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Message board > Engines > Pilot - Is weight in the bow needed in my case?

Message 3 of 3
Posted by member Michael on Sunday 24 January 2021

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the reply. I am inclined to think that having effective trim tabs probably means that the lead in the bow has little effect at least at displacement speeds. As I mentioned, planing is not my objective. I reckon I have the same hull as yours (same year).

I suppose I could try running with and without that extra weight but fear that any difference might be more 'in the mind' than actual.

If others have felt the need to increase bow weight it can, for now, stay there!



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Message 2 of 3
Posted by member Robert Sneddon on Tuesday 19 January 2021

Hello Michael
When I purchased my Family Pilot it was fitted with an old 40hp. Too small for my purpose on the west of Scotland however the boat needed quite a lot of TLC, so I made do with it for about 18 months.
I changed it over for a used Suzuki DF70 4stroke with only 500 hrs which was for sale at my local marine engineers. Will sit at 6-7 knots all day but with plenty of grunt when you need it. When pushed the bow came up quite a bit so fitted Bennetts trim tabs and it made a huge difference. I donít have anything in the bow except the anchors and chain however I know some owners have fitted a fresh water tank under the V berth.
Mine is a 1986 model with the small stubby keel and not the flatter planing hull.
Hope this helps

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Message 1 of 3
Posted by member Michael on Saturday 16 January 2021

Our first Pilot had a Suzuki DF 50 with small fins attached. Looking at the performance data on this forum I see that I recorded 17 knots downhill with the wind behind us coming in over the harbour bar. The boat had no tabs and no bow weight though on this occasion I had the crew sit right in the forepeak. At these speeds fuel consumption was high as was the noise level. Not a relaxing experience but proved the point that a 50 is inadequate for sustained higher speeds.

Our newly acquired project Pilot has the same engine, fitted around the turn of the century and hardly used since. I believe†the boat previously had a bigger (75?) two stroke Yamaha judging by the spare prop I found under a bunk. It was also fitted with Bennett tabs and has a lot of lead under the forepeak bunk cushion. Furthermore it† had a considerable†amount of water stored port side which I have got rid†of, presumably to counteract the weight of the helm and rather a lot of woodwork. The boat is lightly loaded and will spend most of its life within the harbour speed limit (8 knots). The tabs work well but so far I have made no attempt at any speed records.

My question is not about the need for speed, it is simply this: bearing in mind the tabs, do I really need the weight in the bow or can I get rid of†it? I'd like to think the lighter the better?

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