
ContinuousWave Whaler Moderated Discussion Areas ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance Predicted Speed

Author  Topic: Predicted Speed 
dogfish2 
posted 05082003 10:50 PM ET (US)
Would someone please tell me where I can located Clark Roberts' Formula on predicting speed, using weight, motor h.p., propeller, etc. Thanks much. 
JBCornwell 
posted 05082003 11:19 PM ET (US)
Hi, Dogfish. As I recall, Clark's formula is to estimate theoretical top speed, assuming ideal prop and rigging. Square root of HP/weight (gross) Bottom factor is variable, flat bottoms (at stern) get 225, High deadrise gets 175, others between. I used 225 bottom factor for my Montauk and was stunned.. . .it was within .5 mph of my GPS top end. Red sky at night. . . 
dogfish2 
posted 05092003 01:13 AM ET (US)
Thanks for the quick reply. I have a 2000 Montauk with the console and RPS. Would you know the weight? I can figure the rest of the equipment. 
JBCornwell 
posted 05092003 07:17 AM ET (US)
Hi, Dogfish. Your boat, dry, is listed as weighing 950lb. You need to add engine, controls, fuel, gear and passengers. I estimated my DF70 Suzuki powered Montauk gross weight at 1800lb and used 200 for a bottom factor. The 225 factor I quoted above was an uneditable error. Red sky at night. . . 
Clark Roberts 
posted 05092003 08:16 AM ET (US)
JB, I too, find that Montauk predicted speeds come out right on the mark with the 200 "hull factor" (K = constant). It is very important to get the gross weight correct as the weight is the swinger and also there is said to be a +/ 10% horsepower variation from advertized! So since weight estimate can be off and hp can vary a little results can also be skewed! Also interesting is to use the formula to predict effects of added/reduced weight, added/reduced hp etc.. Also summer hot weather can rob some hp... bah, blah, blah... 
jimh 
posted 05092003 08:51 AM ET (US)
See the Reference section and the article on propellers where there is a careful explaination of the formula and its elements: http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/prop2.html We call this "Clark Robert's" formula because Clark introduced it to us, but I don't believe he was the first to come up with it. It is widely known in the boating literature under another name, which escapes me at the moment. The formula does not use any parameters of the propeller as a variable. It simply relates speed potential as a function of horsepower thru use of a hull constant and total weight. 
dogfish2 
posted 05102003 12:20 AM ET (US)
Thanks Clark and JB! The formula is amazingly close to the top speed that I can get with the 115 4s on the Montauk. It's nice to have a reality check and not be misguided by lofty expectations. The Merc 4s seem to require a lower pitch prop than a 2s or even a 4s Yamaha in order to reach the maximum rpm's. I still have some fine tuning to do. I appreciate all your comments and suggestions. 
Clark Roberts 
posted 05102003 08:05 AM ET (US)
Jim is correct and I take no credit for the formula (not that smart). I first read of this basic formula in (if my memory serves me correctly) Popular Mechanics back in the early 60's most likely. Mercury Marine's Racing Division uses same formula and only differences are the hull factors (constants) used. Back in 60's the hp was crank rated (it's prop rated now) and there were virtually no deep V's so no constants available... My only contribution is the fine tuning of the constants to get better (more accurate) results. As the referenced article (above) states, the recommended constants are 180 for semiV, 200 for trihull (classic whaler) and 220 for flat bottom hulls. Back in the 50's and 60's we had no reliable/accurate boat speedometers and we put stakes in shallow bay to mark measured mile and used a stop watch to clock speeds. This too, was prone to some human error so we had to make repeated runs. Now days we have the GPS which makes it all sooooo easy. Happy Whalin'... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy 
Richard Quinlivan 
posted 05102003 03:09 PM ET (US)
This formula is known as Crouch's formula. See the folowing url for the FAQ file for the recboats news group. http://www.cs.brown.edu/people/jfh/personal_other/boats/FAQ/node42.html#SECTION00590000000000000000 I have also seen it in Dave Geer's Propeller Handbook referred to as Crouch's formula. 
Peter 
posted 05102003 09:22 PM ET (US)
Jim, Now that I have a classic 15' hull in my fleet, I followed your example in the referenced link with quite a bit of interest. I am a bit curious as to whether others think the hull factor constant of 200, as used in the example, is the best hull constant factor to use for the 15' hull. I think that the 15' hull form more closely approximates a moderate vee hull than a trihull and so the hull constant factor of 180 would seem to be the better choice. Using 50hp, 1150lbs gross weight and 180, the formula predicts a top speed 37.5 mph. My observed top speed using GPS over multiple runs is 36.7 mph. Interestingly, if I use 48hp (the engine is a Johnson 48 SPL), the formula yields a predicted top speed of 36.8 mph. 
dogfish2 
posted 05112003 09:06 PM ET (US)
Here is a report on "predicted speed" versus "actual speed." Ran my 2000 Montauk with a 115 Merc 4s. Did the calculations using the formula provided and the predicted speed came out at 47.8 mph. Actual speed was 46.8 mph (GPS). If you factor in the unknown variables such as tide, wind, surface chop, h.p. allowed difference of 10%, I would say that this formula is as close as one could possibly expect. Thanks for all your help, guys. Len 
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