sitting right at rest then the issue are not the engines. When the boat is running is a little bow high and we are going to adjust the engines height this weekend we think we will have to raise the engines 1.5" (2 holes) and then we are going to play with the weights. We are only talking about 200-300 lbs of weight to raise the stern at rest I know that we don't want to add any weight more than necessary but 200 - 250 lbs is just an extra person in the boat.

I appreciate everyone's input and all information is evaluated but at the end first of all the boat has to be safe, operate smooth, operate good, be reasonable at cost  and  look good and that is the order of importance for me.


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I think this is getting a bit blown out of proportion. I submit the photos below. There is nothing wrong with this boat or the way it's trimming. Yes she is floating a little higher in the bow from what we drew on the computer for having a single 300 hp motor but we knew that it would and that is to be expected. We calculated the 256's trim for various motor combinations including twin 150s and were satisfied then that the additional weight would not be out of the boats capability and I think the photo below is proof of that. Based on my profile views on the computer the lowest point of the cockpit (at the transom) is still about 2.5" out of the water.


Obviously two boats can't trim the same with different motor combinations and there are limited ways to change gear around to impact trim. The bottom line is that from what we see, the boat can easily handle twin 150/175 zukis. There are plenty of boats that would love to trim this good with that much horsepower.


Certainly there is no need for anything as drastic as adding to the hull in the stern for more bouancy and adding some ballast to the bow is the owners choice. If it was my boat I would probably put some weight up there to test weather I felt that it improved takeoff performance and as George said, were not talking about a lot of ballast. 


So, Is she waaay out of trim? no. does she look bad? in our opinion definitely NOT. Graham's opinion is that she looks great and he would use her as is after getting the height and props dialed in. Certainly that will yield the best average performance over the boats life.








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Thanks again for everyone's input, but I agree with Alan. I love the way the boat looks it did come out how I had envisioned when I started this project. I also did what Alan showed, I looked at John's pictures and both boats look very close at rest so that made me feel good. I know that a boat with a single engine is going to sit differently than a twin and all that comes in to play how we are going to set it up. Hope to get a chance next 2-3  weeks to stop by and give Alan and Graham a ride.

We will let you how things develop next few weeks.

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Opinion #1,257...


She looks great!  Absolutely beautiful.


I also feel she sits ok.  Certainly not "bad"...and definitely not bad for the first hull with twins!  I would not be against using her as she is, but testing with some ballast is also a good idea.  I would suggest getting her to the final stance before tweaking the engine (height, props, angles, etc.).  As several others have already suggested, I would not put dead ballast 100% forward.  Maybe some there (Lotus' suggestion of a longer/heavier anchor chain is a darned good idea), but further aft for the bulk of it.  Also, I would not go full flat.  Keep in mind that if you're fishing, you'll likely have several hundred pounds riding forward of the console (coolers, boxes, ice, people, etc.).  


I seriously feel it will take less ballast than you expect.  If you don't already have an anchor, put a real one (read: heavy) up there with a chain that's a size larger & twice as long as you planned on using.  At that point I'd put your largest cooler up front and fill it with ice...then see how she sits with no further ballast.  


Best of luck...she's beautiful.

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A couple of things that we could add here without trying to throw fuel on the fire. Since Sheila B is our first large planing power boat we are short on experience. Our engine installer, however, is a highly experienced and dedicated expert. His opinion on our boat was that it a. rode bow high .b should have a stern lifting prop rather than a bow lifting prop (which was what was suggested as a starting point) c. it could benefit from a bit of weight forward. The only weight forward of the fuel tank is a 60 litre fresh water bladder. Also we have the Zipwake "trim tab" interceptor system which either doesn't work properly or I have no idea how to drive it. For me personally I don't care that much because it goes like a rocket and handles any sea it has been in, rides smooth and dry and is just a load of fun. To me it is like roaring around in a sports car or alternately cruising quietly around the bays in a big lazy convertible.

One thing that freaked me out a bit during the build was the line of the decorative piece that runs from swim platform forward (I am going to call it a strake and wait to be corrected on that). I had tried to build mine in a line from the platform and when the boat was moved out of the shed it looked like it was high forward and not parallel to the DWL. I went for the trusty Google search and found that this seems to be the common look on other boats of whatever manufacture that I saw.

As you can see on the attached image this strake is not parallel to our water line and neither is George's and I think that exaggerates the bow high stance we are looking at. I don't know that they are meant to be parallel either but will wait for the response of the experts.

I am sure George will get sorted very quickly and love every minute of boating in the 256. If he was buying gas in Vanuatu like we do then he probably wouldn't have put 2 175's on but that is a whole different story. Our single 200 will keep us poor enough. Looking forward to positive news.

Sheila B.jpg

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Most call that "line" a splash rail and it's function is as the name suggests, prevent water from climbing up the stern sections underway. This was a fairly common piece in older designs, but seemingly forgotten by new designers, that apparently haven't had a wall of water climb up high enough, to get blasted over the rub rail at speed yet. Another use for this rail is in docking or rafting, where the tumblehome can meet a pile, dock or boat hull, before the rub does. It's a guard to low objects too. I've bounced plenty of these puppies off of a piling, trying to squeeze in/out of a tight spot. Saves the hull and the paint.


I'm inclined to agree it's too early to make major changes. Prop changes will likely fix her running trim and her static trim isn't bad enough to get worried about. Use the fat guy trick and see if you notice much difference, which I don't think you will, other than the aestedics of her static trim angle. Enjoy your handy work, you certainly deserve it and the boat will tell you in time, what she wants and needs. I'll bet a favorable prop rake change will cure her underway trim. This is a the natural course for a new design and the related "teething" issues that crop up. Go cut some bait, she'll talk to you . . .

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Also called a tumble home bumper for the reasons outlined above.  If you can find a photo with that parallel to the water, it makes the boat look trimmed by the bow so you can't win.


Now that all the "experts" have weighed in on the obvious and fatal design flaws in this boat I have decided to burn my build rather that waste anymore time and money on it.  Stay tuned for the bonfire videos.

  • Haha 1
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YouTube imagery isn't very good generally, so get a good camera and maybe some super slowmo would be nice too.


You might as well have some fun with this, so add some color to your fire and here are a few examples of what you might expect:


Laundry borax added maybe lightly sprinkled in key locations will make a light green flame.


Water softener salt will make it purple.


Aluminum shavings will make it green.


Epsom salts will make it white, while table salt will make a cool orange.


Adding sugar will make little sparks.


Iron filings will make gold sparks.


I was one of "those kids" the local cops hunted down, any time something in the neighborhood blew up or searched hard for, come the week of the 4th of July.

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First post here. Really nice build, start to finish.


For fore and aft trim, I didn't see anyone suggest adding a fresh water bladder or tank forward. 35 gallons should do it. You can use the water and then offload 250lbs when trailering or if you have extra people on board.



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  • 3 weeks later...

We have some updated info on the 256.

We raised the engines 1.5" and we are 3/8" lower from were we should be on the info Alan gave us. Ideally we should be a little higher (3/8") but it is what it is. This  brought the bow down to where it should be and the trim tabs made it really easy to adjust as we needed. So I don't think we will be adding any weight. The stern is a little low the bottom of the scuppers (floor level) is about 2" above water line at rest,  but with the scupper flaps (I finally installed them) there is no water coming in the boat no matter what we tried.

Here is some speed / rpm info.

The boat planes at 3000rpm and that is if I just hold it at that and it takes about 8-10 seconds

If we open the throttles wide open it planes in  2 seconds or less it almost jumps out of the water (awesome Suzuki's) you better hold on to something as my son found out.

So here are the #'s

RPM                       Speed

3000                        20 kn

3500                        24 kn

4000                        27.5 kn

4500                        32 kn

5000                        35 kn

5500                        38 kn

5900                        43.8 kn


I don't have the prop info with me right now but it is a 25 pitch. I am not sure that the rev limiter is why it would not turn more than 5900  rpm's but that is all it will do. We will do some more research and probably try a few different props but as of now it is good enough for us.

Have a great holiday season, we will not be putting the boat in the water this year again, it will be late winter early spring depending on the weather. Still have a few things to finish up (installation of rub rail, upholstery, nav lights and finish a few misc items) .


Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.








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