Installing a Whale Tail on a Catfish Boat

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

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    State:
    TN
    Original post made by Joe Ware(Gofish) on March 19, 2004


    I bought a new XPress modified-V 1756 in March of 2001. From the very beginning I have had problems with getting the boat to plane when alone in the boat. It was worse when there was a passenger sitting on the rear bench seat. The boat would porpoise even with the motor tilted all the way down. I contemplated the cause of my problem and drew the following conclusions: The boat is rated for a 90HP motor and I have a 50HP (possibly underpowered), the weight distribution is disproportional (motor, 2 batteries, 2 gas tanks, and 1-2 people in the back of the boat), no weight in the bow to speak of. I began thinking of ways to remedy this. I began using a counter-weight near the bow for better weight distribution.

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    Pictured is a tractor weight that weighs about 60-70 pounds. I would place the weight on the floor of my boat as close to the deck as possible. I would remove the weight when I had a passenger. If the passenger would sit in the seat on the deck while under way, I didn’t have the plane problem. It didn’t take long to realize that this was not the solution. Moving that weight in and out of the boat was a pain, not to mention the damage it was causing. However, the other options I considered were going to take some modifications and cost some money. I considered mounting a gas tank near the deck. This would provide weight in the front and remove weight from the rear. It would also cost a couple hundred dollars and require modifications to the boat that I didn’t want to make. Also, it would take up floor space, which is already lacking when all gear necessary for an all-day trip to the river is in the boat. One other negative about mounting the gas tank near the bow is the amount of pounding it would take when on rough water. That last reason is also the reason that I did not consider the option of moving the batteries to the bow. So, what is the solution?

    I asked for opinions from the biggest catfishing community in the world (the BOC) and it was suggested that I place a whale tail (stabilizer fins) on the motor. I had seen these before but was skeptical. During the gathering at Chicot State Park in Louisiana, I had the opportunity to discuss stabilizer fins with Bob Gilvary, our go-to guy when it has to do with motors. Bob told me the ins and outs of the whale tail and said that it sounds like the perfect remedy for my situation. Well, not only did Bob convince me to try it, he also donated a set of fins to the cause. This is what the fins looked like before mounting (also available as a one-piece unit):

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    Below are some pictures of the boat before and after installation. Although there are no pictures of the actual installation, it was quite simple. It only required aligning the fins, drilling ¼ inch holes, and bolting the fins to the anti-cavitation plate. Bob suggested that I mount them as far back as possible.

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    Continued in next post
     
  2. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Continued from previous post

    As you can see, the rear bolts are about ½ inch from the rear of the plate. One thing I would suggest (that I didn’t do) is positioning the fins and using a punch to mark the holes. As you will see in the following pictures, the fins are not exactly straight because the drill bit wanted to “walk” before biting.

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    At this time, I have not tested the fin to see what affect it will have. That is planned for first thing in the morning. The research I did suggests that the fin can increase top end speed and fuel mileage. I’m more interested in getting the boat to plane and keeping in on plane. I’ll post results tomorrow evening. Stay tuned…

    I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions and especially Bob for all of the help including the donation of the fins. I can’t say enough kind words. See y’all on the water!