Here's The true Sea Sled Story, circa1985

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by tonydignity, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    >Boats, as all other gear, are chosen by people that often have preconceived ideas and vested interests. Radical designs are hard to sell regardless of performance. The military in particular is instilled in tradition, which makes changes even harder.<

    Pro Boat Builder has been running numerous articles on the methods to lower G forces for high speed vessels.Nothing has been very successful , with big buck builders .

    As it is read world wide , any Sea Sled owner could produce a vessel to be tested and hundreds of contracts should follow.

    Like Browns Gas , the Poge 100mpg carb , and many other mythical concepts the proof is easy enough to create , yet the stories never die.

    The oil companies buy up the patents for 100mpg engines is the story , yet the Chinese do not protect patent property rights , so would copy and sell anything , esp a 100mpg carb.

    A smooth low G ride in 15 ft waves at 60K would be an easy sell.

    Im looking for that 100mpg kit for my bus conversion camper for 25 years!!
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The Navy tested the Sea Sleds and they had better perfomance and seakeeping characteristics than anything else at the time. The data is all available as public records. However, Hickmann was ornery and impossible to work with, so they never had a chance. Also, they looked weird, which also created a lot of resistance.
     
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  3. RedGoldfish
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    RedGoldfish New Member

    Hi, I am the finn mentioned below ;) Thanks for the tip Tony. I could possibly be interested in the hull for testing if it a) fits into a 40' container b) is structurally intact and c) is priced like a 25 year old boat ;). Do you want to sell the trailer as well? Not interested in the outboards.

    Contact me on email, hasse(a)aland.net
     
  4. AndySGray
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    AndySGray Senior Member

  5. RedGoldfish
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    RedGoldfish New Member

  6. AndySGray
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    AndySGray Senior Member

    Figured it was worth a mention
     
  7. RedGoldfish
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    RedGoldfish New Member

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  8. Tatrabill
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    Tatrabill New Member

    Hickman sea sled info

    I buy/sell/collect transportation 'paperwork'. I recently found 5 different 'bulletins' from the Hickman Sea Sled Company, dated 1943 to 1946, detailing the history of the sea sled, as well as the 'new' 1946 13' Sea Sled planned for production. If anyone is interested in these, please contact me: billmccoskey@aol.com
     
  9. george murray
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    george murray New Member

    here is a little more first hand info about the ct sea sleds

    I was involved in building the sea sled in ct. I worked at sea sled in north Branford ct from the very start. James Torpey (Jim) and and Sal Ionotti were partners and I was the one of the first employees . What ended up being the 29' sea sled was originally supposed to be about 24 feet long. the we made the first plug in a rented shop on enterprise Dr. after the first plug was completed, Sal and Jim decided it was to ugly to put it to production the boat looked like a 24 foot brick. the design was modified first a 3' model and then the plug. The bow of the boat was extended to 29 feet with a bow sprint included. the original mold was made from this plug. while we were building the mold Sal bought the property next door and a had a new building constructed to be the factory.

    Hull #1 was a constructed using a experimental epoxy resin, no gel coat was used on #1. Three different density closed cell foams were used core, stringers & with the densest used at the transom. A special primer was used on the freshly waxed mold the boat was to be finished with a epoxy paint. Each lay up was done with vacuum bag to make a strong dense and light laminate with zero voids and air bubbles. The stringers on this boat used a top layer of carbon fiber reinforcing to give them extra strength this was the first time I ever saw or worked with carbon fiber pretty rare and expensive in 1986. This boat was very light for is size. The boat was finished as a center console the boat was powered with twin 140 hp Evinrude 4 cyl outboards on a gill bracket

    The first three sea trials in this boat were conducted in Clinton Ct on long island sound. The scuppers were a little low and made a puddle on the deck at the back of the boat a small well was added to resolve this problem. The
    first day the water was calm seas less than 1 foot the ran OK and after a short trip we had a issue with one of the new engines and shut it down we tilted up one motor and ran it back on one engine the boat still planed well on on engine.
    the second sea trial we had light chop 1 to 2 foot and got to run the boat hard and got 62 mph with only 280 hp on 29 foot boat the boat was very comfortable at speed but would start to porpoise when the motors were trimmed up there were no trim tabs on the boat at this time. the boat cornered well at speed the sponsons acted like rudders and would bite into the water well and help the boat turn. Now that I am quite a bit older and more experienced I think the aggressive turning being done at high speed was dangerous. This would later prove to be the case when the tuna tower was added to the boat. It made the boat ride poorly and corner worse the center of gravity was raised up too high and could not make high speed turn like this which caused the boat to roll over at a later time.

    hull # 2 was a cuddy cabin boat and was constructed of polyester resin and no carbon fiber was used the boat was powered with a single inboard- outboard mercruiser 300 hp big block 454 this boat ran 58 mph and was a bit heavier it ran well

    hull # 3 & # 4 were built as cuddy's

    I believe there was a hull #5 & #6 under construction on the shop floor I think these were going to be center consoles.

    I left, to work on my electrical engineering degree

    Jim was bought out by Sal & the business was closed in ct and moved to Florida.

    Jim was given hull number #4 as part of his buy out. hull number #4 was never put in the water as far as I know. It was move to Branford and sat for about 10 years and then it was moved to Jim's house in west haven ct where it sat until Jim's death in 2006 I briefly talked to his daughter in 2012 when she was trying to sell hull #4 it never had a engine mounted on it

    If any one has any questions about these early boats feel free to ask or has any knowledge of these boats let me know where they are today.

    George Murray
     
  10. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

  11. NC SS 29
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    NC SS 29 New Member

    I'm the new owner of a 1989 sea sled 29'. I am pretty sure its the same boat that is on page 4. Very minimal information on this boat but the hull is extremely solid from all my inspections. The Armstrong transom mount is solid and seems to be a solid foundation. I have not had in the water yet due to getting some motor work done first along with a complete go through of the boat. Did the boats come with the transom mount? Whats the max weight or horsepower they are rated for? I noticed the mercury motors on them are extremely long shafted, is this I correct some of the cavitation I have read about? Any history on this boat would be appreciated. I'm planning on re-doing the boat from front to back if it rides well and serves my purpose.
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The shaft length doesn't matter so much, it is how far the cav plate is submerged underway that might help with ventilation, but if it does help, it will come at the cost of much additional drag, at speed. Aerated water can be countered to a degree by using props with a lot of blades, and cupping. 5-bladed, usually.
     
  13. NC SS 29
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    NC SS 29 New Member

    Anyone know what size motors the 29s came with from the factory? or recommended? More specifically the shaft lengths? Wondering if 25" would work.... my measuring shows it should.
     
  14. Scott Nomates
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    Scott Nomates Junior Member

    Hi Tony, I hope you still have a connection to this forum because I am very keen to get your opinion on this boat I have just bought.

    I'm in Queensland Australia and, to my knowledge (following a bit of sleuthing) this is the only Hickman style hull in Australia. The motor is an Australian built 90hp Mercury with a serial number from 1980, however, there was evidence on the transom (I've since replaced) that it was not the first motor. The hull is 16 foot long

    Is this an American Hickman Hull? If not, any clues on what it is? A year even? It's had a relatively good life but it's been rundown a bit - I'm in the process of restoring it.

    I'm extremely interested to learn more about the boat as I am fascinated with the Hickman story.

    Thank you for anything you can tell me.
     

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  15. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    G'day Tony, I have never seen a production glass sled in Australia, no idea what you have there. But probably has not had much use, or the "tower of power" would have expired long ago, and especially if used in salt water. Where have you used it, or where was it being used ?
     
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