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Old 02-08-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
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P23 or P25

For racing purposes, what hull would perform better with a single etec 250HO? Has anybody put the big HO on the back of a Phantom hull yet? I take it these two hulls would be better than the 27 Cougar, correct?
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:58 AM   #2
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For racing purposes, what hull would perform better with a single etec 250HO? Has anybody put the big HO on the back of a Phantom hull yet? I take it these two hulls would be better than the 27 Cougar, correct?
IMHO

I have never seen a Phantom roll, but I have never seen one with 280Kg of Honda 4 stroke on the back which seemed to make Cougars roll more often than with a 300XS Mercury. The Cougar with the 300XS that Paul C quoted had the engine jacked rite up so high C of G again.

From the footage of the Cougar 225ís racing most were raced and crashed like dodgem cars, they are very strong as they were made from Aramid fibers (Kevlar) and glass.

The resin used for the Cougar 225ís was Vinyl ester (most boats use Polyester resin). My cougar had repairs with Polyester resin, IT DOES NOT STICK TO VINYL ESTER!! . Most of the repairs I stuck a screwdriver behind and the popped out like an egg out of a Teflon pan and have had to redo them first keying the surface with 80grit pads then repair with Epoxy resin. So beware if a Cougarís had repairs.

Cougar 225ís had a fuel cell tank, the design life of these tanks is 5 years, and they can be inspected and given a 2 year further life. In practice my Cougar was an 2003 boat which I bought in 09. The fuel cell was leaking because it was perished and totally shot. I was quoted £2400 + vat for a new one. The other option is a new aluminum tank, and to have one made that will stand up to serious racing, CE approved with 2 year warranty you are looking at £600 to £900 + vat, but there again a Phantom tank would cost the same to the same spec. You wont get the aluminum tank into the Cougar unless you take the foot well out then cut away part of the dash as the fuel cells compress a bit to get them trough the bow hatch. Interesting point with fuel cells, I was told that it is the water not the fuel that degrades and perishes the tank coating. Cougars get wet in the front because they bow hatch has no seal nor does it have a drain in the hatch recess, the pop up navigation lights have no seal, water runs down the center of the pop up cleats, the bolts for the center bow rail leak and the foot wells were not sealed into the boat. My one is now all modifyed and fixed so water should not be a problem.

Generally stepped plane hulls like the Cougar give 10% - 15% more speed or efficency but I am told that conventional hulls like the Phantom corner better.

Second hand genuine P25ís are as rare as rocking horse s**t and are hard to find second hand but there are plenty of Cougerís around.

This was another memberís comment about the Cougar after owning one. ďI will go so far to say that there is nothing out there that will come close to competing with this hull in rough conditions accept something a lot bigger and heavier! Make no mistake this hull comes with a health warning. It is an extremely technical boat to handle and rewards those who get it right and punishes those who get it wrong. Marmite springs to mind..! you will love it or hate itĒ.

What would my choice be, well if money was no object I would have a Phantom 25 made from Kevlar, carbon and balsa core with epoxy resin. It would be very light, very strong and very fast. But as you would probably be looking at £60k +, Second hand Cougars around £10k arenít a bad option and plenty available.

My guess is that if you can find a Cougar that has not been repaired much then it probably wonít break unless you crash it. In hind site I was warned by Cookee ďInspect the hull very carefully of any boat you look at - most of them have had repairs at some at some stage in their lives!Ē Oh boy was he right, my advise would be if you buy a Cougar get an expert to look it over thoroughly, my one looked Ok until I got it home started prodding and delving into it, its cost me a lot of time and money to put it right but it was a cheap boat and hopefully it wont need further repair.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:23 AM   #3
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The other problem with Cougar hulls are the hard bulkheads, on the ones we have looked at there was evidence of gel crazing either side of these bulkheads and this can lead to problems with spray rails detaching!
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:43 AM   #4
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are the cougar 27's still rolling now that they have the 300XS engines on them??
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:24 AM   #5
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The other problem with Cougar hulls are the hard bulkheads, on the ones we have looked at there was evidence of gel crazing either side of these bulkheads and this can lead to problems with spray rails detaching!
Why, what are they made of? And how are they joined to the hull?
Are the boats not cored?
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:14 AM   #6
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Why, what are they made of? And how are they joined to the hull?
Are the boats not cored?
The bulkheads on mine are foam cored and are joined directly into the side of the boat. The whole top side front to rear, the sideís down to the first swage, cockpit and floor are balsa cored. I believe the bottom is single skinned.

My boat delaminated in two places, but these were sites that had been repaired before and again I suspect repaired with polyester resin, so no surprise they failed again in the same areas. I was told that it was damaged when running over another boat. I dug the old repairs out and repaired with woven glass, carbon and epoxy. I also made the areaís more rigid to stop the bottom flexing by making it a bit like a corrugated roof. Not sure if it has been tried on boats before but corrugating defiantly works on tin roofís and cardboard.

I have spoken to other Cougar owners, some who never had this problem, so I donít know whether it was different construction on the early oneís that made them prone to delaminating or as with my one had six years of serious racing, eight races per season, and driven like a dodgem car, constantly crashing into one another. I think they took a serious amount of abuse so hardly suppressing that most have had some repairs. I suspect many other boats would just not stand up to that sort of abuse.

Itís a bit of a shame the Cougar- 225 Honda combination, I think the 225 Honda is a lovely engine and the Cougar 225 boat is an excellent designed and built boat, but a bad combination.

These are only my thoughts before I upset any one, the Honda engine was too heavy for a lightweight narrow beam boat and most of the engine weight was above deck. I suspect that if they had bean fitted with a 225 short shaft Mercury 2 stroke, the engine would have been 80Kg lighter mainly reduced from the power head and with short shaft would have would give it much lower C of G with the power head lower down and greatly reduced their tendancy to roll.

I still think the Cougar is a good boat for the money, after all how many 27ft boats do 70mph with a single 225 engine and put up with the abuse they had in a one make race?
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:34 AM   #7
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250 HO on a Cougar

heres one that i tested
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cookee View Post
The other problem with Cougar hulls are the hard bulkheads,

What sort of bulkheads do you fit then? soft floppy ones???
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by freddy21 View Post
I suspect many other boats would just not stand up to that sort of abuse.

I still think the Cougar is a good boat for the money, after all how many 27ft boats do 70mph with a single 225 engine and put up with the abuse they had in a one make race?
I can't find the photos on this computer, but both of our bulkheads are mounted on foam so as not to present a hard spot on the hull - our hull is also balsa cored. Our old race boat was the fastest in the rough compared to all of the Class III C boats (we have the trophies to prove that) and was foam and balsa cored but had no bulkheads at all - it put up with considerable beatings in South Africa, Egypt, Gibraltar and Norway apart from UK waters and apart from some trailer damage survived very well indeed! The boat is now racing in Greece.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:40 AM   #10
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, but both of our bulkheads are mounted on foam so as not to present a hard spot on the hull -

I think that's how most boats are built. here's us.....
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:53 AM   #11
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I think that's how most boats are built. here's us.....
Have a look inside a Cougar!
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