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Old     (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-07-2006, 8:25 PM Reply   
I know I am way too analytical, but here we go:

All posts that I have read here on Wakeworld concerning the Epic 23V indicate that the boat has a 4000 lb ballast system. That number seemed huge, considering that the next closest ballast system tops out at 2500 lbs in the MB Sports B23V Team, a boat that is comparable in length at 23 ft and 2 inches narrower at 96 inches in beam. I have never seen an Epic in person (but I have seen the B23V Team), so I am gonna make a lot of assumptions in this comparison.

To achieve 2500 lbs of ballast, the B23V has a playpen bow that is filled with ballast. Additionally, the B23V is fairly shallow in freeboard, which allows MB to push the floor up in order to obtain more room for ballast.

The Epic boat does not have a playpen bow, thus eliminating the ability to hide water in the nose like Malibu, Supra and MB do (remember, the three aforementioned boats had to make playpen bows to achieve additional weight in the nose).

So I got to thinking that maybe my comparison was off and chose to compare the Epic against my boat, a Calabria Pro V. My boat (a Calabria Pro V) is 23 feet long and 102 inches wide and does have a regular bow like the Epic. To boot it also has a 65-gallon tank like the Epic. This seems like a fair comparison

The Pro V has a 700 lb ballast system that is below the floor and is configured over 2/3 of the running profile of the boat.

Something still didn’t seem to be adding up with this comparison, so I started doing a little math. I used this following website as a basis for my calculations:

Given that a gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs and a cubic foot of water weighs 62.43 lbs, it would take nearly 480 gallons of water (or 64 cubic feet of water (think of a mattress that is 6 feet wide, 1 foot thick, an over 10 feet long, which is much larger than a California King)) to equal 4000 lbs of ballast. To put that in perspective, a 55-gallon drum of water would weigh 459 lbs. At 459 lbs per 55-gallon drum of water, the Epic would have to hold 8.7 drums of water beneath the floor to accommodate that kind of ballast. Add that to the 65 gallon drum of fuel that is already supposed to be beneath the floor, and you have a grand total of nearly 10 drums hidden.

Being 4” wider, Calabria was only able to shoehorn 1/6 of the water under the floor as Epic is? MB is just over ½, but they added a playpen bow and raised the floor. Malibu, could only achieve 1/3 of that weight and they also added the playpen bow.

So I began thinking that maybe Epic had done something revolutionary to find that kind or room under the floor. Again for reference, I went out to my 102-inch beam Calabria and took some measurements. I have a 65-gallon tank that is in the dead center of my boat. Its dimensions are 28” W x 70” L x 8”H (it is easily accessible by removing 2 screws. Directly behind my fuel tank is my transmission, and the rest of my bilge. Given a 2-foot gas tank width, that eliminated 2 feet of beam width to hide ballast. The Pro V has a 76” wide running surface…nearly all of the useable space is consumed by the 65 gallon fuel tank and the 700 lb pure vert system…

So I guess my question is this: How can a 23 foot boat with no above the floor tanks hold nearly 64 cubic feet of water that is nearly 480 gallons? A California King sized mattress 6’ X 7’. If it were a foot thick, then it would still be more three feet short of being able to hold that kind of water. So what gives? Somebody please educate me as to where Epic is hiding two tons of water weight….
Old     (scottyb)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-07-2006, 8:35 PM Reply   
This is an interesting post and I hope you get a response, I was thinking you could test how much the boat holds by timing the fill time until the overflow starts spillin out the side. This would be a rough estimate but at least you would know if it is really 2 tons of water because that is a heck of a lot. Obviously you would have to know the GPH of the pums on the boat and the number of pumps but besides that it should be pretty easy. I will keep my eye on this post anticapating some sort of results. I do know that when I look that the 23v it does look extremely deep so maybe that is where some of the water goes.
Old     (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-07-2006, 10:16 PM Reply   
i was talking about this with some people the other day cause they questioned in the mb had 2500lbs for real. basically empty the boat take it to a truck scale get the weight then fill the ballast and go back to the truck scale and subtract. that seems like the only way to get a really acurate reading
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-07-2006, 10:18 PM Reply   
Great question, Worm. Does the Epic have stringers?

Scot - I would not rely on any pump actually pumping the GPH it says it does. It will vary widely depending on the length and diameter of hose, as well as if the hose has to go uphill or not.
Old     (billthom)      Join Date: Apr 2005       06-07-2006, 11:30 PM Reply   
One thing to keep in mind about the Calabria is that it is not truely 23ft; they count the swim platform which is 2.5 ft.
Old     (greenpinky)      Join Date: Apr 2004       06-08-2006, 5:02 AM Reply   
Entrust - that would work, but I'm not sure I want to have an additional 2500 lbs on the trailer.
Old     (ripr)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-08-2006, 5:26 AM Reply   
Although not as analytical, I too thought 'where do they put all the weight?'

After looking over the boat in person, it looks insanely deep from the outside...much deeper than my 21V. But, when you get on the inside, it feels similar to an oversized X-1 or Supra 22SSV. Basically, the floor is raised and the hull is deep...I have to assume the ballast goes in there.

Old     (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-08-2006, 5:44 AM Reply   
Bill - you are correct, the hull length on my Pro V is actually 21.5'

NAW - that was the only thing I could think. Because I have never seen the boat in person, and using the beer math that I just did, it seems that the boat would have to be insanely deep with a shallow floor to hold that much weight in the belly. It just seems improbable to hide ten 55 gallon drums of fluids beneath the floor of a boat of those dimensions...

Entrust - imagine having two tons of extra water weight on the trailer in the Epic...your tires would be flattened, if they didnt pop first!

and just for clarification, i am not baggin on the intrigues me enough to get this much of my attention!
Old     (ripr)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-08-2006, 6:09 AM Reply   
Yeah, they had one at our last event as I stated in another thread, but being one of only a few boats out there, it had it's problems. One of the problems was the ballast wouldn't drain!! They had it on the ramp for a good hour letting the ballast drain from a hole the size of quarter!

One of the dudes wearing an Epic t-shirt (there was a bunch of them) insisted on telling me and a few buddies (one of which who owns a sick, slammed SANTE) that the wake on the Epic is THREE FEET TALLER than a slammed SANTE...

Old     (entrustclothing)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-08-2006, 7:11 AM Reply   
three feet taller? thats it :-) im looking at my bedroom door now and the door knob is 4 feet, thats pretty high :-) does any boat make a 3' wake? :-)
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-08-2006, 7:45 AM Reply   

I like your analysis, I'm interested to hear what the answer is.
Old     (bbeach)      Join Date: Jul 2002       06-08-2006, 8:44 AM Reply   
This is intriguing... Are you sure your numbers of ten 55 gal drums is accurate? Seems like alot... I'm curious as well how they fit that mch H2O in that sucker...
Old     (jcv)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-08-2006, 9:01 AM Reply   
good to see the epic guys aren't prone to hyperbally. seriously, the biggest wake i've ever seen is about 2 and a half feet high. but yeah, i'm sure the epic wake is 5 and a half...nothing like a neck-high wake to shatter every single bone in your lower body. actually, with a wake that big, you'd slow down so much on the way up, it would be hard to go wake to wake.
Old     (ripr)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-08-2006, 9:06 AM Reply   
That was my thought Jeff...I don't want to bag on the Epic guys as the rep was cool and the boat should be dope when they get a few things dialed.

This was probably just a case of a buddy of a buddy sportin' the shirt and thinking he's helping out when he really just damaged any credibility, IMO. I've heard worse claims at boat shows though from established sales people from established brands.
Old     (jcv)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-08-2006, 9:32 AM Reply   
I am really excited to see this boat though. Like you said, I've heard just as absurd claims from much higher ranking personnel representing other major boat companies, so the exaggerated account from one of their many riders isn't something I'd hold against them. The few pictures I have seen of the wake show, among other things, someone doing what looks to be a HUGE w2w batwing. It could be the wake most people dream of: into the flats height with wake to wake landings.
Old     (mjmurphy53711)      Join Date: Mar 2004       06-08-2006, 9:40 AM Reply   
I got some video of the Epic NAW speaks of and I will be posting it soon.....

The boat had a damaged rudder and they only could partially fill the ballast but the two guys who got a ride behind it went big.....check back soon.
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-08-2006, 9:48 AM Reply   
The 55 gallon drum comparison is a hard one because drums are cylinder shaped. If my math is right 55 gallons could be contained in a box that is less than 2' x 2' x 2'. It's just a little tough to envision 10ea 55 gallon drums under the floor of a boat. Little easier to envision 10ea 2' boxes under the floor with as deep of a hull as that. In the build article about the Epic it looked like there was no storage in the bow, and it was all ballast. NAW do you recall how long it took the ballast to fill? I forget which pumps they were using but I imagine there is a ton of them.
Old     (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-08-2006, 12:10 PM Reply   
ryan, that is why i used the mattress comparison. if you assume that you are using a pillow top style mattress that is 1 foot thick, it would have to be 6 feet wide and over 10 feet in length to hold 4000 lbs of water....
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-08-2006, 1:33 PM Reply   
Yeah that is a better comparison. It seems a little more reasonable to fit a 6 x 10 mattress under the floor than 10 drums.
Old     (wakeman21)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-08-2006, 7:15 PM Reply   
about the wake being 3' taller...

im not so sure about a whole three feet taller but i have seen the epic wake with 4000lbs and it truly is epic and the wake is MASSIVE. im sure that there really is 4k pounds of water underneath. unless it isn't all water and they have lead or something under the floor along with some water
Old     (malibuboarder75)      Join Date: Jan 2004       06-08-2006, 8:20 PM Reply   
Naw, from one of your above posts.
"I've heard worse claims at boat shows though from established sales people from established brands."
Like Tige trying to sell a trim tab as a wake maker. Not bashing Tige's, but marketing does wonders.

Ryan, I dont know if you are correct on the 2x2x2 cube, but a cylinder is definately a tricky looking shape. In chemistry our teacher showed us a 2L coke bottle, then a cube that would also hold 2L. The cube appeared to be half the size as the coke bottle, but they were the same volume.

I myself would seriously consider an epic (when I graduate) if they offered a 21V with 2500lbs of ballast. Jeff, you say everyone is going to shatter their bones on this wake. I dont think so. Chris from Epic says the point of the boat is too have full control of the ballast that you want. If you are a beginner rider working on inverts and spins, then just fill the ballast to 1/3. But if you progress and eventually want a pro size wake, then you have the option, without the addition of fat sacs, to increase the wake. And since so much of this sport is focused on how big your wake is or 'how do i get pro air?', it is no wonder that some people would find this boat to be fitting.

(Message edited by malibuboarder75 on June 08, 2006)
Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-08-2006, 9:18 PM Reply   
Very interesting :-) I love being analyzed :-) I will start by saying that this boat was designed to be a wake machine...see for the back story. Having said that...besides the general hull design I wanted to stuff a TON(or two) of ballast in this thing. I hate filling bags and have loved the thought of having the best of the best ride in the 23v with stock ballast with NO extra ballast needed. The comparisons with other boats is interesting but don't really tell you much about a boats true capacity. Because of our resin infusion process our glass is extremely light and strong which allows us to put a very interesting ballast configuration together. My original design held about 3,200lbs but once we got into the manufacturing analysis for the 23v I discovered that we could cram a bit more in. I could describe exactly how we are able to get so much ballast but it is something I would like to keep quiet while we get this little venture off the ground :-) As for the size of the wake with all this isn't 5 ft high. To be honest I have never made a honest effort to measure the wake when fully loaded. The feedback we have received is that is HUGE(I'm sure they mean compared to what they are used to in their own boat or the boat they mooch on, I was a mooch's is OK, just bring gas $$$) I have heard several riders say the 23v wake is shaped a lot like the Malibu VLX but bigger, firmer and with a better lip. I really have pressed riders for reliable feedback because if we don't know what sux about our boats we can't fix it. My personal view is that the wake is bigger than any other boat out there when comparably weighted, not by a lot but by enough to notice. And certainly I believe we hold a sizable lead in wake size when comparing with the boats loaded with stock ballast to stock ballast. I think much more than size though, it is the shape and firmness of the 23v's wake that have allowed it to receive such great feedback. I would just tell whoever is interested to come out for a ride when we are in your area and see what a wake can feel like with the addition of 4000lbs and a hull made to add an additional 800lbs of down force just through design :-) I'm sure most of you know I have put everything on the line to bring this boat to reality. It has taken a lot of RandD to cram soo much ballast in our 23v. The ballast, plus the hull, plus the steering and resin infusion process make this a very interesting boat and I welcome any question you might have. I am crazy busy with many projects right now. A 300 Mile per gallon car, redesigning the HumVee, and a very cool fast attack watercraft that can take a mine blast, finishing up the Epic 21v, and trying to snag a pull or two whenever possible. I will try to respond when I get back to check WW for all the latest.
Old     (boarder_x)      Join Date: Mar 2006       06-09-2006, 7:05 AM Reply   
Ok, the boat weighs 4300#. 4000# of ballast, and a design that emulates another 800#'s. Add the weight of some gas, gear and people. We're looking at almost 10000#'s.

Q1) How does it get on a plane?

Q2) Does it make it longer than one set before you need to fill up?

Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-09-2006, 8:39 AM Reply   
Boat weighs 3300lbs I think now with the resin infused hull. I've seen pictures on here of a Malibu LSV that had 3000lbs in it which weighs a little more dry. The Epic has the 8.1L in it which could plane out a battleship, so I doubt it's a problem. Will it suck gas with 4000lbs in it, yeah, but not anymore than most boats with 4000lbs in it. I want to see how versatile the Epic wake is. Meaning how's the wake with the ballast half full running at 22 mph at 70 feet? Do you have to run 24 mph at 80-90 feet with full ballast? etc. I like the fact that in my V210 I can have a clean solid wake at 20-25 mph from 65-85 feet depending on how much weight I'm running and where. Hopefully the Epic can acheive this with fully automatic ballast.
Old     (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-09-2006, 2:03 PM Reply   
here is another interesting thought about the Epic's proposed ballast system:

the claim is that all of the 4000 lbs of ballast is stored in a total of three tanks. lets say you are a good rider, but not a great rider. lets say you want more than the stock weight, but not quite the 4000 lbs of ballast that this boat is capable of holding. so you choose to run the ballast half full with approx 2000 lbs.

you are up and riding well and the boat is on plane at 24 mph. the boat's running attitude, like any other boat, is bow high. you throw your latest attempt at a crow mobe 5 and nearly break your neck. as your driver comes off throttle from 24 mph, 1 ton of water shifts from the aft portion of the tanks to the fore portion of the tanks. what will that do to the nose of the boat as it decelerates? that much weight shifing from the middle of the boat forward as it slows will certainly cause the to bow to dive some... it does it on every boat i have ever seen even without ballast.

any thoughts on this? does the driver just need to be extra attentive/careful? what about when i half loaded boat is sitting and takes rollers from another boat? a ton or more of shifting weight is, i think, something to address...
Old     (bbeach)      Join Date: Jul 2002       06-09-2006, 2:30 PM Reply   
my guess would be the tanks are baffled... so as not to have this problem... But that's just a guess...
Old    bocephus            06-09-2006, 2:54 PM Reply   
Smokey Yunick among others already did the 300 MPG car. Don't believe me, an exact replica of the engine is in the basement at the Univesity of Florida. You have to vaporize that fuel with the exhaust gases. It was going to go in the Delorean before John got nabbed. See here:

Old     (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-09-2006, 3:14 PM Reply   
baffles would be my guess also, but with that much water sloshing around, it seems like it would take a pretty significant amount of baffle, which would negate (to some small degree) the amount of ballast space.

again, i am not bashing the boat. i have a lot of respect for chris and what he has done. i just have an inquiring mind that wont rest until i see this thing in person!
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-09-2006, 4:05 PM Reply   

That concept is also talked about in Brown's Alcohol Motor Fuel Cookbook. Though, Brown, for his purposes claims 200mpg. It's been 15 years since I read the book, but he essentially talks about heating the fuel above it's boiling temp. The fuel will not boil as it's under pressure in the fuel delivery system, then once injected it boils/atomizes into the combustion chambers. In the book he uses methanol as it has a low boiling temp, but a high octane rating. Thus, you can get it to boil easily with out it auto igniting.



The Epic thread is more interesting, if the 200-300 MPG car was feasible, it would have been done – the concept has existed for at least 25 years. So back to Epic.
Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-09-2006, 5:55 PM Reply   
TDC: you are right about the nose dive. The 23v does have that problem but I would say it does it about as much as any other boat I've been in. The baffles in the ballast system are designed to slow the water down but not stop the water completely as that would put too much pressure on already very stressed tanks(at 4psi the water exerts about 10,000lbs of force on the tank lids). With the water allowed to move through and past the baffles you do get some weight movement when the boat slows and takes off. This movement makes the wake a little move vert for the first 10secs of someones ride and will cause the nose to dive a bit on slowdown. I have only taken water over the bow once in testing. I was doing some figure 8s with the ballast fully loaded and with some new rudders we were trying out. The boat can literally turn back into its original path of travel within a boats length of turning radius, almost like a small jet boat. This can be fun but if you turn back into one of the rollers you just threw when you came from the other direction this can lead to a fun little shower for everyone in the boat when that flat nose splashed that roller up :-) There were two others in the boat and everyone got wet but not drenched. We learned our lesson. As for the 300MPG car. We have researched hundred of engine possibilities and the most intriguing is a Sterling engine that was developed up in Anaheim. It produces 3,000watts continuous and will run for 20years with no maintenance needed. The vapor engines really do work but they are really just better at completely burning fuel. Your power to unit of fuel consumed is raised by nearly %50 by doing this but I don't think this technology will be developed before some of the other alternative fuel stuff. And hopefully by next season we will have a hydrogen boat running around(its in the works) but I think the propane fuel cell/electric engine is more plausible for a marine application :-)
Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-09-2006, 7:02 PM Reply   
Sorry craig, I tried to steer the convo back to Epic with the marine propulsion electric scenario :-) But one thing on Brown's gas(his new efforts). It takes far to much electrical energy then it produces in hydrogen. There are many hydrogen separation techniques in the works that will yield higher results for hydrogen production. It is good research though and a good book none the less. And the car will be in prototype form in about eight weeks now. Before the company got funding (from then MAN) I could talk about it. But basically the same hydrodynamic theory used for the 23v was transferred over to aerodynamic "fun stuff" that makes this car crazy efficient. And with the resin infusion we use with our Epics the car is less than half the weight of a comparably sized steel vehicle...Epic know how converted to the automotive industry :-) See wakeboarding CAN change the world...Follows are Fun Facts about the car...I just HAVE to spill the beans :-)

If we Made 1 of every 20 vehicles on the road an "Aptera"(name of the car with 330MPG fuel economy). The Cumulative National Gas savings would be(all number bellow follow this assumption)

Gallons of Gasoline Saved per Day - 17,514,000 6,392,610,000 Per Year

Gallons of Gasoline Saved Per Second - 171

Gallons of Gas saved Per Year by Each Aptera - 704

Percent Drop in Foreign Oil Reliance because of the Aptera Affect - 7.28%

Hours Saved at the Pump a Year by owning an Aptera - 7
420 Minutes

Pounds of CO2 production reduced by each Aptera - 14,084

Trees saved by Driving an Aptera - 12

Dollars Per Day Put back into the Economy because of Aptera Fuel Savings (at $3 per gallon) - $52,542,000
$19,177,830,000 Per Year

Annual Average Fuel Savings per Aptera Owner(at 15k of driving miles per year) - $1,895

No I'm not a hippie now, but because of the advancements developed with the 23v I am now working on this car and other fun stuff. Hopefully it turns out that WakeBoarding has inspired an interesting turn in general efficiencies for many industries, and just maybe changed the world and especially our great country for the better...(*steps off the soap box*) :-)

Hmm, more $$$saved on gas from commute...that means more $$$ for Wake Trips :-) Ah, back on WakeBoarding again :-)
Old     (tdc_worm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-09-2006, 7:53 PM Reply   
ahh yes, the aptera... but can it tow a 23v? if not, then it is useless! well, for me anyhow!
Old     (malibuboarder75)      Join Date: Jan 2004       06-09-2006, 8:06 PM Reply   
Just take the same concept and make it bigger, so what if your truck aptera only gets 100mpg when the car aptera gets 330mpg.
Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-09-2006, 9:44 PM Reply   
Haha, trust me...I already have ten ideas on how to tow with a fuel efficient car/truck. The military stuff is interesting because we have a very HumVee like creature that gets 150MPG and can still tow like a champ. The great thing about electric is that there is infinite torque :-) Imagine the hole shot with a 200hp electric engine back there...sweet :-)
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-10-2006, 12:45 AM Reply   

Correct me if I'm wrong, you're the founder of Epic Wake Boats? I'd have to imagin that the design work to take a boat from Prototype to production could easily exceed 3000-4000 hours. (I'm hair-brain guessing here.) I guess, long story short, where do you find time to build 2 boat designs, iron out manufacturing problems, build a business, market, and tackle the quest of saving the world with a fuel efficient car, and..Oh try not to get assassinated by the oil companies? (j/k on the last one )

Anyway - More power to you
Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-10-2006, 1:30 AM Reply   
Craig: It was in the range of 6000 hours for the initial 23v development. And I could easily spend 27 hours a day working on the refinement and distribution plans on the 23v. Fortunately I have some great people handling a lot of the load for me now. George at our Factory has 12 years of experience as a production and design engineer with Chrysler and has put together a great production plan to get us up to some serious production very quickly. Adam is a wake addict(I thought I really loved this sport till I met this guy some five years ago). He is a mechanical engineer gone bad and will land a 720 to blind this season I just know it :-). He is a partner in Epic now and has taken over the sales and distribution responsibilities. And under Adam we have a great group of 5 guys that are working hard as distribution Reps around the country. Then there are our group of initial dealers that are all working hard to help us in any way to get them some boats so they can spread the stoke in their areas. It has been a rough road to get the 23v into production. The book will read like a soap opera with hopefully a very happy ending for all :-) Everything has happened along the way from people helping with the project for many hours free of charge just because they believed in the boat to the latest efforts by an individual to ACTUALLY steal a set of plugs from us to sell to another manufacturer :-( But now the stars are aligning for us to get some boats out to the public and our team has grown into something that will keep Epic innovative, and responsive to riders needs. I am grateful to have so many people believe in Epic. And any questions or criticisms are welcome because I know that it can only make our boats better
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-10-2006, 9:28 AM Reply   
Ok - 6000 hours seems right. I say that because I estimated 3-4000 hours, and for every project I take on I significantly under estimate the time demands..

Can you describe the Resin Infusing process so I can get a visual? Or is that top secret stuff?
Old     (mcsammamish)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-10-2006, 2:28 PM Reply   
Wow, Chris your serious about the soap opera, someone stole the plugs to the molds. Do tell more, we all love a good conspiracy!

Do you have a Western WA. dealer set up yet. I emailed a while back and got no repsonse. If no, I'd love to know. You can email me off of my profile. If you do have already, then I'll look forward to seeing you on the water.
Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-10-2006, 3:34 PM Reply   
Yeah, I would rather it not be so dramatic sometimes but we are riding the cutting edge and have to sometimes trust people that we don't know all that well to take care of business. This other company just took advantage of a situation and tried to take a new set of plugs along with it. It sux because they lost about 2mil worth of business over what was probably less than a $500k bribe to be an accomplish in such an awful deed...if I could only share all of the crooked and mean people I have ran across so far in the boating industry. It would amaze everyone to know how cut-throat it is for something new like this. A very "Tucker" like story so far, only this will have a happy ending :-) As for the dealers, we have on in Sacramento, Salt Lake, Phoenix, LA, San Diego, Virginia, and Denver thus far. None of them have standing inventory yet but a couple have demo boats and all of our distribution reps are running around with demo boats(all pre-production) to give people a pull and show off the features to those who are interested. I'm sorry if I missed your e-mail Matt. Our web server SUX. I would tell anyone to avoid hostway for their hosting needs :-(

Anyways, the resin infusion is pretty darn cool. It is a process the Australians really pioneered with their Americas Cup Sail Boats. They won for many years straight and noone knew what their edge was. Well they figured out a way to crate a sandwich core composite hull for their boats with resin infusion that gave them superior strength in a super light package because the laminate was super consistent, with no air trapped inside and had really low resin to fiber ratios. Well the secret is out now and Burt Rutan and others have successfully used this technique with composite aeronautic and space vehicle parts. When I first laid down plans for the Epic I knew it could be built different. I saw a TLC special on Rutans Space program and became intrigued with his composite techniques. After many months of messing around with different options I was determined to mack resin infusion part of our build process. The problem was that the process is slow and cumbersome in a manufacturing environment. It works by laying in you glass, core, then more glass and then putting it all under a bag when dry. The you suck resin through the glass and core while it all sits under the bag and 2700lbs of vacuum pressure. Vacuum pressure will remain constant through out the part if you have set your flow channels properly and you will end up with resin perfectly distributed through out the part with every spec of air sucked out and replaced by our vinyl ester/epoxy resin. With no air(the main killer in hand laid parts) and perfect resin distribution through a sandwich core(which makes every surface act like an I-beam while hand laid parts can only take force linearly) the parts come out SUPER strong. Impact resistance is much better, total strength is superior and surface finish and durability is greatly increased with the vinyl ester/epoxy we use and matching gel-coats. The process also is done under bag so there are no emissions to worry about. You can actually walk in our factory and not be overcome by styrene and acetone fumes... It makes the whole manufacturing process a lot cleaner and productive. The problem is that it is expensive to get started. If we had started with a traditional hand laid hull and then tried to switch to infusion it would be very cost prohibitive. But because we started with it off the git go it wasn't a big change in mind set to adapt the technology. We are the first resin infused tow boat and will be the only resin infused production boat. Our shop (and the one we are building on the East Coast) will be the largest Resin Infusion Shops in the world and will handle no only the boats but also the automotive, military and aerospace stuff I mentioned before. It is interesting that this technology was adapted for wakeboarding but now has so many other applications. I've put a sample infusion pic below. People are infusing small parts and production environments and some LARGE boats are being done with this method but no large scale large parts are being done with our method. In the pics you can see everything laid out dry, then bagged, then resin is sucked through the part(the black stuff flowing through the green), then the bag and flow media is taken off and then you just pull your part and you are done. Notice how clean everything is(compared to any pics you have seen of tradition boat shops)Upload
Of course I am not criticizing any other companies building methods. Malibu, Centurion, MasterCraft, ect. all make great boats that have stood the test of time. Our process is just done differently to produce different results. We need a lot of strength to withstand soo much ballast and the down force created by the hull. We also wanted a light boat for easy trailering and towing. Most comparable boats weigh almost twice as much just in fiberglass weight than our boats with the infusion method. Our total weight with a 8.1l engine is just about 3000lbs. Compared to some others in the same size range with the same engine that will to 4500lbs easily. This process works for us and we hope that people will see the advantages of it on the water and when towing their Epic back and forth...I hope that was a decent explanation Craig :-)
Old     (luchog)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-11-2006, 8:43 PM Reply   
I'm sorry, but I might just miss something on the translation, but what are mold plugs??

Chris, I'm not a fan of such a large boat with such a big engine, but I really wish you and your company success!!!
Old     (mattyreb)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-11-2006, 9:24 PM Reply   
What will a base price be with trailer roughly. This by the way is a killer thread. Thanks for all the info and good luck with your ventures Chris
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-11-2006, 10:37 PM Reply   
This has been quite informative and very fascinating. I enjoy being innovative/creative and engineering as best I can in my DIY projects. Your explanations have been quite enjoyable to read and cause me to ponder my own spin-off ideas for little projects I'm doing.

Anything else you want to spill out on the table, I'll read with delight! I'm really excited for you and your company. Rarely someone steps up against an experience industry, that in it self is quite a move! I hope you guys can make it to the viability point!
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-11-2006, 10:58 PM Reply   
"It is a process the Australians really pioneered with their Americas Cup Sail Boats"

Whoa, whoa, whoa, back that truck up. Don't you mean the New Zelanders with KZ7?

Ausy's pionnered the winged keel and perfected drinking beer, that's it.
Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-12-2006, 12:32 AM Reply   
Sorry Darren, I am not much on sailing history. I think I was just told that about the Auzzies years ago and just kept repeating it till it seemed like a fact...

And a Mold and plug are:

A plug is an exact duplicate of what your boat is shaped like. It is used to make a mold.

A mold is a negative copy of what your boat is shaped like.

You use the mold to build your boat from the outside in. First you spray the gel-coat in the mold(the outer layer of your boat), then add fiberglass. After that just pull the part out and add an engine...thats the simplified version anyways :-)

Below is a pic of an X-star being built. The first is the fiberglass being rolled on by hand(the colored gel-coat is underneath) and the second is the hull being pulled from the mold.


Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-12-2006, 12:34 AM Reply   
O yeah, the 23v will base price at $60k with all the fixings. E-mail me for more specs. I don't want to clutter up WW with our sales crap :-)
Old     (ldr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       06-12-2006, 7:47 AM Reply   
Chris, it is my understanding that most companies don't take the route you have because it isn't as cost efficient in relatively low volume production. However Genmar has been using a similar resin infused process on their boats (Larson Glastron etc.) since 1999. in fact they have even won awards for being environmentaly friendly. I applaud your efforts in taking on this new process. I have been following your results over the last 2 years and at the same time have finished my degree in Industrial Technology. With many of my papers being done on Fiberglass production processes.
I just wanted to say good luck and I look foward to seeing/riding in one of your boats in the future.
Old    bocephus            06-12-2006, 8:12 AM Reply   
Just curious why would anyone steal a plug when they could just splash the boat like every other new boat has been copied throughout boating history?
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-12-2006, 10:11 AM Reply   

Your process for fabricating the hull is different than Mastercraft, correct? You use the Infusion method instead of hand laying the glass? Or is it just the smaller parts that you Infuse?

How does a Plug differ from a Boat Hull?
Old     (billyjodonjimbo)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-12-2006, 11:59 AM Reply   
Craig, A plug is the same shape as the hull, but it isn't the same material..instead of fiberglass and gelcoat, it is sometimes made of bondo, or wood, or foam, etc.

I also believe that the entire boat is resin infused.

Correct me if I am wrong though.
Old     (cla17)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-12-2006, 1:15 PM Reply   
Matthew, I believe Glastron uses matched molded RTM "Resin Transfer Method". This is a great process and addresses a lot of the same issues that "resin infusion" does. The real difference between the two is that resin infusion is done under pressure and the Matched Mold process just fills the void between the inner and outer mold with resin. Because of the immense vacuum pressure, Resin Infusion yields significantly lower resin to fiber ratio than the Resin Transfer Method. Both are very "clean" and environmentally friendly methods though :-)

The basics of all of this is: Resin is brittle and breaks easily, The less resin you have the less brittle your part is, You only need enough resin to "glue" each individual fiber of glass together for a perfect part, It is the matrix of crossing fibers that are "glued" together that give fiberglass its strength, if you have more resin in the part than is necessary to hold the fibers together you are only making the part more brittle(in the lab, scientists have gotten parts down to nearly 10% resin with complete fiber adhesion, but this kind of drastic ratio can only be achieved in a lab).

Typical resin to fiber ratios in hand laid parts can be on the order of 70% resin. We have our resin content down to 30% with our Resin Infusion. This allows us to put in even more fiber and yields us an incredibly strong part. And yes EVERY part of an Epic is Resin Infused, not just the hatches of just the hull(I know some companies have vacuum bagged their hulls for ski boats but they usually still hand lay the decks).

BTW, I think Sea Ray is the largest RTM(Resin Transfer Method) shop around. The technology in the Sea Ray and Glastron plants is amazing. I would love to visit one of their plants sometime. I just love robotics :-)

Old     (mcsammamish)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-13-2006, 10:49 AM Reply   
Hey Chris, thanks for the reply. I'll try sending another email to you off of the website.

You are right, there are other inboard companies using resin infusion and are playing around with it. Matthew Bird is right, it is not as cost efficient, and results in lower volume initially. The upside is less emissions (which is awesome) which ultimately could result in more boats built to get around emission limits put on the boat manufactures. This is a whole other subject though.

I think it's a great move and will ultimately only bring great things to the industry and the planet. And it's all really cool stuff to read about on Wakeworld!


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