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Old 05-25-2021, 07:54 AM   #1
jsctx84
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Default Tunnel V swapping ends

There is an older tunnel V that I want to take a look at. I have heard about them swapping ends on people before. Seems like most of what I read it happens when people are hammering down on a turn and have their Jack plate way up. There are a couple comments Iíve seen where people have said they didnít have it jacked way up. Is there anyone that can give any first hand info on this? I really think I want to take a serious look at this boat but the tunnel v swapping has me wondering if I should keep looking. Advice is much appreciated.
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Old 05-25-2021, 07:59 AM   #2
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This happened to me once in my El Pescador but I was doing exactly what you described. Trying to get up real shallow had jack plate up and motor turned.


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Old 05-25-2021, 08:05 AM   #3
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It happened to me one time in 23ft explorer but I let go of the steering wheel to save my beer!!!!
But those style boats don't turn sharp period, my advice if you do buy it take it out and see what it’s limitations are and always wear your kill switch!
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:07 AM   #4
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You just have to be smart when turning. The more motor you have in the water, the less likely it is for this to happen. Just know the boats limitations and that those boats don’t turn like a modern cat-style boat or pad-vee.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:13 AM   #5
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It depends on the tunnel vee and how sharp the bow or better said how much the vee is in relation to the hull length. I had a 19ft Explorer with a 150 Yamaha. If you google to see a pic of that hull you can see how large the vee is on that shorter hull. It was a dangerous design. If you look at their 21 or a Shoalwater the vee was more gently sloped and not so severe. Some call it swapping ends some say bow steering because what happens is the bow stays hooked up but the back end of the boat does not because of the tunnel and flat back.

I have run boats since I was a kid. It is not user error on some of these hulls. Mine almost turned me into a barge on the intercostal going about 40mph with the jackplate all the way down. I got rid of it the next week.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:19 AM   #6
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It will do it. We had a 19 foot shoalwater stealth. I made it do it on purpose so I would know what it would feel like. It happens quick.


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Old 05-25-2021, 08:24 AM   #7
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Just know the limits of the hull, if you push the boat you will learn where that magic spot is. I run a 21 Explorer all the time and tried to get it to spin and it wouldn't. It is all on the length and design. I believe the issue was always with the shorter hulls.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:33 AM   #8
glen
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I run a 24 El Pescador. I have had it “switch ends”. It was my fault. Boat was not trimmed and was going faster than i should around corners. That was early on when i got the boat and didnt know its limits.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:41 AM   #9
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My first boat was a Shoalwater 22 legend. Same hull design as the others mentioned. They will all swap ends on you if you arenít used to the boat and how to drive it. They all have a V bow(keel) and a flat back end. The keel grabs and the back end slides around. Mine was terrible in quartering swells. The bow would catch and jerk down into the well. Had to be very careful in that situation. The boats are fine as long as you understand why it happens. I didnít let anyone drive mine that wasnít familiar with it. Most guys will trim down going into turns with shallow water boats. When you trim down with that hull design it will force the bow down even more making it want to catch. I saw a guy spin a Mowdy coming into the Mansfield harbor. Happens fast. Wear your kill switch and a Mustang when you run. There are lots of them on the water and it shouldnít keep keep you from running one. Just donít push it in turns or quartering seas.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:41 AM   #10
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Happened to me once only on our 23 Explorer with TRP. That case was definitely operator error, my buddy was at the wheel and I got tossed.
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:56 AM   #11
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Thanks for the input. This boat in particular is 19’6”
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:56 AM   #12
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Honestly any boat with a jack plate can do it. I swapped ends in my 21í flats cat motor all the way up making a hard turn in 4-5Ē of water and the back spun out.

Iíve been in a 21í explorer plenty of time with a very dangerous captain and it never happened.

Just use some sense and you will be fine there are thousands of that style boat on Texas waters and you donít hear about it that much.


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Old 05-25-2021, 09:07 AM   #13
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Most definitely!!!
I sold mine a couple years ago. Was a custom PIRATE. Same hull as a 21'9" EXPLORER.
Had mine swap ends on me several times. The 1st time it wasn't my boat yet, jack plate was stuck a couple inches up, luckily I was by myself just running it in Little Bay in Rock Port. In a slight turn it just swapped ends on me. Only thing that stayed in the boat was my left hand on the steering wheel. Later a new Motor was installed with a new jack plate. A couple years later I
bought the boat from my friend & decided to remedy the problem.
I built a custom cavitation plate, helped a little bit. Replaced 3 blade prop with a heavy cupped 4 blade prop, also helped with the problem. But no matter how careful I was, it was still dangerous. The next time it spun on me we were headed to fish past the J Hook in POC one Nov. cold morning. A boat was parked blocking the channel after we rounded the corner. While in a turn I let out of the throttle & the boat suddenly did a 180. Luckily we all stayed on the boat ( including the previous owner )
I decided to do more tests in Lake Austin. Forced the boat into multiple spins but could not replicate what happens accidentally.
It was so bad I would not let anyone ( including my 2 boys ) operate the boat. Decided to sell it ( fully informing buyer of the problem ) & buy a C25 Mowdy.
In my honest opinion, I think the problem comes from several factors.
That pocket tunnel creates an air pocket that the rear of the boat sits on & cavitates the water to the prop.
The sharp V nose can create another part of the delima, it will bite another boat's wake, if in a turn, it will send the transom around. It will also happen running at speed in a slight turn if you have to decelerate, the nose will bite & the transom will break loose.
I don't want to go on a rant & tell you not to buy the boat, just be sure you understand the risks & what can happen, it's that important.
A lot of people run tunnel V's & have no problems, some have had problems, another friend had a TV shoalwater & threw a 4 guys out of the boat 1 time. All watercraft can be dangerous, just know your craft.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:11 AM   #14
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Have seen it happen more than once with those hull designs and I would never own one just for that reason. Way to many boats out there with better designs/layouts to take a chance.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:26 AM   #15
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Had a buddy that his El Pescador swapped ends on him. Scared the daylights out of you. Can be fun in an airboat, but that’s a whole different ballgame.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:37 AM   #16
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I guess my question is why buy one? Where do you fish mostly?

If shallow is what you need then I would look at a cat. If you are fishing bigger water then buy a vee hull.

I sold my Explorer because of your concern and what it did to me. I ran a Tran Cat for a bit but too wet in Galveston when I started fishing it more than Matagorda. My Haynie 24 HO I had was probably within an inch of what the Explorer floated in.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACKFINTURKEY View Post
Honestly any boat with a jack plate can do it. I swapped ends in my 21í flats cat motor all the way up making a hard turn in 4-5Ē of water and the back spun out.

Iíve been in a 21í explorer plenty of time with a very dangerous captain and it never happened.

Just use some sense and you will be fine there are thousands of that style boat on Texas waters and you donít hear about it that much.


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This^^^^... It will happen with any boat if you run your jackplate up to high while running to fast.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:03 AM   #18
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This^^^^... It will happen with any boat if you run your jackplate up to high while running to fast.
I've been in number boats with jackplate all the way up and have never had it happen. Cat hulls and v hulls. Not saying it can't happen with all of them but it's not near as common as the tunnel v design. There's a reason why nearly everyone who has one or who's ridden in one has had it happen to them. Same can't be said for other hull designs.

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Old 05-25-2021, 10:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stolle View Post
It will do it. We had a 19 foot shoalwater stealth. I made it do it on purpose so I would know what it would feel like. It happens quick.


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If your your new to this kind of boat Iíd recommend doing what he said ^^^, especially with the length your looking at. Better to be prepared.


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Old 05-25-2021, 10:45 AM   #20
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Especially be careful pulling a skier or a tube. When they fall you cant just swing around like a V bottom but sometimes you forget if you had a lot of V’s. Wear your kill switch and life jacket and be ready for a mouth full of saltwater and a lot of laughing spectators. .
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:52 AM   #21
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Haven't swapped ends but did a 90 in my flat bottom majek skiff.
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:18 AM   #22
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After I was behind one that did it in POC boat lanes and saw what it did to the passengers leg, I would pass. That being said, lots of folks run them and love them. But I dont think I ever will.


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Old 05-25-2021, 12:20 PM   #23
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I can tell you that at 65 mph, you don’t wanna know what swapping ends feels like.
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Old 05-25-2021, 12:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npe001 View Post
Just know the limits of the hull, if you push the boat you will learn where that magic spot is. I run a 21 Explorer all the time and tried to get it to spin and it wouldn't. It is all on the length and design. I believe the issue was always with the shorter hulls.
You aint trying hard enough. That boat will do it or get real close. Or maybe you need more fresca and vodka. It skipped on us leaving east bay going back to chris' place one afternoon when I was driving.
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Old 05-25-2021, 01:32 PM   #25
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Agree it's much worse the shorter the hull is. Owned a 17' Explorer/Baysport in the mid 90's with a 90hp and it was sporty to drive at all times. People will say it's driver error but a boat shouldn't be that difficult to control while turning or quartering chop. Mine actually was built with a little hook in the hull making it even more sensitive until it was repaired.

The Shoalwater steath, Explorer, Baysport, Bell, Destiny, etc, all originated from a 19' Mako by lengthening or shortening the hull and adding the tunnel. Several of the shorter models can be found with a straight transom trying to alleviate some of the characteristics without luck. Most have the key slot though. El Pescador and Mowdy have their own modified design but still have similar handling characteristics.

I'd recommend looking for a different hull design having experience with one unless 21' or longer. They do handle chop extremely well while running shallow but are limited to 35mph wot regardless of power.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:29 PM   #26
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I've had several tunnel vs and it is a concern.

It has less to do with the height the motor is raised on the jackplate as it does how high you have the bow trimmed going into a hard turn. You will slide through the turn until the bow falls enough for the V to catch and around she goes. Having the jackplate raised up compounds the situation. The key to avoiding it is to slow down a little, trim down to get the hull down into contact with the water before you start your turn and try not to turn really sharp.


I fished off tunnel Vs for many years, caught gobs and gobs of fish out of them. Enjoyed them. They allowed me a semi decent ride and I could still fish back lake stuff. BUT, they really suck overall compared to what we have today. They are slow and inefficient. Most of them run funky and you have to put trim tabs, transom wedges, etc on them to get them to run right. In their day they were great but honestly anything my Shoalwater Tunnel Vs would do the current cat boats will do just as well. The cats ride as well and draft the same or less and give you a ton more fishing space. For me, a tunnel V wouldn't even be an option anymore. I'd really tell you to look at the design as a whole and think through what you want. If you want to have to run a motor hard all the time to get very moderate speeds and then have to be careful making turns to keep from having an issue AND you'd like a hull that porpoises easily and is very trim sensitive AND you want a boat that fishes small for it's size... the tunnel V may be the boat for you.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:32 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notaguide View Post
The Shoalwater steath, Explorer, Baysport, Bell, Destiny, etc, all originated from a 19' Mako by lengthening or shortening the hull and adding the tunnel. Several of the shorter models can be found with a straight transom trying to alleviate some of the characteristics without luck. Most have the key slot though. El Pescador and Mowdy have their own modified design but still have similar handling characteristics.
There were a couple different boats that were cut down to make tunnel Vs. The Explorers and 19' and 17' Shoalwater were based on a cut down Mako. The 22' Shoalwater was a different hull. I always felt like it was probably based off an Aquasport flatback.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:34 PM   #28
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I believe the issue was always with the shorter hulls.
No sir, that is not correct. A 22' Shoalwater would do it in a heartbeat. I can tell you that 1st hand. So will a 24' El Pescador.

It has to do with having a boat with a flat stern and V hull. The flat stern will slide and when the V catches it's going to spin out.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:36 PM   #29
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Quote:
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I can tell you that at 65 mph, you donít wanna know what swapping ends feels like.
The good thing about them is most of those tunnel Vs will only ever hit 65 when on a trailer. You'll do real good to get one to break 40 mph. Many top out mid 30's.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Glenn View Post
I've had several tunnel vs and it is a concern.

It has less to do with the height the motor is raised on the jackplate as it does how high you have the bow trimmed going into a hard turn. You will slide through the turn until the bow falls enough for the V to catch and around she goes. Having the jackplate raised up compounds the situation. The key to avoiding it is to slow down a little, trim down to get the hull down into contact with the water before you start your turn and try not to turn really sharp.


I fished off tunnel Vs for many years, caught gobs and gobs of fish out of them. Enjoyed them. They allowed me a semi decent ride and I could still fish back lake stuff. BUT, they really suck overall compared to what we have today. They are slow and inefficient. Most of them run funky and you have to put trim tabs, transom wedges, etc on them to get them to run right. In their day they were great but honestly anything my Shoalwater Tunnel Vs would do the current cat boats will do just as well. The cats ride as well and draft the same or less and give you a ton more fishing space. For me, a tunnel V wouldn't even be an option anymore. I'd really tell you to look at the design as a whole and think through what you want. If you want to have to run a motor hard all the time to get very moderate speeds and then have to be careful making turns to keep from having an issue AND you'd like a hull that porpoises easily and is very trim sensitive AND you want a boat that fishes small for it's size... the tunnel V may be the boat for you.

This is 100% correct.

I've got a 23' Majek Texas Slam that I absolutely love. It runs shallow, it's got lots of room, I can stand on the bow during a drift and have a little height without an add on platform.

BUT, it's slow (about half the speed of the other boats leaving Marker 37 in the mornings) and the opportunity to 'swap ends' is always there.

I've never had it happen, but I know it could.

Next boat will be a Majek or Haynie cat.
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Old 05-25-2021, 04:11 PM   #31
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If you want one that handles like it's on rails go with a JH OUTLAW 23 or 25 not the fastest hull on the water, but it handles like a vette & will not slide out from under you..... if not in your budget there are plenty of good used GULF COAST out there.... 23 VS would be my choice
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Old 05-25-2021, 04:13 PM   #32
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I have seen videos of tests on these boats where you can see what happens. I think it was on a news4 San Antonio website. They actually remotely controlled the boats into a spin. FYI in case anyone wants to see them.

https://news4sanantonio.com/news/tro...Z1hndUlYMzNBWg..

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Old 05-25-2021, 04:46 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishndude View Post
I can tell you that at 65 mph, you donít wanna know what swapping ends feels like.
I'd imagine it's followed closely by swapping drawers.
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Old 05-25-2021, 05:16 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLR View Post
I have seen videos of tests on these boats where you can see what happens. I think it was on a news4 San Antonio website. They actually remotely controlled the boats into a spin. FYI in case anyone wants to see them.

https://news4sanantonio.com/news/tro...Z1hndUlYMzNBWg..
Sad deal. Thatís the reason I passed on a tunnel V when I was boat shopping several years ago. The thought of that happening with my daughter and wife on board was enough to get me to pass.
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:00 PM   #35
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Like hitting turns, wet pavement, with a sports car.

If you slow down above, why don't you slow down, during transition through turns, with an air pocket stern for traction?


3/4 up to WOT - lotta hot hands on the water today. Speeds over 50 mph - well good if you can do it but, why turn at that speed?

My sports car can hit 150 but, I will never do it.

These boats were designed to bust thru heavy chop in shallow arse water - not turn even half throttle, if the boat runs 50 or 65 mph top end, it needs to turn below 20 mph IMO and or even less like 15 mph

Make the turns slow and controlled, then get back on it

Work the throttle like a brake as your turn - cuz you have zero brakes anyway

Easy Peasy

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Old 05-25-2021, 06:17 PM   #36
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I had a 19ft with a 175hp and it never swapped ends on me. Just keep your Jack plate down and be cautious in turns. Just donít drive crazy and youíll be fine.




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Old 05-25-2021, 06:27 PM   #37
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Back in my days surfing, 5'6" and 5'8" boards, I stomped on the tail, when I made my turns at speed. Even then, the fins would break out, board would slide and I would have to flatten out straight, then hit the turn again....sometimes doing this 3 times to carve thru without spinning out - waves double overhead kind of speeds and conditions

That surfboard, ran about 20 - 30 mph on big waves, and if I left her trimmed with weight forward - as you should do - trim bow down running skinny water.....making a turn, from this bow down press, with power on the motor in skinny water = ADIOS AND WELCOME SPIN

To turn fast on a short surfboard, you stand on its tail, to control stalls and spins

200-300 hp engines = 300 to 500 lbs or even more aft? And that entire weight is on the stern, and it's way up out of the water = top heavy as hell, and air bubbles below with zero bite.....then the G's hit in the turn.

Skinny water boat = no ballast below.
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:44 PM   #38
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I looked at a clean tunnel v explorer at one time. My brother talked me out of it because they are known to swap ends.

I ended up with a cat hull.


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Old 05-25-2021, 06:59 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishndude View Post
I can tell you that at 65 mph, you donít wanna know what swapping ends feels like.
That was quite the story....you shouldn't be here but by the grace of God!

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Old 05-25-2021, 07:03 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Glenn View Post
There were a couple different boats that were cut down to make tunnel Vs. The Explorers and 19' and 17' Shoalwater were based on a cut down Mako. The 22' Shoalwater was a different hull. I always felt like it was probably based off an Aquasport flatback.
Yes the 22 Legend (Shoalwater) was a better design. At one time knew the person that sold the 19' Mako to Gary French who splashed, modified, and built the Explorers. It was around '94 I would guess. As said, they had their place at the time but designs have improved. Good times back then for sure.

I will say “Kali's Law" that went into effect Sept 2019 was named after a Comal Co. teen who died as a result of falling out of a 17' Tunnel V close to Conn Brown Harbor back in 2012.

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Old 05-25-2021, 08:45 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Notaguide View Post
Yes the 22 Legend (Shoalwater) was a better design. At one time knew the person that sold the 19' Mako to Gary French who splashed, modified, and built the Explorers. It was around '94 I would guess. As said, they had their place at the time but designs have improved. Good times back then for sure.

I will say ďKali's Law" that went into effect Sept 2019 was named after a Comal Co. teen who died as a result of falling out of a 17' Tunnel V close to Conn Brown Harbor back in 2012.
Explain Kali's law. ....the operator and some boaters must be attached to the kill switch....?

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Old 05-25-2021, 08:48 PM   #42
Leemo
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Lots of poor Hull designs on the market, see junk on the bay every day
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:52 PM   #43
rebelbow
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I've had several tunnel vs and it is a concern.

It has less to do with the height the motor is raised on the jackplate as it does how high you have the bow trimmed going into a hard turn. You will slide through the turn until the bow falls enough for the V to catch and around she goes. Having the jackplate raised up compounds the situation. The key to avoiding it is to slow down a little, trim down to get the hull down into contact with the water before you start your turn and try not to turn really sharp.


I fished off tunnel Vs for many years, caught gobs and gobs of fish out of them. Enjoyed them. They allowed me a semi decent ride and I could still fish back lake stuff. BUT, they really suck overall compared to what we have today. They are slow and inefficient. Most of them run funky and you have to put trim tabs, transom wedges, etc on them to get them to run right. In their day they were great but honestly anything my Shoalwater Tunnel Vs would do the current cat boats will do just as well. The cats ride as well and draft the same or less and give you a ton more fishing space. For me, a tunnel V wouldn't even be an option anymore. I'd really tell you to look at the design as a whole and think through what you want. If you want to have to run a motor hard all the time to get very moderate speeds and then have to be careful making turns to keep from having an issue AND you'd like a hull that porpoises easily and is very trim sensitive AND you want a boat that fishes small for it's size... the tunnel V may be the boat for you.

x2 this exactly
I'm getting the tunnel on my custom aluminum welded up for this reason.
it just doesn't handle tite turns on the river at all. i have to keep the nose up to high .then i cant see where I'm going
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:05 AM   #44
kyle1974
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tunnel V is a **** design. the problem with the Tunnel V's isn't a planned turn that you can evaluate your jackplate height, speed, water conditions, etc.. it's when you have an unplanned event, like a wake, or need to dodge an semi submerged water hazard.

the boats are just unstable when traveling across wakes as well, which is extremely common on any bay system. not being able to track in a straight line, even when you're only going 35-40 MPH can push you into a bad situation before you know it.

get a boat that has a more forgiving hull. The sales pitch of a tunnel V being "smooth and shallow" is also a farce. there's no one hull that does it all. you're either going to go shallow, or go smooth.

Last edited by kyle1974; 05-26-2021 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:07 AM   #45
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The good thing about them is most of those tunnel Vs will only ever hit 65 when on a trailer. You'll do real good to get one to break 40 mph. Many top out mid 30's.
LOL, I had to unquote my post, because I was going to write exactly what you just said Glenn.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:20 AM   #46
glen
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These boats are slow hulls. My 24 El Pescador gets shallow enough for me and I can eat up bay chop better than most boats. I am never in a hurry. I would say my cruising speed is 20 give or take a few. Boat tops out about 42 WOT. It works out well for my purposes. I will also take it in the Gulf and dont get beat up. I have been on cats in the gulf and needed a mouth piece to keep my teeth from chipping.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:59 AM   #47
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The only hull that I have found that lets you play well in both worlds, chop - offshore, & crazy skinny is the C25 Mowdy Cat. There is a reason you see tons of them in & around POC. I love mine. Now I can let my boys drive w/o the concerns I had with my T/V.
My only concern now is when I finally stick the Mowdy it may require a helicopter to get it out. Drafts in 10" but will run through super skinny water.
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Old 05-26-2021, 09:06 AM   #48
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My old rig.
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Old 05-26-2021, 12:26 PM   #49
ken
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Originally Posted by bakin7005 View Post
Explain Kali's law. ....the operator and some boaters must be attached to the kill switch....?

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The name of the law is misleading. The law requires the operator to wear a kill switch. Kali was a passenger and the operator was not ejected. So, the operator wearing a kill switch wouldn't have saved her.
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Old 05-26-2021, 12:56 PM   #50
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Ken you are making assumptions. I was on a boat driving when it swapped ends. I stayed in the boat but kill switch did its job. Wearing a kill switch has never been a bad idea just like wearing a motorcycle helmet.
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