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Old 23 October 2009, 15:51   #1
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Country: France
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Zodiac Futura Speed question

Hi I've recently bought myself a 2003 Mk 2C Futura, 3.8m, alu floor with console. With a trailer, it has a 2003 Tohatsu 40hp on the back. Its being used on inland lakes in central France for family fun and kids waterskiing, ringos etc.

I tried today to waterski behind it myself and unfortunately it just couldn't pull me up. I'm 6'1 and 16.5 stone and I thought it might be up to it as its very quick once on the plane but it was just short of the job, pulling me to the point when I could stand but dragging just short of skiing.

I started with a single pilot but things did improve with a passenger sat on the bow.

So...... anyone got any ideas/modifications that I might be able to do to get up, short of missing out on a few pies?

Great site by the way, helped me alot when looking for the boat, I paid 3k if your interested.

Thanks

Chris
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Old 23 October 2009, 16:33   #2
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Welcome to Ribnet, with a 40 HP well tuned engine and light sib you should ski well, is the sib correctly inflated, is that the model with under small tubes under big tubes ? is the engine well trimmed, how much is 16.5 stone in kilos ? Seems you need different prop pitch for fast hole shot to ski, there are different prop pitches available for best sib/rib water activities. Ask a Tohatsu dealer which prop is recommeded for that engine to ski.

Happy Sibbing
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Old 24 October 2009, 04:51   #3
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Thanks for this, I'm 102 kilos and the futura is the boat with the speed tubes underneath. I will contact a Tohatsu dealer and let you know how I get on.

Chris
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Old 24 October 2009, 11:35   #4
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I suppose it is legal in France, but almost everywhere else in the world you are required to have a spotter in the boat. Having your crew move forward into the bow definitely helps the boat get onto a plane rather than pushing through the water on starts.

I have a zodiac Futura MK2 and yes you can ski behind it, but it is not good ride on a single ski. At first we tried that and had a hard time getting up. As we got better at starts we could ride, but not at the speeds we would like to have. So we started wakeboarding. The increased surface area of the wake board and the lower speeds desired while riding make the wakeboard a much more enjoyable activity behind the Futura. I have my battery, gas tank and all possible weight forward in the boat so that it gets up on a plane quickly. I also have trim tabs installed. My 40 hp three cylinder Nissan outboard came with an OEM prop that was not giving me the correct WOT rpm and I replaced it with a four bladed adjustable prop that gives me a much better hole shot too. Your top speed will suffer without the correct pitch on your prop. I also have a short ski pole installed on my Futura. A longer pole would have exerted too much leverage and hindered getting on a plane, but the short pole makes it so much easier to start. It is a good compromise. Starting with a tow line running low to the transom really makes the rider plow through the water. I really don't think that a Futura with a 40 hp outboard is adequate for single skiing even when everything is set up right.

I have recently started hydrofoiling. It is a much easier start, the ride (once you get the basics down) is smooth and doesn't exert so much drag on the boat. Towing a hydrofoiler I can run at 26 - 27 mph, speeds I couldn't attain with a skier behind the boat ( my top speed without a rider is 29 mph off my GPS). It is also possible to cruise around for extended periods of time while riding the Sky Ski, skiing and wakeboarding just beat me up. I am 6' tall and weigh 175 lbs. My largest rider is 230 lbs. I like to single ski, but leave the slalom experience for days when we are out in a different boat. Truly, the wakeboard is fun, but since I started hydrofoiling the wakeboard hasn't touched the water. I'll attach a couple of pictures. Have fun!

The images of hydrofoiling are off a wakeboard boat with a tower. But I have enjoyed watching my friends launch inverted tricks behind my Zodiac. Hasn't caused any issues with my transom either. Will post pics from our next outing with the Futura and foil rider together.
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Old 24 October 2009, 14:48   #5
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Thanks Kelson,

Great feedback and plenty of food for thought, I'll let you know how things end up when I've made some adjustments.

In the meantime I'm really interested in that short ski pole. It looks like you reinforced the floor, is that something you've designed/made or is it off the shelf?

Also have you replaced the standard seats with those pictured with the backs to them?

Cant wait till the kids are old enough to hydrofoil, looks great.

Incidentally, it is illegal 'sans spotteur' but its nearly November and there's just me, the zodiac and some ducks on our lake!

Cheers

Chris
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Old 25 October 2009, 10:52   #6
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I have seen some very young hydrofoilers. The Sky Ski company recommends that they be at least 12, but the real cut off is chair size. There are smaller towers (seat assemblies) available and the footpads can be installed farther back for young riders. All of the kids I have seen were riding full sized chairs. I don't know about availability where you are, but I got a used set up at a reasonable price here in the US. Not a cheap ride! Advanced riders like 25 mph while beginners ride at around 18 mph. The wakeboard we run around 16-18. Much easier to attain than the 30 mph I like when single skiing.

I looked at poles and how they were installed in regular fiberglass boats. Most were just screwed down to the floor rather than through bolted. The floor mount really doesn't take all that much stress if you have the recommended front rake on the pole. Still, I wasn't comfortable with bolting straight to the thin aluminum floor top sheet. The Futura aluminum floor is great because it is easy to disassemble. With the side caps off you can install aluminum plates in the hollow floor sections. The backing plates in the hollow floor sections extend all the way out to the edge so they effectively key into the rail system. This ties the assembly to the rigid and strong side rail portion of the floor system. The floor crossing aluminum plate is only attached at the sides and the plastic pole mount is only bolted to the crossing plate. My forward bench/console and seat bench are also mounted this way. Not easily removable or repositionable like the original zodiac bench supports, but very secure and strong for my surfing expeditions (we run out through overhead waves). I will attach a picture of the floor assembly with inserted plates.

The seats are tractor replacement seats I found on e-bay. Something like 4-6 inches of travel. Very comfortable. But they are not rust proof! I replaced the original fasteners with stainless steel. The spring assembly is silicone bronze so it hasn't been a problem. The shock has not failed with salt water exposure. I take the seats apart yearly, wire brush any rust off and repaint. Four years of suspension seating for $70 each so far. Originally installed on the adjustable zodiac bench supports, I had some issues with wear in the floor track and the support edge. Was this due to the weight of the seats or the pounding that occurs when I go out to surf? I don't know, but the bench is now firmly attached to two aluminum supports that are bolted to backing plates. I did run with regular boat seats and they are great for calmer waters and wakeboarding, just needed the suspension for open water abuse.

I'm not advocating that everyone needs to modify their boat so extensively, but I use my inflatable for a lot of heavy use and the floor mods, custom aluminum tank and suspension seats were a lot cheaper than a new boat! Hope you get some inspiration for your ride. I was disappointed in my Futura until I moved some weight forward and installed trim tabs. Now there is manageable bow rise and it does everything except single ski towing very well.

My spotter didn't show at sunrise the other morning and we rode sans spotter until the fog lifted... no ticket if the law can't see you! We were the only boat on the water.
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Old 07 November 2009, 18:57   #7
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DUDE love your ride. I have a 6m mill spec MK 4 HD Zodiac and you have given me some great ideas. Do you have any pics of your trim tabs ? I have some issues with mine that might be fixed with tabs. But Im keen to see other peoples set ups.
Cheers
Craig P
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Old 09 November 2009, 09:57   #8
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Hola Chris,

Have not specified if it's a Tohatsu M40-C -500 CC -2 cylinder or the standrad M40, 700CC-3 cylinder engine, although both are rated 40 HP, have different beast behaviours.

Happy Boating
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Old 10 November 2009, 17:11   #9
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Crusty,
I wasn't happy with my Futura until I got some of the weight forward and installed trim tabs. Here is a picture of my tab set up. I really like the gas cylinder tabs. They work pretty well and don't require constant adjustment (because they are automatic). Not the best if you have shifting load imbalances from side to side, but you do get a certain amount of adjustability in the tabs resistances so you can adjust for these types of imbalances (just not as easily as you might with remote control tabs). I have the pulley and line set up on mine so I can raise them when beaching and trailering. Not a required addition depending on your use, but absolutely necessary for me. I think the plastic version of smart tabs is more easily removable for those that need to roll up their boats, but I'm not sure about the latest version. I like the stainless tabs and they have held up to a lot of abuse.
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Old 07 December 2009, 11:13   #10
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Winter has finally arrived, even in San Diego. But we beat the approaching storm out for a spin on the bay this last weekend. Beautiful water. Just wish my friend had zoomed back to get more of the boat in the picture. Yes, We really do ride behind the inflatable and the pole hasn't torn off the transom yet. I hope everyone is still getting out on the water wherever you are. I just bought a drysuit. "It's always summer on the inside."
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