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Author Topic:   Water Skiing - Minimum size whaler
slazerow posted 09-13-2003 07:30 AM ET (US)   Profile for slazerow   Send Email to slazerow  
I just bought a 13 ft whaler with a 1995 40 HP merc. The boat can hardly get my 80 pound son up on water skis. I have installed foils/wings on the cavitation plate and the boat will do 29 mph without a skier once on plane, but the boat is very slow to plane with a skier.

Would a 15 foot whaler with a 70 hp (or so) be much better for water skiing or wake boarding? Is my engine not putting out the right amount of power for a 40hp?


Jarhead posted 09-13-2003 08:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
Welcome slazerow...

If you move this post to the performamce forum I'm sure the prop gurus will be able to help you out.
Again, welcome...

lonestarpa posted 09-13-2003 09:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for lonestarpa  Send Email to lonestarpa     
slazerow for about 10 years we skied with a 13' whaler and a 40 merc. (1979 vintage) skied cheap, about two gallons an hour never did know the speed but we could pull a 170 lb. slalom skier up from deep water, if the skier knew what he was doing. Had a 10 x13 prop. trimmed in all the way to the transom, engine was raised between 1 & 1 1/2 in. only one passenger on board (observer) and they started on the bow seat. when the skier was up on a good plane the observer would move to the center seat. If you attempt a slalom ski use one from a combination pair of skies that have a wide tail, instead of one purchased as a performace ski, that will have a narrow tail. the skier can pull a 13 bw off of plane with a performace ski. If your engine is running up to par, and you follow this advice you should have no problems pulling your son. I have pulled up many new skiers with no problems who couldn't get up behind larger boats, and even ski boats. I now have a 15' bw with a 60 hp, same rules apply, it doesn't pull a skier much better, but it is smoother on the butt. good luck joe
GAwhale posted 09-13-2003 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for GAwhale  Send Email to GAwhale     
Hi slazerow!

I have the old style Montauk with a 90 horse two stroke. Fully loaded down, she will pull any large skier out of the water wth no hesitation.

One beauty of the old style Montauk is that she jumps up on plane so easily.

David Jenkins posted 09-13-2003 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
You should be doing about 35 mph WOT with the 40 hp engine on your 13, so something is not right. You should have no trouble pulling up a full grown man on two skis; a full grown man on one ski is possible but not easy. So there is something not quite right about your weight distribution in the boat or your prop or your engine performance.

As for minimum size, you can pull up an 80-pound skier on 2 skis with an 11-foot Whaler powered with a 25 hp motor.

chrisb posted 09-13-2003 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for chrisb  Send Email to chrisb     
I skied through college on my dad's thirteen and started hundreds of kids on it. The boat cannot go fast enough to pull an aggressive 170lb slalom skier on a performance ski without litterally sinking him on turns, however everyone else should be fine if - IF - they don't put their rear foot in untill they are at full speed and up on plane. They also can't lean back and pull or the boat wont get the initial momentum needed. The 15 with a 70 is much faster and more thrilling up to speed but still will wallow with an adult who doesn't know how to help the boat get them up.
JohnJ80 posted 09-13-2003 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
Sounds like your performance is suffering.

I would take this to the performance section and get into a discussion on props, motor height on transom.

A 15 with a 70hp would probably be better, but it sounds like you could optimize what you have.

When you initiate this in the performance section, make sure you know:

1. The recommended WOT RPM of your motor.
2. The WOT RPM of your motor as it is now set up.
3. The prop size and pitch you have now.
4. The WOT actual speed of your boat - you should do this with a GPS.
5. The motor position on the transom - which hole position your motor is set at.


slazerow posted 09-13-2003 07:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for slazerow  Send Email to slazerow     
Thanks very much for your replies. I guess that something is wrong with my motor since I seem to be losing power. I will leave that problem for the performance forum (or a good mechanic). Thanks again for your helpful comments.
goldstem posted 09-15-2003 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for goldstem  Send Email to goldstem     
absolutely a 13 with a decent running 40 should be fine for skiing. We skied behind 25s, and my 40 once pulled up two slalom skiers (well, two was hard...) An 80 pound kid against a 40 hp motor should come up with less than 3/4 throttle.
where2 posted 09-15-2003 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Having learned to ski behind a 15' tri-hull (heavier than a 15' whaler), with only 50Hp on the stern (50hp at the crankshaft), It should certainly be possible to pull up most 80 pound kids behind a 13' whaler. The trick when dealing with lower HP's is the prop you use. In high school, my friend and I would kneeboard behind my 10' Zodiac with a 9.5hp engine. The boat and the hydroslide would both plane off... It was probably running a brisk 15mph... :)

My 15' Whaler with a 70HP Johnson will struggle to pull an adult on a slalom ski up if I have the 13-1/4"x19"SS prop on it. However, I happen to have in my collection a 13-1/4"x17" Aluminum that I use for skiing. With the 17", it pulls the same skier up fine... Drops the max speed at WOT, but that's the price you pay for better hole shot with a skier.

whalernut posted 09-15-2003 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
You guys have got me thinking. I have never tried to pull a Skir or a Tuber behind my Currituck, but next Summer, I am going to try that, just curious, I think it should be fine with the 85 h.p. Johnson on the back. Jack.
BonfantiJD posted 09-16-2003 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for BonfantiJD  Send Email to BonfantiJD     
I started water skiing with a SPORT 13" fitted with an evinrude 25 HP (it was a little bit hard but i was 13 years old only)
Then we changed the motor for a 35 HP. It was OK

Then I bought a MONTAUK 17" with Mercury 80 HP. Much better for water skiing.

Then I bought a Revenge 22" with twins 100 HP motors. Even better.

As a general rule, I think that if you power your Boston Whaler with the maximum recommended power or at least 80% of it you'll have no problem for water skiing


StoreyJ posted 09-16-2003 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for StoreyJ  Send Email to StoreyJ     
To water ski you need horsepower. 40 horsepower is too small. My 15 w/ 70hp is border line. Recommend as much horsepower as you can afford. This also means a bigger boat.
jscott posted 09-20-2003 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jscott  Send Email to jscott     
Having a 13'4" sport- with a 25hp I know what your saying!!!
I want a 40- cause I would like to ski- I'm now about 230-
My kids are not- can't get them up with the 25 although it was close- Knowing how to ski I'm sure I could get upright with a 40-
I even went and got what I call a power prop for the motoe but this summer we had so few days of good weather0 was unable to try it out- I do prefer the prop I call a speed prop- the boat goes probably better than 28mph- but takes for ever to get on plain.. and thats the hull- not the prop- or engine trim - the Whaler is just well a Whaler and takes longer than others to plain- but it still can't be beat! the best boat on the water for all things-
I'm thinking of cheating and locate a 50hp merc to replace my 25hp johnson... I'm sure the hull can take it. even after being abused for 25 years...
cc13 posted 09-21-2003 07:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for cc13  Send Email to cc13     
I just taught my 11 and 8 year olds to ski. On two skis they came both get up at barely over fast idle speed. Drag em at idle for awhile til they get their balance. You'll be surprised at how slow they can get up. Don't gun it and drown em. Lightweight younguns don't need that.
upsetnauset posted 09-22-2003 12:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for upsetnauset  Send Email to upsetnauset     
Any opinions over the use of ski pole - on a 13 foot.
Who makes them and do they provide any advantages form the standpoint of performance, saving the transom from damage, getting out of the hole better? I am working on the winter project 13 - 1982 sport, 35 Merc - 1992 - no dolphins but am comsidering it. Worked well on my 17.
lonestarpa posted 09-24-2003 06:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for lonestarpa  Send Email to lonestarpa     
Don't do it! with the increased leverage it would be easy to possibly pull the boat over. I have heard of several cases of "launching the observer" with a 13' while sking with a bridle, a pole will make that manuver easier. joe
jimh posted 09-24-2003 08:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Moved this thread from the GENERAL forum.]

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