View Full Version : 45ZX goes down on Lake Mead

09-24-2011, 08:20 AM

My good friends dockmate In Callville Bay flipped his 45ZX a week ago on Lake Mead. the 4 kids were bruised, but nothin major. the owner got banged up pretty good and his buddy messed up his rotator cup pretty bad. boat was being towed back to the marina yesterday.

09-24-2011, 08:33 AM
Thank God nobody was seriously hurt. Do you know the nature of the accident? A spin-out/skid that turned into a roll?

09-24-2011, 08:48 AM
Hey Mike, meant to give details. Driver claims he was cruising along at about 40-45mph when another boat pulled out in front of him from at a local hangout beach, Sandy. He then cranked the 45ZX hard to starboard and rolled the boat. triple 600's originally, but just got repowered a year ago. the boat just got new props on it before he went out. she went down in about 150' of water just before the narrows. she is now resting on the bottom standing vertically. Makes me wonder if the bow is foam filled. if so, is my 28ZX bow foam filled.

09-24-2011, 09:00 AM
Wow, that's scary.

I assumed it's just floating from trapped air in the bow, but maybe it is all the foam in the hull. Not sure if there's an anchor locker hatch or anything else up there that would let the air escape. I suppose either way, the the air or foam that's floating the boat has to be below the water level in the pic rather than in the bow section above water.

EDIT: duh, I should have looked at the close-up pic. The hatch is open. AND there is an anchor locker, which presumably has a drain hole to the bilge. So, if there's ANY trapped air anywhere, it's sure not the whole cabin full. I guess it's the foam in the hull, and anything else buoyant in there.

09-24-2011, 09:24 AM
He should have bought a Whaler :tongue:

09-24-2011, 09:30 AM
Is there another lesson here?
In a stepped hull, is it better to just cut the throttles rather than try to maneuver at that speed or higher?

09-24-2011, 09:45 AM
I think it's a good question, George. The latest Boating (I think it was Boating) had an article about two schools that teach high-speed boat handling. It included some discussion with Craig Barrie as well as others.

There were different schools of thought, but generally they seemed to say the bailout solution in a turn, when stuff goes wrong, is to straighten out, NOT to chop the throttles. Trying to recall, but I don't think they were clear on whether chopping the throttles would cause you to lose control, or whether straightening was just a better, more elegant, more comfortable (and faster) way to regain stability.

With that said, this situation is different because presumably, it leaves you with little choice. If the driver started to straighten out in his turn, he'd hit the boat he was trying to miss. If he chops the throttles only, he still hits, just at a little slower speed. If he does both, maybe that works, maybe not. And of course, it's harder to do.

But my sense is that the driver had almost no time to react, and had to make a very desperate, sharp avoidance turn. Leaving me to think the lesson may be one of situational awareness as much as anything. Much like the classic "kids playing ball in the yard" case when driving a car. Expect the ball and a kid will run out in front of you, so slow down in advance of getting close. The way I'm picturing this situation, the only real solution I see is to have been further from the boats parked along the shore or to have slowed further down when getting close to them.

Hindsight's easy of course. And it sounds like the guy leaving the beach clearly caused the accident. But in trying to think about what the innocent driver could have done to protect himself, that seems like the best answer to me.

09-24-2011, 10:02 AM
I read that a few days ago in Boating. With a stepped hull if you cut the throttles it pushes the nose down. If you make a sharp turn with no throttle it will slide out. How he taught people to make sharp turns was to slow down "some" cut the wheel and add throttle. Slowing down pushes the nose so it cuts quicker, adding throttle pushes down the stern and keeps you in check. If you have to turn quickly wihout touching the throttles(this applies to all hulls) you turn the wheel 1/4 turn back and forth quickly which lets it turn, grip, turn, grip, etc. If your hands are 3&9 O'clock you would move them to 6&12 back and forth. Try it when crossing a wake or ?? works really good on classics due to their "precise" steering abilities. I can't believe a slide at 40-45 would roll a boat that size. I have seen racers slide out at 80 plus and turn around and keep going...wild ride but no roll.

09-24-2011, 10:20 AM
Biggie, good summary, but one thing I thought worthy of note for anyone who sees this but not the original writeup in Boating. For whatever reason, the article says half turns of the wheel, not quarter turns, in the on-and-off approach to steering through high speed turns. I remember thinking it sounded like a lot when I read it, and I liked the idea of trying quarter turns better. But for the record, the article definitely said half ("feed a half turn to the helm" and "rocking the helm 180 degrees then returning to center repeatedly").

However, when the author tried it himself, it sounded like he used 90 to 180 degree twists rather than just 180.

By the way, it also said the amount of twist was of course dependent on the steering ratio, though it didn't get more specific.

There was also some some discussion of managing throttling in turns as well. I'd recommend that anyone interested read the actual article and not just what we've put in this thread. And the piece probably suggests going to the school for $2500 or something... :)


09-24-2011, 11:03 AM
Ghost..they did say 180 degrees but I personally can't see how you could do that with finesse. Then again maybe it is for making REALLY tight turns and finesse is not the point.

My friend took a racing class 10-12 years ago when he bought his 27 Progression(103.5 record holder). He did the same thing when driving. I asked him why and he really could not explain it but basically it was necessary to keep the boat straight at speed but maybe only 1/8 turns at speed. I tried it in my boat and it did nothing...probably because I was not going fast enough or it was a Whaler. With the Donzi I actually do it a lot, even at 35mph when crossing wakes. It keeps the boat from rolling when it tracks the wave and you basically slice right through it and the deck remains level even though I look like I am having a siezure. People have asked me a few times wtf I am doing. All I can say to us classic guys is try it.

roadtrip se
09-24-2011, 12:30 PM
The 45ZX has a reputation for not being the best balanced boat in the world at speed. A sudden move could make this hull tip easily.

We had a 28ZX single go down at Cumberland a year ago. It floated nose up until they brought it to the surface.

Stepped or not, a hard turn of the wheel at 50+ is not a good idea.

In a safe and planned circumstance, a stepped hull does better in a turn if you leave the drives up and the power consistent.
Not sure what yanking the wheel around will do, if you have a good steering system. I never found this to be necessary with
the stepped boats I have run.

Glad no one was killed. Spin outs happen fast, you have zero time to react, and you are swimming in a second. Anyone who
thinks you can drive out of it hasn't experienced one.

09-24-2011, 01:44 PM
I don't think it is possible to drive out of one. I just would not think at 40-45 it would roll. Just glad he was not doing 70.

Just FYI...The Progression was a full blown Poker run boat. He had twin 320 Promax's on jackplates swinging 30 & 34" labs depending load and seas. She had 2 foot pedals but you could run both pedals with one foot. Your left foot ran the jackplates. Your hands held the wheel and ran the trim on toggles behind the wheel like on cars. Everything had a gauge so you knew where you were. There was also audible warnings if you over revved or ?? so you could keep your eyes on the road at 100+. The Progression however is not a stepped hull. He had to take a few lessons or he was going to kill himself. Came close to barrel rolling it one day and figured he better. He has since sold it and I think had another 27 made with a 700 or 800SCI I/O. Supposably runs 120's. The props cost like $15k/pair or was that for 2 pairs? I think he said he had $30k in props. I'll keep my 22' and live to tell about it.

09-24-2011, 01:46 PM
im with roadtrip on this one,,usually when the azz end of a large boat like this starts to slip your better off powering through the turn and let the boat do what it does,,usually counter steering ends up in a sudden stop and the boat will flip and roll..thank god no one was seriously hurt,,a few years back on fox lake a sales man and a potential buyer of a 38 zx were out test driving the boat,the buyer whipped the boat in a turn and the boat rolled killing both of them..just last week a stepped 38 cig did the same thing out on the east coast..

09-27-2011, 10:30 PM

Creepy video!


Some other pics. My good friend on Lake Mead's son is Prime Cut that started this thread if you read it. Some pics of the 45ZX out of the water.

09-28-2011, 01:49 AM
That IS creepy. I'm amazed with the deck getting partly ripped off that nobody was seriously hurt. Thank Heaven.

11-03-2011, 10:23 AM
You see most of the damage at the end of the video. Nice shot of the stepped hull though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPkiU5qzEIE&feature=related

Sorry I did not know it was already posted here....must have missed that.

Any updates?

11-03-2011, 01:08 PM
Considering both the 28 and 45 are twin step bottoms by the same manufacturer the bottoms of them couldn't be any more different.

I have to wonder if the step bottom boats that tend to roll have certain similarities in the bottom design?

joseph m. hahnl
11-03-2011, 06:28 PM
Air has to flow through the steps at all times. When the boat is turned hard or the gunwale is stuffed, the step is cut off from the air. When that happens the entire surface on that side of the boat becomes wetted.As the other side is still ventilated the wetted side acts like a brake. As you can see It has an adverse effect. There was an article that stated at some point the size and depth of the steps have changed to help alleviate this condition.

The Hedgehog
11-04-2011, 10:34 AM
The spin out of a step boat is also influenced by the bow angle. This is why you want to keep it trimmed up in a turn. If you trim it down, the stern gets ventilation but the front non-stepped portion does not and has a higher drag. That is when it breaks loose and spins.

You would have to hammer it pretty hard to spin a 26ZX. Turning it hard is kind of like turning a race car. You keep the trim the same, you pull it back to slow down and then add in throttle as you turn. With wide sweeping turns at higher speed, you keep the power on and the trim up. You basically have to just turn it. Other than some quirks at really high speed, I found the 26ZX to be a quite predictable boat.

I hear that the 45ZX has some quirky handling characteristics. My guess is that, coupled with the fact that he did not have time to do much other than turn probably led to the flip.

11-10-2011, 07:35 PM
Been a very long time ago, but I remember our 1st AOTH gathering. A gentleman from Virginia Beach named Bryan brought his then new 22ZX stepped hull boat to the gathering and another gentleman named Frank Civitano who at the time owned probably the fastest 22ZX in the country had come over from NJ. Bryan was out running his when he turned sharp at speed and spun his 22. Took them hours to get back to the gathering and there are pics of the spin happening somewhere.

I can remember to this day Frank talking to Bryan and telling him NEVER to turn a stepped boat the way you would turn a deep-v boat. Frank told everyone listening at the time that you never trim the boat down the way us who owned classic deep-v boats would. He also said as the boat goes through the turn you add throttle.

We were very lucky that no one in Bryan's party was injured or hurt other than being very shaken up from the spin. Men will always try things. That is what gives us our love of performance machines.