I long pondered building a tab or gate style surf system and in the end figured why not build both. I felt the ability to independently control the pitch, roll and yaw would help me create the best possible wave. Initially I thought I was going to go with just a thruster style tab system so I had already drawn them up. When going to the tab and gate system I had to reduce the length of the tabs to make it work. Since I had the original tabs drawn up I figured I might as well make them at the same time and test the different designs.
The .125″ stainless tabs and gates were cut on a waterjet. The hinges are .090″ piano hinge from McMaster cut to length and welded on the end. I used 102F Lenco actuators on the gates and they have 60 degrees range of motion. They actuate thru the full range in a very similar amount of time as the 101XDS actuators used on the tabs. The tab extend 12 degrees and retract 25 degrees. ( I would have set them up to extend more for the short tab but I was trying to balance using one setup for both short and long tabs.) The hinges on the tabs cross a step in the hull so I cut a wedge out of aluminum flat bar to fill the gap.
The Arduino controls are in the initial stages of development and just function enough to control the gates and tabs on a bluetooth app but the GPS is not triggering functions.
Throughout initial testing I have been keeping the boat evenly weighted. In the Bow I have a W711 V bag but only feel I’m getting 250 lbs in it. I have W712 Enzo sacs in the rear and feel I’m getting 1150 maybe 1200lbs in each of them. Previously I surfed the boat listed. Initially with only one rear bag, then added in bow bag, then added DIY suck gate(s) then an offside bag. I never got to the point where I got a clean wave evenly weighted.
First test was evenly weighted, gate fully deployed. I had similar results that I had with the suck gate, a wave that wasn’t clean and that I didn’t want to surf. I believe that a taller gate and/or more bow weight could help the wave in this configuration.
2nd test was evenly weighted, tab fully deployed. Very surfable wave that was clean on the back end but the lip of the front end of the wave had a dirty lip. I can see the dirty lip was coming from the swim platform. Running listed in the past, the surf side corner of my large OEM swim platform was way under water and not disturbing the wave. By draining off side weight I could clean up the lip and maintain push with a bit of reduction height.
3rd test was evenly weighted, tabs and gates fully deployed. The wave looked beautiful but the front end of the wave lacked a defined lip on the front end and the wave lacked push. We currently surf the wave with the tab fully deployed and the gate 70% extended. This the point were the front end of the lip gets a touch dirty but is defined.
I did run a test listed with tab fully deployed. Obviously the wave height was reduced but surfed a super long wave at 13mph. I did add in gate but don’t recall it making a significant difference either way. I also tried it with the tab retracted and gate deployed but all I can remember was the tab wave was better.
Future tests: I ordered a W707 bag to try more bow weight. Remove the small tabs and gates and install the larger thruster style tabs. Make larger plain tabs without the thrusters to get more roll and leave the yaw to the gates. Make a quick trimmed down swim platform for testing purposes but we like our large swim platform and I know I can get rid of the wave scaring by getting more roll. I might go so far as to scribe in a bracket on the transom so I can make taller gates. I feel the gates are to low, but if I can get more roll from bigger tabs this may not be necessary.
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