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A padded v-hull is a type of high performance watercraft.
They can come in many different configurations from that of a pure race boat to that of a recreational craft. A padded v-hull is very similar in basic shape to the popular v-hull which simply forms a vee when looking at the back of the watercraft. The difference in design with the padded v-hull is that where the point of the vee would be on the bottom of a plain v-hull there is a flat area ranging from six to ten inches wide. When looking at a padded v-hull from underneath, the front of the hull shows a vee which slowly starts to taper and blend back to the flat pad area. This back portion of the hull is the pad and it will protrude from the vee surface one-half to one-full inch. The pad more efficiently provides hydrodynamic lift due to very low deadrise planing surface, compared to the vee hull lifting surfaces. This highly efficient lift helps to unwet the less efficient vee sections hull which reduces drag tremendously. It uses hydrodynamic pressure to ride higher in the water. As the boats speed increases, water pressure builds on the flat surface of the pad causing the boat to ride higher in the water and ultimately the boat will be riding on just the pad area. At low speeds these hulls ride and handle just the same as a regular v-hull of the same size and weight. Once speeds increase the padded hull will out accelerate and have a higher top speed than a plain v-hull since the padded hull has less drag once speeds increase.
Driving a padded v-hull takes practice and patience. At speed the hull is riding on a small area roughly the size of a paper towel. It is a balancing act to keep the hull on the pad and it requires small steering inputs from the driver to keep the hull flying level. Padded v-hulls will want to chine-walk if no steering corrections are used. Chine-walk is when the boat rocks side to side on the rear portion of the hull. As speeds increase, chine walk becomes more of a factor and can become violent and dangerous if the driver does not know how to compensate for it.
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